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‘L’Escape’ to 19th century France in Seoul

Shinsegae Chosun Hotel’s boutique hotel brand L’Escape to open in July

When stepping inside L’Escape hotel, guests will feel the illusion of being in 19th century Paris.

Shinsegae Chosun Hotel is set to launch its first urban French-style boutique hotel brand L’Escape in mid-July, in central Seoul near Hoehyeon Station.

L’Escape was designed by French architect Jacques Garcia, known for his work at Hotel Costes in Paris, one of the most renowned boutique hotels around the globe. The new hotel was inspired by the concept of the 19th century Paris aristocracy, aiming to re-create the atmosphere of the posh city at its peak.

Kim Bum-soo, the general manager of the hotel, was originally in charge of Shinsegae brand’s F&B and lifestyle contents, such as gastropub Devil’s Door, food court Famille Station and shopping theme park Starfield. At the conference, he referred to himself as a lifestyle content producer, rather than an hotelier. 

General Manager Kim Bum-soo speaks at a press conference held Tuesday at L’Escape hotel (L'Escape)
General Manager Kim Bum-soo speaks at a press conference held Tuesday at L’Escape hotel (L'Escape)

“I am aiming for a classic but trendy boutique hotel,” Kim said, at a press conference held Tuesday prior to the official opening. “To attract VIP guests, we have to offer exquisite experiences that cannot be seen elsewhere. The hotel welcomes, foreign guests of course, and also locals who want to enjoy the pleasure of gastronomy and have a sweet escape.”

The 25-story building will hold 204 rooms, with more than 80 of them being suite rooms. More than 25 percent of the rooms are Atelier Suites. The 52 square-meter wide suite room is decorated with a romantic French-patterned partition, officially costing 520,000 won ($465) per night. 

Atelier Suite (L’Escape)
Atelier Suite (L’Escape)

“(In the hotel industry) a high-end modern hotel goes old in 10 years, no matter how great it starts off. The hospitality service is usually old-style in Korea, not really reflecting how time changes,” Kim said.

“But Korean people’s needs and wants are growing more than ever, with the average standard of expectation elevating,” he said. “So we went with a mixed antique concept. The hotel is old-style in its interior, but very modern in its service.”

The hotel’s F&B targets “Life Loving Locals,” young local people in their 20s and 30s. The GM, also a food blogger, put an emphasis on the hotel’s culinary section.

Modern Chinese restaurant Palais de Chine, the hotel’s collaboration with Hong Kong’s modern Chinese restaurant Mott 32, will be the main restaurant under the concept of Shanghai in 1930s. Breakfast for guests will be served at the restaurant.

Cocktail bar Marque d’Amour and contemporary restaurant L’Amant Secret are to welcome high-end foodies. Dessert place Le Salon, a shop by Maison M’O will be situated near the lobby. 

Le Salon (L’Escape)
Le Salon (L’Escape)

The hotel is also characterized by its pet-friendly aspect.

“We are to be a pet-friendly hotel, having an exclusive floor for guests with pet dogs. The rooms are to be prepared with needed amenities and beds for pets,” Kim said, adding that Palais de Chine will have a separate zone for guests with pets to dine at.

L’Escape is to officially open its doors to guests on July 17.

By Im Eun-byel (