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[NEW] Le Méridien Seoul, South Korea, opened 1 Sep 2017

[NEW] Le Méridien Seoul, South Korea, opened 1 Sep 2017

 
Old Mar 31, 17, 9:18 am
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[NEW] Le Méridien Seoul, South Korea, opened 1 Sep 2017

Hello everyone -

Just stumbled upon this article about the former Ritz-Carlton Seoul - which has been undergoing a total, comprehensive renovation since January 1st, 2017 and is due to reopen on September 1st, 2017 - converting into Le Méridien Seoul. I'm guessing that press release is coming soon but here's a wee article from The [Korea] Investor.

Amazing - more expansion of my favorite brand in the Marriott/Starwood portfolio!

khabah

***

Ritz-Carlton Seoul to be reborn as Le Meridien
PUBLISHED :March 30, 2017 - 15:40

[THE INVESTOR] Cheonwon Industry announced on March 30 that it has signed an agreement with Marriott International and will convert its former Ritz-Carlton hotel to Le Méridien Seoul.

It will be the country’s first Le Méridien hotel. The 45-year-old French hospitality chain was acquired by Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide in 2005 and became a brand of Marriott following the merger of the two mega chains last year.

The Seoul branch in southern Seoul has been under extensive renovation, estimated to be worth 110 billion won (US$98.43 million), since Jan. 1 and is planning to open on Sept. 1. The contract with Ritz-Carlton expired on Dec. 31, 2016, said the company.

UK’s David Collins Studio is in charge of the makeover and the hotel will have 336 rooms designed under the concept of ‘mid-century modern,’ according to Cheonwon Industry. The hotel will house a large contemporary art center offering a public space to enjoy multimedia art, and the works of leading South Korean artists will be showcased throughout the building, added the company.

Source: http://www.theinvestor.co.kr/view.php?ud=20170330000798
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Old Mar 31, 17, 11:25 am
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Thats great.

I have stayed at the RC before and thought it was a great hotel.

It will be interesting to see what Le Meridien does with the property!
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Old Jul 11, 17, 6:42 am
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http://www.hotelavia.net/news/articl...tml?idxno=1209 (in Korean)

Martijn Sax will be the GM (ex Le Meridien San Fran) and it's going to be a Cat 6 hotel.

Last edited by Aventine; Jul 11, 17 at 6:50 am
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Old Jul 12, 17, 12:41 pm
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When the hotel originally opened in the 90s as an R-C, the location was really not great. No subway access, and the immediate surrounding area was dead. I remember it being a nice hotel at the beginning, but the poor access and location seemed to drag down the occupancy and rates over time, and it all started to look a bit neglected and under-invested, clearly needing a top-to-bottom renovation.

The subway access has definitely improved when the Line 9 station opened a few years ago just down the hill, and there is a lot more happening around the area; albeit other hotels are still better located for business travel and/or tourism).

Cat 6 seems quite ambitious, but I suppose it will become clearer once the paid rates are released and we get a better idea of exactly how good the hotel will be. Also, people's experience of the LM chain around the world will generally be as the midrange of the SPG hierarchy, so it might be quite a tough sell to pitch an LM as being the flagship of the city.
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Old Jul 12, 17, 7:29 pm
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Originally Posted by stargold View Post

Cat 6 seems quite ambitious, but I suppose it will become clearer once the paid rates are released and we get a better idea of exactly how good the hotel will be. Also, people's experience of the LM chain around the world will generally be as the midrange of the SPG hierarchy, so it might be quite a tough sell to pitch an LM as being the flagship of the city.
From what I've heard, they want as much as PH, FS and Shilla. SPG seems to be going with quantity than quality in Seoul. Plenty of low end and mid but nothing in the highend lux range.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 6:24 am
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Anyone know if SPG Platinum gets me into the Le Meridian Club Lounge. Specifically, I will be staying at the new Le Meridian in Seoul in early September. This was the old Ritz Carlton (closed last December 31st) but has since been totally renovated and rebranded. I stayed at the Ritz frequently for 20 years so I'm interested if the hotel has lost anything in the transition. It was always my favorite hotel in Seoul.

Any feedback is appreciated.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 8:56 am
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It should be the same for Platinums as every other SPG property lounge in the city. I think the hotel probably gained a lot more than it lost.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 4:27 pm
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Their "special opening offer" for a base room for one person is 300,000 per night. That's consistent with category 6, but I don't see people paying that much for this location.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 5:44 pm
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I'm booked into the hotel on Sept. 6th for 4 nights and negotiated a 230,000 w/o breakfast or 260,000 with breakfast. Assuming I can use the lounge I opted for the lesser rate. I stayed at the old Ritz well over 100 times since the mid-1990's and while the property wasn't the most luxurious the staff was always outstanding. I only hope most of the old staff has returned. I've been using the JW Marriott since January and it okay but can't compare to the old Ritz, IMHO. I'm also worried the Le Meridian will be too modern for my tastes but I will not pre-judge, hoping for the best.
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Old Aug 17, 17, 11:08 pm
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the old JW Marriott in Gangnam is horrible but I know Marriott and SPGers have few options south of the river.
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Old Sep 2, 17, 2:18 am
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Opened now.

Opening visit notes,

I'm not a big fan of the hotel's sea foam green color scheme they use for common area cushions, logos, seats, etc.

Service needs polishing. Very by the book. Guests shouldn't need to leave CC details for restaurant or spa bookings.

Putting the desk under the TV was a really stupid design.
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Old Sep 2, 17, 4:19 am
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Initial reviews I've been reading on Korean forums have been pretty damning. They have opened a good 1-2 months too early, by all accounts. Much of the hotel still under construction/finishing, but inexplicably open to the public (e.g. pool area with deck chairs stacked in their packaging and ladders for construction works still in place).

I would keep well clear until at least October-November, and even then, would double check to make sure that teething issues have been worked out.
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Old Sep 2, 17, 6:34 am
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