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Lotte opens new business hotel

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Published : 2010-03-30 15:41
Updated : 2010-03-30 15:41

It looks like Lotte is out to conquer the hotel industry.
As it rejoiced over the highly controversial government permit to build a 555-meter-high hotel in Jamsil, southern Seoul, the group this week opened a less sensational but still ambitious hotel on the rising real estate site of Mapo.
This new hotel is named Lotte City Hotel, offering a premium service at a business rate.
This is the starting point for Lotte`s series of hotel projects nationwide and in Russia.
The hotel is actually a part of Lotte`s signature gold building of Lotte Castle, a luxury apartment. The four basement floors and eight above-ground floors are used as the hotel, equipped with 284 guest rooms. It has one business conference hall and a bar and restaurant, as well as an indoor swimming pool and fitness center. The hotel is planning on adding a medical center affiliated with a spa service in the future.
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"The future hotel market of Korea is likely to see a more severe polarization (of quality), as well as a fiercer competition among business hotels," said Jwa Sang-bong, president and CEO of Lotte Hotels and Resorts during a press meeting on Wednesday.
Lotte City Hotel has cut the price of accommodation by one third of that of other major five-star hotels but aims to provide similar service. The price cut was made possible by removing additional services like amenities in bathrooms and reducing the staff. Instead, the hotel offers vending machines which sell beverages, bath products and more. It has also installed four washing and drying machines for guests to use in cleaning small amounts of laundry.
"We kept what we considered most crucial, such as the beds that are the same as those exclusively made for Lotte Hotel Seoul in Sogong-dong," said Choi Jang-won, CEO and general manager of Lotte City Hotel.
A convenient location is also considered one of the hotel`s strengths, sitting just above Gongdeok Subway Station, subway lines No. 5 and 6.
The hotel fully opened its doors yesterday after a partial testing operation from the end of March.
Next in line for Lotte`s project is to open its second premium business hotel near Gimpo Airport by 2012, as well as additional ones in Seocho (southern Seoul) and Gimhae.
Other plans include a resort in Buyeo and Seoquipo in Jeju as well as the notoriously famous second Lotte World in Jamsil and a "six-star" hotel in Busan.
Next year, Lotte also celebrates the opening of its first overseas hotel chain in Moscow.
Lotte`s hotel group commenced in 1963 with the purchase of Korea`s first privately owned Bando Hotel. The first Lotte Hotel brand opened in March 1979, with the Lotte Hotel Seoul.
Hotels in Korea receive a graded review every three years, with grades of between one and five stars. There is no specific grade equivalent to that of a business hotel, which is more of a conceptual categorization of hotels. Other business hotels in Seoul include Ibis in Myeongdong.
The average room at Lotte City Hotel is 150,000 won with additional discounts available.
By Lee Joo-hee

(angiely@heraldcorp.com)

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