Prevue January-February 2018 - 63
Left: Alpensia Ski Resort (photo credit: Korea Tourism
Organization); Right (top to bottom): Gyeongbokgung Palace;
Street food tour in Seoul; Samcheonggak cultural centre
"Korea offers a rich history full of
interesting stories and great food, as
well as a high-tech modern society."
"South Korea is still an emerging meetings and incentives destination,
so on the whole, we see a lot of amazed planners who have no idea
what Korea can offer," Kap Soo Kim explains. "Some people have
an idea of the hustle and bustle of high-tech metropolis Seoul, and
possibly Korea's food scene and its rich culture, but when they find
out about an unexpected beach destination like Busan, the pristine
lush greenery of Jeju-do Island, or the high mountains of Gangwon
that offer great winter sports, they are pleasantly surprised and begin
to think of Korea as a possible destination for their programs."
If Gangwon sounds vaguely familiar, it may be because this
province is playing host to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
We spent a few days living like Olympians in the country's newest
alpine resort, the 2,300-ft Alpensia Ski Resort, located in the
"Alps of Asia." A three-hour drive from Seoul, Alpensia is home
to 871 rooms scattered across hotels like the InterContinental
Alpensia Pyeongchang Resort and Holiday Inn Resort
Alpensia Pyeongchang, which connects to the 2,686-sf Alpensia
The 30-room Gyeongwonjae Ambassador Incheon is the
country's first hanok hotel to earn a five-star rating. Built by
Korean master artisans among Songdo International City's
modern skyscrapers, the hotel is a welcome contrast to the more
contemporary offerings in the area.
Each of the rooms is outfitted with modern amenities, yet
captures Korean tradition, from the wallpaper and wooden Hinoki
bathtub to the slippers sitting outside each suite's doors. Not only is
this hotel a unique one for groups visiting the city for a convention
at the newly expanded Songdo ConvensiA, it also offers venues
inspired by ancient royalty, from the 400-person Grand Ballroom to
the Yeongbin Madang outdoor terrace.
One of Asia's oldest Hyatt hotels, the Grand Hyatt Seoul,
has also recently ramped up its offerings for groups with its
new restaurant concept, 322 Sowol-ro. The street alley-inspired
design features four restaurants, from the sleek sushi bar Kauri to
Japanese gastropub Tenkai.
"Attendees are looking for something intimate, yet something
casual that will be an experience," explains Gloria Lu, director
of sales and marketing for the property. So not only can groups
taste street food in traditional markets like Namdaemun in Seoul
or Seomun Market in Daegu, they can also sample some of the
country's best cuisine in the hotel they're staying at.
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