THE availability of international-standard hotel accommodation in South Korea has increased greatly. Hotels are classified as super-deluxe, deluxe, first class, second class and third class. South Korea has more than 20 'super-deluxe' hotels, more than half of them in Seoul. The ones offering the best service tend to be managed by the international chains. The Grand Hyatt is a popular choice with many business visitors to the city and the original JJ's located there is one of the town's most popular night spots. Similar standards of comfort are offered by the Westin Chosun. It has the other key nightspot for expatriates and visitors - the quaintly named O'Kim's Pub and Sports Bar. Sheraton, Pamada and Hilton also have properties in the city. The more recently opened International and the Ritz-Carlton south of the Han River offer international standards of service and - importantly for visitors who do not take to Korean food - international cuisine. Many hotels are now working at upgrading service, according to the Korean National Tourism Board. The most successful example to date is the Hotel Shilla which is owned by the Samsung corporation. The hotel has the presidential suite in which heads of state and major league celebrities visiting town are traditionally accommodated. Its new general manager, Eric Brand, joined the hotel from the Oriental in Bangkok, having previously been employed in Hong Kong at the Peninsula. The Shilla was already widely acknowledged as the best hotel in Seoul as polls in Euromoney, Business Traveller and Institutional Investor attest. It is the only hotel in the city to be a member of the Leading Hotels of the World association. 'The majority of our guests are here for business,' said Mr Brand, 'and we listen to what they want and streamline our services accordingly.' As a result of a four-phase renovation programme started in 1992, three phases of which have been completed, the Hotel Shilla now has six Executive Floors located on the higher levels of the 23-storey building. The hotel is set in its own 9.2-hectare park and commands superb views. As a result of its association with Samsung, the Shilla also benefits from the latest technology. It operates a sophisticated guest data system designed to identify and service guest preferences. The hotel has also developed a new computer software system whereby clients booking any of the hotel's 13 function rooms can do so through a sophisticated computer-aided design (CAD) system. The system was developed at a cost of US$467,000 and uses a database comprising more than 20,000 photo images of information. This includes the rooms, variations on banquet or conference arrangements, audio visual equipment, menus and food. The system allows event organisers the luxury of accessing information on the hotel's facilities on CD-ROM in the comfort of their own offices. For those travelling in Korea on a tight budget, no-frills accommodation is also available. Yogwans, or inns, can cost as little as $150 per night for which the guest can expect a quilt on the floor.