Lee Hyori is undoubtedly one of K-pop’s most bankable star, with her songs becoming instant hits and every style she wears and product she uses becoming a trend. This is why she’s known for her “Hyori effect” both on stage and off. But everyone was shocked to say the least when she decided to leave the spotlight for a long time to live quietly with her husband Lee Sang Soon in a secluded house in Jeju.
With the reality show “Hyori’s Homestay,” however, the beloved star opened her life once again to the cameras and is making another huge, positive effect — showing the whole world the ways of “slow living,” taking time to appreciate the small things in life and the beauty of nature. Here are reasons why we want to experience being a guest in her home-turned-bed-and-breakfast:
Discover the wonders of nature
For a superstar like Hyori, whose onstage image is strong and glamorous, one would normally expect a luxurious mansion located in a serviced modern building. But guests of her home are treated to something even better: a calming and sprawling home in the middle of nature. City dwellers will have the chance to quiet their minds and hearts with the natural surroundings, and recharge with Jeju’s beautiful environment.
In one episode, Hyori mentioned how people often think that their life there seems less exciting. But in an interview with Marie Claire magazine, Hyori said that she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Well, I’m not doing anything special. I look after my husband, take walks with my pets, eat, and just live a mundane life. Aside from diligently practicing yoga, I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary.”
Enjoy Jeju’s landmarks
No matter what the season, Jeju looks and feels different to its visitors. In winter, the mountains are blanketed by white snow, which is breathtaking to see. During summer, the famed Jeju oranges bear fruit and people can experience harvesting them. But every day, the beautiful sunset remains. Guests at Hyori’s homestay will get to experience all of this, which is what she really aimed to do when she agreed to broadcast her private life.
In an interview with First Look, she said, “Living in Jeju Island, I went through so many beautiful moments. Every day, I just feel something on a regular basis. I wanted to share these small emotions. I wanted to show the beautiful Mother Nature to the people living in the city.”
Hyori and Lee Sang Soon often watched the sunset with IU in the first season
Yoona and Hyori had a fun time sledding with guests in winter
Commune with adorable pets
It’s no secret that Hyori and her husband are big animal lovers, and by showing this to viewers, they can encourage them to treat animals like family, too. Their pets live so freely and without constraint, as the couple eats, sleeps, and hangs out with them each day. The couple lets the guests enjoy the company of their dogs and cats too. Taking care of and playing with dogs and cats are said to have a healing and therapeutic effect, and this coupled with being surrounded by nature will surely have a profound effect on anybody.
Hyori said, “It’s great to see how quiet this place is. Being able to walk my dogs freely, being able to clearly separate the place where I rest and the place where I work, this is the greatest advantage about living in Jeju.”
IU walking the dog and vice versa in Season 1
Dogs playfully bothering YoonA while she sweeps the floor in Season 2
Live with celebrity “staff”
Hyori asked the help of very special people to help her maintain the house and serve the guests. In the pilot season, IU’s quiet and innocent personality charmed both the guests and the viewers, while in this season, it’s YoonA’s turn to captivate everyone with her bright personality.
Season 2 had a special temporary staff member: the incredibly sweet Park Bo Gum. Naturally, everyone was swooning over his handsomeness, but he showed that he is more than just a pretty face. Together with YoonA, they worked hard to cook, clean, and get along with the guests. Viewers saw how genuine and down-to-earth they are despite their incredible popularity.
Who would want to leave when these two are around, right?
YoonA and Bo Gum befriending the guests
Even Hyori is captivated!
Have an instant Unnie
Hyori is as real as she gets. She always says what’s in her mind out of love. In her homestay, she often gives helpful pieces of advice about life to her guests. Having experienced fame, fortune, and the difficulties of being one of the most-watched stars and eventually changing her life, Hyori gives great life lessons. She also teaches guests on how to practice yoga to help relieve their minds and bodies of aches and pains.
Have a great time with the couple
Hyori and Lee Sang Soon are seriously couple goals. They welcome everyone in their lives, yet when they’re alone together, you can definitely see and feel the love. They don’t need artificial things to make them happy. Whether they’re doing mundane and crazy things, they’re content just being together.
“If it weren’t for my husband, I wouldn’t have had the courage to move to Jeju island in the first place. Thankfully, he doesn’t have a 9-to-5 and we’re both musicians, so it was a good fit. It’s such a blessing that we’re compatible in so many different ways. We’re so lucky. There’s no one in the world that’s a 100 percent match for you, who has everything that you want in a person. There are definitely aspects in which both my husband and I are lacking; I’m simply thankful that we are as good a match as we are.” -Lee Hyori (1st Look magazine interview)
Hey Soompiers, what do you like most about Hyori’s Homestay? Let us know in the comments below!
DP_Kim is an English magazine and online writer and former stylist based in South Korea. Follow her Korean adventures at instagram.com/dianne_panda.