How Ryse, Autograph Collection, brought creativity and youth to Seoul

I first checked out Ryse, Autograph Collection, in June 2018. My best friend in Seoul, she’s the former editor-in-chief of Nylon Korea, and I implicitly trust her taste, she was excited to take me not to a new restaurant, boutique or fashion gallery, but a hotel. Even more interesting: We went there to literally break bread (country bread, to be exact) at Tartine’s Coffee Bar, an outpost of Elisabeth Prueitt and Chad Robertson’s famed San Francisco bakery.

With most of Seoul’s big-name properties clustered in Myeongdong, Gangnam, and Itaewon, Ryse aimed to do something entirely different by taking risks with its address in a bustling college neighborhood, quirky design, and unapologetic embrace of creativity. youth driven. As it turns out, her instincts were spot on: locals flocked to the city’s first true lifestyle hotel.

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago: I was pleased to see that none of that buzzing energy had subsided since my initial visit. As I walked into the lobby, staying for a couple of nights this time, I was greeted by the familiar sight of shiny baby pink floors, the gigantic Kwon Kyung Hwan steel sculpture, and of course, Tartine’s Coffee Bar.

My room, a Director Suite, was set up like an open study. Like the rest of the hotel, it channeled a fresh, youthful vibe with a low bed, modern furnishings, and original artwork like Risograph posters promoting sustainability. While my accommodation wasn’t super spacious, it had adequate space to carry on with my daily life, from meeting deadlines to lounging in front of the TV. There were also other welcome touches like complimentary “Ryse and Shine” sheet face masks, glass bottles of filtered water, and a reusable felt bag filled with essentials you may have forgotten at home (toothbrushes, combs, and hats). shower).

Eating and drinking well at Ryse is also easy, thanks to four different options. Since I was familiar with Tartine, I decided to explore the other places. One night, an aunt and I popped into Charr, the hotel’s all-day restaurant, for a casual dinner of tomato salad and two pastas, including an irresistible homemade tagliatelle topped with savory meat bolognese. Another night, after a long day of job interviews, I went straight to the fancy rooftop bar, Side Note Club, for a few whiskeys before bed. Although the space was pretty empty, the staff was attentive and chatty.

I still think fondly of Tokki Bar. Opened in the summer of 2021, the rustic space is the first Seoul-based venture for the Brooklyn-born soju brand. (Tokki is based in Chungcheong now.) I arrived with a group of girlfriends after a lively dinner in Seongsu-dong, and we settled in with some signature ingredient-based cocktails made exclusively from Tokki’s soju, gin, and vodka. Not long after, a group of guys arrived, one of whom was Ryse’s super helpful concierge. Before long: Snacks were sent out, along with rounds of drinks. The evening was impromptu, a bit boisterous, and fueled by spontaneous laughter—just like Ryse would.

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