A little over a week ago I contacted the host of Mir Guesthouse, Peter Koh to book few nights in Jeju Island, South Korea, via email. He was quick to reply and confirm my stay. He understood that I had been Deaf and that I communicated natively in American Sign Language (ASL) and fluently in written English. He was very communicative with me throughout the emails before I arrived, which I appreciated the most.
When I land in Jeju, I hop in a taxi and head to the guesthouse. The taxi cost me around $3—not too shabby. I am in the car feeling impatient to see the guesthouse although the ride has been only few minutes. While riding the taxi, I poked my head out of the window flapping my tongue like a dog watching the road and the guesthouse becomes visible to my sight as the sun reflects off the guesthouse’s sleek and metallic exterior.
I mean I’ve stayed at a variety of interesting and neat lodging accommodations, but this one looks like a futuristic spaceship to me. I think I actually saw Captain Kirk walking by—maybe I’m hallucinating. Hmm, I guess I’m as crazy as everybody is!
I approach and open the red door leading me the front lobby. First thing came to mind is that this is something Steve Jobs will love. I get the sense of being in an Apple Store environment when I am in this building.
Maybe Steve Jobs is still alive and hiding?! I honestly feel like Steve Jobs had some involvement with this design.
Well, he could be living in Peter’s body spiritually because his glasses resembles the round glasses that Steve Jobs wore.
Peter has been there ready with paper and a pen for my arrival. I start chatting with him and getting to know him on a personal level and then he shares a little about the history of the guesthouse, so we sit down and write back and forth on the paper about the guesthouse.
I become stunned when he explains that the guesthouse is less than a year old as it has opened last November.
Actually this story began two years ago after Peter worked two years and half for Chrysler, 10 years for Renault Samsung Motors and then six years for Samsung Life Insurance, he took a break to travel in Norway and he fell in love with traveling around the world, so he resigned his job. He wanted host travelers from all over the world, so he decided to build a place where travelers could come and stay. He wanted the sense of living with travelers.
Moon Hoon, a renowned architect in South Korea, and Peter designed and built the guesthouse together to be distinguished from many other guesthouses as they all had been competitive.
He explained that the design of the guesthouse symbols the Yongdaum Rock, also known as the Dragon Rock by the Yongmeori Beach, which was only 5-minute walk away.
When he finishes his story, he begins his tour in the guesthouse. He starts with showing me the shower room (courtyard in the house, in other words) where you can have the sense of being outside while being in the guesthouse. You can get any type of shower here, even rain shower!
Then he leads me down the hallway, and he points out that the diamond-shaped windows represent the holes seen in the rocks on Jeju Island.
There are three rooms on the first floor and each can accommodate up to three people, but Peter shows me one of them then led me up the stairway to the second floor.
When we walk up the stairway, the owner stops me and explained that the stairway is spiral to represent the body of the dragon leading to its head, which is the observatory on the roof. This building is designed with purposes and symbols and I think that’s just awesome. That’s what makes this guesthouse unique.
On the second floor, there is a dormitory for men only containing bunk beds in bedrooms and each bedroom should accommodate 4-5 people. Women only dormitory is on the third floor. All bedrooms come with its own individual bathroom, but everybody showers in the public restrooms with public showers on the second (men) and third floor (women).
By the way, I want to say these beds are surely damn comfortable! I sleep like baby on these beds.
Well, I gotta admit that I’m “teddy-bear” kind of person. I love cuddling with teddy bears to sleep and I’d love it if they provided it, but their pillows really make up the cuddling part though.
In their kitchen, they provide all of the preparation supplies you need to make your meal. From what I see, I think I can win Hell’s Kitchen in this kitchen! Don’t you agree?
Besides the bedrooms, there is a nice guest cafe on the second floor where you can cook, sit and eat your food. I surely love eating by the window because of the nice view of the city. I make my coffee there in the mornings along with their complimentary breakfast. I see this is a bonus for me because I work on my blog in this cafe because of its comforting environment.
Not only that, one thing I notice when going through the building: windows are everywhere. There are even sky windows. Even I can see other side of hallways through the windows of the shower room when I’m on upper floors. It’s very visible, which is very Deaf-friendly.
There’s a library on the third floor with two computers operated on Windows and a space for two other people to lay their laptop on. If you look past the computers, you will be able to see the guest cafe which is very open and visible. Perfect for Deaf people.
Right down the hallway from the library, there is an entrance to the amphitheater. It’s a rooftop lounge with an outdoor theater. Sometimes the owner hosts gathering to watch some film screening or small performances where guests can have some beer and chill on the red steps.
If you follow the red steps, you will be led to the top of the observatory where you can see Mt. Hallasan. I find this spot a very relaxing spot to be. I take my time to go up there and think about myself, life and everything. Nice place to have some silence for me to think.
As I have mentioned, the observatory is built to symbol the dragon head. I believe they did a great job pulling off the design and I do agree that it looks like a dragon’s head. Feels like I’m riding a dragon while I’m at the observatory.
Ah, now you can see how beautiful this scenery is! Let’s say this is a perfect spot for monks to meditate in.
I feel very fortunate and honored to stay in this guesthouse and I will definitely recommend this guesthouse to any travelers seeking for a nice lodging accommodation in Jeju Island. Especially if you’re on budget and need a good and break with the sense of comfort and little of luxury.
This is definitely in my list of favorite accommodations I’ve ever had since I begin traveling. Hence the reason of this very first lodging accommodation review!
Also, I want to mention that they got a nice coffee shop named A Great Cafe on the first floor.
What’s good near this guesthouse?
- Yongduam Rock, Yongyeon Beach, and coastal road is a 5-minute walk away. It is recommended as the best jogging and walking trail!
- Jeju City Tour bus stop and golden bus stop are only a 5-minute walk away.
- 24-hour convenience store is located in the building next door.
- 24-hour self-laundromat are 2 minutes away on foot. (The guest house does not have a washer machine.)
- E-Mart, Alumni market, and long-distance bus terminal are also nearby.
I gotta say the location is just perfect also. It’s near the airport as I have mentioned the ride was merely few minutes.
For rates and reservations, please contact the guesthouse via their contact form: http://mirguesthouse.com/?page_id=27 (Yes, the page is in Korean, but translatable to English.)
To see the ASL version of this post, please go to our Facebook video post.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mir Guesthouse. I received complimentary accommodations for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.