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New Four Seasons Seoul Is Latest Entry in City’s Growing Hospitality Offerings

October 7, 2013 Hotel News No Comments Email Email

Seoul is to gain its first Four Seasons property in 2015, it was recently announced. The new luxury hotel is the latest of many scheduled upcoming five-star properties for the city over the next few years and forms part of an ongoing accommodation boom for Korea’s capital.

In addition to Four Seasons responding to the city’s high demand for quality accommodation, all other major international hotel brands will also have an established presence within the next few years, while existing properties are upgrading their facilities.

The new Four Seasons Hotel Seoul, expected to open in May 2015, will be located in the city center near Gwanghwamun Square, placing it near key financial institutions, government offices, shopping venues, and historic sites of interest. The 25-story hotel – including 7 floors below ground – will add 317 luxury guest rooms to Seoul designed especially for business executives from home and abroad, as well as various meeting spaces, high-quality restaurants, and a fitness center.

It is just one of several major hotel brands either introducing or expanding their properties between 2013 and 2016 to the city. Arriving later this year will be the JW Marriott Seoul Dongdaemun Square, the second Marriott hotel for Seoul, and will bring with it 170 additional guest rooms. Meanwhile, Seoul will gain another new brand in 2015 when the Aloft Hotel Seoul opens in Gangnam offering 184 rooms.

Finally, Hyatt will add a third property to the city in 2016 in the form of the Hyatt Place Seoul – also located in Dongdaemun and providing 204 guest rooms.

These additions follow the arrival of 504 luxury guest rooms in the past few months – firstly with the opening of the Fraser Place Namdaemun Seoul in May and the recent opening of the K-Seoul Hotel in September. This was the third Frasers Hospitality property for the city, though marked its first foray into the short-term accommodation market. Both the Fraser Place and K-Seoul, the latter located in Yangjae, provide 252 rooms each to guests.

An additional 4 new hotels are also planned for the Seoul area, adding a further 1,248 rooms. These will be situated in the Bukchang-dong, Gongdeok Station, Hongik University Station, and Gaepo-dong districts, placing them within or close to popular tourism destinations such as Myeongdong and Namdaemun Market.

Responding to the city’s strong demand for new and quality accommodation is something that each of the city’s luxury brands has been keen to address.
“Despite its rapidly developing economy, supply of luxury hotels in Korea has been limited,” said Chris Hart, President of Hotel Operations for Four Seasons Asia Pacific. “Recognizing the vast potential in this market, we have been exploring growth opportunities here for many years,” 

 It has also been a busy year for renovations, with the Shilla Hotel Seoul re-opening its doors in August following 6 months of extensive redesigns and the Lotte Hotel Seoul adding new leisure facilities within the same period, most notably heated pools and a spa.

Since May, the Coex-based property Grand Intercontinental Seoul Parnas has been upgrading its lobby, restaurant, and event halls – including what Intercontinental say will be the nation’s largest Grand Ballroom, which will measure 1,656m² in size when completed. Work at the hotel is expected to be concluded in February 2014. Long-time Seoul accommodation veteran The Westin Chosun is also upgrading its facilities in anticipation of the hotel’s 100th anniversary next year, with redesigns to its Westin Royal Club room for suite and VIP guests continuing until mid-November.

Approximately 12 million people are expected to visit Korea by the end of the year – with the vast majority of this figure stopping in Seoul – 6.7 million of which were already accounted for by July – an increase of 6.2% over the same 7-month period in 2012. 

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