Four beloved members have moved on from the DIOKOS family. Dillon Tran, a hilarious and upbeat marketing intern whose presence uplifted each room he entered. Kyra Aligaen, one of the founding members of the KoreaAgain website. A bright and understanding soul who embodied DIOKOS’ dedication. Patrick Nowlen: the face of DIOKOS and a human teddy bear with an inhuman work ethic. Charmaine Cruz: the media mastermind behind DIOKOS and KoreaAgain’s social media growth. Entirely sweet and supportive. I will deeply miss the camaraderie they brought to the workplace. But, the celebration of their time together was a gorgeous formality and a shining memory of their time in Seoul. Above the world, they shared a tender moment, reveling in the memories and progress they made.
A Taste of Seoul Above The Clouds. Lotte Tower is the fifth tallest building, holding four Guinness World Records. Towering above the luxurious Seoul cityscape, the provided view of one of the most mystical cityscapes in the world is worth every penny.
The Lotte Tower is also home to some of the most beautiful accouterments in Seoul. There are 235 hotel rooms from the 87th to the 101st floor of the Seoul Tower. A spa, a salon, and a swimming pool populate the 81st floor. Of course, the gift shop earns pretty pennies from international tourists hoping to experience the Space Needle on steroids.
A lone cafe adorns the upper levels of the tower, where one can sip warm coffee high above icy clouds. Speaking of ice, there is also a milk bar on the Lotte Tower, serving delicious frozen treats at 135 stories. Each level has been carefully crafted to include a plethora of activities for thrill-seekers and site-seers to enjoy.
Finally, restaurants dot the tower, including the 123 Club, aptly named for its position on the 123rd floor. STAY, a three-star Michelin-rated restaurant lies on the 81st floor. The marvel is BICENA, a Michelin-rated meal experience meant to emulate the “emptying, sharing, and filling” of the Korean meal. This is the last supper of the DIOKOS family.
Reservations for this restaurant are rare and require booking months in advance, as was completed by our loving and charismatic Danny Han. The dinner meal is called Light of Life. Dishes come in a linear list consisting of an amuse-bouche, starts, specials, a main with paid additions, and a dessert.
The lunch meal is called Mother Nature, and includes the same scripted menu as the dinner. Full of natural ingredients and prepared in inventive and modern ways, these meals are an insight into the cultural implications of sharing a traditional Korean meal between friends and family, with an innovative twist.
The meal structure is meant to emulate the intimacy shared between different relational levels in South Korean culture. The observable relationships are those between friends, students, or coworkers. The intangible ones are those between businesses, partnerships, and romances. All can be experienced in the subtle beauty of this candid meal.
Above the world, the DIOKOS family was awarded placards memorializing their time and impact on the company. Dressed to the nines, they shared tender moments and laughs with one another, completed by a lavish backdrop that merged their youthful zeal with the formal business culture they had grown to embrace.
As I write this, I think back to my time with them, the laughs and smiles of my DIOKOS family. During the last workday we shared, we watched music videos and smiled with the CEO, Danny Han. I remember singing Fifty Fifty’s Cupid with Kyra while Dillon and Charmaine followed the choreography. Alana filmed the entire endeavor, and Patrick, well, Patrick was editing. Such a short time to grow to love such a tight-knit group. I wish them the best in their future endeavors and feel gratitude for the time I shared with them. A meal atop the world fit for the finest. I can think of no better and more deserving than the DIOKOS family. We grew together.