K-Pop superstar takes logical next step, builds hotel for fans, gives it to his parents
Thousands of fans fly in to South Korea to squeal and go nuts at K-Pop concerts every year. Now, some of them can stay at a K-Pop star's new "pension" hotel, complete with a chance to see their favorite pop star's family and dog while they do it.
Financed by K-Pop boy band Big Bang leader G-Dragon and operated by his family, the new Dolce Vita Pension in Pocheon, Korea has been the rage in media, blogs and online portals since it opened last week. ("Pensions" are small boutique hotels usually located in the Korean countryside.)
Korea's edgiest pop star and fashion darling didn't go too far for inspiration for the name of his family's new enterprise (he has "Vita Dolce" tattooed on his arms). He helped his mother decorate the 11-suite hotel.
The result is an funky mix of street art, pop art and high fashion, with fan-oriented details such as miniature figurines of Big Bang and suites named for Big Bang songs.
The "Crayon" room, named after the title song of G-Dragon's last album, is reserved for the pop star and his friends only, and is not available to guests.
A family affair
“G-Dragon’s family originally bought the land thinking they would build a vacation home for G-Dragon to come rest occasionally,” said hotel manager Eun-mae Huh.
“Two of his mother’s friends run pension hotels in the area, which is where the idea for this pension hotel came from.”
G-Dragon put up approximately ₩1 billion (US$920,000) to finance the hotel as a gift to his parents. His father, Young-hwan Kwon, runs the hotel and currently lives on the premises with G-Dragon’s dog, Gaho.
“G-Dragon came to stay with Taeyang recently, and 2NE1 is also supposed to come soon,” said Huh.
Although it only opened last week, bookings are already pouring in from fans including those from Japan, says the hotel manager.
As one of Korea's biggest boy bands with the most albums sold in the country in the first half of 2012, Big Bang's overseas following has been growing rapidly -- they took home the title of “Best Worldwide Act” at the MTV Europe Music Awards in 2011.
Presumably in order to minimize liability, and to keep things from becoming too crazy, G-Dragon's father said in an interview with Enews that the hotel will not be receiving guests under the age of 19.
"It's not a place for teenage fans to come, and we won't be receiving them even if they come with their parents" said Kwon in the interview. "It's not meant to be a commercial enterprise but just a quiet place for guests to stay."
Rates start at ₩250,000 (double occupancy).
2-25 Gisan-ri Ildong-myeon, Pocheon, Gyeonggi Province, Korea; +82 10 8384 8180; www.thenemo.kr
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