Demand for Seoul‘s high-end hotel fitness memberships soar

2024.05.14 08:55:02 | 2024.05.14 08:56:26

Chosun Palace Seoul Gangnam. [Courtesy of Josun Hotels & Resorts]이미지 확대

Chosun Palace Seoul Gangnam. [Courtesy of Josun Hotels & Resorts]

Memberships for the top hotel gyms in Seoul have become scarce after a series of closures, including that of three major gyms in southern Seoul, sparked fierce competition among the super-rich.

According to hotel industry sources on Monday, the closure of the three gyms led to a surge in demand for membership as their combined 3,000 members search for an alternative hotel fitness membership.

Chosun Palace Seoul Gangnam boasts the highest-priced membership at 150 million won ($110,000), which attracted a flood of applications. Responding to demand, the hotel introduced a limited-time 1 billion won offer for a three-year membership with an annual fee of 2 million won. Only the 1 billion won membership is currently available, with a one-month window for purchase.

Lifetime memberships are extremely rare, particularly at The Shilla Seoul where memberships costs 110 million won for individuals and 160 million won for families. Previous memberships, originally priced at 20 million won, now fetch up to 80 million won in transactions and inquiries continue to flood in despite a 32 percent increase in membership fees to 4.99 million won this year from the 3.77 million won price tag before the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Shilla Seoul. [Courtesy of Hotel Shilla]이미지 확대

The Shilla Seoul. [Courtesy of Hotel Shilla]

A newer hotspot is the Four Seasons Club at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul in Gwanghwamun. Spanning the hotel’s 8th to the 10th floor, the gym has attracted the attention of the super-rich. Its most notable feature is a 1000-member limit, which means that trying to bid higher does not guarantee membership.

The Banyan Tree Club & Spa Seoul in Namsan used to offer temporary memberships for 10 or 20 years but introduced lifetime memberships in early 2023 after an influx of purchase requests. Individual memberships start at 120 million won (170 million won for couples, 210 million won for families), with an additional annual fee of about 5 million won. Banyan Tree’s memberships for families are particularly popular as it offers private exercise and educational benefits.

Memberships at Signiel Seoul in Jamsil are also difficult to obtain. When Signiel opened in 2017, it recruited club members for a named membership of 130 million won (with an annual fee of 5.5 million won) and an unnamed membership of 100 million won (with an annual fee of 4.7 million won). But the membership is currently not available for purchase after being fully subscribed upon opening.

By Shin Ik-su, Park Hong-joo and Chang Iou-chung

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