Millennium Hilton seeks to offer ‘legacy’ hotel
The Millennium Hilton Seoul will celebrate its 37th anniversary this December, becoming one of the oldest hotels to successfully survive decades in the capital.
But, conversely, some may think the property, located at the foot of Mount Nam, is too outdated to compete with younger rivals — particularly those that are brand new and equipped with splendid furnishings.
Felix Busch, the German-born new general manager, takes a different approach to the speculation, saying its tradition can be a “differentiator” in the industry.
“Legacy takes time to create, so some people may say we are an older hotel, but I will say it is a legacy hotel,” Busch said in a recent interview with The Korea Times. He joined the hotel in August.
“This hotel has seen events many hotels have never seen in their lives. Our hotel accommodated guests that many hotels have never accommodated.”
The Korean hospitality industry has been referred to as one of the toughest battlefields in the world, raising whispers that it has already reached a saturation point, with a great number of hotel brands — both domestic and international — popping up year after year.
“(For example), we have a brand new hotel. It has a nice bathroom and a nice bedroom. But what those hotels do not have is history and team members who deliver outstanding experiences,” Busch said.
“It does not matter how big your bed is and how your bathroom looks.”
He added: “My job is to build on the history and to update some of facilities to be shiny to be in the minds of the community.”
For the Millennium Hilton Seoul to stand shoulder to shoulder with “younger” properties, Busch believes creating a great working environment for his staff is the most important.
“Team members are absolutely crucial. If we do not have a happy team member, our guests will not be satisfied as well,” said the general manager, who was in charge of the Hilton Nagoya Hotel in Japan prior to the appointment in Korea.
“So the team is crucial. And whatever I do, I consider how I can create an environment, where the team members are satisfied.”
To that end, the general manager has started “Thank you” initiatives for his team since he took office.
One day, he served coffee and muffins to his employees when they came to work, while serving ice cream after lunch on another day. He also organized a yoga class to focus on team members’ satisfaction as well as promoting a healthy lifestyle.
In addition, the first thing he did as the general manger was organize meetings with his staffers to listen to what they were thinking and what they have experienced in the past.
“The team member is the key (to successful business). Everyone can build hotels and everyone provides beds. What you cannot buy is engaged team members,” he said.
Its traditions as well as its seasoned workers are not the only things that Busch believes can distinguish his hotel from others.
“I visited this hotel for the first time six years ago as an individual guest. When I entered the lobby from the driveway, I saw this wonderfully designed lobby and I was so impressed,” he said.
“I do believe that our hotel is a magnificent building with an absolutely stunning location. Nobody has the location we have and nowadays nobody would build a lobby like this because it’s too expensive.
“So I think we are really blessed with the arrival experience which we have.”
The Grand Hyatt Seoul has officially completed the extensive renovation of its Grand Ballroom providing a new, industry-leading platform for weddings and banquets, and meetings, incentives, conference and exhibitions (MICE).
The renovated Grand Ballroom offers event customers a completely new experience by melding the traditional foundations of function with modern, contemporary designs and technologies.
The renovated ballroom features new digital technology to meet the needs and expectations of today’s
The Millennium Hilton Seoul will mark its 37th anniversary in December.
General Manager Felix Busch