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Royal suite and 400 rooms: No expense spared for Saudi crown prince's visit

Royal Suite Room of Lotte Hotel Seoul, where the crown prince of Saudi Arabia stayed during his visit to Seoul. (Lotte Hotel Seoul)
Royal Suite Room of Lotte Hotel Seoul, where the crown prince of Saudi Arabia stayed during his visit to Seoul. (Lotte Hotel Seoul)

The unofficial "richest man in the world" and the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia's choice of lodging during his stay in South Korea is garnering attention with his extravagant decision to stay in a suite room that goes for 22 million won ($16,449) a night.

According to industry insiders, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived at Seoul Air Base around midnight and spent the night at the Lotte Hotel Seoul, a luxury business hotel situated in central Seoul.

The prince stayed in the Royal Suite Room in the Executive Tower of Lotte Hotel Seoul for a day.

The Royal Suite Room, one of the most prestigious suites in Korea, has two bedrooms, a reception room, a powder room, a dress room and a conference room. It also houses a home bar and a dry sauna.

It is further equipped with Beautyrest Black, the luxury line of top furniture brand Simmons and the C. Bechstein grand piano, one of the most highly regarded premium pianos in the world. A private elevator that moves directly to the 32nd floor, where the suite is located, is also provided, according to Lotte Hotel Seoul.

In addition to his booking of the suite, the crown prince also booked around 400 rooms at the hotel for two weeks, for his party's stay.

Lotte Hotel Seoul possesses a rich history of having previously housed top guests including Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, former Chancellor of Germany Helmut Kohl, and former President of France Francois Hollande during their visits to South Korea.

The hotel has also hosted international celebrities such as Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, soccer superstar David Beckham, American football player Hines Ward, and actress Sophie Marceau.

The hotel's grand size is pinpointed as one of the primary reasons the crown prince chose the place for his party's stay, as the Lotte Hotel Seoul is the five-star hotel in Seoul with the highest room count, with 1,058 rooms.

According to industry insiders, parties responsible for the crown prince's visit to S. Korea reportedly asked major luxury hotels in Seoul last month if they could book more than 250 rooms at once.

The Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is known as the “unofficial world’s richest man.” His estimated fortune is said to exceed some 2 trillion dollars.

He is scheduled to hold a tea meeting with Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong, Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun, SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won, and Vice Chairman of Hanwha Solution Kim Dong-kwan in the hotel while he is in the country.

Discussions regarding business cooperation plans including the Neom City project, a Saudi smart city project overseen by the prince and set to be built east of Akaba Bay between Saudi peninsula and Egypt, is scheduled to be held throughout Thursday.

By Lee Yoon-seo (
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Korea Herald daum