Speakeasy


The Griffin Bar

Seoul-City-Center

4.5 / 5

May 11, 2018

A mythical creature, with roots buried deep in Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Syrian mythology – and scattered across European heraldry even today – the griffin has been a symbol of chivalry for centuries.

A mythical creature, with roots buried deep in Ancient Egyptian, Greek and Syrian mythology – and scattered across European heraldry even today – the griffin has been a symbol of chivalry for centuries. With the head, wings and talons of an eagle, and the body of a lion, it’s also, rather more prosaically, the symbol of the JW Marriott hotel brand, and the name of the flagship bar at the five-star JW Marriott on Dongdaemun Square. We love a good bar with a great view and, set on the eleventh floor, Griffin Bar delivers in spades. The terrace, illuminated by fairylit plants and equipped with heaters for those chilly Seoul spring and autumn evenings – we quiver just to think of the winters — offers sweeping panoramic vistas across to Dongdaemun Gate, through a lower-rise, more traditional landscape than you’d expect of high-tech, downtown Seoul. Inside offers more classic five-star hotel luxury, with a grand piano (and live music early in the evening), acres of wood panelling, and some startlingly good drinks: the bar staff here routinely win cocktail competitions and have bags more personality than you’d expect from a hotel chain. Besides beautifully presented, über-creative cocktails, expect fine single malt whiskies and a decent range of cigars: over the course of the evening, the mood lifts from jazz into deep house. While far from the highest of Seoul’s rooftop bars, The Griffin Bar offers a combo of striking views and staggering drinks that will have you soaring on gilded wings.

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