Simple luxury at The Shilla Seoul, After seven-month renovation, hotel unveils new plush, swanky look

2013-08-02 20:00

The Shilla Seoul reopened on Thursday after seven months of renovation. The highly anticipated reopening of the capital’s upscale hotel revealed facilities that the hotel claims to be “the best in the world.”

“The core concept of the renovation was making our hotel a place where every day becomes a luxury,” Choi Tae-young, general manager of The Shilla Seoul, told reporters at Wednesday’s press conference ahead of the official reopening.

“Whether it’s business, rest, dining or leisure, The Shilla Seoul is ready to transform everyday life into something special. We focused especially on creating the world’s best executive lounge and outdoor swimming pool,” Choi added.

The renovation started in January and took 203 days to complete ― the second-largest construction the hotel has undergone since its opening in 1973.

“Our goal is to become Asia’s top luxury hotel,” said Choi. 
Executive lounge(The Shilla Seoul)
Outdoor swimming pool Urban Island (The Shilla Seoul)

The executive lounge on the 23rd floor offers sophisticated ambience with a view overlooking Mount Namsan and the rest of Seoul. Designed with the motif of a luxurious living room at a penthouse, it features a seating area, a library and a dining room, aiming to offer relaxation to business travelers. Food is served frequently with breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and happy hour.

“Urban Island” is an appropriate name for the new outdoor swimming pool which the hotel aims to create into an enchanting urban escape. With the view of Namsan Tower just a few meters away, the place is not just for swimming, but total entertainment and relaxation as the poolside runs bars, bistros and 15 cabanas. The pool is open throughout the year with the water temperature maintained at 28 degrees Celsius, making it the city’s first year-round outdoor pool.

“This is where we aim to create the best outdoor pool and dining place in Seoul,” said Choi.

The guestrooms are in comforting beige and brown colors, with light ivory-colored walls and relaxing lights ― all thoughtfully designed by California-based interior designer Peter Remedios to create a comforting ambience. Each room features a soft-as-a-cloud bed with silky 400-thread-count sheets. The snug mattress with duck feather pads creates a cozy feeling that makes one drift fast sleep. Each room also has a 55- or 65-inch Samsung flat-screen TV on the wall.

The bathrooms featuring a tub, toilet and shower booth are decorated in white marble and wood for sophistication. The extra-plush bathrobe offers supreme comfort at the end of a hectic day.

“Peter Remedios studio did the renovation with the theme of timeless modernity in mind,” said Cho Jong-wook, director for marketing team at The Shilla Seoul.

The hotel said it focused on attention to detail, which included testing more than 50 different light switches until they found one with a “soft, pleasant touch.”

A new service the hotel has launched is the door-to-door service that offers a guide from the lobby to the guest room with detailed information on how to make full use of the room.

French restaurant Continental and a new Korean restaurant La Yeon have opened on the 23rd floor. Renovated for the first time in 28 years, the famous French restaurant seeks to strengthen the traditional, basic French-style dishes that lead French fine dining in Korea. The Korean restaurant seeks a modern interpretation of traditional Korean dining with the freshest and highest-quality ingredients selected by renowned Korean chefs.

The fitness club offers the training programs of Sitaras Fitness in New York, which has business magnates like Jack Welch and George Soros as clients.

By Lee Woo-young (wylee@heraldcorp.com)