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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Korea’s No. 1 hotel brand to open Korean-style business hotel in LA by 2025

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An aerial view of Shilla Stay LA, scheduled for completion in 2025 through the reconstruction of an existing five-story office building. [Courtesy of SSH America LLC]
Sang Yun Ahn [Sangjin Kim, The Korea Daily]

Shilla Stay, a business hotel of the Korean luxury hotel brand The Shilla Hotels & Resorts, has begun preparations to open a Korean-style hotel in LA Koreatown. Shilla Stay is scheduled to open in August 2025, following a three-stage process including building reinforcement, interior and main construction, and entry of applicable stores into the facility. This new establishment aims to replicate Korean culture, offering Korean-style hospitality and cultural services.

Shilla Stay is set to open its first international hotel in Los Angeles. They plan to transform a five-story office building near Koreatown (located at 1543 W. Olympic Blvd) into a hotel and sales complex. This project, with an estimated cost of $75 million to $80 million, follows the building’s $20 million purchase by SSH America LLC, a Korean investment group, finalized at the end of March.

Sang Yun Ahn, CEO of SSH America LLC, said, “We are pleased to introduce the first K-brand hotel in the U.S. in Los Angeles with the high-quality services and facilities of The Shilla Hotel, the No. 1 hotel in the Korean hospitality industry. You can expect both the service and the level of facilities of Shilla Stay Korea.”

Ahn said, “Recently, many Korean companies have entered the U.S., but there are no accommodations that can properly showcase Korean culture. It will be a place where overseas business travelers from Korea can relax comfortably, and for Korean people in Los Angeles, it will be a hotel that brings back forgotten Korean food and fun elements. The recent popularity of K-culture among other ethnic groups is also a reason for Shilla Stay’s confidence and pride in entering the United States.”

Shilla Stay will offer Korean-style premium customer service, such as Korean-style breakfasts, a shuttle bus to LAX Airport, and meticulously customized service for guests from entry to departure.

The Korean-style hospitality service will be ensured by dispatching manager-level personnel from Shilla Stay in Korea and training local employees. The hotel’s customer service staff will include individuals fluent in both Korean and English for the convenience of Korean guests.

Additionally, the first floor will feature exhibits showcasing Korean culture in the form of a lobby and showrooms, as well as introducing Korean corporate brands and products from Korean IT companies.

The Shilla Stay LA branch will consist of 200 rooms and 238 parking spaces. It will feature a lobby on the 1st floor, rooms on the 2nd to 5th floors, a restaurant and bar on the rooftop, and a venue for small events.

The hotel’s location offers a strategic advantage, as Ahn explained. “The location is a junction between Koreatown and downtown LA, providing convenient transportation. With no high-rise buildings nearby, guests can enjoy a beautiful view of downtown from the rooms and rooftop.”

“It is also advantageous in terms of future expansion and the construction of infrastructure for the hotel,” he added. The hotel is set to create a unique Korean community centered around it, making it an attractive place for guests. Ahn also mentioned collaborating with the city government to enhance the nearby area’s cleanliness and style.

Ahn also noted, “In hotel sales, the surrounding community is an important factor. In Korea, people and cultural spaces flock around Shilla Stay. We expect the current location to be surrounded by infrastructure for travelers. Furthermore, the location’s potential for future expansion was a key criterion in its selection.”

Ahn concluded, “We chose LA as the perfect first step for Korean Americans and Korean companies to join forces and showcase our culture to American society. We aim to expand the pride of Korean brands across the country.”

BY HOONSIK WOO, JUNHAN PARK    [woo.hoonsik@koreadaily.com]