Hotel-Shilla-Michelin-Five-Star
Hotel Shilla wins Michelin five star for the first time in Korea. Courtesy of Hotel Shilla

Hotel Shilla clinched the honor of Korea’s first hotel to get five stars from Forbes Travel Guide, better known as the “Michelin Guide for hotels.”

For the past six decades, it have rated top hotels, spas, restaurants across the world. Out of more than 11,00 hotels evaluated by Forbes Travel Guide in 2018, only 210 won five stars and 534 received four stars. Up to 362 were given “recommended” status.

A total of 21 hotels were awarded five stars anew and included in the new entrants was Hotel Shilla, which obtained four stars in the previous year.

Two other cross-city competitors of Hotel Shilla _ Four Seasons Hotel Seoul and Park Hyatt Seoul _ gained four stars while seven others were included in the “recommended” list.

Forbes Travel Guide puts customer services first in assessing hotels because 75 percent of the criteria are about service levels. The remaining 25 percent are about facilities.

Mystery travelers” visit hotels themselves to grade hotels in around 50 countries.

In fact, Hotel Shilla is familiar with the Michelin accolade _ its La Yeon was picked as a Michelin three-star restaurant over three consecutive years through 2018. It was the only Korean restaurant to make the cut.

Based on its success in Korea, Hotel Shilla plans to briskly tap into overseas markets. One of its early targets is Vietnam where it plans to make inroads in the near future before wading into other nations in the region. China and the United States are also picked as target nations.

Hotel Shilla is headed by CEO Lee Boo-jin, the eldest daughter of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee. She is a younger sister of Samsung Group’s de facto chief of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.

The businesswoman has rapidly expanded the business horizon of Hotel Shlilla by expanding duty-free shops and launching budget hotel businesses.