Healing Stay KOSMOS is the luxury resort where cutting-edge design and technology bring out the energy and primitive scenery of South Korea’s Ulleungdo Island.
Approximately 120 km east of the South Korean Peninsula lies the volcanic Ulleungdo Island, a steep and rocky-sided enclave resembling something out of a science fiction film, only accessible by a ferry journey that lasts just over three hours. The dense mountain hills, caves, waterfalls and rocky shorelines make for the perfect backdrop for the Healing Stay KOSMOS, where the energy of the sky and earth are said to converge. It is here where cutting-edge design and technology interact with the primitive scenery of Ulleungdo Island.
“The first time I encountered this cliff-edge land near Songgotsan Mountain, I thought of a paradoxical idea to build something other than a building as an architect,” architect Prof. Kim Chan Jung says. “I thought all I could do was allow this building and its users to stay in harmony in the natural flow we called energy.”
With the still and curious path of the sun and moon in mind, the help of an astronomical weather station computer and the six spiral branches for encountering mysterious natural phenomena surrounding the site, the KOSMOS was designed in a way that the people and nature within the vicinity can be connected in the flow of energy.
“I wanted it to be a container of energy rather than a building,” Jung continues. “And I hoped it to become a kind of celestial tool that can contemplate and feel the natural phenomenon of the universe and the earth.
One of the highlights of the resort is the KOSMOS Ring, where your body and mind are invigorated through the harmony of Yin and Yang for a moment of convolution with the universe. In the Yin Ring Chair, you receive abundant Yin energy while staring up at the moon, whereas on the Yang Ring Chair, you watch as the sunset falls over the ocean. After receiving an “energy bath,” talk a walk along the valley with a clear ocean view to complete a feeling of serenity and peacefulness.
Ulleungdo Island is your oyster for exploration. The Chusan Trail follows the KOSMOS to the Nari Basin upwards past the Yongchul-so spring where 20,000 tons of water per day is gushed, whereas the Seokpo Observatory Trail is connected to the Poonghyeol, a natural air conditioner maintaining temperature at 4°C as the cool air from the underground water flowing deep into the underground is gushed out of the gaps in the rocks), and continues toward the Seokpo Observatory, where unbeatable views of the Kwaneumdo and Jukdo islands and Samseonam rock can be marvelled at.
A trip to the nearby Kwaneumdo Island is an absolute must. Only accessible through a wonderful suspended bridge, the views are stunning and filled with untouched plants, camellia trees, silver magnolia trees, reeds and silver grass roam wild.
Villa Terre offers classic hotel-style bedrooms of various sizes, as well as traditional Korean ondol rooms. For those who want to take it one step further, Villa Kosmos suites offer a single detached pool villa. Every room, however, is equipped with unbeatable oceanside views that lull the mind into a state of peace and serenity.
Designed as an observatory of the universe, with every guesthouse meticulously oriented towards a specific view. The two snow-white residence structures have been constructed from ultra-high performance concrete and have been sculpted into swooping figures that allude to both the astronomical tendencies of the sun and moon and to the wonderful panorama.
On the interior, the design team has looked towards the Taoist theory of the Five Elements of Wu Xin – Wood, Fire, Earth, Water and Metal – symbolizing the separate properties that roam nature. The high-ceiling rooms and white colour scheme are to be marvelled at throughout the stay.
Elsewhere in the resort lie a high-end spa, sauna and pool. Elsewhere, the on-site Café Ulla incorporates the theme of the Gorilla Rock character, or the guardian of Mt. Songgotsan who has fallen in love with the nature of Ulleungdo Island after defeating the goblin that afflicted the local people.
More than simply a nice place to rest your head, the resort is the perfect venue for enjoying the rejuvenating powers of the remote island, its mysterious scenery and the peace of the uninterrupted blue sky.