An ethereal haven on earth, Healing Stay Kosmos draws inspiration from its destination’s sublime energies, creating a celestial experience within its vista-rich retreat.
A contemporary architectural marvel created to coalesce with the mysterious beauty of the Ulleungdo, a volcanic island in South Korea, Healing Stay Kosmos celebrates the wonders of its natural surroundings with its poetically ethereal design.
Designed by The System Lab, Healing Stay Kosmos is conceived as a retreat for guests to discover and experience the universal energies in this destination. Perched dramatically over a mountainous cliff that overlooks the East Sea, this high-end resort is graced by the magnanimous presence of Songgot-bong or the Ice Pick Peak, a sharp rocky formation famed for its connection to the harmonious energy flow within the island.
“The resort is built as an observatory where people can come to observe and appreciate the spirit of the sky and the earth. That’s where the name KOSMOS (the origin of the word Cosmos) comes from,” says principal and founder of The System Lab, Changjoong Kim.
Inspired by the astronomical influence of the site, Healing Stay Kosmos features a white swirling form reminiscence of the yin-yang symbol. Inside, the retreat comprises two distinctive properties: Villa Kosmos which offers an exclusive four-room villa that comes complete with an outdoor deck, a Jacuzzi and two spas; and Villa Terre, an eight-room boutique hotel.
At Villa Kosmos, the two-storey villa extends out into a circular courtyard that branches out into six vaulted areas configured in a nautilus shell-inspired spiral. Throughout the space, the interior is predominantly minimalist with its white arched walls and neutral palette. To capture the spirit of the Five Universal Elements, each of the four rooms are designed with its own elemental theme: Mars (fire), Mercury (water), Jupiter (wood) and Venus(gold). Each of them also boasts unobstructed views of the island from different angles.
Symbolizing the moon and sun respectively, the two saunas at Villa Kosmos rotate for males and females every day to represent the union of yin and yang. The villa also offers a unique Jacuzzi experience – water melted from the snow at the Nari Basin is used for the Jacuzzi to give guests the sensation being part of nature.
Over at Villa Terre, guests are offered a selection of rooms including the classic hotel-style suites as well as a traditional Korean ondol room. For daily meals, Cafe Ulla provides Korean and Western-style breakfasts.
The nature-inspired atmosphere that envelopes the retreat is particularly prevalent within the retreat’s outdoor spaces. At the poolside, Deckchair Park Life by Jasper Morrison complemented by aluminium sunshades infuse a touch of contemporary style that blends in with the landscapes surrounding the deck. For the villa’s patio, Kettal Stampa chairs by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, and Vieques table by Patricia Urquiola creates the perfect outdoor setting for taking in the views all around.
Further on towards the open area that faces the ocean is the KOSMOS ring – a space where the sublime Ulleungdo energies can be experienced fully. Two Ring Chairs anchor the space, providing guests with the opportunity to immerse in the yin or yang energies present here.
“In the Yin Ring Chair, you can receive abundant yin energy while looking at the moon in the Songgotbong. When you sit on the Yang Ring Chair and watch the sunset falling over the ocean, you will fill with the energy of the yang,” says Healing Stay Kosmos, recommending that guests experience both the Yin and Yang energy baths during their stay.