Review: The Nest Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels, Seoul Incheon, South Korea


We ended up mis-connecting in Seoul Incheon as a result of mechanical problems from our Air Canada flight. Instead of continuing onwards on a connection, we happened upon the Nest Hotel, a member of Design hotels as our temporary home for the night. Our stay ended up being in a hotel which was a hip urban contemporary property. It was something surprising and a stark contrast from the usual drab cookie cutter airport hotels.

This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: The Nest Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels, Seoul Incheon, South Korea

This review is of the Nest Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels, at Seoul Incheon, South Korea. For a review of a different and more corporate styled airport hotel at Seoul Incheon, please see our review of the Hyatt Regency Incheon.

How we ended up at The Nest Hotel:

On arrival from our Air Canada Business Class Vancouver International – Seoul Incheon flight, we landed two hours and 10 minutes late. After we deplaned, we looked for a golf cart or a limo transfer to our next flight, which was departing in 40 minutes. Just kidding. . .

Despite broken dreams of a personalized golf cart transfer, Asiana Airlines had a suited representative waiting for us at the top of the jet bridge with our names on a sign along with our flight number. We had about 40 minutes to make our connection and at that time, with the handler, and a small army of Asiana representatives handling the mis-connects, I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing. 

He assisted with getting us to the front of the train lines, and the security lines and through the maze over to the international transfer area of Incheon gate 47. Of course, this international transfer couldn’t have been any worse as it was from one end of the outer terminal concourse, to the other end of the main terminal concourse. We had to travel from the complete opposite corner of the airport to the other corner, or the longest possible distance. It was a mess and maze of people as we, with his help, expedited us through the masses. 

We bypassed security with an express cut to the front, and transferred by train between the outer concourse to the main concourse. This was another full out race through the departure hall. I thought I was done running through airports after my spastic Sydney Australia departure experience 5 months ago but here I was again, tearing down moving sidewalks toward the next chapter in this story.

Unfortunately, his magic was limited. I also happened to notice on the trot (with his running like a suited ballet dancer) that our handler didn’t seem to have a two way radio with him. As we arrived at Gate 47, at T-10 minutes to spare, we presented our already printed boarding cards to the gate agent and were told to “please wait to the side”. The gate signs were showing in “final call” Some frantic phone calling, radio squawking in Korean and we were ultimately politely informed that we weren’t able to board us and to “please wait for the Air Canada manager”. 

Likely, it seems that our seats were given away to other travelers, operational upgrades or contingent travelers. I did happen to notice two other travelers (traveling separately), with boarding cards on Asiana stock in economy class, successfully board the flight after us. It was a bit useless having run all the way over from the other concourse since Asiana could have confirmed that we were coming by radio or phone call. Despite Star Alliance’s claims of “the way the earth connects”, it certainly didn’t work in our favor today. 

To make first world problems worse, we had pre-selected seats in the first class cabin (Asiana operated a three class cabin with two class service on this route), meaning that we missed out on a very comfortable ride down to Ho Chi Minh City. We had used this trick on our previous Asiana Business Class Tokyo Narita – Seoul Incheon flight last year. I had thought about asking them to off load the other contingent travellers (if they were of a lower status) but I thought that it was a bit of a cheek. 

After some deliberations, we ended up mis connecting and were denied boarding for our connection. Ultimately, Asiana passed the mis-connect buck to Air Canada and asked us to wait while they pulled back the jetway. We waited for the Air Canada manager whom arrived to the gate on foot and bid farewell to the Asiana handler. I later learned from Flight Track Pro the next morning that the plane actually didn’t depart for another 45 minutes AFTER we had left the gate with the Air Canada Manager. Groan.

Quiet Hallways of Seoul Incheon Airport

The Air Canada Manager had re-booked us on the next Asiana Airlines flight the next morning. She escorted us back downstairs through Immigration and Security, indicating she would get our bags re-tagged for the new flight. I’d heard that one before! Thankfully we had carry on’s with us containing some overnight clothes in them, since I’ve lost my bags about 50% of the overseas trips that I have taken lately.

We met up with the other Air Canada mis-connects in the arrivals hall on the public side. It turns out there was 22 of them from our flight. Wow – Air Canada lost some money on that one! We got an old fashioned ticket voucher with red carbon print for our flight the next day, where we were thankfully confirmed and protected in Business Class on the next non stop Asiana flight Incheon to Ho Chi Minh.

Old School Style Flight Re-Booking Voucher Ticket

There were others in our group headed to Denpasar, Bali on Korean airline who were waitlisted for seats. Aside from the disappointment of missing out on our connecting flight, we came out of it with seats still in business class. I asked the Air Canada manager what hotel we were headed to and got a very vague comment

“The Nest Hotel. I think you will like it”. 

Gosh – wonder what that means ? It’s either really good, or really bad!! 

Getting to the Nest Hotel:

We bid farewell to our Air Canada manager. We were transferred as an Air Canada mis – connection group to the Nest Hotel by motor coach. It was about 10 minutes away by bus. 

Heading to the Nest Hotel by Motor Coach

The property is located quite close to Seoul Incheon airport, and is approximately forty five minutes by bus on public transportation, or ten minutes by Bus on private transportation.

Nest Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels™

19 5 Yeongjonghaeannam ro, Jung-gu
Incheon, 400-719 South Korea

Arriving to the Nest Hotel:

We arrived to a very modern looking and sleek hotel. We had a prompt check in and were given a dinner and breakfast voucher for the next morning. This is one of those places that you never expect to end up in, and never happened to see in day light, but I figured that this review might be of help to someone.

The Sleek and Contemporary Nest Hotel
The Arrival Area: Nest Hotel Incheon
The Nest Hotel Incheon
Front Door Entrance to Reception Desk
Reception at The Nest Hotel

The hotel has a soft partnership with Marriott Bonvoy. The partnership allows you to book through Marriott Bonvoy marketing channels, earn points and receive some loyalty benefits. You could also book directly with the hotel on their own website, and not earn any benefits (or points for that matter). Although we were tiered Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) customers, we didn’t earn any points nor press for any upgrades since the room was paid for by Air Canada as a result of the mis connection. We were also on a full vouchered stay with meals included, and were only at the hotel for approximately ten hours. Being a little jet lagged, we weren’t super in the mood for haggling for possible suite upgrades.


The Room: A Standard Double Mountain, Guest room, 1 Double, Mountain view, Balcony

We received a comfortable base level room, with attached balcony. The base level room, although advertised as a “Double” was actually just a little bit smaller than a Queen Sized bed and was comfortable with the two of us.

A Standard Double
An Easy Chair Rounded out the Room

A small desk was available for working, or as a small vanity area.

A small workspace for working
The Room also contained a tea / coffee service

The bathroom was functional. It contained a single vanity with enough counter space for two persons. The shower was of the stand up wand variety. The ability to have a great shower is always appreciated after a long flight.

The room included a very neat cargo flight information display on the television.

Cool Cargo Departures and Arrivals Flight Display on the in room Television

In other in room comforts, there was free wifi throughout the hotel, without the need for any code or password. I used the wifi to get in touch with our next hotel stay at the Sheraton Saigon and to change the time our driver was scheduled to picking us up. 

Around the Hotel:

The hotel was sleekly designed with its modern concrete structure. It left with a strong modernistic impression, with large open spaces.

The Platz Restaurant:

We had dinner in the Platz restaurant. The food was European styled – chicken with bread crumbs and balsamic vinegrette. The voucher menu we were provided was a set menu offering. I did happen to notice the complete absence of any Korean dishes from the room service and dinner menus, which I found to be a bit strange as I was half hoping to get some Korean food in thanks to this unexpected stopover. 

The Kunst Lounge:

There was also a hotel lounge called The Kunst Lounge, but given we had a 5 AM wake up, we didn’t partake in any libations tonight. The lounge had a European contemporary feel to it, much like other areas of the hotel. Books anyone?

The Kunst Lounge Entry
The Kunst Lounge

There was also a hotel pool available for use, although we didn’t get to experience it during our short stay at this property on our unexpected stay.

Our stay experience with The Nest Hotel, a Member of Design Hotels:

Overall, it was better than expected for an unexpected hotel stay. I doubt I would return to stay here again, but perhaps this information is worthwhile to those that are considering a stay here, or wanting to experience once of their other hotels. Based on my experience here, I’d easily consider a Design Hotel if no other options were available. The room was modern, clean and the place had a cool vibe to it.

If you’ve stayed at The Nest Hotel Incheon, what was your experience like?

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