We were recently invited to go on a special media tour of Jeju Shinhwa World, the first and only fully integrated resort on Jeju Island
For those who haven't heard of it, Jeju Shinhwa World is a new premium resort on Jeju Island. It's been progressively opening in stages since April 2017, and aims to be fully up and running by 2019.
Once complete, Jeju Shinhwa World will span a total of 2.5 million square meters, featuring various attractions like theme and water parks, premium hotels and residential apartments, a luxurious destination spa, duty-free shopping outlets, a magnificent casino, and more!
1. The totally gorgeous and luxe hotel that we seriously didn't want to leave
From the minute we walked into the stunning lobby of the Marriott Resort, one of the premium hotels in Jeju Shinhwa World, we knew we were in for a fantastic 4 days and 3 nights.
The highly capable and friendly staff seriously impressed us by flawlessly taking care of our every need and want. They're all required to be able to speak a second language btw, usually either English or Mandarin, so language barrier totally isn't a problem at all.
And we seriously fell in love with our super comfy Deluxe room! It came with some awesome perks, like everything in the mini-bar being free and access to their health club. Though we have to admit that the best part for us was the fully automated toilet that even had a digital panel of controls lolol sorry not sorry for being easily amused.
Psst, V.I.P.s! Look out for the giant display in the lobby that plays a Jeju Shinhwa World ad featuring a very gorgeous G-Dragon on loop. There's also a video of it at the end of the story, you're welcome ;)
2. Shinhwa Theme Park totally isn't as kiddy as it seems - we had so much fun there!
Lionsgate Movie World, the world's first ever Lionsgate themed outdoor theme park, is currently under construction and will be opening soon at Jeju Shinhwa World.
It has seven movie zones and more than 30 exciting rides and attractions, each themed after blockbuster Lionsgate movies including 'The Hunger Games', 'The Twilight Saga', 'Now You See Me', and 'Saw'.
We got to go to the already open Shinhwa Theme Park. Themed by TUBAn, one of Korea's leading 3D animation companies, it features 15 fun rides and amusement facilities, all themed after the highly popular characters from TUBAn's hit series like LARVA, Oscar's Oasis, and Rotary Park.
We honestly weren't that hyped about it at first 'cause it seemed more aimed at kids but that's really not the case. Despite the freezing cold weather that day (we seriously regretted not bringing a thicker jacket omg), we ended up having a lot of fun!
Our personal favourite rides were 'Dancing Oscar', where your individual two-seater pod spins around as you speed along a roller coaster trail, as well as 'Larva's Space Adventure', a fun 3D shooting game that lets you compete with friends.
There's also some really unique VR roller coasters that give you a totally thrilling ride unlike anything we've ever experienced at a theme park before. And we really loved watching the Mystic Island musical show, it definitely was a memorable performance filled with surprises.
3. We got a sneak peek at the yet-to-open YG Town, which includes a cafe and rock bowling club designed by G-Dragon himself
Besides being the official brand ambassador, G-Dragon was also involved in the overall construction of YG Town, participating in everything from concept development right down to the nitty gritty design details.
Once completed, YG Town will be a kpop lover's ultimate paradise, with various restaurants and retails outlets, all aimed at spreading the Hallyu love. In particular, fans can look forward to the GD Cafe and rock bowling club.
With it's quirky shape and absolutely stunning exterior of glass windows, the GD Cafe may look like a modern art piece at first glance but it was actually specially designed to look like the letters 'G' and 'D' when seen from above. We thought that the "moat" filled with star-like twinkling lights that surrounds it was an especially beautiful touch.
Not only will the cafe incorporate his famous fashion label, Peaceminusone, GD will also be using it as a gallery of sorts to house artwork he personally created. Fans will be able to kick back and enjoy the chillax atmosphere with a cup of freshly brewed coffee.
As for the rock bowling club, there's so much more to it than just bowling. It'll also double up as a lounge bar as well as a hot space for concerts. And YG stans can go crazy at 'All That YG', a souvenir store that will carry official YG merch and plenty of themed products.
4. We legit ended every day in an extreme food coma
Jeju Shinhwa World is home to some seriously amazing food, we ate so much throughout our stay that we could literally write an entire story about it.
So for now, we just picked some of our favourites:
Grilled Jeju Black Pork @ 3 Butchers
Okay for reals guys, this was hands down the best K-BBQ we've ever had! Now we know why people are willing to travel all the way to Jeju just to eat their special black pork, just look at those thick slabs mmmmm <3
Every bite was tender, juicy, and super flavourful. There were a few different types of dips to choose from: a Jeju-specialty spicy broth, a garlicky mustard, the usual ssamjang you normally get when eating KBBQ, and sea salt.
We liked the sea salt best because it brought out the natural flavours of the pork without overpowering it. And omg please save some stomach space for the fried rice, it was SAH GOOD, you'll definitely regret not ordering it!
Dinner Buffet @ Landing Resort
Everyone knows that a buffet is all about being strategic and with this one you'll wanna head straight for the spread of fresh seafood.
Jeju is known for their abundance and high quality of fresh seafood so take advantage of this chance to try as much as you can. We feasted on serving after serving of succulent seafood, including lobster, abalone, prawns, scallops, and much more!
But make sure to save some space for the dessert spread! We were especially fond of the customisable crepe station and the delectable little macarons.
Alaskan King Crab @ Crab Tong
It probably took longer for us to get through all the ooh-ing, aah-ing, and picture-taking when the GIANT ass crab hit the table than it did to eat the whole thing. It was literally bigger than our heads guys!
The best part was that the servers cut up the crab right in front of you and also pre-crack each individual piece so it's super easy to eat. The fresh and tender meat just came sliding out without any effort on our parts. We wiped the plate clean, leaving only a pile of shells behind in no time!
5. Jeju Shinhwa World is truly a one-stop duty-free shopping paradise
They carry some of the most popular high-end brands, spanning fashion, cosmetics, beauty labels, food products, and more. Take your time and enjoy a totally chill shopping experience with no crowds or lines and you don't have to rush through it like you usually do at the airport.
But what got us the most excited was their in-house Innisfree store! With all kinds of exclusive sales and discounts, you can't blame us for borong-ing back a whole load of K-beauty products, especially when they came with loads of freebies :D
We also had the chance to sit down for a chat with David Hoon, the Group CEO of Landing International Development Limited, the developers of Jeju Shinhwa World
According to him, what makes Jeju Shinhwa World unique is that it caters to a wide range of age and interest groups. All their various facilities were specially curated so that no matter what you're into or what kind of a vacation you're looking for, there'll be something for you.
Jeju Shinhwa World is actually one of the few premium attractions on Jeju Island, the rest of the island is pretty budget-friendly. This is one of the main reasons why the idea for the resort came about - to fill in the lack of premium holiday destinations on Jeju Island.
The other purpose it fulfills is to add value to the Jeju government's vision of positioning Jeju as a tourist hub of North Asia, kind of like Hawaii, Phuket, or Bali.
All in all, it definitely was an unforgettable trip of a lifetime! A huge thanks to Landing International Development Limited for taking us there. We look forward to being able to go back in the future :)
Interested in going on your own trip to Jeju Shinhwa World? Click here to find out more and start planning your next holiday.
Btw this is the ad featuring GD that we mentioned earlier hehe, enjoyyyy! Our favourite part is towards the end when he's on stage in a leather jacket. *heart eyes*