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Marriott International all in on Korea

MAJOR international hotel chain Marriott International is one of the most bullish on Korea, with a strong pipeline of properties coming onstream up to 2018.

These include the Fairfield by Marriott Seoul, Fairfield by Marriott Busan, Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Botanic Park and RYSE Autograph Collection.

Commenting on its massive expansion into Korea, Marriott International South Korea area director of sales & distribution Jenny Kim said: "Korea market has been a strategically important market for Marriott International for many years. It offers enormous potential for both leisure and business travellers."

She noted that Marriott has 15 hotels in Korea so far, with a few more hotels opening soon and still more in the pipeline. "Korea will remain a key market in Asia in the long run," Ms Kim concluded.

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Asia-Pacific regional vice-president for hotel development, Peter Gassner, said: "We ... are always on the lookout for opportunities. Post the merger of Marriott and Starwood we have a combined portfolio of 30 brands globally, and 21 are currently represented in Asia-Pacific."

He pointed out that in addition to Le Meridien, the group is leading up to the launch of a new brand, "Marriott", which is located at highly anticipated integrated resort, Jeju Shinhwa World. Mr Gassner added that this should appeal to local and international visitors of all ages with premium leisure and world class entertainment facilities.

"With more than 70 years of history, Marriott Hotel is Marriott InternationaI's flagship brand in premium tier offering sophisticated spaces and experiences that keep the mind balanced, shared, and inspired. It has over 500 hotels in almost 50 countries around the world. Marriott Hotel's vision is to be the leading global premium brand among young travellers who are clever, resourceful, and continually focused on what's next," said Mr Gassner.

In addition, with Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott as an established leader in the no-frills moderate-tier accommodation to business travellers, it will soon contribute to the group's total room inventories for Korea.

Fairfield by Marriott Seoul, which is scheduled to open in June 2018, will be a 553-room hotel, and will be the world's largest Fairfield, located at Yeongdeungpo-gu in Seoul. The hotel is just a five-minute walk from the Yeongdeungpo Station, major department stores and corporate offices.

Meanwhile in Korea's second largest city, Fairfield by Marriott Busan, which is scheduled to open in November 2018, will add 221 rooms to the city and will soon to be part of the Busan downtown map. It will offer an alternative choice for travellers who want to be close to Haeundae Beach, BEXO and Centum City.

For business travellers and others drawn to the tech-heavy industries in the Korean capital, Courtyard by Marriott Seoul Magok Valley, which is scheduled to open in June 2018, is ideally located next to the new Seoul Botanic Park and a short five-minute walk from the LG Science Park which is currently under development in Magok District.

The hotel is an integral part of the new LG Science Park development. It will offer 262 rooms including 20 suites, a fully equipped fitness centre, one three-meal restaurant with seating for 114. Larger event facilities include a 269 square metre main banquet room and eight small meeting rooms.

And finally, the RYSE, Autograph Collection, which brings a touch of boutique hipsterism to the group's portfolio, is scheduled to open in March 2018.

The RYSE hotel in Seoul embodies the creative spirit of the city's hip Hongdae district with an artistic and design-centric aesthetic. The hotel will continually evolve and be energised with events and pop-ups through collaborations.

The 272 design-focused rooms include 32 director suites, eight producer suites, five artist suites and a 217 square metre executive producer's suite. In addition to having access to the Cabinet Rooftop Bar & Lounge, all the rooms are set above a public podium of retail spaces and restaurants that connect with the youthful attitude of Hongdae.

Autograph Collection Hotels is a curated collection of some of the finest independent hotels located in extraordinary destinations throughout the world. Each hotel is hand-selected for its heart-felt design, exquisite craftsmanship and uncommon details to enchant the individualist traveller with "exactly like nothing else" experiences.