AccorHotels trials hotel-plex with Seoul Dragon City

AccorHotels has launched its first ‘hotel-plex’ in Seoul, featuring four different AccorHotels brands. However, the question remains, can four brands co-exist in one complex?

The four featured and distinct brands have been selected to represent AccorHotels in a range from luxury to economy.

The complex includes: The Grand Mercure Ambassador, with 202 rooms; Novotel Suites, designed for long-stay business and leisure guests in 286 suites; Novotel, with 621 large fully appointed rooms; and Ibis, featuring 591 colourful rooms.

In total, in a Sky Bridge suspended between two of the towers, there will be: 1,700 rooms; 11 restaurants and bars; 17 meeting rooms; two multi-function grand ballrooms, and a four-floor entertainment quarter.

The Upper Southeast and Northeast Asia COO of Accor Hotels, Patrick Basset, believes that together the four brands will cater to the needs of every guest. He has said: “Grand Mercure combines rich Korean culture with elegant service, making it a great option for long-stay guests who require full residence services. Our Novotel Suites will attract medium to long-stay business travellers and families on urban holidays. By the end of this year, the group will have 24 hotels in South Korea, which will be followed by eight more in the next two years. We will also be diversifying our brand portfolio to the luxury segment in the near future”.

AccorHotels chairman and CEO Sebastian Bazin confirmed to TTGmice that even the combination of a shared common lobby space and same back of house delivers a lot of efficiency that clients won’t notice, and he added, “Why should we limit this to only two brands when three or four will bring us even greater economies of scale?”

When asked whether or not guests would welcome sharing space, especially those in the luxury suites versus more economical guests, Mr Bazin responded: “If we have clients who don’t accept differences in means, social status, colour of the skin, religion, culture, they shouldn’t be staying with us. They should accept these differences. The more they cross, the better their experiences will be. It is totally part of my strategy to mix them, as well as with the locals, as much as I can (in areas such as F&B and entertainment)”.

The Sky Bridge is an important feature and differentiator of the complex, welcoming guests from all four brands, as well as those just looking for a nice restaurant or dining experience. The Sky Bridge includes:

  • King’s Vacation – the only lounge bar in South Korea where guests can experience a European décor that reinterprets the royal vacation, with an innovative range of cuisine and beverages, an indoor miniature swimming pool, Skywalk, and performance stage; and
  • Sky Beach – where guests can experience a private beach club, with music and international cuisine in a setting reminiscent of the legendary beach clubs of Spain, Greece, Singapore and Las Vegas.

The only downside to the hotel-plex that Mr Bazin could think of was the possible price comparison.

“People have to understand why they pay USD20 more to be in the same facility. Other than that, the design is superb, the location is great, and don’t be afraid of the size – 1,700 rooms. Hotels in Las Vegas have 6,000 rooms.”