About the Hotel
The Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht is a massive hotel resort located on the east coast of South Korea’s Jeongdongjin region. Built in the image of an actual cruise ship, portholes and all, the main building that is the cliff-side is a staggering 165 meters long, 45 meters high, and is said to weigh 30,000 tons.
And although it looks like a catastrophic sea disaster involving a ship that has been washed onto the edge of a cliff at first glance, the hotel’s owner says that he built the hotel for those who want to experience cruising, but don’t have the time to go on week-long cruises, and for those who experience sea sickness. And the Sun Cruise hotel does that emulates the feeling very well! This colossal structure opened for business in 2002 for tourists and offered guests something that no other hotel does; the ability to live in a ship that never leaves land! It boasts of being the very first on-land cruise themed resort, and a similarly themed hotel “The Titanic,” was opened in Turkey the following year.
The coastal town of Jeongdongjin has always been known for its spectacular sunrise and sunset views that take place over the Sea of Japan. But the construction of this massive blue on white ship-shaped hotel built at the top of a rock cliff, has definitely boosted tourism in the region. With more people coming to see the hotel rather than stay in it, the 165 meter-long stationary cruise ship gives sightseers the impression of a cruise ship that has run aground. The sprawling resort and theme park offer luxurious accommodation throughout the year. In order to keep the cruise ship theme as authentic as possible, the hotel was designed and built by an actual shipyard, who has successfully emulated the true feeling of being on a cruise ship at sea.
The hotel is surrounded by an intricately sculptured garden lined with long walking trails, and of course the scenic Sea of Japan on another. Overlooking the ocean, the ship features a sun deck that that overlooks the ocean, giving one the feeling that they are literally out at sea. All this meticulous designing, the enormous outdoor pool, a 24×7 gym & fitness centre, make the Sun Cruise Resort a complete star hotel. The hotel also features a total of six onsite restaurants and cafes, each serving a variety of Korean, western & eastern cuisine. The resort even offers an exclusive yachting service, at an additional fee, and even has its own little mini-mart.
The hotel has 211 rooms in all, inclusive of a variety of condominium and hotel style bedrooms & apartments, and a total of six function & conference rooms. The highlight of the hotel, however, has to be its revolving rooftop bar, which provides visitors a 360 degree panoramic view of the entire horizon, as well as the picturesque landscape and world renowned sunsets. The cruise ship theme in this hotel has been stretched so far that they actually play the sounds of crashing waves and sea birds throughout the hotel; even their swimming pool is filled with processed salt water!
Of all the eateries in the hotel, the Korean seafood restaurant that is within the resort’s yacht dock annex at the edge of the shore is said to serve some of the best seafood in the region, available in both local and international preparations. The resort provides guests with free shuttle service between the restaurant and the docks.
Accessible from Jeongdongjin harbor, train station or the famous Moraeshigae Park via a 10 minute drive, Jeongdongjin has been one of the lesser known tourist spots in the country, and was frequented mostly by local tourists. However, the construction of the Sun Cruise hotel and the surrounding themed resort has spurred a growth in tourism, with the hotel being an attraction in itself. The resort contains a family park, just adjacent to the hotel, and is another great place to spend some quality time with family and loved ones. The gardens feature a variety of unique and familiar sculptures from around the world. At the bow of the “hotel”, guests can see the ocean in the open air, through an observation deck, with a glass floor, suspended above the sea. The observation deck is alongside an exhibition hall, and a small, man-made lake.
On the part of the resort that is at the back side of the ship, guests can find the large saltwater pool, and another interesting sculpture park, and even more vantage points of the beautiful ocean. Through this backyard, guests can travel to and from the beach via a small brick path. Even this small path has an attraction along the way down to the beach, a neat collection of “Jhangsung” poles, local versions of the Mayan Tiki. Once at the beach, guests have to opportunity to rent a picnic spot or a tent on the resort’s private beach. Another unique feature of the beach is dining, which reaches guests via zip line delivery. You basically place an order at your tent, and the restaurant on the 8th floor of the hotel hoists it down to you!
For those looking for an adventure holiday, the resort offers a number of sporting and water-based activities, right from zip lining, to scuba diving. The resort also features a rejuvenating massage parlor, for those looking to truly unwind. The hotel also features a club in case you want to have an exhilarating time, without leaving the hotel. At the base of the resort, the hotel overlooks a tiny fishing town in the valley below. The town is famous for its seafood restaurants that have their own fish tanks. Tourists can also pay a visit to “Unification Park,” an outdoor naval museum that features information about the regions naval history. The museum also hosts an old South Korean battleship that visitors are free to explore, and even a damage North Korean submarine that the navy had captured bac in 1996. To resort is also in close proximity to a quaint Buddhist temple.
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How to Book:
Here are a few useful tips to make the most out of your trip:
- Remember that the hotel plays bird calls and the sound of waves crashing against the deck of a ship in order to recreate the magic of being on an actual sea cruise. That being said, light sleepers should think twice before booking a room as the perpetual background sound plays throughout the hotel and can be annoying to some.
- The owner will assure that the boat doesn’t rock, and it sure doesn’t. Nonetheless, the boat features some rooms that are truly panoramic, and might even be too much for the weak hearted. So, choose you room wisely as the view from your window will be the first thing that you see.
- The structure is relatively safe, but the dizzying heights can get overwhelming at times, and the only thing that stands between you and the rocks below is a short metal railing that lines the bow of the ship that protrudes into the ocean. So, those suffering from vertigo or any balance-based ailments would want to consider before opting for the most scenic rooms.
- Online booking portals often indicate that the hotel is booked out. But don’t worry because a short inquiry mail sent directly to the resort almost always comes back with a positive response.
- Guests can relax at the resort’s private beach for a price, or camp freely on the public part of the beach.
- The private beach features large tent acts as a convenience store, you can buy drinks, snacks, beachwear and toys, and so on at reasonable prices.
- Peak season is from May-August, so plan your trip according to your crowd comfort level.
Overall, the Sun Cruise Resort & Yacht is a must visit for beachgoers adventure, and leisure tourists alike. The resort’s unique cruise ship shaped hotel is a must stay, offering a number of great photo opportunities; it even offers direct access to the beach down below, with its own private beach area.