Monday, September 1, 2014

Ivy's Travel: Korea Trip part 5

Previous post: Ivy's Travel: Korea trip part 4

Day 6 (Fly to Jeju Island, Lotte Jeju Hotel)

We took Air Busan to Jeju Island. The flight took around 50 minutes.I couldn't remember the flight fare, but it was not expensive as we took the budget airlines. Aside from Air Busan, one of the most frequent airlines people took to Jeju is the Jeju Air. The reason we took Air Busan is only because at that moment, Air Busan's flight schedule suited us more. We took Jeju Air for our flight back to Seoul and practically both airlines were the same.

Tips: I opened the flight websites several times before I actually did the booking. Turns out both airline will give a special discount rate from time to time. A tip, when you see the discount rate that match your schedule, quickly booked them as the ticket sold out fast. Due to my wishy washy of deciding which timing would suited us more, we didn't get the discount rate for our flight to Jeju, but at least we got the one back to Seoul with special rates. Again, couldn't remember the flight fares, but its around 1 million rupiah per person.

As you can see from the map, our hotel is at Jungang station, 12 stops to Gimhae airport without switching lines, so it was very convenient to took mrt to the airport. Journey is around 35 minutes. The domestic airport is small and doesn't really have many stores, but there is a food court on the second floor who served a great Jeonju style bibimbap (8300 won = 91k rupiah). 

At Jeju island, there are two areas to stay, Jeju City and Jungmun. Jeju City is where the airport is, some attractions like Jeju Loveland and the famous Yongduam (Dragon Head) rock. JungMun is located around 1 hour from the city, where the beach is and also Teddy Bear Museum, Ripley's Believe it or Not, Trick Art Museum (they have another one in the city also), and Cheonjyeon waterfalls. It depends on personal interest to decide which area to stay, the hotels located at the city are definitely more affordable, you can easily get a spacious and nice hotel not more than 1 million rupiah per night, while at JungMun, as it's a tourist place and centered around beach, almost every hotels are 5 stars with hefty price. 

We decided to stay at Jungmun to have the beach view and personally, if I ever go back to Jeju, I would again choose to stay at Jungmun. Yes, the hotel is pricey and the restaurants nearby got some serious price tags, but with the service and the view they offer, I would say it was worth money spent. However, if you decided to stay at the city, Hotel W Jeju can be a good option. 

We took bus no. 600 at Jeju Airport to go to Chung Mun (read: JungMun). The bus parked in front of Gate 5. Ticket purchased inside the bus, there will be a lady who come to you to collect the bus fare. Bus fare is 3900 won (43k rupiah) with 1 hour duration. 

The bus will stop in several places and hotels with route like this: 
Jeju Airport - Yeomji Botanical Garden - Hyatt Hotel - The Shilla Jeju - The Suites - Hana Hotel - Lotte Jeju Hotel 

Lotte Jeju Hotel (*5)
Address: Jungmungwangwang-ro 72beon-gil, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
Price: 6.500.000/ night booked directly to hotel

I got headache on deciding which hotel to stay in Jeju. We settled from the first that we will stay at Chung Mun, so I was not looking at the hotel at the city. But still, even though the hotels at JungMun are not as many as in the city, I still spent some time deciding between Hyatt, The Shilla or Lotte Hotel. Notice how I use I instead of We? Yup, hubs more on the type who let me decide on almost all our traveling decision. I ended choosing Lotte and it was a brilliant very satisfying choice.

Until this day, Lotte Jeju Hotel is still one of the best hotel we ever stayed in. I am losing words to describe how fantastic the hotel is. My amateur pictures will not do the justice, so for the room images only, I took it from the hotel website, and yes, it looks the same in real.

Images from hotel website
The hotel is huge! Let's talk about the room first, there are quite categories on the room. Superior, deluxe and luxury where each has another categorization based on the view. We booked the Deluxe Double Ocean with 40,3m2 size and it was stunning. The room was so pretty and has this amazing view. We didn't really get the center beach view as the one with that kind of view would be the rooms which are more expensive. But ours was enough for me. The air was just beautiful that we often went out to the balcony just to look at the view and enjoy the breezy air. Visiting Korea at Autumn is just the perfect time.

The hotel view at night. Pay attention on how large the outdoor and swimming pool area. The space was gigantic.

We actually spent quite time just wandering through the hotel. They have humongous swimming pool and the water temperature is warm, so even during autumn, people can still enjoy the pool without getting cold. They have like five jacuzzi with big TV screen in each corners, so people can warm up at the jacuzzi while watching TV. How thoughtful is that?

 The morning views

More views of the hotels!!

There's a stairs at the back of the outdoor park which we could walk down to the beach. A bit of warning, do think 10 times before you deciding to walk down those stairs. Hubs and I call it the horror stairs. It was piece of cake to walk down, the walk ups was... what is the words for super exhausted? Seriously, it was like climbing up a gazillion stairs! 

The gazillion horror stairs! It might not look too horror on the pictures as the stairs comes with winding lanes, so I couldn't take the whole picture.

 They also have camping tent for customers who stay in with children and wanted to do some outdoor activities. Really, this hotel is just amazing! The facilities, the service, the food, the room, the comfortableness, and oh the price!!!

The breakfast was awesome! One of the most satisfying meals we had is during the hotel's breakfast at Lotte. The selections are amazing and the taste was beyond good. I know the price per night is steep, but if you visit Jeju, I personally really recommend you guys to spend at least a night here. It really worth the money spent.

One of the must eat at Jeju is the Abalone porridge. I forgot to take a picture of it, we actually had one at the hotel and it was top notch good that I had my second bowl right at the spot. The flavor and seasoning were just lovely. It was a common dish found at restaurants in Jeju, so if you go to Jeju one day, do make sure to try their Abalone porridge. :)

All the hotels in Jungmun resort are located near each others, but as all the hotels are huge, even though they are side by side but it took quite miles to walk one from another. We paid a short visit to The Shilla which located just next to Lotte and the hotel is beautiful, as pretty as Lotte but location wise, I would still recommend Lotte as it situated as the first one, so it's the nearest hotel/ resort next to Teddy Bear Museum, Ripley's, Museum trick art and Cheonjyeon waterfalls. 

The restaurants inside Lotte offers spectacular price tag. But there's a food and supermarket complex just beside the hotel. There are Starbucks, Angel in Us, Kraze Burger, and several restaurants also the 24 hours supermarket which has these amazing preheated food. I could easily be satisfied just to eat at the supermarket, the Gimbap, onigiri, bento box and instant noodles were all tasted like a decent restaurant food. I love Korean food so much!

I rambling on so much about Lotte Jeju Hotel because they practically deserves it. They have everything you look for in a hotel/ resort. Beautiful rooms, amazing service and facilities, huge swimming pool, jacuzzi, private beach, casino, beautiful parks and all the amazing outdoor activities. People with kids could also opt for their Hello Kitty room. They have this one special floor with Hello Kitty's design dedicated to children with Kitty fever. Everything is so thoughtful. 

Thank you Lotte for the amazing memories! 

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