Located on Changseon Island in Namhae Province at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula, South Cape Spa & Suite is accessible by car from the mainland via a series of scenic interconnected road bridges. Transport shuttle services from Yeosu and Sacheon Airports are available on request.
40 individually designed luxurious guest suites are located within seven buildings, where an exquisite combination of straight lined and curved architecture frame the magnificent coastal views of the large and small craggy islands which rise up from the emerald sea. Each sunlight suite appears to be within touching distance of the sea and each has its own unique character, boasting an impressive collection of high-end contemporary furniture from a who’s who of world-renowned designers. Gravity resisting DUX beds from Sweden guarantee the all-important restorative night’s deep sleep.
The elegant restaurant enjoys expansive sea views and the menu was researched and developed with health at its core. Seasonal, local ingredients such as the plentiful supply of tasty seafood from the cape’s crystal clear waters and freshly picked local produce ensure a healthy, mouth-watering culinary experience. After dinner, open the wide glazed door and enjoy a glass of wine while watching the sun go down over the South Sea. Or perhaps enjoy an evening’s wine tasting at “The Cave” wine bar where more than 1,000 bottles of fine wine are sure to satisfy even the most discerning wine aficionado.
The Hallyeo Haesang National Park is located on Namhae Island to the south of Changseon Island and a road bridge connects the two islands, so it’s easily reachable by car from South Cape. Here you’ll find South Korea’s fourth national park, which comprises of a unique marine ecosystem that extends along its 120-kilometre shoreline. In the heart of the national park, the craggy Mt. Geumsan (691 metres above sea level) is also know as “soul mountain” and high up on its seemingly sheer rocky ridges you’ll find the spectacular Buddhist Boriam Temple perched precariously atop. Reaching South Cape by car from the mainland you’ll cross the Namhae Bridge, a 660-metre long suspension bridge, which connects Namhae-gun and Hadong-gun in stunning fashion. Korean naval commander, Yi Sun-sin, died in the 16th century Battle of Noryang in the waters beneath the impressive road bridge. Those who visit in spring cannot fail to be charmed by the blossoming cherry trees lining the roads.
The award-winning Chaum Spa is operated by the Cha Medical Group, which runs Korea’s foremost therapy spa (TheraSpa). The spa’s inner walls were hand painted by artist Dong-hee Hong, turning the facility into a colourful gallery, which also boasts a Yoga Center, while the state-of-the art Fitness Center enjoys panoramic sea views. The streamlined infinity pool, designed in the shape of fish, is connected to the hot pool and the Finnish sauna is the perfect way to cleanse and relax. The high fidelity music hall (analogue rather than digital – obviously) was built in collaboration with audio experts, including classical music enthusiast and television broadcaster Hwang In-yong. For those who like scenic walking or jogging, there’s a 4-kilometre trekking trail which showcases the island’s breathtaking beauty of its unique coastal ria inlets. Walking the trail takes approximately three hours.
South Cape Spa & Suite is the brainchild of Korean clothing mogul Jung Jae-Bong, who put his life savings and his heart and soul into the development and build of his dream golf course. Jung felt that it would be a shame not to invest his money while he was alive, and he decided to use his wealth to create a world-class golf facility that everyone can enjoy.
Jung commissioned Kyle Phillips to design the golf course on the dramatic Changseon Island in Namhae Province at the southern tip of the Korean peninsula and the golf course has become the centrepiece of a high-end golfing community that includes privately owned villas and forty luxury suites, all of which boast truly spectacular coastal views.
The clothing magnate’s vision was to provide the “ultimate healing” experience for his guests. “When you come to South Cape, you know you have arrived at a special place,” Jung said following South Cape’s grand opening in 2013. “It’s pure pleasure for the senses, with the sights, smells and sounds of the sea all around you. There is not a golf experience anywhere that will surpass the quality of South Cape.”
Kyle Phillips was equally inspired. “It is simply an amazing coastline, every hole has a view of the sea, which comes into play on eight holes. It is one of the most striking coastlines in golf. There is a good variety of strategy through the course, you can play bump-and-run shots, or you can be aggressive. There are multiple lines of play, depending on how you want to attack the golf course. As you walk the course, the ever-present beauty of South Cape is all around you. It is a golf experience that transcends shot-making.”
There’s no denying the quality of South Cape’s golf course architecture and the architectural excellence of the clubhouse is simply off the charts. Seoul based architecture firm Mass Studies designed the building (sited on the highest point of the property to maximise the sea views on both south and north sides) where the walls sweep around the clubhouse like a wave. Described by the architects as being like “a pair of bars bending outward”. The structure appears to embrace the rocky hillside and the infinity patio is open towards the sea and sky, forming an extraordinary soft, three-dimensional curve, where the lines never repeat themselves – it’s architecturally astonishing, which once seen will never be forgotten.
The collection of furniture and works of art are pretty special too. Each of the individual suites oozes character with furniture from Ligne Roset, high-end sound systems and the most comfortable beds from Swedish firm DUX. Unique pieces, such as the rope chair in the courtyard by Tom Price, a rare piano found on the way to the music hall, the chair and table in the reception area by Enrico Marone Cinzano or the various metal works found in Cafe Volante, are just a few of the many contemporay designs that combine to make South Cape so unique.
In fact, all the buildings at South Cape are works of art, as are a number of interior designs, including the partition in the restaurant, which was specially made by the artist Beom Moon, and the bronze sculpture in the corridor with the theme of “Reason” by Professor Hyeon Jeong.
The list of important pieces of art and furniture is almost endless and each and every element has been thoughtfully positioned to complement the South Cape ethos of art, architecture, nature, healing and relaxation. It’s a peerless destination and a facility par excellence.
Here are a few review comments from golfers who’ve visited and played the highly acclaimed, World Top 100 ranked South Cape golf course:
“From the moment you arrive at South Cape you realize no expense was spared in this highly artistic and modern facility. The clubhouse clearly doubles as a space ship for the owner to escape in case of alien invasion. The accommodations are ultra high-end art deco all with views of the sea. The spa, pool area, wine bar, music library and restaurant are at least as good as any 6 star resort all with amazing views. On top of that everything, down to the smallest details have been carefully chosen Please don’t forget the owners are artist types having built up an empire in fashion. Ultra modern with an aim towards peaceful tranquillity and relaxation of the senses is the theme and were they ever successful in achieving this!”
“South Cape is one of those rare properties and courses where water is in view from every single hole. The property is on the end of a large peninsula and the golf course wraps around the cliffs on this peninsula granting amazing views from every single hole. How often do you play a course that is constantly full of “wow” moments? That’s South Cape! Some have called it Pebble Beach on steroids, I think I would agree with that.”
“I’ll be curious if in the long run it’s recognized as Kyle Phillips best gift to the golf world. Given the relative quality of a course like Kingsbarns that would be quite a feat.”
“I never thought I’d find a golf course more stunning than Cypress Point or Cape Kidnappers. I never thought I’d play a golf course more impressive than Oakmont or Royal Melbourne (West). I never thought I’d experience a feeling of privilege more than Muirfield or Shinnecock Hills. I never thought I’d play a piece of property more remarkable than Augusta National or St. Andrews. What Kyle Philips created at South Cape makes a lot of old classics shiver in their boots. The golf world needs to brace itself, as this whole experience takes you to unimaginable levels of euphoria.”