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Handy debuts at Chosun Hotel

Aug 30,2017
A guest at the Westin Chosun Seoul, left, uses a device called Handy - an Android phone pre-installed with hotel information as well as mobile applications. A close-up look of the phone’s screen is seen on the right. [THE WESTIN CHOSUN SEOUL]
Foreign travelers no longer need to worry about making international calls to their home or office when stepping out into the city. Getting around is becoming much easier if you stay at the Westin Chosun Hotel Seoul, in central Seoul, the first hotel in Korea to offer Handy devices to its guests. Handy is an Android smartphone embedded with hotel information as well as functions one can find on any smartphone. The service is already widely popular in Singapore and Hong Kong.

Each room in the hotel provides a device and guests can simply take it with them to browse the Internet at a coffee shop, take photos or make domestic and international calls from the cab. Those who normally use iPhones may need some time to adjust, but downloading mobile applications like Instagram takes only a few clicks.

There’s no need to worry about having enough credit on your Skype account or how much your carrier’s roaming charges are going to cost. Comfortably make calls to family back home and to friends or colleagues in Korea, or schedule meeting times with the hotel-provided Handy smartphone. Your device has its own phone number, so you can receive calls as well.

The more you play with Handy, the more features you will find that will make your stay even easier. You can schedule when to have your room cleaned, ask for additional amenities like shampoo and conditioner and even schedule room service so that the food will be delivered to your room by the time you get back to the hotel.

Visiting major tourist spots like the Demilitarized Zone or royal palaces are a breeze. Group tour tickets can be purchased through Handy, which also offers tickets to local night markets and amusement parks.

Carrying your personal mobile phone and Handy around with you may be cumbersome, but the comfort of having a fully functional smartphone at your fingertips means travelers do not have to worry about searching for cafes with Wi-fi, which makes up for the hassle.

You can use the device as much as you want during your stay, and when you are ready to check out, simply click on the “Erase Data” button on the phone’s home screen to ensure that none of your information is handed over to the next person who stays in the room. If you forget, hotel staff will make sure all the data is scrubbed after you leave.

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]