MVL Hotel ready to greet expo guests
By Lee Hyo-sik
Organizers of the upcoming Yeosu Expo are concerned about a shortage of hotel rooms for hundreds of thousands of foreign visitors expected to visit the coastal city in South Jeolla Province, during its three-month run from May through August.
Officials of the Organizing Committee for Expo 2012 Yeosu have openly said that Yeosu and its surrounding areas significantly lack decent lodging facilities that can accommodate a large number of non-Koreans. Even committee Chairman Kang Dong-suk expressed concerns that many foreign tourists may not be able to find a place to stay.
Against such a backdrop, Daemyung Leisure Industry, which operates ski resorts and water theme parks across the country, has emerged as a white knight for expo organizers as it opened a seven-star hotel next to the expo site.
On March 16, Daemyung held an opening ceremony for the MVL Hotel, the first seven-star hotel built in the southwestern Jeolla region. The MVL, which stands for ``Most Valuable Life,’’ has 311 rooms and a range of state-of-the-art amenities.
``The MVL hotel, the highest building in the Jeolla region, will play a critical role in making the upcoming expo a successful event,’’ said general manager Richie Kang said. ``The 26-story hotel will serve as a main lodging facility for heads of state and other foreign VIPs during the expo period.’’
The expo will open its doors to visitors on May 12 through Aug. 12, under the theme “The Living Ocean and Coast.” Organizers say 106 countries and 109 international organizations have confirmed their participation. Additionally, organizers expect up to 600,000 visitors from overseas, including 300,000 Chinese and 200,000 Japanese.
``We would like to cater to regular foreign visitors to the expo. But we only have 311 rooms and all rooms are fully booked for the event,’’ Kang said. He said all hotel employees will make every effort to provide foreign guests with high-quality services and help turn the Yeosu expo into a successful global event.
``Even after the expo, we think our hotel will continue to perform well on the back of rising tourists to Yeosu and its surrounding areas. Given a large number of chemical and other manufacturing plants in the city, we expect many business travelers will stay with us,’’ the general manager said.
All 311 rooms at the MVL Hotel have ocean views, with its Presidential Suite priced at 2.3 million won ($2,000) per night, exclusive of 10-percent value-added tax and 10-percent service charge. Its standard room is priced at 300,000 won, exclusive of tax and service charges.
``From all our hotel rooms, guests can enjoy a great ocean view through the window. If they visit our sky lounge on the 26th floor, they will get an even better view,’’ Kang said. He also said four floors from 19th to 22nd will be turned into unique theme-based rooms; Korean, Japanese, Spanish and Arabic.
``Our guests can choose to sleep on an ondol, Korea’s traditional floor, or Japanese tatami rooms. Rooms on Spanish and Arabic floors are decorated with furniture and ornaments imported from Spain and Middle Eastern countries,’’ Kang said.
There are two fusion restaurants on the first floor ― Adria and Estrella. The hotel also operates Tavola Tavola, an outdoor barbeque restaurant, on the sixth floor.
Serving foreign guests
Cho Hyun-chul, CEO of Daemyung Leisure Industry, said the MVL Hotel has and will become a landmark in the port city.
``No major domestic hotel chain wanted to build a hotel in Yeosu just for the expo. The organizing committee and the city came to us to build a luxury hotel to accommodate foreign VIPs,’’ Cho said. ``As a responsible member of a local community, we decided to invest 100 billion won to build the MVL hotel.’’
He said Daemyung will turn the MVL into a leading hotel franchises rivaling Lotte and Shilla among others. ``We will open a second MVL hotel in Ilsan, Gyeonggi Province, in April 2013. We were asked to build a hotel by the Gyeonggi provincial government as there is no decent lodging facility that can accommodate foreign participants of international meetings and exhibitions held at KINTEX.’’
By entering the hotel industry, Daemyung will transform itself into a comprehensive leisure and hospitality services provider, the CEO said.
For more information on the MVL Hotel, call 061-660-5800 or visit its website (www.mvlhotel.com).