From beef stew to champagne, hotels unveil their Chuseok offerings
Hotels which have lost many international guests due to the pandemic are now trying to get back to business by selling a variety of unique gift sets and packages over the Chuseok holiday.
Westin Chosun Seoul brings the taste of its popular restaurant The Ninth Gate home over Chuseok. The special set, priced at 680,000 won ($580), offering a set of steak and French wine, and the roast beef set, priced at 290,000 won, come with a recipe that contains all the hotel chefs’ secrets alongside condiments including herbs like thyme and rosemary. Its buffet restaurant Aria offers a lamb set for 230,000 won to make it easy for home cooks to enjoy a type of meat they don’t normally get to enjoy at home. All the packages for Chuseok are available for purchase until Sept. 29 and will also be delivered by then.
For ultimate comfort the hotel is also selling bedding. For those looking for more affordable gifts, a set of seaweeds, 90,000 won, a set of traditional Korean cookie (yakgwa) and green tea, 100,000 won, or a set of hotel towels for 65,000 won are just some of the other offerings.
Lotte Hotel Seoul has also put much consideration into how recipients get the gifts, given that many prefer to minimize any contact with strangers in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. To minimize contact, any gift over 200,000 won will be delivered by a hotel staff member right to recipients’ doors. Just like other popular delivery companies do these days, it will deliver to the designated spot and then send a text to announce that the package has been delivered safely.
The hotel, which started taking reservations for Chuseok packages said it got about 30 percent more inquiries in the first week, compared to the same time last year. It said many try to show their gratitude through gifting as they can’t physically meet the ones they want to thank in person.
It has diversified options that offer beef with packages available ranging from 220,000 won to 750,000 won. Other health supplements are also available. Lotte Hotel Seoul and Lotte Hotel World will take orders until Sept. 29.
Park Hyatt Seoul is putting its focus on drinks when it comes to its Chuseok gift sets. As well as its steady seller beef set, it also decided to offer premium traditional Korean drinks and a special edition of well-known champagne Dom Perignon.
Gowoondal, 300,000 won, is a distilled omija drink, kept in white porcelain. Omija is a local berry known to have five different flavors — sour, sweet, salty, spicy and bitter. It is one of the most expensive alcoholic drinks made in Korea at the moment. Dom Periognon’s special edition, whose label is designed by the American singer and guitarist Lenny Kravitz, is also available for 450,000 won to make the gastronomic experience at home even fancier.
Also on offer is its steady seller honey with honeycomb from Mount Worak in North Chungcheong for 140,000 won, and a newly unveiled dessert plate from Damoon. This particular plate takes design inspiration from the shape of the moon and uses lacquer to show both modern and traditional characteristics of Korea. It is priced at 230,000 won.
Considering the fact that many set up ritual food offerings for the national holiday, such as a variety of jeon (pancakes) and beef soup with radish, Grand InterContinental Seoul Parnas and InterContinental Seoul Coex for the first time are offering a set of nine different dishes that make up the table for the morning ritual on the national holiday for 790,000 won. It is required to place a reservation 48 hours in advance.
To make it easy for smaller families to keep food in the gift box for later use, it has packaged the beef and fish into single servings. Special gift sets or food options for Chuseok are available until Oct. 4.
Some hotels are working to make the ordering process as simple as possible through mobile and online platforms. Glad Hotel has joined hands with Market Kurly and SSG.com to share its Chef’s Edition packages with beef, seafood, fruits or drinks, to make the entire experience more convenient. For some options like lamb on SSG.com, consumers can even get additional discounts.
Walkerhill Hotel and Resort offers a set of many different home meal replacements, an easy way for anyone to cook for a quick meal over the holiday. Galbitang, a boiled soup with ribs, from grill restaurant Myongwolgwan is the ideal option to keep people warm as the weather gets chillier. Ganjang Gejang, soy sauce-marinated raw crabs is also available.
Grand Hyatt Seoul is offering a set of champagne and nibbles while Andaz Seoul Gangnam presents a set of wine, coffee and desserts to cater to different tastes. The champagne set by Grand Hyatt Seoul is priced at 450,000 won and the Andaz set is 150,000 won. Millenium Hilton Seoul has also unveiled wine sets that come with cheese, olives and chocolate. They range in prices from 70,000 won to 190,000.
Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun Hotels and Residences has an overnight package on offer that includes a box of culinary delights often eaten over a big family gathering or a holiday such as galbijjim (beef stew) or japchae (glass noodles with vegetables) so that one can take the ultimate vacation in a hotel room while still embracing Korean traditions. The package starts from 159,000 won and reservations need to be made by Sept. 28 for a stay from Sept. 26 to October.
BY LEE SUN-MIN [firstname.lastname@example.org]