Nowadays, Jeju travel is a popular activity for many people who want to learn about the special foods, attractions, etc. in Jeju island. To put things into perspective, entire Jeju is divided into 5 regions – North, South, East, West and Central. The resort like places are aggregated in the South, if you are looking for nice scenery head West and your first stop will be the airport which is located North. Halasan is in the centre and Udo is in the East.
1. Air Ticket
The first step to your Jeju trip is to book yourself a domestic air ticket from Gimpo Domestic Terminal. If you arriving on an international flight (I assume not from Japan or China), you will land in Incheon International Airport. From here, you can either take subway or a bus (recommended for ease and convenience) to Gimpo. Almost all buses will pass by Gimpo Airport (there is international and domestic), just ask the information counter. You usually need to pay for your bus ticket at the counter or you can pay the bus driver directly. T money works as well (make sure you have enough credit). The ride usually costs around 2,500 won to 4,000 won. Be at the airport 40 minutes before your departure time.
You will need your passport for verification when entering the departure area. If you are there in winter, don’t leave your down jacket in your luggage because there is a likelihood that your plane is parked in a remote bay (meaning you have to take a bus and climb the stairs). Flight time is around 1 hour, buy some snacks, the carriers usually provide complimentary drinks (orange juice, green tea, water and coffee/tea).
I have tried 7 different hotels which I will introduce below.
The first hotel I have been to is Lotte City Hotel. The hotel is located near the airport and Jeju city. There are not much attractions around the area (very city like) except for the market place. Nothing special about this hotel except that it’s clean and modern. Prices of hotels in this area (North) are cheaper than those in the South.
The second hotel I am going to introduce you is The Shilla Jeju, it is located South of Jeju. You will get the resort feel in this area. The room refurbishment is not exactly updated but still clean. We enjoyed the breakfast in this hotel.
The view from the room’s balcony is breathtaking. I think we paid about S$500 for a night because it was during Chuseok (one of the festival in Korea with long holidays). The price range for this hotel usually ranks at the higher end. If you are going to stay in this hotel, please buffer for some relaxation time in the hotel.
There is an indoor and outdoor pool in this hotel. The indoor pool is connected to the outdoor one. You can even find an activity/games room here.
The third hotel we stayed in was The Kensington Hotel. It is located near Shilla Hotel (South). I love this hotel because of the modern feel. I like the room designs, something different from the usual. They use wallpaper and colour combination to create the feeling that you are on a cruise ship. Price wise, in the range of Shilla Hotel. If you have time, you can walk around the building and the pool area, it’s quite picturesque.
The fourth hotel is something not worth mentioning. We were supposed to stay in Heavichi but we ended up in Hotel Sumorum (South). It’s clean and new but nothing fanciful. I don’t think I have snapped any pictures because we had a hard time coming to terms with not being able to stay in Heavichi (reservation was done for an earlier date). But I think I took a photo of the hotel breakfast. There is a choice of American or Korean style breakfast set. The one below is abalone porridge (Korean style).
The fifth hotel we stayed in was WE Hotel Jeju (South). This is my recommended hotel in terms of price, comfort and location. This hotel is quite new and is termed as a medical resort. The interior and service are comparable to that of the high end hotels. The hotel is located in a huge compound near Shilla Hotel. All of this for half the price of what you pay for Shilla and Kensington.
Their indoor swimming pool is made of some miracle water that can beautify your skin complexion, we tried for two days and I think our skin condition did improve a little? Still don’t know whether it’s true but one thing for sure is that the pool water is very clean and there is no smell of chlorine. You can spin dry your swim wear in the washroom. Oh, remember to bring your swim cap, if not, pay 2,000 won to get one before entering the pool. I think Korea is quite strict about this.
The room has 1 double bed and 1 single bed (can accommodate 3 people). There is an area near the large floor-to-ceiling window with sofa and coffee table, nice place to enjoy the sunset. You can request for sea view room. So much has been said but a pity that I didn’t take any photos! Do check out this hotel, highly recommended. I am pretty sure they will increase their price sometime soon.
The sixth hotel is Ocean Palace Hotel. This hotel comes with breakfast (choice is limited and taste is below average) which is highly not recommended unless it is free. The hotel room is pretty big and can easily fit 3-4 people. It is more like a studio apartment with a living room and kitchen (with washing machine). It is highly recommended for big group on a budget. Within walking proximity, you can find mini mart, starbucks and some eatery. The market is also close by.
Last but not least, my personal favourite, Jeju Bom Stay Resort. This place is a little inaccessible thus you will definitely need a car. However, I can assure you a pleasant stay at this resort. This is a museum cum resort. The host is friendly (family owned resort). You get a nice sea view, a small pool (if you select duplex with pool) and a fantastic breakfast. This resort is not expensive either.
They have limited villas though. You get a nice living area where you can sit down and chill. A mini pool outside for you to soak and for kids to play. If you would like to use the pool, you can just inform the staff and they will clean and fill up the pool with clean water.