[Herald Interview] Ascott Limited to open country’s first Citadines property in Busan
Published : Jul 20, 2015 - 20:30
Updated : Jul 21, 2015 - 13:24
The Ascott Limited is gearing up to open the Citadines Haeundae Busan next month, marking not only the first Citadines in Korea, but also the largest Citadines-branded “apart’ hotel” in its vast stable of global properties.

The soon-to-be opened 468-room, fully serviced residence Citadines Haeundae Busan will officially open its doors on Aug. 15 and will become the property of its kind in the port city.

“We will be the first international serviced residence brand in Busan,” said Max Phillips, area manager of The Ascott Limited in Korea.

“The current offering of serviced residences in Busan is very limited and their facilities are minimal,” he added.

Max Phillips, area manager for The Ascott Limited in Korea, poses during an interview with The Korea Herald at the Somerset Palace in Seoul. (Ahn Hoon / The Korea Herald)

Situated in the heart of Busan’s beachside tourist hot spot of Haeundae, one of the peninsula’s most popular holiday destinations, the new property will offer easy access to major business, entertainment, and cultural venues and is an ideal accommodation choice for both business and leisure travelers -- whether it’s long-term or just for a day.

“We realized that the location of Citadines Haeundae Busan is very strategic, as it will allow us to welcome guests from many markets and countries,” said Phillips.

“The Citadines Haeundae Busan will give flexibility to our guests, whether they stay for one night or six weeks. Not only are we a short distance from the beach and other tourist attractions and conveniently located above the Busan metro, but the building also houses a CGV multiscreen cinema as well as retail units.”

As a sister property of the luxurious Somerset Palace in Seoul -- the only other Ascott property in the country -- the company has a well-established reputation of offering guests some of the finest accommodations with all the comforts of home, but with service perks of staying in a hotel -- “apart’ hotel” as coined by the brand.

“‘Apart’ Hotel’ is, as the name suggests is a mix of apartment and hotel; a hybrid, giving our guests the benefits of an apartment facility with the services of a hotel,” he said. “I believe that Citadines Haeundae Busan will give our guests the best of both worlds.”

Exterior view of the Citadines Haeundae Busan. (Ascott Limited Group)

Similar to Seoul’s Somerset Palace residences, each of the Citadines Haeundae apartments will be equipped with a kitchen with a hot plate, microwave, refrigerator, kettle, toaster and rice cookers, along with crockery, cutlery and utensils, having all the makings of a home. On the hotel-side of the spectrum, the residential complex will also feature a fully-equipped gym, residents’ lounge, a breakfast restaurant, an outdoor terrace and a front desk that assists in all ranges of business services and tourism bookings.

Following the Citadines grand opening in Busan next month, Phillips also revealed the company’s tentative plans to further establish more residential roots in the country.

“The Ascott Limited is committed to expansion in South Korea, we would like to see all our brands represented in this beautiful country and are working hard to ensure that we can achieve this,” said Phillips, adding that the franchise is aiming to establish a least six new properties in the peninsula within the next four to five years.

By Julie Jackson (