Apr 01, 2016

    Have a siesta in Seoul cinema for $12


    WHAT do you do when you are desperately in need of a lunchtime nap?

    If you work in Yeouido, Seoul's financial hub, and have 10,000 won (S$12) to spare, you could make a dash for the Yeouido CGV, where the cinema chain transforms its Premium Theater into a cozy sleep nook during lunch hours, Monday through Thursday.

    "Plenty of office workers visit the Yeouido CGV lobby just to take a seat on a bench and rest during lunchtime. This is how we came up with the idea for the Siesta Service," said Rhee Sang Jin of CGV's public relations team.

    On Monday morning, just before lunch hour, it was easy to spot office workers using the cinema's lounge as a shelter.

    They seemed to look for not only a comfortable seat but also a place free of potential stares from their bosses.

    "There's no place to put down my head," said an office worker who wished to be identified only by his surname, Heo, adding that he could not nap at the office where he cannot escape noise and light and, more importantly, disapproving stares from colleagues.

    The lack of a staff lounge, especially for male office workers, seemed to be the main reason for the workers using Yeouido CGV's siesta service.

    South Korean white-collar workers slept an average of six hours and 44 minutes a day in 2013, according to Gallup Korea, falling short of the United States-based National Sleep Foundation's recommendation of seven to nine hours of sleep for those over age 18.

    The Siesta Service's cinema has soft, fully reclining chairs. It is lit with soft lights mimicking candle lights and sounds of nature - think birdsongs and babbling streams - play softly.

    A cozy blanket and a pair of disposable slippers are offered at each seat. The Siesta Kit provided consists of products to help you settle for a relaxing nap: a cup of tea, steam eye mask and pair of earplugs.

    "People say that it is too expensive but our survey shows 90 per cent of those who have used the service are satisfied with both the service and price," said Rhee.