Building up high-quality rooms

Korea has been actively building up its hotel and resorts infrastructure recently with French group Accor planning to open four new hotels in Seoul in 2017.

The new hotel complex in Seoul's Yongsan neighbourhood will house emblematic brands: Novotel, Suite Novotel, ibis Styles, and to top it all off, Grand Mercure. The complex will house the first ibis Styles, Suite Novotel, and Grand Mercure hotels in Korea.

These four exceptional hotels will have a total capacity of around 2,000 rooms and will make up the largest hotel complex in the country. Ideally situated between a shopping centre and the Yeouido financial district, the site is also a stone's throw from the centre of the Korean capital.

Accor is currently the largest hotel chain in South Korea, with 12 hotels spread throughout five cities, totalling almost 3,500 rooms.

"This is the largest hotel project we have signed in Asia so far, which will strengthen our position as the largest international hotel operator in South Korea," says Accor Asia-Pacific chairman and CEO Michael Issenberg.

Furthermore, the Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will also be making its entry into the Korean market with the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, projected to open in May 2015.

Seoul hosts a population of more than 10 million, is a leading technology hub and has one of the world's largest economies. The hotel will be in Sejongro Square, within the central business district, allowing easy access to major financial institutions, government offices, shopping venues and historic sites.

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul will include a 25-storey building with seven levels of underground floors on a 4,117 sq m site. A mix of international interior designers including LTW, Avroko and AFSO, are currently finalising designs for the hotel, and local architect Heerim, and general contractor Daelim Industrial will also bring their local expertise to the project.

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has revealed that the property will offer 317 guest rooms, restaurants, meeting rooms and a fully equipped fitness centre.

And finally, the Starwood Group has just launched its cool new Aloft Seoul Gangnam. Meant to cater to an active lifestyle in the non-stop, always abuzz Korean capital, it is located in the hip Gangnam district but is also only minutes away from the COEX Convention and Exhibition Center, ASEM Tower, and shopping areas.

Business has never been more fun as guests can meet and mingle with friends at the W XYZ (SM) bar, grab a sweet, savoury, or healthy snack from Re:fuel by Aloft (SM), the 24/7 pantry, or play in the Re:mix (SM) lounge. Plus, you can always stay connected with free hotel-wide wired and wireless high-speed Internet access.

Rooms are also meant to maximise comfort and rest time when needed. The Aloft rooms feature Aloft's ultra-comfortable signature bed, walk-in shower, custom amenities by Bliss® Spa, and more. Meanwhile, the plug-and-play connectivity station charges all your electronics and links to the 42" LED TV to maximise work and play.

Meanwhile, famous chains and luxury hotels are also flocking to the port city of Busan. From 2016 to 2018, four new luxury hotels will be built in the city.

Emerson Pacific Group recently held a ground-breaking ceremony for the Hilton Hotel Busan and Ananti Penthouse at the East Busan Tourism Complex in Gijang County, scheduled for completion in April 2016.

In 2017, Langham Hotels will open a 1,000-room luxury hotel at Gwangalli Beach, and Japan's Sega-Sammy Group plans a luxury hotel of 300 suites and a business hotel with 400-500 rooms at Centum City, next to the Bexco Convention and Exhibition Centre. And Korea's own Lotte Hotel will build a 300-suite hotel at Haeundae Beach. By 2018, there will be 11 five-star hotels in the city from the current seven.

Not only are there many luxury hotels opening around the city, mid- to low-cost business hotels are popping up as well. In June, a 141-suite Marianne Tourism Hotel will open near Haeundae Beach and Tokyo Inn Hotel will open its second branch (510 suites) in Haeundae next year. New business hotels in Seomyeon and Busan Station also are being built. By 2019, there will be about 15 new business hotels in the city.

And in Daegu, the Sheraton Daegu Hotel will be opening in June 2016. The location is ideal for exploring the area's recreational activities and business opportunities, providing quick and easy access to the downtown and shopping via the Beomeo subway station next door.

Close to the new Dongdaemun Design Plaza (DDP), the JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul, which opened last December, is the epitome of elegant luxury and excellent service. It is located in the epicentre of Seoul's most popular shopping destination and eclectic neighbourhoods and is diagonally opposite the DDP.

Finally, the Courtyard Seoul Pangyo, which opened in April, is the first Marriott-branded hotel in the Gyeonggi area. It caters to business travellers who have hectic schedules, but need time to relax. Facilities also include seven multi-function meeting rooms that have the latest audio-visual systems.

The hotel offers 282 elegantly designed guest rooms and suites, and is the top hotel in Pangyo Techno Valley, which was established as a specialised global cluster covering research, information and trade for information technology (IT) and IT research and development-related convergence technologies.

This article was first published on October 3, 2014.
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