Asia's first JW Marriott boutique hotel opens in Dongdaemun

SEOUL - Located smack-dab in the heart of Korea's largest retail district of Dongdaemun ― home to 26 shopping centers and around 30,000 local specialty shops ― and situated directly across from one of Seoul's most iconic national treasures, the East Gate, is the new JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, which officially opened its doors to the public on Tuesday.

"South Korea is one of Asia's fastest-growing global economies and a strategically important North Asian travel hub," said Simon Cooper, president and managing director of Asia-Pacific for Marriott International. "JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul will further strengthen our luxury brand portfolio in this very important market and it will complement our existing JW Marriott Seoul, which continues to be a great standard-bearer for the brand."

The establishment not only marks Asia's first JW Marriott boutique establishment, but is also JW Marriot's first LEED Gold certified hotel as well the only one in Seoul.

"With every new Marriott property, we challenge ourselves to go above and beyond, and, opening the first LEED Gold certified hotel in Seoul is a major accomplishment for the brand," said Mitzi Gaskins, vice president and global manager for JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts. "Not only is respecting and preserving the environment important to us, it is important to our guests, and we're excited to bring that to life in Seoul."

The new establishment is not a typical massive high-rise structure filled with hundreds of rooms like many Marriott hotels. Rather it offers 170 guestrooms ― nearly 300 fewer than its sister JW Marriott Seoul located in Banpo-dong ― including 19 executive sky view rooms as well as 15 suites, choosing to emphasise quality, architecture and the view offered from its strategic location.

"I really hope you look at the details of this hotel," said Cooper. "This is the JW Marriott, but it's really a boutique hotel. It's superbly executed and has great quality."

The hotel also features an executive lounge, a 24-hour fitness centre complete with a freshly customised juice bar, an indoor lap pool, a full-service spa and the exclusive Club 501 Fitness Center.

For those looking for an indulgent or a simple, casual dining experience, the JW Marriott in Dongdaemun highlights a number of delectable restaurants for guests to choose from including the nation's first "BLT Steak," an internationally renowned New York steakhouse; "Tavolo 24," an all-day casual dining restaurant with live cooking stations; The Lounge, which is a great place to relax for a delightful afternoon of tea or drinks; and the Seoul Baking Company, serving freshly baked cakes, pastries, breads as well as deli items. The hotel also features the tucked-away rooftop Griffin Bar ― with an almost exclusionary luxurious ambience ― and stock full of signature cocktails, a selection of cigars and approximately 200 wines served by the glass or the bottle.

The hotel is also fully equipped to host events ranging from small-scale business meetings to large-scale conferences and weddings as it features more than 975 square meters of meeting space and a grand ballroom that can accommodate up to 750 guests. The establishment is the only hotel in Korea with hi-tech theatre qualities, with professional audio-visual capabilities as well as the nation's first ultra-high definition 98-screen media wall. For guests looking for a lavish and chic wedding ceremony, the hotel also offers an elegant bridal room as well as professional services for planning and catering for a memorable occasion.

"Reflecting the JW Marriott brand values of timeless elegance and approachable luxury, the new JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul will deliver a truly authentic travel experience that will impress even the most seasoned and discerning business and leisure traveler," said Nicholas Tse, general manager of the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul.

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By Julie Jackson (