A musician turned hotelier wins 2020 Traveler’s Choice

김용민l승인2020.09.25

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▲ DH Naissance / CEO Kim Sung-min

Kim Sung-min, CEO of DH Naissance, used to play the drums in a band around Hongdae. Seeing his family business near bankrupt, he took over the hotel with new concept and idea: “hotels are stages and guests are audience.” He debuted as a promising hotelier with his idea of wowing guests with a welcome pizza he made himself which proved his talent also in running a business as well as in music. 

Now taking charge of running DH Naissance hotel and Benvenuto restaurant, Kim says “My father’s hotel business was hit by Chinese government’s ban of Chinese traveling to South Korea over THAAD. In fact, the building was old and worn out so I felt a strong need to do something to take back the family business on tract. So I borrowed a creative idea from my music alongside the spirit I had during the career.”

Surprisingly, he turned hotel business from deficit to surplus within a year of taking in charge of the operation. He ascribes the success to remodeling of all rooms and the building, online marketing, using online travel agencies, quality services and staff who could speak 10 languages in total, but above all cost-effectiveness.

Also played a part is his one of a kind pizza Benvenuto which served a welcome pizza to each guest as well as offering free guided tour to Bugak Mountain skyway, Samcheonggak, Waryong Park and Gilsang Temple through Bukchon Hanok Village. His attention to detail services did not end here but made a note of birthday of each guest to send a gift. Many guests were touched by this and reviews were poured in. 

As a result, Kim won the 2020 Traveler’s Choice in the category of best value hotel and ranked 4th after Signiel Hotel in the category of hotel services. It is notable Kim has received numerous prizes from Agoda, Booking.com, Hotels.com Review Awards, and TripZilla Awards. 

“Hyatt actually started from a motel in LA. So I’m ambitious to grow DH Naissance like Hyatt. As part of this move, I’m working on a wine night event and a standing comedy. But I know very well that success does not come from a man of creative mind alone but cooperation and respect of staff. In this respect, I would like to show my thanks to my friendly and devoted colleagues whom I want to make my dream come true with.”


김용민  phil_kym@naver.com
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