A top hotel in South Korea has apologized for an error that could cause foreigners to view their sauna.
The Grand Josun, a new 5-stard establishment on Jeju’s famous resort island, released an online statement following a local blog report that the blind sauna had been on for a while, encouraging people to visit the street’s women’s sauna area.
“We’re deeply sorry for causing any inconveniences to our customers in using some facilities at the women’s sauna at the Grand Josun Jeju Hill suite for missing mirror coating for some windows and [problems in] operating the blinds,” read a statement published on Feb 18.
“The sauna’s operation has been suspended and we’re closely checking deficiencies and taking immediate action to correct them.”
The hotel clarified that the special layer stops people from seeing the sauna during the day, but does not operate the same way at night, which is why blinds should fall as soon as the day is dark.
A Korean blogger wrote about his hotel experience, which went virally on 15 February.
“I went on my honeymoon to Jeju Island and stayed at a suite room at a newly opened five-star hotel but my honeymoon turned out to be the worst memory of my life,” wrote the blogger, explaining that he and his wife had enjoyed using the pool and sauna facilities.
He added: “On my last day I went for a walk but as I looked at the windows of the sauna I found out that I was able to see inside the sauna from outside. I could see the thermometer inside the sauna through the windows. We could see the inside of the showers and bathrooms from outside, from the hotel entrance, walk path, car park and from even hotel room balconies.
“My wife and I were shocked to find this out. The thought that we might have used bathrooms and showers in front of many people gives me chills and we’re getting therapy treatment.”
The local Seogwipo police were called when guests started to complain to hotel workers, according to the Yonhap News Agency in Korea. For the holiday in the moon of the New Year, the hotel manager was out of town, said the blogger.
The police now use CCTV films to determine if anyone was exposed while using the facility or whether anyone took suspicious images or videos from outside.
In the middle of the pandemic coronavirus pandemic, sauna and steam rooms were locked, but general baths with capacity restrictions were open. With non-residents and quarantine laws still closed in the country’s borders, this year a number of Koreans have opted for a national holiday.