1. British Airways “First Class” Lounge at SFO
2. Korean Air First Class San Francisco to Seoul
3. Korean Air Economy Class Seoul (Gimpo) to Jeju
4. Kensington Jeju Hotel (Seogwipo, Jeju Island)
5. Eating Jeju – the Ultimate Seafood Paradise
6. Korean Air Lounge at CJU (Jeju, Korea)
7. Korean Air First Class Lounge at ICN
8. Korean Air First Class Seoul to Hong Kong
9. Hyatt Regency Hong Kong, Tsim Tsa Tsui
10. Conrad Hong Kong
11. Eating Hong Kong
12. Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong to Tokyo (Haneda)
13. Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo (Haneda)
14. Japan Airlines First Class Tokyo (Haneda) to San Francisco
While the Lotte and The Shilla are the most well-known hotels in the Seogwipo neighborhood in Jeju, I ended up booking the Kensington which is a newer upscale resort that had very positive initial reviews.
There were a few different themes going on at the hotel, starting with a modern vibe that was evident as soon as we stepped foot in the lobby. The facilities throughout the hotel still felt brand new and extremely well-kept.
Then there was also an art-deco theme with much of the decor throughout the hotel.
In particular, on the way to our room there was a “library” which had the wallpaper below on both sides of a huge atrium. Inside the room, there was even a desk with complimentary postcards and stamped envelopes so that you could drop a note to friends and family.
The highlight of the stay was waking up each morning to use the Korean sauna, which was very similar to the onsen in Japan. If you haven’t used one before, it means that you get completely naked, then head to a small shower booth where you sit on a stool to wash yourself. From there, you have your choice of three different pools with varying temperatures – two were kept very hot at 100+ degrees, and there was also a cold tub kept around 60 degrees.
This was the perfect way to relax throughout our stay, and on some days, we ended up using the sauna as many as three times.
There was also an enormous pool on the ground floor that allowed you to swim between indoor and outdoor areas, and there was also a rooftop pool, although that required an additional fee in order to gain access.
Our reservation didn’t include breakfast and we ate most of our dinners off-site, so we didn’t sample any of the food at the hotel. They did have several dining options, which included Italian, a poolside Terrace cafe with burgers and pizza, Korean, and a seafood buffet featuring the famous Jeju abalone.
The resort also featured several outdoor gardens which had a Japanese zen-life feel to them.
The last theme was evident in the rooms, which had a maritime look and feel that was hard to miss. The rooms were quite large and very clean.
While this wasn’t necessarily a business hotel, I appreciated how the the desk was setup with a built-in converter and multiple USB chargers for smaller devices.
The mini-bar is included for all bookings, and was re-stocked daily. Since we didn’t have breakfast included with our reservation, the chips and nuts became our breakfast each morning, and the chocolate and wafers became our afternoon snack.
The bathroom was very spacious and featured Molton Brown toiletries.
And a Japanese-style toilet.
My only complaint about the room was that strangely there was only central heat available, so with the temperature and humidity soaring, the room got very hot. With one quick call we were able to get a portable AC unit delivered helped keep things cool.
Also worth noting that the hotel has a free shuttle bus to and from the airport four times daily. We had missed the last shuttle of the day on arrival but were able to ride the bus from the hotel to the airport on our day of departure.
The service was also good, although there was somewhat of a language barrier at times and it took multiple attempts at re-phrasing to get our questions answered.
Overall we had a great stay at the Kenginston, highlighted by the sauna facilities and the pools, and wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again.