Healing Stay KOSMOS is a new luxury resort in a stunning volcanic island in South Korea where you can rest and boost your spirit through ying and yang in a tranquil space with an exceptional design.
How many rooms
The hotel is divided into two units, Villa Kosmos and Villa Terre. Villa Kosmos has 4 rooms. Villa Terre has 8 rooms (3 rooms with beds, 4 rooms with On-dol, 1 room for a family). Guests can rent a single room at Villa Terre and Villa Kosmos is rented as a whole with 4 rooms.
What’s around the property
Located in Korea’s East Sea, Ulleungdo was born of volcanic activities around 2.5 milion years ago. The rocky steep-sided island is the top of a large stratovolcano which rises from the seafloor. It is known to be a sacred island where rich energy of land and clear energy of the sky meet and where yin and yan marry. Healing Stay Kosmos is located in Buk-myun where island’s nature is most well-preserved. It is close to wilderness ecosystem, pristine nature and magnificent seaside cliffs. Popular tourist attraction such as Nari Basin, Seungbulsa Temple, Elephant Rock are easily reached.
Ulleungdo has various ecology and special geological features present only in volcanic islands, making a fantastic scene. The island is packed with dazzling little nooks-caves, waterfalls, seaside walks and ancient trees.
Ulleungdo has been a popular island to catch cuttlefish, and The KOSMOS is near a quiet fishing village, which used to be vibrant with cuttlefish business.
The context of location
The KOSMOS is located near Songgot-bong(ice pick peak in Korean), which is part of famous Seonginbong Mountain range. Songgot-bong is shaped like an ice pick which looks like it’s ready to make a dent into the sky. From its shape, it is abundantly clear what a strong energy this mountain holds. In fact, Japanese government planted three heavy steel stakes on Songgot-bong during the colonization period in fear of the birth of heroes in Korea. Koreans have believed that the place with a strong energy(chi) can rejuvenate people and help their wishes come true. The KOSMOS is located where it receives the best energy in Ulleungdo.
About the architecture
The ambitious project saw the principal Changjoong Kim of a leading local architecture studio The System Lab uses the ultra-high performance-concrete to create other-worldly feel of the hotel’s exterior.
The System Lab created an environment that acts as a serene enclave, all the while providing the luxury and refinement of the top-end resort. He aimed to create a landmark resort in the heart of a stunning island famous for its wild nature.
The design seeks to provide a place to hold ‘chi(energy)’ spirit. The resort is built as an observatory where people come to observe and appreciate the spirit of the sky and the earth. That’s where the name KOSMOS (the origin of the word Cosmos) comes from.
The architectural form of The KOSMOS echoes the shape of the swirl. From the early stage of designing, the mysterious movement of the sun and the moon, gathered by the astronomical and meteorological observatory computers, was reflected on the shape of the building. Six swirl-shaped branches are turned into four rooms which are designed to help hotel guests interact with wonders of nature surrounding the hotel. Differently themed rooms will help connect the person who stays there with nature through ‘chi(energy)’ spirit.
The KOSMOS is created through cutting-edge design and technology. The architect Changjoong Kim hopes that by interacting with landscape and mystical energy, The KOSMOS will blend into becoming part of the island over the time.
The interior designer is also done by The System Lab which wanted to capture the spirit of the Five Elements of the universe and designed each rooms at Villa Kosmos under different themes, including Mars(fire), Mercury(Water), Jupiter(woods) and Venus(Gold). The four pool villas boast unveiled view of the island. Each villa is designed to offer a different view.
The display design (the selection of furniture and items to decorate the rooms) are done by Park Keun A of kideapartners.
About the interior design
Surrounding the moon object, the first floor of the Villa Kosmos is designed to invite the spirit of the moon which hangs over Songgot-bong (ice pick peak) to inside. The lounge is designed to enjoy the view of Elephant Rock while guests take rest sitting on a comfortable sofa and enjoy entertainment with other guests in their group.
The dining room which seats 10 people around a bespoke oak tree table made by a local designer Jeongsup Lee of The Naechon presents a magnificent view of Songgot-bong while the bar has a floor made from volcano rock to reflect the origin of the volcanic mountain surrounding the property.
There are two saunas which symbolizes the moon(Yin) and the sun(Yang) respectively, and two sauna rotate for two genders every day so that Yin and yang marry.
In the outside, infinity Jacuzzi using water melted from snow stacked in Nari Basin (famous volcanic basin in Ulleungdo) will make guests feel they become part of the sea over the cliff. Guests enjoy snack, meals and rest while sitting at sunken deck. The stairs next to a sunken deck leads to an outdoor bathroom where you can enjoy fantastic views from the cliff.
Each four room use different material, signature chair using the similar material, and amenities to match different themes of Mars(fire), Mercury(water), Juniper(wood) and Venus(gold). Signature chairs for each room includes bespoke stools by talented Korean designer Hun Jeong Lee, ALASKA by Emilio Nanni, Ghost by Cini Boeri and GJ Bow Chair by Grete Jalk.
About the facility
Villa Kosmos offers Infinity Jacuzzi and terrace located on top of 30 meter cliff edge, sauna and Jacuzzi filled with water melted from snow stacked in Nari Basin (famous volcanic basin in Ulleungdo), a restaurant with seasonal local ingredient cooked by a designated private chef.
About the chef
The KOSMOS offers imaginatively prepared, locally-soured food. Chef Sunjin Hwang, who developed his natural contemporary style cuisine by working at El Bulli in Spain and Noma in Copenhagen, created the menu for Villa Kosmos. A private chef (they are in process of confirming the chef) will cook for Villa Kosmos guests. Villa Terre has a café named Cafe Ulla which provides Korean and Western style breakfasts. For a peak season, a chef from Seoul will be sent to cook dinners for the guests at Villa Terre.
About the cuisine
The KOSMOS aims to bring the nature of Ulleungdo to the table. Ulleungdo is famous among gourmets for its top quality ingredient such as fresh seafood including Korea’s best shrimp, cuttlefish, Korean beef and mountain vegetable. The KOSMOS offers natural contemporary cuisine which praises the original taste of seasonal local ingredient with a contemporary twist and Korean influence.
Ullengdo specialties dishes served at Villa Kosmos include Dokdo Specialty Shrimp dish, which servessteamed Dokdo Island shrimp (the best shrimp in Korea which gets exported to best restaurants in Japan) with Korean Parsley Oyster emulsion and slightly touched with salmon roe and lemon. Another recommended dish is Ulleungdo specialty Beef dish, which offers 40-hours sous-vide Ulleungdo short rib in red wine Demi-glace sauce served with truffle potato puree and sautéed seasonal local vegetable.
The best views at the property
At Villa Kosmos, each four room offers magnificent view of the sunrise, sunset, Elephant Rock and Songgot-bong. White Ring and Black Ring offer best views of the soon and the moon to all the hotel guests.In addition, two Ring Chairs situated in outside lawn which is accessed by all the guests from Villa Kosmos and Villa Terre offer not only the best views but unique experience of tranquility and rejuvenation unique to The KOSMOS.
The white ring is located to bring the energy of the sun and the day to guests. While enjoying the view of Elephant Rock and a beautiful sunset, you will appreciate the full energy of Yang.
The black ring is designed to feel the energy of the moon and the night. You will feel the spirit of Yin by watching the moon over the Songgot-bong.
Photography – Kim Yong Kwan