Restaurants, gym are main draws of first Four Seasons

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Restaurants, gym are main draws of first Four Seasons

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Dignitaries holding a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the opening of Four Seasons’ hotel in downtown Seoul on Thursday. The representatives include from left: Lubosh Barta, general manager of the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul; Jeong Sang-kee, vice chairman of Mirae Asset Global Investments; Kim Young-jong, Jongno District Office head; Choi Hyeon-man, Vice Chairman of Mirae Asset Securities; Antoine Chahwan, regional vice president of Four Seasons Hotel. [NEWSIS]

Luxury hotel chain Four Seasons debuted in Korea on Thursday, opening its branch near Gwanghwamun in Seoul.

The five-star Canadian chain hopes to entice both foreign visitors and local customers in the heart of Seoul’s crowded commercial district with its interior design, well-respected customer service and a wide range of dining options.

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul houses a total of seven restaurants and bars, which is the most among competing high-end hotels. The type of food served is diverse, from Italian to Chinese and Japanese food.

Along with different food options, the hotel features 317 rooms, including 43 suites, a fitness complex and ballrooms.

The hotel will offer customization options to its guests, like the ability to specify the type of mattress desired when booking.

All venues in the hotel are designed by well-known architects including Andre Fu and the firm AvroKO.

Four Seasons said the interior is designed to make the best use of natural lighting. From the executive lounge located on the 28th floor as well as the hotel’s suites, customers can enjoy a view of Gyeongbok Palace, the Blue House and Mount Bugak.

The hotel pays homage to traditional Korean culture by including modern works by Korean artists throughout, and also includes 160 other pieces of contemporary art, such as floral designs by Japanese artist Nicolai Bergmann.

The main highlight of the hotel, however, is the upscale restaurants.

At the Italian restaurant Boccalino, equipped with a stylish interior inspired by the fashion-driven city of Milan, chef Loris Pistillo provides traditional Italian dishes.

Chef Simon Wu, who heads Chinese restaurant Yu Yuan, offers customers a taste of Shanghai’s elegant atmosphere.

Led by the world-class Christopher Lowder as the head bartender, speakeasy bar Charles H. will provide 38 kinds of unique drinks to customers.

The three-story Japanese restaurant Kioku, named after the Japanese word for memory, offers a Tokyo-style sushi bar upstairs and Kyoto-style traditional offerings downstairs.

The more casual restaurant Maru offers a place where customers hold dinner meetings or socialize.

The Four Seasons Club, a three-story 765-square-meter (8.234 square-foot) fitness complex, is the largest among other Seoul hotels. The club features studios for group classes and personal training in yoga or Pilates. The spa has special amenities for customers including a mask bar, where customers can get special treatments, and the first nail bar in the Korean hotel industry. The complex also has a juice bar, a member’s lounge, pools and an indoor driving range.

The new hotel is 29 stories tall and has seven floors underground. The pre-tax price for one night in a deluxe room is 445,000 won. The hotel is owned by the Korean financial company Mirae Asset and managed by Four Seasons.


BY CHOI JEONG-PIL, PARK EUN-JEE [choi.jeongpil@joongang.co.kr]

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