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Luxury Hotel Brands Flood Into Seoul

Alan Woinski

May 6th, 2024

Skift Take

Marriott International expands its presence in Seoul while luxury brands like Aman Group, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and IHG Hotels & Resorts are also entering the South Korean market.

With very bad weather and flooding, Macau still welcomed a total of 604,395 visitor arrivals across the five day May Golden Week. For the first time ever, Macau missed the usually conservative Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) prediction for visitation. They predicted 130,000 arrivals a day and the actual amount was 120,879. We had said we didn’t understand why the MGTO was suddenly getting aggressive with their forecast. Friday was the day with the most arrivals at 154,006 while Sunday only had 98,000.

Hilton announced the signing of Hilton Garden Inn Townsville, adding to Hilton Garden Inn’s portfolio of 91 hotels operating across Asia Pacific. Under a management agreement with HHNQ Pty Ltd, Hilton will manage the 190 room hotel located in the beautiful coastal city of Townsville in northern Queensland. Hilton Garden Inn Townsville is expected to open in early 2026, located alongside the new 25,000 seat Queensland Country Bank stadium. The hotel will feature 190 guest rooms, a restaurant and bar, meeting rooms, a fully equipped gym and a swimming pool. Hilton said their Hilton Garden Inn brand has three operational hotels in Australasia with an additional six in the pipeline.

EVT Hotels & Resorts announced the hotel management of The Incholm, Brisbane has become effective, marking an extension of their partnership with Invictus Developments and further expansion of the Independent Collection by EVT. The Incholm, Brisbane, alongside The Old Clare Hotel and Harbour Rocks Hotel, extends EVT Hotels & Resorts and Invictus’ portfolio to three properties. Management of The Incholm further enhances EVT’s presence in key CBD locations and boutique hotel offerings. The Incholm features 50 guest rooms, mixing heritage styling and city views. Amenities include The Incholm Bar, private event options including The Parlour private dining space, conference and meeting room facilities and access to a local fitness center. The hotel is located on Wickham Terrace in Brisbane’s CBD.

Urban Rest, a provider of flexible accommodations serving the corporate market, announced its acquisition of The Urban Butler, effective May 1. Urban Rest plans to use this acquisition of the Auckland, NZ short term rental property to capitalize on the potential of the NZ market and enhance its offerings to corporate clientele by leveraging the synergies between the two companies. The Urban Butler team will continue to lead operations in New Zealand under the Urban Rest brand with Jon Lawry assuming the role of Managing Director for Urban Rest New Zealand and Rochelle King as General Manager for Urban Rest New Zealand. This follows on the heels of Urban Rest’s recent announced of its first branded property in Auckland, Urban Rest Sylvia Park, scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2024.

Marriott International will take over the management rights of the InterContinental Hotel Seoul in Samseong-dong, Seoul. They will also open a new hotel under Marriott’s premium Westin brand in the second half of this year. Marriott currently operates two five star Westin hotels in Korea in partnership with Shinsegae Group. They are part of a stampede into South Korea by luxury brands with Aman Group slated to open a luxury hotel under the Janu brand near Seoul Station by 2027. Rosewood Hotels & Resorts plans to open a 250 room hotel at the Parkside Seoul, Singapore’s Banyan Group is scheduled to open a Homm Hotels & Resorts in Sokcho, Gangwon Province, in July, IHG Hotels & Resorts will soon open a luxury hotel under its voco brand in Myeongdong, central Seoul and the Unbound Collection by Hyatt and Accor’s Grand Mercure Ambassador Hotel in Magok are expected to begin operations by the end of this year.

The Crowne Plaza Fiji Nadi Bay Resort and Spa is open and ready following completion of the first phase of its much-anticipated multi-million dollar transformation and extension. The resort is opening in phases and will eventually feature 324 premium guestrooms and suites, including the addition of brand new resort wings which will be home to stylish two-bedroom family rooms and oceanfront King Suites. The first phase of the hotel’s redesign has been completed.

Marasca Samui, the latest retreat from Marasca Hotels & Resorts, has opened its doors to the beachside escape on the shorts of Chaweng Beach of Koh Samui, Thailand. The resort has 62 rooms, many with private plunge pools, promising a casual luxury escape. Marasca Samui is the first hotel to receive FitWel Design Certification in Thailand and is track to become a LEED Certified hotel. In addition to the opening of Marasca Samui, the resort unveiled upscale beach club Cabanas Koh Samui Beach Club. Other amenities at the resort include Spa by Marasca, Hideout which is a dedicated rest and relaxation space right next to the spa, Homegrown which provides the opportunity to harvest organic vegetables and more.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the opening of Yada Xishan Hotel Yixing, the first Hyatt-branded hotel in the city of Yixing in China. The hotel is located in the heart of the Yangxian Ecotourism Resort in Yixing and is the latest addition to the Unbound Collection by Hyatt, the eighth property to open n Greater China. The 102 room hotel is described as a one-of-a-kind luxurious retreat and includes 17 suites. Each guestroom offers a dedicated north and south double courtyard or private balcony. F&B options include JUNIAN, an all-day Chinese restaurant, Lobby Lounge, and Brook Bar. Meeting and event space includes a 6,458 square meter pillarless ballroom, three salon-style meeting rooms and two chamber meeting rooms. Other amenities include a 24 hour fitness center, indoor heated swimming pool, and Camp Hyatt kids club. The Yangxian Ecotourism Resort is built on a slope among 185,000 acres of bamboo forest and 43,000 acres of tea plantations.

Shangri-La Group announced two new properties in China – Shangri-La Nanshan, Shenzhen and JEN Kunming by Shangri-La. Shangri-La Nanshan, Shenzhen is the group’s 91st property under the Shangri-La brand global and fourth hotel in Shenzhen, perched atop the Shenwan Huiyun Center. The top 13 floors of the building have the hotel’s 272 rooms. JEN Kunming by Shangri-La is nestled in the heart of Yunnan Province’s capital. The hotel has 274 rooms. JEN Kunming is part of the initial launch of the Group’s dual-brand project that includes the upcoming Shangri-La Kunming. The full debut of Shangri-La Kunming’s guest rooms and lounge is slated for 2025.

Marriott Hotels announced a significant milestone with the opening of Katra Marriott Resort & Spa in Katra, Jammu & Kashmir. This marks Marriott International’s 150th hotel in India. The hotel features 100 rooms, suites and cottages, offering views of the Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine and lush green landscapes. The resort is situated near the Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine and Trikuta Hills. Amenities include Three Peaks Kitchen, Katra Baking Company and event spaces including two venue and three lawns.

Alan Woinski

May 6th, 2024

Companies: Marriott International, Aman Group, Crowne Plaza, EVT Hotels and Resorts, Grand Mercure Hotels and Resorts, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Homm Hotels, IHG Hotels & Resorts, Independent Collection EVT, InterContinental, Janu, JEN, Marasca Hotels and Resorts, Marriott Hotels, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Shangri-La Group, Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Urban Rest, Voco, Westin Hotels & Resorts

Locations: Auckland, Brisbane, Fiji, Jammu, Koh Samui, Kunming, Macau, Queensland, Seoul, Shenzhen, Yixing

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