Sky Lounge Kloud

2012-10-03

Tucked into the neighborhood behind Yeoksam Station is one of the Gangnam area’s newest hotels. The Mercure Seoul Ambassador Gangnam Sodowe is a mouthful, but it’s also one of the French hotel chain Accor’s best new offerings in the city, providing the city’s southern area with 288 much-needed mid-range overnight accommodations.

While the new Mercure’s rooms are comfortable, for me the real treat is their 21st floor Sky Lounge Kloud. Occupying the tower’s top spot, the lounge, which opens every evening at 5-o’clock PM, offers hotel guests and non-guests, alike, with a selection of premium and draught beers, interesting cocktails and wines.

Emerging from the elevator, you’re greeted by a contemporary décor and playful wall paneling that creates a textured array of triangles with colored light peeking through other shapes. The colors are constantly changing, lending the space a new hue every few seconds. The furniture includes comfortable couches and chairs situated around coffee tables. Placed in a way that can accommodate a private cocktail for two or a larger group, it’s still an intimate space.

Of course, the Sky Lounge Kloud’s most spectacular aspect is the view. Oh, what a view! The length of the bar consists of floor-to-ceiling windows that at this time of year can be fully opened. Beyond them is a terrace area with unobstructed, truly panoramic 180-degree views of southern Seoul, showing the attractive mostly low-rise residential neighborhood below, leading out towards recognizable Gangnam architectural highlights like the Kyobo Tower, Kukkiwon and Ritz Carlton Hotels, and extending ever farther northward to even Namsan mountain and N Seoul Tower itself. As with most Seoul panoramas, on a clear day the ring of mountains that surround the city was visible on the horizon, adding even greater depth to the scenery.

In terms of the menu, the Sky Lounge Kloud sells premium liquors by the glass or bottle, with a particularly nice selection of scotch whiskeys. Customers can opt for a glass of Johnnie Walker Red for just 7,000 won, or splurge on a Ballantine 30-year single-malt scotch for 75,000 won a glass. In addition to cognac, gin and vodka, a dozen bottles of white and red wine are on offer by the bottle, and two by the glass. For me, however, the lounge seems to suggest a cocktail. During a recent visit I tried their “Paradise,” a tropical-themed, vodka-based drink that hit the spot on a hot summer afternoon.

To accompany your drink, the lounge menu also includes dining options. In addition to simple items to accompany your drinks, there is an impressive nightly buffet that’s proven popular, no doubt as it brings new meaning to the phrase, “dinner with a view.” The western-themed buffet includes steak, pastas and salads, as well as fresh fruit platters.

And finally, my favorite part of the Sky Lounge Kloud is a quasi-private area that’s located just behind the bar. Outfitted with eight hanging cabana chairs and set on a raised series of platforms, the area is the perfect place to arrange a party for 12-to-20, with one of Seoul’s best views as your dramatic backdrop.


GETTING THERE
The Sky Lounge Kloud can be reached via Yeoksam Station on Line 2, (exits #5 or 6).

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