In the affluent neighbourhood of South Korea’s capital city of Seoul, Gangnam District has never been short of attraction and fascination. There, JW Marriott launched its Stay in the Moment Asia-Pacific campaign with a Korean drama-inspired campaign video featuring South Korean actor Lee Minho—perfectly befitting Gangnam’s reputation for sophistication and entertainment.
In the video, the narrative unfolds in a dramatic tapestry of betrayals and power struggles. A family divided by mere circumstance eventually discovers the meaning of peace through the beauty of human connections, self-discovery and strong familial bonds that are forged in unforgettable moments. Set against the backdrop of JW Marriott’s breathtaking natural landscapes, the visuals serve as a compelling testament to the enriching experiences designed for rediscovery.
“The Stay in the Moment campaign focuses on the discerning luxury traveller who seeks well-being, mindfulness and profound connections—all the elements that speak to the spirit of the JW Marriott brand,” says John Toomey, chief sales & marketing officer Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International.
“I personally appreciate and align with the JW Marriott brand’s seamless attention to people, nature and culture,” Lee says. “The Stay in the Moment philosophy by JW Marriott inspires me as an actor as well. Embracing the present moment and cherishing special memories not only provides a comforting rest but also acts as a catalyst for personal growth.” When asked about which JW Marriott property he’d like to experience in the future, Lee replies: “I’d like to visit JW Marriott Jeju because I enjoy the island’s views and landscapes.”
Grandeur All Around
As fate would have it, I’m now heading to the impressive JW Marriott Jeju Resort and Spa to experience my own Stay in the Moment odyssey. Making its debut last April, the resort houses up to 197 guest rooms including 28 suites with mesmerising views of the sea. Pale wood and touches of gold adorn its interiors, while representations of the three abundances of Jeju Island (wind, women and stone) are featured throughout the resort in symbolisations of statues and pine trees.
In the rooms, large windows frame scenes of dazzling views. Bathtubs resemble traditional Korean bathhouses, cloaked in opulent yellow marble like subtle whispers of luxury. Ground floor rooms and suites, however, open up to an outdoor Hinoki bathtub and a garden that will blossom with vibrant hues in the spring.
The most intriguing aspect of the resort’s decor lies in the Easter eggs of artworks peppered all around the property. Next to the garden, Ugo Rondinone recreated a scaled-down rendition of his famous Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas. Guests should also be on the lookout for Bill Bensley’s hyper-realistic faux pigeons perched atop the eaves in The Lounge, and it is a particularly amusing sight to spot Jeff Koons’ Balloon Dog sculpture in the catering kitchen.
With vistas of glistening ocean waters, accompanied by the magnificent sight of Beomseom island—which resembles a crouching tiger from the view on top—JW Marriott Jeju Resort and Spa is a refreshing change from the hustle and bustle of the city. It is a welcoming escape, especially for families to come together in meaningful moments with brand programmes such as Family by JW, offering experiences that appeal to every generation.
Children can partake in a Kids’ Camp while adults can look forward to revelling in natural indoor and outdoor hot springs that will soon be available this season. The resort also offers convenient access to a variety of local attractions, whether it’s visiting the volcanic crater at Sanbangsan Mountain or embarking on a rejuvenation journey at Seogwipo Forest of Healing.
Known as one of the best natural attractions in Jeju, Seogwipo Forest of Healing serves as a sanctuary to enhance the immune system and to preserve traditional Jeju culture. Here, I have the pleasure of tasting a traditional Jeju-style lunch called Charong, a bamboo lunchbox that was once used by field workers. Following a relaxing walk along the forest, a delightful tea session awaits at Seogwi Dawon, a green tea farm nestled on the slopes of the revered Hallasan Mountain. Standing at 1,947m, the highest point in South Korea, Hallasan is a shield volcano that is regarded as one of Korea’s sacred mountains, entwined with many local myths and legends.
Culture & Cuisine
Over the course of my stay, each dining experience continuously outshines the previous one, with all credit due to the resort’s dynamic culinary team. Dishes are drawn from the abundance of fresh herbs and vegetables from the JW Garden, along with specialities of Jeju Island, with the team successfully delivering the most authentic local experiences.
At The Flying Hog, savour wood-fire grill dining with selected liquor pairings featuring local delicacies such as Hanwoo beef and Jeju black pork, known to be the Wagyu standard of pork. Breakfast is served at the resort’s signature Island Kitchen, but if you are not a morning person, opt for the sumptuous Jeju Brunch Royale experience instead. The luxurious spread features Jeonbok-juk, abalone porridge fit for royalty, lobsters and king crabs, with gastronomic adventures extending into a separate alley solely devoted to a haven of desserts as well. And, should you wish, unlimited champagne and premium French caviar are all available, naturally.
For aficionados of afternoon tea, head over to The Lounge for an indulgence of pastries, signature coffee and roasted tea blends. Don’t miss out on the showstopping giant croissant artfully shaped like Jeju Island, paired with Jeju milk ice cream, which is honestly a masterpiece to die for. For dinner, seafood cravings are satisfied thanks to an omakase at the speakeasy of Yeoumul restaurant. The menu is premised on fresh seafood gathered by local fishermen and Haenyeo—professional women divers of Jeju— and crafted to express Jeju’s four seasons with the signature flavours of Korea.
And who can say no to an indulgent spa session? Here at the JW Marriott Jeju Resort and Spa, its Spa by JW is designed with customised services to tailor to the needs of guests. In the rejuvenating oasis of the spa, it feels almost as if time is suspended—both singular and exquisite. In that instant, I truly embrace what it feels like to Stay in the Moment. In reality, however, I am convinced that I should just ‘stay’ for as long as I can—in the moment, in this feeling and in its embrace.
More photos of JW Marriott Jeju Resort and Spa