Luxury Hotels

Seoul – Paris

Last time Girlahead arrived at Four Seasons Seoul she had many greetings, including this cartoon welcome, above. Yes, there is always something special about a Four Seasons: listen to Global President Christian Clerc below. There has, by the way, been a change of GM in Seoul, and Girlahead cannot wait to return and see how Alejandro Bernabe will say welcome.  So many USPs make Mirae Asset-owned 317-room Four Seasons Seoul memorable – its central location at Sejongro Square, flowers everywhere (and a lobby boutique by Denmark’s flowers-in-a-box artist Nicolai Bergmann), Charles H closed-door speakeasy, and eating and drinking throughout.  Last visit was an overnight in 72sq m 32617, overlooking Gwanghwamun Gate.  The main hotel is designed by LTW’s Su Teo, and many of the restaurants are by all-time favourite André Fu. Korea-born Akira Back’s eponymous restaurant is a great success – Girlahead cannot wait to try his charcoal-grilled Hanwoo striploin with edamame, carrot purée, yuzo kosho and milk foam.

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As it happens Akira Back is currently at pre-opening stage of his newest outpost, in Paris.  He is taking over the restaurant and bar at Prince de Galles, a Luxury Collection Hotel, coincidentally right next to Four Seasons’ Paris property (the George V). Prince de Galles’ GM Gerald Krischek says he is super-excited, as is the Saudi owner of this 159-room classic hotel, shortly coming up to its centenary.  Krischek shared details of Akira Back: he was born 1974 in Seoul as  Sung Ook Back and was given the nickname “Akira” by a family friend from Japan. He is a former professional skateboarder who turned to the stove. What was formerly the hotel’s all-white restaurant is now, thanks to designer Black Sheep, going to be the bar, and by the same token the was-the-bar space becomes the restaurant.  As Girlahead frequently says, evolution and flexibility are among names of the game when it comes to luxury success in this lightning-fast changing world.  Good luck Akira!

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And now, hear Christian Clerc, here: