Shilla takes the wraps off $74.4 million renovation

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Shilla takes the wraps off $74.4 million renovation

The Shilla Seoul hotel reopens today after seven months of renovation at a cost of 83.5 billion won ($74.4 million).

“The Shilla Seoul plans to be a world-class global hotel to compete with foreign luxury chains,” said Choi Tae-young, general manager of the Shilla Seoul yesterday during a press conference at the hotel.

“Through this renovation, we are confident that the local brand Shilla will become Asia’s top hotel brand in the near future. The Shilla Seoul will not only emerge as the No.1 Hotel in Korea but also in the Asian market.”

The hotel eliminated its 26-square-meter (280-square-foot) Superior Rooms to make Business Deluxe Rooms of 43 square meters to go along with its Deluxe Rooms (36 square meters) and Grand Deluxe Room (53 square meters).

“We expect the Business Deluxe Room to be the main source of attracting customers, as the size is moderate and the room tailored to those on business trips,” said a Shilla spokesman.

The rooms were designed by Peter Remedios, who did the New York Four Seasons Hotel.

The Shilla’s renovated outdoor pool is dubbed Urban Island and has been created as a place where people can enjoy an overall outdoor lifestyle. There is an open kitchen, bar and heated pool, a first time for Seoul’s five-star hotels.

The Executive Lounge club level seating area has been upgraded as the First Class Lounge on the 23rd floor.

The hotel chain also made an effort to upgrade services, sending employees to top international hotel properties to benchmark their success.

Employees experienced airport limousine service at the Hong Kong Peninsula Hotel and visited luxury chains in Singapore and Macau. Marketers and food and beverage planners also went all over the world for training during the renovation.

The Shilla has replaced all its airport limousine sedans with Mercedes Benz S500 series vehicles. It also added a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, known as the leading luxury van, for the convenience of up to six guests.

“The renewal of the lobby, restaurants and banquet hall in 2006 was the beginning of the hotel to become first class. The renovation this year can be seen as the completion of becoming first class, not only in facilities but also in goods and services,” said Heo Byung-hoon, executive director of business at the business management division of Shilla Seoul and Shilla Jeju.



BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]

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