Do you want more than just a place to stay? We do, too. For an all-inclusive experience, check out these picks for Korea’s 10 best resorts. Sports, sightseeing, spas, and more are rolled into one at these luxurious destinations.
1. Alpensia Resort | Gangwon-do
Olympian Standards, Year-Round
With a water park, six ski slopes, casino, and a golf course, there’s a little something for everyone at Alpensia Resort. That’s good since in 2018, this vacation destination—one of Korea’s newest—will serve as a main venue for the Winter Olympics.
The slopes run up to 1.4 kilometers long. There is even a slope reserved specifically for advanced snowboarders. During the summer the ski areas are converted into a gorgeous wildflower garden. Thrill-seekers can rocket down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster.
Meanwhile, the newly-opened Troon Country Club offers golfers a world-class 18-hole course—but you’ll need to join the Alpensia 700 Golf Club to make the most of it.
Located in the stunning northern countryside of Pyeongchang, the Alpensia Resort is home to three luxurious hotels: the Intercontinental Hotel, Holiday Inn Resort, and the Holiday Inn Suites.
|Address||225-3 Yongsan-ri, Daegwallyeong -myun, Pyeongchang-gun, Gangwon-do|
|Contact||www.alpensiaresort.co.kr / 033-339-0000|
|Good||Olympic-level sports facilities; great food nearby|
|Spa||Ocean 700: A large-scale water park with included sauna|
|Sports facilities||Ski, golf, and swim|
|Best suited for…||Sports enthusiasts|
|“GOOD TO KNOW”||The Daegwallyeong area is famous for its natural beauty. Check out the scenic highland hills and try out the tasty hanwoo beef.|
|Must-See Sights||Daegwallyeong Samyang Sheep Ranch, Odae Mountain, Korea Botanic Garden|
|Recommended Eating||Hanwoo Salchisal (Chuck Flat) Set at Daegwallyeong Hanwoo Town|
2. Konjiam Resort | Gyeonggi-do
Nature & Nurture
Konjiam is often cited as a Seoulite’s closest place to ski. But three luxurious spas serve as the condominium resort’s big draw in other seasons. At the Wellness Spa, therapies utilize massage, meditation, light exercise, aroma and stimuli to promote deep relaxation and pain relief. The Family Spa offers specialized indoor and outdoor pools to supplement the relaxation process.
These include the Sound Pool, the Mind Pool, and the Meditation Garden. Finally, the WHOO Spa Palace allows visitors to experience an integration of traditional Chinese and Korean medicines as well as unique Oriental hand massages.
The resort also hosts an enormous arboretum filled with plants and birds. Located nearby is Konjiam CC, an exclusive 18-hole golf course and country club.
Options at the 476 boutique suites range from the Prime Room for up to three guests to the Royal Suite for up to seven. In true Korean vacation style, all rooms include a fully-equipped kitchen.
|Address||23-1 Dowoong-ri San, Docheok-myun, Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do|
|Best Feature||Ski slopes cap at 7,000 admissions per day, which guarantees short lines.|
|Price||W140,000 – W308,000+|
|Spa||Three different spas in one resort|
|Sports facilities||Ski & snowboard slopes; soccer field, courts for basketball, volleyball, and badminton; Konjiam Country Club Golf|
|Best suited for…||Seoulites who need a break|
|Must-See Sights||Nearby hiking trails, Icheon Pottery Center|
|Recommended Eating||La Grotta, a restaurant and wine bar built into a cave. Along with offering the best imported wines, it actually has its own winery next door.|
3. Hanwha Seorak Sorano Resort | Gangwon-do
Hot Spring Central
If you’re having trouble choosing between mountains, oceans, lakes, and hot springs, then Sokcho is your city—it’s got it all. There, you can find the recently renovated Hanwha Sorano near the celebrated Seorak Mountain.
Located a 10-minute walk away is the pure mineral water park Waterpia, host to a plethora of hot springs and sauna facilities such as a wood bath and bubble bath. The Hue Spa offers a wide variety of professional therapeutic services, and the Seorak Plaza Country Club provides avid golf fans with a resplendent 18-hole course.
Outdoor enthusiasts should check out Daecheongbong Peak, the country’s third highest peak at 1708 m, which offers a spectacular view of Seorak’s beautiful scenery as well as diverse wildlife.
|Address||59 Hanwha-gil, Jangsa-dong, Sokcho-si, Gangwon-do|
|Contact||www.hanwharesort.co.kr & www.seorakwaterpia.com / 033-630-5500|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Nearly 800 rooms means plenty of space year-round.|
|Price||W116,000 – W267,000 (cheaper for Hanwha members).|
|Spa||The hot-spring fueled Waterpia spa theme park. Up to W50,000 for full-day admission during high season.|
|Sports facilities||Seorak Plaza Country Club Golf; screen shooting range, billiards hall|
|Best suited for…||Families with kids, company retreats|
|Local Tips||As a chain resort, much of the Sorano is self-service. This means taking out your own trash and no room service.|
|Must-See Sights||Seorak Mtn.’s Daecheongbong Peak, Ulsanbawi Rock, Cheongcho Lake, Seorak Cinerama|
4. Pine Ridge Resort & Villas | Gangwon-do
A Golfer’s Paradise
With an environmentally-friendly golf course as its foundation, Pine Ridge Resort’s style differs from a typical Korean resort. Each of the 168 rooms is housed on the green in a European-style villa, giving the whole resort the atmosphere of a mountain village.
The course itself was built with elvan stone—a type of mineral adamantine renowned in Eastern medicine for its healing powers—and watered with the hot springs of Seorak.
Devoted to the care of people as well as the environment, Pine Ridge also has traditional spa facilities. The Azalea Sauna uses naturally heated hot spring water in its baths, and the Azalea Spa and Oriental Medical Clinic offers many holistic therapy programs geared towards golfers.
|Address||San 23, Sinpyeong-ri, Toseong-myeon, Goseong-gun, Gangwon-do|
|Price||Starts at W235,000|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Unique all-in-one golf experience|
|Spa||Oriental medicine clinic & luxury Korean jimjjilbang|
|Sports facilities||Award-winning 27-hole golf course|
|Best suited for…||Golfers|
|Locals’ Tips||Reserve a ground floor room if you have a lot of luggage. There is no elevator in the villas.|
|Must-See Sights||Views of the East Sea at Ayajin Port|
|Recommended Eating||3 km away from this resort is Jaetnoli, a farmer’s hansik restaurant. The food they serve is the traditional meal that Korean farmers used to have after a hard day of work.|
5. High1 and Kangwon Land | Gangwon-do
Want something more Vegas than Disney World? Kangwon Land is the only place in the country where both Korean and foreign guests can gamble. Bring your friends and bask in the noise and lights of 132 table games and 960 video and reel machines. Like all of Korea’s casinos, Kangwon Land offers free drinks following a W5,000 admission fee.
Nestled in Baekwoon Mountain, Kangwon Land is augmented by the new High1 Ski Resort, which houses some of the country’s favorite ski slopes for the young and energetic. The country’s only “ski train” brings sports lovers directly to High1 from Seoul Station. When you’re ready to crash for the night, High1 has five hotels to choose from—three of which are on-slope condos.
During the summer months, you can still enjoy the trip downhill on High1’s alpine coaster or its tube sleds, or catch the sights from the High1 CC golf course located at 1,137m above sea level.
|Address||17 Gohan-ri, Gohan-eup, Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Five hotels; the only place in Korea that Koreans can gamble.|
|Price||Rates start at W160,000, W200,000, or W300,000, depending on the hotel|
|Spa||Each of the five hotels has its own spa. Haneulsaem Outdoor Spa at the Mountain Condominum is notable for its incredible views.|
|Sports facilities||Great ski slopes and a year-round golf course|
|Best suited for…||Groups of friends|
|Must-See Sights||There’s no better way to see the area’s natural beauty than by Jeongseong’s railbike—a converted pedal-driven carriage hooked up to an old train track.|
|Recommended Eating||Bring cash and head to the Jeongseon five-day market (open on the 2nd, 7th, 12th, 17th, 22nd, and 27th of every month) for the homiest and most delicious local handmade food.|
6. Banyan Tree Club & Spa | Seoul
Relaxation is the name of the game at Banyan Tree Club & Spa. You’re in for a real treat at the hands of the highly trained team of Master Therapists at the resort’s separate spa.
Feel like a king or queen with the Royal Banyan treatment package featuring a massage with an herbal pouch dipped in warm sesame oil. Follow it up with the refreshing Rainmist Experience, a combination steam bath and shower.
Afterwards, stretch your legs on the futsal field, basketball court, or tennis courts, or practice your form at the golf driving range where a team of world-class Troon coaches awaits you. The outdoor pool area at The Festa then turns into an indulgent party venue on special nights.
Banyan Tree’s 49 rooms were constructed with an exclusive club concept in mind. Only 34 of the luxurious rooms are even open to guests—i.e., those who are not members of the Banyan Tree Club.
|Address||5-5 Jangchungdong2-ga San, Jung-gu, Seoul|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Every room has a soaking tub or a relaxation pool.|
|Price||W250,000 – W4,500,000|
|Spa||This is a branch of Asia’s most famous spa chain. Not a single chemical ingredient is used in these treatments.|
|Sports facilities||Futsal field, basketball court, and tennis court are complimentary for up to 2 hours per day for all guests. Outdoor pool and golf driving range also available.|
|Best suited for…||VIPs (or wannabe VIPs)|
|Locals’ Tips||There are only 34 rooms for guests, so make sure to book early.|
|Must-See Sights||Banyan Tree has a great location near the top of Namsan Mountain—enjoy the city of Seoul while keeping a quiet distance from it.|
7. El Dorado Resort | Jeollanam-do
Base Camp for Beach Bums
No better cure for hot summer days than rejuvenating day at the beach. So if the heat is what ails you, plan a stay at the El Dorado Resort located in the designed Slow City of Jeungdo.
Drink in the summer sun while flitting over the ocean waves on a pair of speedy jet skis, or take a ride with the whole family on a big yellow banana boat. If you’d prefer something a little more leisurely, take a delightful yacht cruise to see a few of the 827 islands of Sinan County.
After playing in the surf all day, return to your beachfront room and soak in the seawater sauna, or sign yourself up at the spa for one of the many available seawater treatments.
For those who aren’t big fans of playing in the sand, hit a round of golf at El Dorado’s golf course or swim some laps at the resort’s beautiful outdoor swimming pool.
|Address||233-42 Ujeon-ri, Jeungdo-myeon, Sinan-gun, Jeollanam-do|
|Price||W287,000 – W860,000. Discounts available for members.|
|Spa||Ocean Spa Land in the resort’s “Golden Bay” facility center offers a seawater sauna, outdoor baths, and Korean jimjjilbang.|
|Sports facilities||4km-long Ujeon Beach, jet skis, banana boats, swimming pool, El Dorado Yacht Club boating, Muan Country Club golf, Hampyeong Dynasty Country Club golf (located offsite)|
|Best suited for…||Beach lovers|
|Must-See Sights||Island-hopping via yacht; Sinan salt fields|
|Recommended Eating||Sinan is known for its salt harvesting. Food made with clean, natural ocean salt is a totally different experience—to see for yourself, check out one of the local Salt Restaurants. Unlike what the name might imply, the food is not that salty.|
8. Jungmun Resort Complex | Jeju-do
Everything Outside Your Door
The Jeju destination of Jungmun is the largest resort in Korea. Its prime location provides quick and easy access to many of Jeju’s most famous attractions. Jungmun Beach, which runs along the back of the resort complex, is renowned for its beauty and has been a shooting locale for many movies and commercials.
Visitors should not miss the chance to go parasailing, water skiing, or windsurfing on these sparkling waters.
There are six hotels located in the Jungmun Resort Complex. The Shilla, Lotte, and Hyatt Regency offer five-star experiences as well as “glamping”, or luxury camping. Meanwhile The Suites Hotel, Hotel Hana, and Jeju Seas are more affordable, condominium-like options.
There’s tons to do right nearby. Yeomiji Botanical Garden, Pacific Land marine park, Teddy Bear Museum, Sorisun Museum, Cheonjeyeon Waterfall, Jusangjeolli rock pillar cliff, Jeju World Peace Center, and Jeju International Convention Center are all located inside the Jungmun grounds.
|Address||Saekdal-dong, Seogwipo-si, Jeju|
|Contact||There isn’t a website for the resort as a whole—check out the pages of each hotel, or try www.visitkorea.or.kr.|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||The easiest way to see Jeju.|
|Spa||You’re spoiled for choice. Check out the Jeju-Shilla Spa, He:on Spa at the Lotte and Aquaview at the Hyatt Regency.|
|Sports facilities||Jungmun Golf Course, parasailing, water skiing, and windsurfing on Jungmun Beach|
|Best suited for…||Anyone and everyone|
|Local’s Tips||Stay packages that include a rental car are recommended for those who want to make the most of their Jeju experience.|
|Must-See Sights||Try out a section of Jeju’s famous Olle Trail. Jungmun connects directly to route 8 (out of 20 total).|
|Recommended Eating||Pork lovers shouldn’t miss Jeju’s famous black pork samgyupsal.|
9. Olle Resort | Jeju-do
Most Tranquil Island Experience
Avoid the island tourist noise with Olle Resort, a native Jeju-owned boutique resort near Jeju City. This group of villas is set back into a hill that offers beautiful views of both Halla Mountain and the sea. Every room is decorated in natural tones and textures that give the atmosphere an understated luxury.
Soaking baths and private pools are standard for most rooms. The resort also embraces the arts. Jeju handicrafts are scattered around the grounds and sold in the Olle Resort branded gift store, and there is even a ceramics studio on-site.
There are only 53 rooms and bookings must be made three months in advance during high season.
|Address||33, Buryongsu-gil, Aewol-eup, Jeju-si, Jeju-do|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Every villa has its own full kitchen. The more expensive rooms have heated indoor pools and fireplaces.|
|Price||Starts from W250,000|
|Spa||Spa Bareut offers body, facial, and maternity treatments. Free foot massages for those who stay 2+ nights.|
|Sports facilities||Outdoor pool, billiards, kids’ playground, ceramic studio|
|Best suited for…||Honeymooners (literally or figuratively)|
|Must-See Sights||To be honest, you probably won’t want to leave.|
|Recommended Eating||Petit Gopang in the resort for fusion Italian fare. Also try black pork cooked to order at the BBQ Hall.|
10. Hilton Namhae Golf and Spa Resort | Namhae Island
Best Views Anywhere
Opened in 2006, the Hilton Namhae Resort is a modern oasis nestled in one of Korea’s most secret scenic regions, Namhae Island. Clear your lungs with some fresh air while playing a round on Namhae’s shimmering green golf course, one of the only seaside golf courses in Korea, before partaking in delectable fresh seafood prepared in the traditional Namhae style at the resort’s restaurant, Horizon.
Then ease any tensions away in the Chill Out Zone where you can receive a Korean style massage or simply unwind in a jjimjilbang sauna. As you return to your airy, modern room, make sure to take in the sunset from your balcony or floor-length windows before peacefully sleeping the night away.
|Address||San 35-5, Doekwol-ri, Nam-myeon, Namhae-gun, Gyeongsangnam-do|
|Contact||www.hiltonnamhae.com / 055-860-0100|
|Notable Amenities/”Good”||Spacious Hilton-standard rooms with perfect views.|
|Price||Average W500,000 during high season|
|Spa||The Spa Oasis offering saunas, massage, golf therapy, maternity therapy and more.|
|Sports facilities||PGA championship golf course (advance reservation required from Friday to Sunday)|
|Best suited for…||Golfers and their families; sightseers with a bit of Korean knowledge|
|Must-See Sights||Rent a bike to explore the island’s views or a car to see its idyllic fishing villages. Ruins of the 16c Namhae Japanese Castle (임진성) are also worth seeking out.|
|Recommended Eating||Seafood is your best bet. One particularly famous stop is Yujin Hoejip just near a major fishing port about 25 minutes away from the resort.|
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