Situated at the foot of Mount Kumgang (Diamond Mountain), the resort lies within a special administrative region of North Korea, which was created in 2002 as one of the few places accessible to tourists from the outside world. Mostly South Korean visitors would come to this area on the eastern coast for its scenic beauty, reached by a single road through the Demilitarized Zone.
In 2008, a South Korean tourist was shot and killed while walking on the beach, with the North Korean government claiming that she entered a military area. South Korea suspended tourism to Kumgang immediately after, with all access closed not much later.
Should the resort open again one day, guests can choose one of 96 rooms, enjoy a spa and hot springs with views of the surrounding mountains, as well as an 18-hole championship golf course. Until that time, there are the golf courses (but no rooms) at the luxe Ananti Club Seoul, a 30-minute drive from South Koreaís capital in the Yumyeongsan forest.
As for The Chedi, following a less-than-successful stint in Milan, the brand is expanding significantly over the next few years from its current three resorts, and in a kaleidoscope of locations. First up is The Chedi Suzhou, still scheduled for this year. 2013 will see The Chedi Tamouda Bay, Morocco, and The Chedi Andermatt, Switzerland. Taiping Lake (China), The Chedi Qutub (New Delhi), and Kuala Lumpur are on the books for 2014, with The Chedi Khorfakkan, Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) completing the current list in 2015.
[Images: GHM Hotels]