While the city of Gimpo is mostly known for its airport, its status could change, as Hotel Marinabay Seoul opened last Saturday.
The premium hotel, surrounded by the waters of the Gyeongin Ara Waterway, is situated next to the Aramarina Yacht School in Gimpo, a 30-minute drive west of central Seoul.
Hotel Marinabay Seoul
With 825 rooms, making it the fifth-largest hotel in Korea, Hotel Marinabay Seoul has taken on a different strategy from the latest hospitality market trend.
While other hotels have been targeting a narrow yet definite customer group, the hotel hopes to satisfy all kinds of guests, from local families, business guests to foreign tourists.
“This hotel is targeted toward satisfying everyone. So everything was designed in the most standard form, to not be dissatisfactory to anyone,” Kim Tae-yeon, the CEO of Peach Management in charge of managing the hotel, said at a press event held Tuesday.
Kim, who took on the post of the hotel’s general manager, has previously worked at several local hotel properties, including Shilla Stay and IP Boutique Hotel.
“I admit, the hotel has a weakness in its location,” he said, in response to the criticism that the hotel is hard to reach via public transportation. “The key strategy to overcome this limit is to attract customers through the F&B complex next to the hotel.”
Lobby at Hotel Marinabay Seoul (By Im Eun-byel / The Korea Herald)
Right next to the hotel property is Marinabay Star, a food and beverage complex with a brunch buffet and a dessert cafe. Hotel staff will be in charge of running the facility. It is targeting local female customers by offering visually-pleasing menus.
Guests are also invited to kayaking, yacht sailing and cruising programs, reflecting the hotel’s unique location.
Hotel Marinabay Seoul also has an agreement with Gimpo City to house guests who visit the area for government conferences and events. Before Marinabay Seoul, there had been no hotel in the area which could accommodate more than 300 guests at once, according to Kim.
“The city has been welcoming the opening (of this hotel),” Kim said.
The 825 rooms are divided into two types: standard rooms and club rooms. Prices start at 99,000 won ($88) for a standard room.
Only the guests staying in a club room are allowed free admission to the hotel’s indoor swimming pool. Breakfast (16,500 won per person) is included in the room charge, as well.
“Usually the cost of the ingredients takes up about 27 to 30 percent of the breakfast cost in hotel businesses. But here, it takes up about 70 percent. We are able to offer our guests a low-price, high-quality meal,” he said. “This is only possible through mass supplying.”
“We will attract people passing through the area, bringing the customers straight to the hotel. (Hotel Marinabay Seoul) will introduce foods and desserts that have not been seen in the Gimpo area,” Kim said.
By Im Eun-byel (firstname.lastname@example.org)