The rooms have stunning interiors that incorporate traditional Korean design into a monochromatic modern aesthetic.
Park Hyatt Busan, 51 Marine City 1-ro, Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea; 82 51 990 1234; rooms from $240 excluding 11% tax (rates vary according to season )
Paradise Hotel Busan
The Paradise Hotel is the hippest hotel in the city for nightlife (there's a club in the hotel), spa (the new rooftop pools have incredible views and a bar) and fancy desserts.
The lobby lounge's mango bingsu (Korea's favorite shaved ice dessert) is made with rose petals and is a culinary marvel.
Paradise Hotel Busan, 1408-5 Jung-dong Haeundae-gu, Busan, South Korea; +82 51 742 2121; rooms from $210 (rates vary according to season)
Eat and drink
Dwaeji gukbap ("pig soup rice")
This humble pork stew is probably Busan's most emblematic dish. It's served with an equally humble-looking dish of vegetables and a bowl of rice.
The slightly stinky smell from salt-fermented shrimp masks the deep, satisfying flavor. Locals call it a perfect hangover cure or 2 a.m. post-clubbing meal.
Miryang Sundae Dwaeji Gukbap, 543-1 Woo-1-dong Haeundae-gu, Busan, Korea; +82 51 731 7005; ?6,500 ($6)
Busan has a number of food-themed streets, but a favorite among locals is Jokbal Golmok (Pig Feet Alley).
Cooked in soy, ginger and garlic, the pig feet are served on a large platter with the option of naengchae -- a side of cold jellyfish slivers in mustard sauce -- that's particularly popular in summer.
The longest lines are at Hanyang Jokbal, in the middle of the alley.
Hanyang Jokbal, 35 Bupyeong-dong 1-ga, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea; +82 51 246 3039
Ssiat Hoddeok (seed hotcake)
The highlight of Busan street food is a local sunflower seed variation of hoddeok, a hot, sweet, fried cake bursting with crunchy seeds and sugary goodness.
Though many vendors in the International Market seem to sell the same thing, one hoddeok vendor located right next to the circular stage in the middle of market has lines at all hours of the day while neighbor vendors look on jealously.
Gukje Sijang (International Market), Sinchang-dong 4-ga, Jung-gu, Busan, South Korea; ?1,000 (90 cents)
Dongnae Halmae Pajeon
This 50-year-old, family-run restaurant serves the softest, most delicious pajeon (pan-fried green onion "pancakes" with seafood) we've ever tasted, and is one of the region's legendary restaurants.
Must-order dishes include Dongnae Pajeon (?30,000 or $26 for medium-sized option) and the Utjiji, a row of sweet, chewy ddeok (rice cakes).
Warning: there's a sneaky restaurant out front with a near-identical name but without the "Halmae" (grandmother) in the middle, trying to piggyback off the success and reputation of the original.
Dongnae Halmae Pajeon, 367-2 Bokcheon-dong, Dongnae-gu, Busan, South Korea; +82 51 552 0792