LIFE&STYLE

Ananti Cove, seaside haven for heavenly holiday

By Joel Lee

“We are not about ‘bling-bling.’ Ananti provides class, decorum and leisure in unostentatious harmony, like a masterpiece movie that seamlessly fuses screenplay, directing, acting, soundtrack and camerawork.”

  • Published : Jul 27, 2017 - 17:45
  • Updated : Jul 27, 2017 - 19:04
BUSAN -- As Lee Choon-hee’s daughter-in-law neared the date when her baby was due, their family decided to celebrate the auspicious occasion in the most precious way possible. They decided to take a vacation together in cozy surroundings, finding their ideal place in the Ananti Cove seaside resort on the outskirts of Busan.

“Our family often stays at the world-famous Marina Bay Sands resort in Singapore, but we think Ananti Cove is even better, as it is surrounded by pristine nature and has the sea in front of it,” Lee told The Korea Herald with a smile. “Everyone is busy these days, so it is hard to travel together abroad over the weekend. We enjoy the spa and massages here, sunbathing by the pool, jogging along the beachside and chatting at an uncrowded cafe or bookstore.”

Lee’s family is one among a growing number of people frequenting the resort east of Busan that opened in July, a 15-minute drive from Haeundae Beach. Built by Korean hotel and resort developer Emerson Pacific after eight years of planning and construction, Ananti Cove aims to be not just a fanciful multipurpose getaway, but an illustrious landmark of the waterfront city vying to be Korea’s equivalent of San Francisco, Singapore or Sydney.

Ananti is the largest resort in Korea with 90 penthouses, 128 private residences and the 310-room Hilton Busan. Most rooms face the sea and have a terrace, where visitors can smell the gentle coastal breeze. Spread along a 1-kilometer stretch of coastline with a total floor area of 178,000 square meters, the venue also has a spa and the swimming facility Water House, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and Ananti Town: a collection of stores including restaurants, a bookstore, a pet shop, a cosmetic clinic, coffee shops and other retail outlets. 

The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Joel Lee/The Korea Herald)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Joel Lee/The Korea Herald)

“Restaurants here are of high quality and there are also great places to eat nearby,” said Lee, who lives in Busan, adding that Ananti Cove had something for people of all ages and from all places. “Once outdoor leisure activities like yachting, windsurfing and banana boat riding become available in front of the resort, Ananti Cove will be even better.”

As suggested by the “cove” in its name, the resort is designed to recreate the experience of Europe’s rustic coastal villages, where guests feel snug and refreshed, according to Emerson Pacific CEO Lee Man-kyu.

“Our biggest consideration in building Ananti Cove was how it would fit naturally into this spectacular coastline,” he said in an interview, noting that the architects and designers drew their inspirations from both classical and contemporary Western lifestyles, while accommodating aspects of Asian life.

“We don’t want to promote ourselves as a luxury resort, but if I had to define the concept of Ananti’s own luxury it would be comfort,” he emphasized. “We are not about ‘bling-bling.’ Ananti provides class, decorum and leisure in unostentatious harmony, like a masterpiece movie that seamlessly fuses screenplay, directing, acting, soundtrack and camerawork.”

Amenable to disparate tastes and needs, Ananti Cove targets a wide spectrum of age groups, families and professionals, he added. 

The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)

Ananti Cove embodies high standards of adherence to environmental preservation and sustainability. Most buildings use natural cooling and heating, with cool air flowing down from the ceiling and hot air rising above the floor from embedded water pipes, a technology called radiant heating and cooling that saves energy.

“This system costs a lot more to build in the beginning, but is highly efficient in terms of saving costs and energy over the long run,” the CEO said, pointing out that environmentally ignorant businesses are nowadays spurned by smart, conscious consumers.

The Water House inside Ananti Cove uses 1,000 metric tons of purely natural mineral water daily piped from 600 meters underground, which, according to the Korea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources that certified it, helps alleviate muscle pain, neuralgia, rheumarthritis, atopic dermatitis and other ailments.

Once inside, adults can let loose in the steam sauna or spa, while children caper about from one swimming pool to another.

“My kids became totally energized and jumpy at the Water House,” said Kim Ha-young, a mother of two, from Seoul. “It seems that every aspect of Ananti Cove is designed with meticulous care and refined acumen. It is truly unique.” 

The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)

Noting that families with young children cannot readily afford time and energy to travel abroad, Kim said staycations had become a rising trend among young parents. “We want to replicate the experience of relaxed leisure abroad in Korea over our tight weekend,” she said.

According to the mother, resorts with a kids’ zone are popular among parents, as it allows them to turn their attention away from childrearing to activities like sunbathing, fine dining, shopping and sports.

For those looking for some intellectual exercise in peace and quiet, bookstore Eternal Journey in Ananti Town enables reading, chatting, discussing and drinking coffee all in one place. Contents of the spacious bookshop -- books, clothes, handicrafts and artworks -- are catalogued by professional curators and authors, with different sections devoted to famous writers, topics and countries. With low-key music humming in the backdrop, a cup of coffee adds a caffeinated kick to private activities.

The Ananti Town has restaurants offering various cuisines. Volpino -- with glass windows facing the sea and a high ceiling in the neoclassical style in light yellow -- features Italian dishes prepared by star chef Kim Ji-woon. At Ramen Beravo one can savor different types of the Japanese noodles with beer. Japanese bar and restaurant “Ja-saeng-mi-hak” is a comfy izakaya of delectable gastronomy, liquors and music. Finally, Sant’Eustachio il Caffe uses the same coffee beans and roasting techniques of its original Italian counterpart that has made its name since 1938.

Ananti Cove is also available for meetings, incentives, conferences and events, with an exhibition hall that can accommodate up to 1,500 people. Some 20 international and corporate conferences have been scheduled for this year, particularly for pharmaceutical companies. With a voluminous outdoor garden overlooking the sea, the facility can be a one-of-a-kind place for weddings, according to Emerson Pacific.

By Joel Lee (joel@heraldcorp.com) 

The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)
The multipurpose Ananti Cove resort near Busan is a unique getaway for those looking for the experience of overseas travel with limited time. (Emerson Pacific)