Vincent Lelay, Vice President Operations at AccorHotels Ambassador Korea, says business is expanding very fast in the luxury to upscale hotel categories

Accor Ambassador Korea Hotel Management Co., Ltd, established in 2006, is a joint venture built in partnership between the AccorHotels and the Ambassador Group. Vincent Lelay, is Vice President Operations at AccorHotels Ambassador Korea. We asked him to tell us more about the partnership…


We offer propitious partnerships by integrating hotel owners’ needs, market analysis, and regional expertise through management, franchise or lease contract. Accor Ambassador Korea, which is a joint venture company, represents both hotel groups in Korea. Ambassador Group has grown into becoming the leading local hotel group and has the most extensive knowledge on the local market. With AccorHotels’ global network, extensive brand portfolio, strong sales distribution platform and management know-how, we have the best partnership to operate successfully in South Korea. Together, we will maintain our leading position in the hotel industry and further develop hotels especially in the luxury and upscale hotel categories.

What does the portfolio consist of?

The company currently operates 24 hotels in six cities (Seoul, Suwon, Incheon, Daegu, Changwon, and Busan). Our portfolio of brands encompasses from luxury to economy, including currently Pullman, Grand Mercure, Novotel Suites, Novotel, Mercure, ibis Styles, ibis, and ibis Budget.

Accor Ambassador Korea is the largest hotel operator in Korea with more than 7,000 rooms, 2,000 employees and is also the only international hotel operator with a regional operational headquarters located in Seoul.

How could you best describe your current offering in this market?

Currently, we have a very strong positioning in the market specifically within midscale to economy hotel categories. We were the first international hotel brand to pioneer the economy hotel sector and to successfully become the leading hotel economy brand with ibis family brands. Novotel also has a strong presence in Korea with two new flagships recently opened in Seoul. We are also now expanding very fast in luxury to upscale hotel categories with the opening of our most recent project, Seoul Dragon City. This magnificent “hotel-plex” opened its door in October 2017, with 1,700 rooms and four distinct AccorHotels brands.

What is your roadmap – especially for luxury properties — in this region?

This July, we are opening the Novotel Ambassador Seoul Dongdaemun (523 rooms), our first Novotel mixing hotel and residence hospitality. With an exclusive rooftop outdoor and indoor pool and state- of-the-art bar, we will again showcase an attractive product for our guests. Fairmont hotel, which will be located in Yeouido, Seoul will open mid 2020. Although we cannot disclose much more at this point, we have many more exciting projects in the pipeline for luxury hotel properties.

Photos: Vincent Lelay, Vice President Operations, AccorHotels Ambassador Korea.