Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Korean Hotels Call For Help - The Fifth Star

I recently (and again) complained about the tragic lack of high end Korean restaurants in luxury hotels :

"Every 5 star hotel owned by a Korean chaebol should keep a top Korean
restaurant: that's a key element of the international image.
" (see "
Korean Cuisine Aiming At World's Top Five. China is watching" April 7th, 2009)

The JoongAng Daily just mentioned this issue*, pointing out the fact that only 4 of Seoul's 19 five-stars hosted Korean restaurants.

The newspaper even named names and quoted figures : good points for the Sheraton Walkerhill ("Ondal" restaurant, 40% of the turnover generated by foreigners.), the Lotte Hotel main ("Mungunghwa" - foreigners : 60%), or the Renaissance Seoul ("Sabiru")**... but poor score for the Westin Chosun and its peers, where you may enjoy some Korean food but not in a Korean restaurant. What to say of The Shilla ? Seoul's most prestigious hotel closed "Sorabol" a few years ago. Luckily enough, they at least maintained their fantastic sashimi master at Ariake.

I couldn't agree more with LEE Chun-sik (Sheraton) when he confirms this obvious fact : "Five-star hotels in any countries are responsible for preserving and developing local food and culture".

Why not strip of one star those who dare disagree ?



* "
Hotels ask for state help to start Korean eateries" (May 6th, 2009)
** I know, that's only 3 out of 4, but I'm too lazy to check and complete the list.

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