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Image of W Osaka guestroom

W Hotels arrives in Japan with opening in Osaka

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
W Hotels arrives in Japan with opening in Osaka

World-renowned hospitality design firm concrete Amsterdam was appointed to design the interiors of W Hotels’ first property in Japan. The hotel has just opened and Hotel Designs managed to get a sneaky peek inside…

Image of W Osaka guestroom

The wait is over. W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott Bonvoy’s portfolio of 30 extraordinary brands, has lifted the curtains on Japan’s first-ever W hotel. Making its debut along vibrant Midosuji Boulevard, W Osaka will redefine the local hotel scene with the brand’s spirited spin on luxury as the perfect addition to this electric city.

“Osaka’s mix of culture and bold, high-energy lifestyle makes it the ideal setting for the debut of W Hotels in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “We are excited to once again be partnering with Sekisui House to welcome W Osaka to the luxury hospitality landscape here, and know international travellers and locals alike will be drawn to the hotel and its playground of possibilities.”

Image of lively public area inside W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The hotel asserts its presence in the city’s busy urban streetscape with a black monolith façade designed by Osaka-born, world-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The hotel’s intriguing design concept is expressed as a minimalist exterior concealing colourfully exuberant interiors, a nod to the Edo period when excessive displays of wealth were prohibited, and merchants were said to have dressed modestly in public. However, in private, flamboyance and opulence were free to be expressed, and W Osaka typifies this transformation. The interior design was conceptualised by concrete, the Amsterdam-based design studio behind the extraordinarily chic W London and W Verbier and who will join the Hotel Designs LIVE speaker line-up in May. The design narrative shines a spotlight on the contrast between Japanese minimalism and the limitless excesses of urban life, illuminated by Osaka’s bright neon lights at night.

Upon arrival at W Osaka, guests enter an illuminated tunnel inspired by the Japanese art forms of cutting and folding paper, origami and kirigami, with images of nature and seasons reflected on its walls. On the third floor, the hotel’s social hub LIVING ROOM (W’s signature take on the lobby) greets guests with vivid colors and a show-stopping design featuring an original interpretation of whimsical Kawaii Kokeshi wooden dolls which celebrate the diversity of W Osaka’s international guests.

Bright spaces, clean lines and bold colour schemes are inspired by Osaka’s blazing streetscapes and reflected in the hotel’s 337 guestrooms and suites. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame stunning views of the skyline, while spacious bathrooms with rain showers and luxe amenities invite guests to retreat and recharge. For an unexpected touch, a surprise is locked away behind the closets: a unique “pixorama” of Osaka, a graphic filled with the city’s famous landmarks, designed by pixel art group eBoy. To represent Japan’s famous pink cherry blossoms and Osaka’s azure oceanside, colour themes and neon light accents shine either pink or blue on each alternate floor.

Situated atop the hotel’s 27th floor, the Extreme WOW Penthouse Suite (the brand’s take on the traditional Presidential Suite) is 200 square meters with a 4.5-meter-high ceiling and five sequenced rooms divided by oak portals that merge traditional Japanese home design with the W spirit. The “Garden Room” marks the entrance to the suite, with its zen-inspired garden providing a refuge from the bustling city life below.

The EWOW suite in W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The bedroom features dreamy artwork by Sigrid Calon, a Dutch textile artist whose works have been exhibited around the world, including at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York. In the bathroom, the large, 1.9-meter-diameter chrome tub is a reimagined champagne bucket, and invites guests for a surreal soak. The suite features an open kitchen and a built-in DJ booth – the first of its kind in a hotel room in Japan – that’s perfect for entertaining and soundtracking any stay.

W Osaka’s two bars and four restaurants tempt guests with unique, unexpected offerings and an unforgettably gourmet experience. Global flavors merge with iconic Japanese cuisine to tantalise the tastebuds in unexpected ways.

On the fourth floor of W Osaka, FIT offers the latest in fitness equipment, as well as a yoga room with a view. WET is the hotel’s indoor pool space with an LED ceiling to illuminate and amplify the fun. For guests who live by the brand’s ‘Detox.Retox.Repeat’ philosophy, AWAY SPA awaits to restore and revive, with five private treatment rooms.

Purple-lit pool inside W Osaka

Image credit: W Hotels

The new hotel has a total of four event and meeting spaces, including the GREAT ROOM, a 390-square-meter ballroom, with high ceilings, deep oak pillars, and champagne-gold metallic details. With WED YOUR WAY, guests can customise the wedding of their dreams on an entire private floor at W Osaka.

“The energy and eclecticism of Japan, particularly Osaka, make it the perfect backdrop for a W hotel,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President of Brand Marketing and Brand Management, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “From unforgettable dining experiences and live music sets to the thoughtful design rooted in the history and culture of the city, W Osaka is a destination within a destination where international jetsetters and local tastemakers meet and make magic.”

Main image credit: W Hotels

A minimalist guestroom in the hotel opening in Japan soon

Hotel opening to watch: Azumi Setoda arrives in March 2021

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hotel opening to watch: Azumi Setoda arrives in March 2021

A hotel opening to keep an eye on, Azumi Setoda is the brainchild of hotelier Adrian Zecha. The new arrival, on an island within the Japanese Seto Inland Sea, will mark his first contemporary ryokan…

A minimalist guestroom in the hotel opening in Japan soon

Throughout January, we have been keeping an eye on the most significant hotel openings to look out for in 2021. Following parts one and two of The Hot List, we’re excited to hear that hotelier Adrian Zecha and Japanese hospitality group Naru Developments have announced the launch of Azumi Setoda, the first opening of their new brand Azumi. 

 Azumi Setoda, which will open in early March, is located on Ikuchijima, a small island of about 8,000 people in the Seto Inland Sea. With this debut property, the brand will take the cultural framework of the traditional ryokan and infuse it with a quality offering that appeals to the modern, global traveller. The balance between tradition and innovation is integral to all parts of Azumi; demonstrated through everything from the design, service, food and beverage, to wellness and cultural programming. 

The main structure of Azumi Setoda is Horiuchi-tei, a 140-year old Japanese compound, formerly the headquarters and private residence of one of the most dynamic salt farming and shipping families in Setouchi, after whom it is named. The family would also use the space to host and entertain important guests. 

With these original intentions of the building and the next century of its life in mind, Kyoto-based architect Shiro Miura was entrusted with the renovation. An expert in private residences and trained in the sukiya style of Japanese architecture, he balances the elements of a homey atmosphere with aesthetics rooted in tea ceremony, which date back to the 16th century. 

The restoration was driven by rebalancing the relationship between moisture, wind and light, as he treats his primary materials of wood, stone and soil as living materials, exemplified by the way they bend, break, and change colour at their own will, and reflect the conditions of the environment. He thinks about how the building breathes; the nearby presence of the ocean requires not just thinking about the interior climate, but to consider the garden’s role in bringing in and taking out mist, fog and sunshine.

Contemporary accommodation standards call for a mix of well-defined private and public spaces in order to create a harmonious atmosphere and experience. This juxtaposes the traditional ryokan experience in which guests are hosted within their own rooms. The spaces at Azumi Setoda are designed on a gradient from the more public spaces: including the reception and main dining room at Horiuchi Tei; traversing the property’s semi-private dining and entertaining areas; before guests reach their generous, peaceful rooms. Every guest room has its own outdoor area: either a private garden designed by WA-SO landscape architects, a generous balcony, or a combination of both. Each one is unique and is well-secluded thanks to Shiro’s bold, unconventional take on the traditional kakine (cedar fence), which has been adapted to create harmony between private and communal spaces within the property.

Azumi Setoda Destination_Credit Max Houtzager

Image credit: Max Houtzager

Azumi Setoda is located on Ikuchijima island, which is on the West Side of the Setouchi Region (the Seto Inland Sea) in Hiroshima Prefecture. The East Side of the region has become well-known to international guests thanks to the ‘art islands’ of Naoshima, Inujima and Teshima. It is also home to the Setouchi Triennale, a contemporary art festival that takes across a dozen islands. 

 By contrast, just on the other side of the channel from Naoshima, the lesser-known West Side of the Setouchi Region is prized by a thriving agriculture industry. Connected by bridges, the islands in the West are popular with cyclists who traverse the 70km Shimanami Kaido cycling route, where Setoda is a midpoint of the journey. 

 This area is the calmest part of the Seto Inland Sea, with clear, blue waters and pure, fresh air. It is known today, due to its mild and temperate climate, as a key part of the citrus industry within Japan. 

 Within Setoda, the ryokan is located on Shiomachi Shotengai, a local market street that spans from Setoda port to Kosanji Temple. It was once considered the entrance of the island, serving up to 10,000 people daily in its heyday; Azumi wants to help restore this vitality to the neighbourhood. The team behind Azumi has partnered with community leaders to make Setoda a more desirable place to live, as well as to visit, with a strong sensibility around interaction between guests and the local community. One result of direct community feedback includes Soil Setoda: a mixed-use facility at the very entrance of the shotengai, which will function as ‘the living room of the city.’

“My previous projects have frequently been considered as ‘luxury’ due to the impression created by our clientele and its high price point, however my original intent was always to shed light on local culture, community, arts and food,” explained Zecha. “At Azumi, we are updating the ryokan, which was typically a traditional family managed inn, that naturally does what we envisioned. At Azumi, our highest priority is to welcome people wholeheartedly so that they feel at home, no matter the location.” 

Azumi Setoda guests can enjoy the wellness programming at yubune, which translates as ‘bathtub’ or ‘bath boat’ in Japanese. While Azumi Setoda is the secluded, walled ryokan in-keeping the deep gravitas of the Horiuchi family, yubune, also designed by Shiro Miura, is located just across the street. In a further gesture to the wider community of Setoda, Azumi will operate yubune not only for Azumi guests, but as a public bathhouse where all are welcomed. Guests will be invited to learn about and experience the Japanese bathing culture, lemon and salt bathing, and sauna.

The food programme provided at Azumi Setoda will express the abundance of local ingredients and the mixed cultures, herbs, and spices that came across the ocean during ancient times, as if the Horiuchi family, the residence’s former owners, were inviting an important guest to their feast. Beyond its abundance of seafood and fresh citruses and vegetables, the area in the ancient days was known as the intersection of a variety of cultures coming from the sea and from the Asian continent through the Silk Road. Meals will be offered communally in Azumi Setoda’s main dining room in a break from the traditional ryokan offering, in which guests are served in their rooms. For those who prefer more privacy, there are three characterful private dining rooms to choose from.

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Main image credit: Tomohiro Sakashita

The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa, has opened in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital – sheltering design by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao…

The entrance to the Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

The Luxury Collection, part of Marriott International Inc., has announced the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, A Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa in Kyoto, Japan.

Once the private residence of the aristocratic Mitsui family, the property’s 300-year-old main entrance, the Kajiimiya Gate, still stands today. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto resides in the heart of Kyoto, the only luxury hotel in the city centre with its own natural hot spring drawn from the thermal waters deep below ground. The hotel opens up to one of the world’s most enriching and desirable destination discoveries, including the 17th-century UNESCO World Heritage-listed Nijo Castle located directly opposite the hotel and other shrines, palaces and gardens.

An image at night of the traditional gate framing the entrance to the hotel

Image credit: Marriett International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

“We are delighted to celebrate the expansion of The Luxury Collection here in Japan with the opening of Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto as the brand’s second iconic property in Kyoto, in partnership with Mitsui Fudosan Group,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts are an ensemble of unique hotels across the world that celebrate authenticity and indigenousness in every destination. Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is a wonderful addition to this very special collection, and we are confident that guests will enjoy its impeccable service as much as its beauty and surroundings.”

Thoughtfully designed by an international team of renowned architects and designers including Akira Kuryu, André Fu, Shunsaku Miyagi and Yohei Akao, Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto blends tradition with modernity. Throughout the hotel, guests will be inspired by the minimalist yet contemporary design, which creates a sense of comfort with natural luxury. The gardens express the beauty and serenity as expected of a classical Japanese garden.

The hotel’s 161 guest rooms and suites feature exquisite natural materials shaped by traditional artisanal skills. Each room reimagines elegance and relaxed luxury of traditional Japanese tea-rooms, and bathing areas in every room feature spacious bathtubs hewn from stone. Two Onsen Suites feature separate living rooms, private gardens and outdoor hot spring baths for a highly memorable experience of Japanese onsen traditions in complete luxury and privacy.

A modern suite inside the mitsui kyoto a luxury collection hotel and spa/

Image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto features two restaurants, a bar and lounge and a private dining space, all of which showcase Japanese and international epicurean experiences while offering breath-taking views of the hotel gardens. In the signature gastronomy teppan restaurant TOKIguests are offered culinary specialties prepared on an open-plan steel teppan framed by a Kabazakura birch counter.

The hotel’s Italian restaurant FORNI features an okudosan, a traditional Japanese cooking range reimagined as a wood-burning oven for pizzas and roasts. The Garden Bar, meanwhile, offers the perfect space to enjoy afternoon tea, drinks and cocktails and SHIKI-NO-MA provides an exclusive dining venue in an elegant setting, ideal for private events.

The hotel’s unique thermal spring spa is a relaxing sanctuary of more than 1,000 square metres of space which includes a thermal onsen spring, two private onsen facilities, four spa treatment rooms and a fully-equipped gym.

“Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto represents the essence of Japan, as framed by the narrative of its history, culture, architecture, crafts and cuisine. We seek to express this essence in our brand concept of “Embracing Japan’s Beauty”,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “We have merged tradition and modernity across all aspects of our hotel design, culinary offerings and service. We look forward to welcoming guests to our hotel, and to usher them into a world of luxury inspired by the beauty and traditions of Japan.”

Since you’re here, why not read more about Marriott International’s expansion in the Asia Pacific region?

Main image credit: Marriott International/Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Marriott opens new Autograph Collection hotel in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Marriott opens new Autograph Collection hotel in Japan

Marriott has said that the new hotel showcases Kyoto’s culinary, cultural and community traditions to travellers visiting the gentle mountain landscapes of Takaragaike…

Autograph Collection Hotels has announced the opening of The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike, Autograph Collection hotel in the Takaragaike area, situated in the northern section of Kyoto, Japan. The hotel joins Marriott International’s diverse and exciting Autograph Collection portfolio of more than 190 independent properties across the globe, which are each distinct in design, character and charm, and all Exactly Like Nothing Else.

“We are excited to expand the Autograph Collection portfolio in Japan with the brand’s 3rd hotel in the country, said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike perfectly highlights Autograph Collection’s promise of showcasing experiences that are informed by unique perspectives on craft and hospitality. This opening reinforces Marriott International’s commitment to continue expanding its footprint across Japan.”

Designed by renowned Japanese architect Togo Murano, The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike shelters an interplay between Japanese tradition and Murano’s modernist approach to architecture and design. The main building is an oval shape, with an atrium at its center. The hotel’s 310 spacious guestrooms are all appointed with thoughtful amenities including free Wi-Fi and captivating views of Takaragaike Park and its surroundings. Guests are graciously welcomed upon their arrival at the hotel with a cup of matcha, or powdered green tea, prepared in Urasenke style.

Dining options are all designed to create an immersive experience in local as well as international culinary traditions. The hotel’s main restaurant, Ito-Zakura, serves French cuisine showcasing well-selected local ingredients from the region.

A sophisticated dining room

Image credit: Marriott International/Autograph Collection

Guests are invited to visit the century-old Morita Farm in nearby Kamigamo to handpick their own vegetables, which they will later enjoy in a French-inspired meal.

Takaragaike Japanese Restaurant presents an array of classic Kyoto cuisine and other Japanese regional favorites. At Tohen Chinese Restaurant, Beijing style cuisine is served with a touch of Kyoto essence by unique arrangements. Mizu-No-Ne is the hotel’s lobby lounge serving specialty coffees and herb teas to be enjoyed with oven-fresh baked breads, cakes and pastries.

Bar Ascot, an English-style bar, is a cozy, convivial venue for a relaxing evening over drinks and cocktails. In an elegant Sukiya-style, a traditional wooden Japanese Tea House is set within the hotel grounds, where guests can also experience an authentic formal Japanese tea ceremony or enjoy kaiseki-style cuisine from Tsujitome, a long-established Japanese Restaurant.

“Kyoto is the cultural capital of Japan, and for many centuries, it has welcomed visitors from all over the world who come to take in its beautiful natural scenery, fascinating culture and excellent cuisine,” said Masashi Takizawa, General Manager, The Prince Kyoto Takaragaike. “We are extremely pleased to become part of Marriott International’s prestigious Autograph Collection, and to present our very special hotel to the next generation of visitors who wish to discover authentic, one-of-a-kind experiences when they visit Kyoto.”

Main image credit: Autograph Collection/Marriott International

Fairfield by Marriott doubles its footprint in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Fairfield by Marriott doubles its footprint in Japan

The Fairfield by Marriott brand is increasing its portfolio in Japan with eight hotels stated to open across four prefectures…

Marriott International has announced the planned openings of eight new Fairfield by Marriott properties in Japan, highlighting a vast expansion that more than doubles the size of the brand in the country.

Sekisui House, a renowned Japanese developer, has partnered with Marriott International to further enhance their ‘Trip Base’ initiative – a project seeking to revitalize local sightseeing spots – with the opening of hotels alongside ‘Michi-no-Eki’ roadside stations. The Michi-no-Eki rest stop system was created over two decades ago to provide comfortable stop-over rest facilities for road trip travelers in Japan, situated close to national parks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

As part of the Marriott Michi-no-Eki project, Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park, Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Mino, Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Utsunomiya, Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Kyotamba, Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Gujo and Fairfield by Marriott Mie Mihama are slated to open this month, followed by Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Motegi in November and Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Miyazu in December.

“Following its Japan debut in Sapporo earlier this year, we are thrilled for the Fairfield by Marriott brand to continue its expansion in the country,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding China), Marriott International. “These new openings underscore Marriott International’s commitment to growing our presence in Japan to serve travellers here. The new hotels will deliver the brand’s principles of friendly service and family treatment, giving travelers access to inspiring natural destinations across the country.”

Image credit: Marriott International

Fairfield builds upon its strong heritage of warm hospitality and the belief in the beauty of simplicity, creating a place where every moment is an inviting and effortless experience for its guests. The experience is backed by The Fairfield Promise™ – from the hotel’s level of service to accommodations, if a guest is ever not satisfied with their stay, Fairfield will make it right.

Upon arrival, a welcoming lounge with a relaxed seating area provides a smart and flexible space for guests. Designed for both rest and productivity, each guest room averages about 25 square meters and offers a comfortable bed for a great night’s sleep, as well as fast complimentary Wi-Fi. The hotels also offer optional breakfast take-away in bento boxes for guests to enjoy at the hotel or while on the road.

Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park (85 rooms, opened October 6)

This hotel is a great starting point for family holidays exploring Gifu Seiryu Satoyama Park, an urban park designed to emulate the rural landscape of Japan’s Showa era (1926-1989). The park features the nostalgic Satoyama Café, a foot spa corner and a charming morning market. Along the nearby Nakasendo Highway, guests can visit charming streetscapes of post-station towns, as well as historical temples and shrines.

Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Mino (54 rooms, opened October 6)

Surrounded by breathtaking views of the great Nagara River and emerald-green mountains, guests can explore Mino’s ancient buildings and streetscapes that date back to Japan’s Edo period (1603-1867) and discover the beauty of Mino Washi, the artisanal handmade paper with a history dating back 1,300 years. Visitors can also savor the delicious Ayu sweet fish caught in the pristine waters of the river, served with fresh seasonal vegetables from the surrounding countryside.

Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Utsunomiya (87 rooms, opening October 7)

Conveniently located near the Utsunomiya Romantic Village, this hotel makes an ideal base for sightseeing around the beautiful rural countryside. Guests get to enjoy hands-on experiences with local farming, strawberry picking, forest hikes and traditional hot springs. This area is famous for its delicious gyoza dumplings, which can be found at many popular restaurants nearby.

Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Kyotamba (75 rooms, opened October 8)

This hotel is located at the gateway of the Kyotamba region, characterized by its rolling green hills. The climate of the Tamba plateau produces treasure troves of specialty produce famous throughout Japan, such as Tamba chestnuts and Tamba black beans. Food lovers will enjoy discovering local delicacies throughout the year here, such as Ayu sweet fish in early summer, botan-nabe or boar meat hot pot in the winter, as well as dishes made with sansai or wild mountain vegetables in the springtime.

Fairfield by Marriott Gifu Gujo (87 rooms, opened October 9)

For fans of Japanese history and culture, Gujo is a not-to-be-missed destination. Guests can explore nearby Gujo Hachiman Castle and the old-world charm of the castle town, surrounded by beautiful rural Japanese countryside. In Gujo, the Kokin Denju no Sato Field Museum features classical waka poetry readings, and thermal spring-filled ceramic baths and foot spas to soothe and relax travel-weary limbs. Guests can also discover the delicacies of this region, including salt-grilled Ayu sweet fish and keichan, a traditional chicken dish.

Fairfield by Marriott Mie Mihama (63 rooms, planned opening October 12)

The Hamakaido is the main coastal route of the World Heritage-listed Kumano Kodo, Japan’s 1,000-year-old pilgrim’s route. This hotel is located next to the Michi-no-Eki Park Shichiri-Mihama roadside station, right in front of the Hamakaido. With the year-round warm and pleasant weather, guests can also explore nearby Shichiri Mihama Beach, selected as one of Japan’s “100 Great Beaches”, and enjoy the wealth of regional produce, including the many different varieties of mandarin oranges and the freshest seafood.

Fairfield by Marriott Tochigi Motegi (52 rooms, planned opening November 20)

This hotel is located next to Michi-no-Eki Motegi, near the Mooka Railway station and tracks, famous for its majestic steam locomotives which run on weekends, attracting crowds of children and adults alike. Motor racing fans will also enjoy visiting the famous international racing circuit nearby, Twin Ring Motegi, which also houses the Honda Fan Fun Lab featuring next-generation technologies such as robotics and electric vehicles.

Fairfield by Marriott Kyoto Miyazu (93 rooms, planned opening December 15)

This hotel is located in the ancient Japanese capital of Kyoto, offering panoramic views of the beautiful clear waters of Miyazu Bay. Guests can enjoy refreshing ocean breezes, explore the charming ancient streets of Kyoto, and discover classic Japanese cuisine at Osakana Kitchen Miyazu, including its popular kaisen-don, rice bowls topped with selections of fresh seafood. Guests can also take a pleasure cruise to see the beautiful Amanohashidate sandbar, voted as one of the three most scenic views in Japan.

“Japan has a variety of breathtaking destinations and experiences for visitors, from beautiful countryside to ancient historical sites and some of the most wonderful and varied cuisine in the world,” said Masahiro Taguchi, Project Director of Fairfield by Marriott’s Michi-no-Eki portfolio. “Fairfield by Marriott Michi-no-Eki Hotels will welcome guests with the beauty of simplicity, and offer comfortable start points for travelers to explore local destinations and hidden gems.”

Main image credit: Marriott International

Inside Moxy Hotels’ third property to open in Japan

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Moxy Hotels’ third property to open in Japan

Located in one of the main hubs of Osaka City, the new Moxy hotel will provide guests with what Marriott is describing as “a fun and playful experience” through lively communal spaces…

In a city that is buzzing with an attitude that does not always follow the rules, the 288-room Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda has officially opened its doors. As Marriott International’s bold experiential brand, the new hotel features fun, playful and stylish experiences, designed to give guests everything they want and nothing they don’t.

Render of outside of the Moxy hotel

Image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

“We are thrilled to be opening Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, which marks the third Moxy branded hotel to open in Japan,” said Rajeev Menon, President, Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International. “This opening is a testament to Marriott International’s commitment to continue expanding its footprint across Japan and Asia Pacific with the experiential lifestyle portfolio catering to the next generation of travellers.”

Creating an environment that appeals to today’s modern traveller as well as locals,  the hotel’s chic design pays homage to the vibrant city of Osaka. The aesthetics of the hotel are inspired by a combination of the fashionable art of Umeda and the unique expressions of local Fukushima, known as the “mechanical arcade” that once supported the development of Japan’s electronic industry.

Upstairs, the 288 guestrooms are cleverly designed to maximise space and allow guests the flexibility to adapt the room to their needs. Each room is equipped with the latest technology featuring a 55-inch flat screen television with screen casting ability, furiously fast and free Wi-fi, abundant USB ports, motion activated LED guidelight and backlighted glass panels to add ambience.

The hotel also features several of the Moxy brand’s cheeky lifestyle touches. The signature Bar Moxy doubles as the hotel’s check-in counter, where guests are greeted upon arrival with a complimentary ‘Got Moxy’ cocktail. Buzzing with high-energy is The Terrace, an outdoor area where ‘Fun Hunters’ can eat, drink and socialise. The Lounge calls its charms through its graffiti art walls, modern furniture and ambient lighting, ideal for gatherings, special events or crafted cocktails, while Grab and Go allows guests to satisfy their cravings day or night. Guests can plug in and tune out in the Library or re-energise using the pink Moxy punching bag in the hotel’s 24-hour fitness centre that also features gymnastic equipment, spinning bikes and a full-circuit gym.

With the opening of Moxy Osaka Shin Umeda, the animated brand, which now has more than 60 experiential hotels open across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific, continues to make design-led hotel experiences accessible and affordable.

Main image credit: Marriott International/Moxy Hotels

First look: the ‘different by design’ vision of Japan’s debut Aloft hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
First look: the ‘different by design’ vision of Japan’s debut Aloft hotel

W Design International has completed Aloft Tokyo Ginza, which is scheduled to open in October 2020. Before then, Hotel Designs got a sneak peek inside…

Showcasing innovative creations of Japanese and international artists under the concept ‘different by design’, Aloft Tokyo Ginza, which will open in October 2020, will mark the brand’s arrival in Japan.

W Design International (W/D/I), assigned by Sankei Building, initiated the overall design and realiastion of Aloft Ginza by combining old-school aesthetics inspired by Ginza’s social stories and industrial design. The new 16-storey boutique design hotel with rooftop bar is filled with radiant and iconic works by select artists. W/D/I curated a total of 11 artists whose installation-art was allocated to embody the ambience at Aloft Ginza.

With more than 16 years of experience on hospitality design projects across Japan and the Asia Pacific region, W/D/I is specialist firm in the hospitality design sector, providing strategic and creative solutions for projects in Japan and beyond.

“The guestrooms, including four suites, have been designed with a relaxing, rock-chic vibe.”

True to its ‘Ginza Vogue’ flair, the eclectic style of the 205 loft-like guestrooms, including four suites, have been designed with a relaxing, rock-chic vibe. The hotel is the ideal accommodation for global travellers who love open spaces and stylish boutique design. “Ginza Vogue” also pays homage to Toshiro Mifune’s 100th birthday, a legendary Japanese actor who was loved by film fans internationally.

The ‘different by design’ scheme has been achieved largely by W/D/I collaborating with lightning, audiovisual and music design by WORKTECHT to create one-off meaningful experiences. The atmosphere created was inspired by the Miyuki-Zoku movement from 1964, where Japanese teenagers expressed a cutting-edge and sophisticated style (the suffix “zoku” means “subculture” or “social club“). Meanwhile globally in 1964, pop art changed the art world. Artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein became superstars, and many of them collaborated. W/D/I visualised this Ivy-fashion and rock spirit for “Neo Miyuki-Zoku” in 2020.

Aloft Tokyo Ginza is located less than a five-minute walk away from both Ginza Station and Higashi-Ginza Station, and will open aptly while the city is preparing to face the greatest sporting event in modern times, the Olympics Games, ideal for savvy international travellers who are expected to attend.

Main image credit: Aloft Hotels/Marriott International

Render of luxury bedroom overlooking snowy slopes

Kiroro Resort in Japan opens new residences

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Kiroro Resort in Japan opens new residences

Construction has completed on first residential resort in world-class alpine destination in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan…

Within the powder paradise in the heart of Hokkaido, Japan, Kiroro Resort has welcomed the arrival of new luxury residences and several new restaurants and bars.

Render of luxury bedroom overlooking snowy slopes

Developed by Property Perfect PCL, Kiroro Resort, which is tucked away in the mountains of Hokkaido, was amongst the top three best ski resorts 2019 in the 7th annual World Ski Awards.

Yu Kiroro comprises of a collection of exclusive ski-in/ski-out private residences at the base of the mountain. The development features 104 one-, two-, three-bedroom and penthouse freehold luxury private residences that are fully-furnished with premium services such as ski valet, a natural indoor-outdoor onsen, 24-hour concierge, fitness centre and lounge.

“Residents will have ski-in/ski-out access to the world’s best powder, the longest ski season – Mr. Chainid Adhyanasakul, CEO of Property Perfect PCL.”

“We are thrilled to be completing the construction of Yu Kiroro, just in time for the winter season,” said Mr. Chainid Adhyanasakul, CEO of Property Perfect PCL. “Our owners are excited about the special opportunity to be the first to own in this highly coveted, high end mountain resort. Residents will have ski-in/ski-out access to the world’s best powder, the longest ski season, and year-round recreation in the heart of charming Hokkaido.”

render of the slopes and the exterior of the hotel

Image credit: Yu Kiroro

The completion of the residences also coincides with the opening of several new restaurants and bar in Kiroro Resort, including Yukashi (Japanese / Western) restaurant in Yu Kiroro, as well as Asian Kitchen (Thai-Chinese dining), The Hokkaido Bar, Yanshu Yakiniku, Belgian Waffle Shop and Shiro.

Main image credit: Kiroro Resort

 

InterContinental Hotels debuts first luxury hotel in renowned hot spring destination

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
InterContinental Hotels debuts first luxury hotel in renowned hot spring destination

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts continues to pioneer new luxury destinations with the opening of ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa, which is injected with local design and architecture references throughout… 

Located in the Oita Prefecture in Southwestern Japan, ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa has opened as the region’s first international luxury resort.

The opening strengthens the long-term venture with ANA and IHG in Japan and joins more than 200 InterContinental Hotels & Resorts worldwide. Leading the way in luxury, the resort isone of four immersive resorts to open in 2019, with InterContinental Hayman Island Resort opened on 1 July and InterContinental Maldives Maamunagau Resort and InterContinental Phuket Resort opening in September.

“On behalf of IHG and IHG/ANA Japan, we are extremely proud to open the first international luxury hot spring resort and spa in Beppu,” said Hans Heijligers, Head of Japan, IHG, and IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan. “InterContinental has been pioneers in luxury travel for more than 70 years, delivering the allure of the InterContinental Life in all corners of the world. We are delighted to continue bringing the brand’s iconic hospitality, combining international know-how and local wisdom to new destinations as IHG continues to grow its luxury presence across the globe and in Japan.”

Image credit: IHG

Renowned for its rich culture and distinguished local craftsmanship, Beppu lends itself to offering guests rare access into authentic Japanese experiences. As the world’s second largest volume of hot spring water, the onsen tradition is a synonymous part of the guest experience in Beppu. The resort offers two large outdoor onsens, each meticulously designed with the selection and arrangement of Beppu stones selected by skilled masons, and placed to create a waterfall effect as if the hot spring water is overflowing from the mountain.

The private onsen rooms offer a modern onsen experience within an exclusive space complete with a luxurious day bed, bathroom and minimalist design. The heart of the resort is the iconic infinity pool, designed to unite the sky with the view overlooking Beppu’s hot springs below.

“Featured across the resort is work from local artists and craftsmen.”

Elevating the cleansing and healing powers of myobanwater is the resort spa. In partnership with luxury Thai spa brand HARNN, the spa offers a selection of tailor-made treatments and therapies using materials derived from nature, along with rich aroma scent to rejuvenate the mind and body. The spa offers five treatment rooms with private en suites and outdoor garden, and two double massage rooms featuring a jacuzzi made from Japanese cypress.

Imagined by the in-house design team at IHG, the resort shelters a distinct design philosophy, steeped in tradition and inspired by the elements. Featured across the resort is work from local artists and craftsmen, using traditional materials from various parts of Kyushu and local Oita prefecture. Beginning in the resort’s lobby, the soaring space is reminiscent of an art gallery with its high-quality bamboo art work, ancient pottery and wooden furniture with bold designs.

Traditionally designed Japanese guest room, with low-level bed

Image credit: IHG

Elsewhere, the 89 guestrooms, including 10 suites, range from a luxurious 62-212 square meters, including large onsen or hot baths, spacious design and an abundance of natural materials for a sense of relaxation. All Suites and Club InterContinental rooms feature private open-air baths on the terrace with views sweeping the Beppu Bay.

Continuing the philosophy of harmonious nature and design, the resort features five restaurants and bars inspired by Japan’s five elements: earth, water, fire, wind and void.

The latest addition to the IHG portfolio proves further its continues its legacy of pioneering luxury travel in emerging destinations. 

Main image credit: IHG

Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Hokkaido National Park’s latest luxury hotel

Design firm Wilson Associates unveils luxury condominium-hotel in renowned Japanese ski resort…

Interior architecture and design firm Wilson Associates, which this year made it onto Hotel Designs’ 30 Under 30, has unveiled the interiors of a modern hotel located in Japan’s Hokkaido National Park. The Skye Niseko ski resort shelters 100 apartments and five penthouses and is located on a picturesque mountainside with views of the surrounding landscape.

The firm was brought on board to complete the interior design of the five penthouses, lobby, corridors, spa, cafe deli and ski valet at the unique ski-in ski-out hotel.

The luxurious collection of condominiums, which officially opened earlier this year, is a blend of Alpine design and Japanese hospitality and culture. The design firm’s theme of minimalist, monochrome is filtered throughout the interior of the suites.

The privately-owned resort was designed by Australian-based Pike Withers and its shell has been conceived of as two interlocking L-shaped volumes, allowing each of the apartments and penthouses to benefit from both privacy and panoramic views.

Wilson Associates ensured the main lobby had plenty of WOW factor and guests are immediately greeted by a striking reception desk where a rough stone wall surface contrasts with the counter’s sharp and sleek metal immediately greets guests with a WOW factor.

The lighting strategy works in tandem with the bamboo lattices on the walls and slate paving on the floor to make everything in the lobby seem like it’s floating.

The penthouses are organised in arrangements of either three or four bedrooms and come complete with comfortable and cosy living and dining areas. They offer guests the ultimate in luxury and boast covered balconies and heated external spring pools overlooking the stunning landscape.

Modern spa area

Image credit: Skye Niseko Ski Resort

Meanwhile, the spa area has been sustainably designed so that its own onsen well draws mineral rich hot water from deep below the property.

The hotel describes itself on its website as: “More than just a place to stay, Skye Niseko has everything you need for your alpine getaway.”

Hyatt to develop design hotel at Japan’s historic racing circuit

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hyatt to develop design hotel at Japan’s historic racing circuit

Plans have been approved for an Unbound Collection hotel by Hyatt to be developed at the Fuji Speedway, marking the brand’s entrance into Japan… 

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a management agreement with Towa Real Estate Co. Ltd., an affiliate of TOYOTA Group, to develop a 120-key hotel at the Fuji Speedway, Japan’s historic racing circuit.

Slated to open in 2022, the project will be the first in Japan under The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand and the first hotel in the world to be built by Towa Real Estate.

“We are excited to see The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in Japan for the first time with a project at Fuji Speedway, an iconic destination for motorsports fans across the globe seeking a luxury experience,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “As we look to expand Hyatt’s brand footprint in Japan, we are excited to be entering into a management agreement with TOYOTA group company, Towa Real Estate, as it builds its first-ever hotel.”

Hotel amenities will include multiple fine dining restaurants and bars, as well as indoor pool, fitness center, spa and natural onsen hot-spring bathing facilities. The hotel interior will feature a car museum with an innovative presentation of the site’s attractions that showcase the historic significance of Fuji Speedway. Items such as rare historic automobiles and other museum-worthy collections will provide an unconventional experience that guests would expect from The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.

“It is deeply gratifying and encouraging to us to have been able to enter into this agreement with Hyatt, which has a history of providing exceptional quality and service to guests in a wide range of cities,” said Masao Ukai, president, Towa Real Estate Co. Ltd. “This luxury hotel will be an integral part of a motorsports-themed entertainment area with Fuji Speedway at its core. Together, Motorsports Village and The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand will provide guests with environmentally conscious and unconventional experiences as we aim to make motorsports more accessible and entertaining.”

In the foothills of Mount Fuji, the hotel’s Fuji Speedway location will offer guests convenient access to motorsports events and the upcoming Motorsports Village facility, currently under development by Towa Real Estate in concert with the hotel development.

Situated on the grounds of Fuji Speedway, the hotel will offer unsurpassed views of Mount Fuji, in addition to housing a Motorsports Museum. The site’s immediate proximity to the Oyama Parking Area Smart Interchange, scheduled to open in 2021, will make the hotel’s location accessible to guests arriving from remote areas by car.

The hotel will feature approximately 120 tastefully designed guest rooms and suites of at least 484 square feet (45 square meters) each, a flexible banquet room of 5,381 square feet (500 square meters), and a 2,152 square foot (200 square meter) conference room. These extraordinary facilities will position the hotel as an ideal venue for story-worthy meetings and events.

Main image credit: Hyatt

Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

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Minimalist Muji opens first hotel in Japan

The Japanese retailer, Muji, opens its first hotel in Japan, Muji Hotel Ginza – and it’s a minimalist’s dream…

Spread over six floors, the 79-key Muji Hotel Ginza designed by UDS has opened as the brand’s first hotel in Japan following the successful openings in Beijing and Shenzhen last year.

Muji Hotel Ginza’s thoughtful design is true to the company’s sustainable principles, using upcycled materials such as flagstone of Tokyo’s tramway from 50 years ago and even the waste materials from ships.

The 79 guestrooms all vary in size and are presented in nine categories. Designed to fill a gap in the market between luxury and mid-scale, the hotel’s interiors are true-to-form minimalist.

Minimalist interiors - writing desk

Image credit: Muji Hotels

The interiors convey an atmosphere typical of Muji; natural materials, alongside upcycled products with a small number of rooms including traditional Japanese textiles. Fuji Hotel’s pricing structure remains the same throughout the year, regardless of seasons and holidays, which supports the brand’s commitment to fairness and affordable living as the hotel aims to become a base for visitors to enjoy a deeper immersion in Ginza and Japanese culture.

“Great care has been taken to ensure that the room will restore travelers in body and spirit alike,” the hotel’s website states. The mattresses have been designed informed by posture research, while the lighting designed in order to aid sleep quality.

The hotel opens together with the global flagship store Muji Ginza as the “anti-gorgeous, anti-cheap” alternative hotel.

Main image credit: Muji Hotels

 

 

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts to arrive in Okinawa, Japan

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Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, which will shelter 120 guestrooms and suites, is expected to complete in 2023…

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts and Berjaya Okinawa Development Co. Ltd. (“Berjaya Okinawa”) have announced its new development on the island of Okinawa. The project will debut as part of the development’s master plan as Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa.

Comprising a total of 100 acres (more than 40 hectares) of beachfront, the project site is located along the western coast of the island, approximately 31 miles (50 kilometres) northeast of Naha International Airport, with easy access by highway from the airport and close to tourist attractions. The Resort will comprise 30 acres (12 hectares) of the project development land area, with 120 hotel rooms, 120 residences and 40 villas. The project is expected to take approximately four years to complete with a total development cost of USD 400 million and estimated gross development value of USD 1 billion.

“Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa is another iconic project in Japan for the Berjaya Group, emulating the success of Four Seasons Hotel and Residences Kyoto, which officially opened in December 2016,” said Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Vincent Tan (“TSVT”), Founder and Executive Chairman of BCorp. “I am sure that with the prestigious Four Seasons branding and management, along with its strategic location in central Okinawa, the hotel will be one of the best on the island of Okinawa.”

“We are proud to continue our successful partnership with Berjaya Group with another exceptional project in Japan, extending our presence in the region and offering both guests and residents more chances to experience Four Seasons,” says Bart Carnahan, Executive Vice President, Global Business Development, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “Together with Berjaya, we will not only create the very finest resort and residences of the highest quality, but will also offer a level of unparalleled service, one that is synonymous with the name Four Seasons around the globe.”

The master plan for Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Okinawa, including planning and landscape architecture, is developed by internationally renowned landscape architecture and urban design firm EDSA Inc, and world-renowned Japanese architects Kengo Kuma and Kuniken will serve as joint architects of the project. Kengo Kuma’s work has been internationally acknowledged and he was chosen to design Tokyo’s Olympic Stadium for the 2020 Olympic Games recently; and Kuniken is the largest architecture firm in Okinawa.

The vision is to create a destination that portrays the cultural heritage of Okinawa island along with its natural landscape and resources. The Resort will be anchored by a resident beach club nestled on the east side, where guests as well as the homeowners will be able to access the natural beach. Additionally, the low-density layout of the resort will also allow guests and homeowners to access every amenity by foot, bicycles or golf carts. The resort facilities will include an all-day dining restaurant, specialty dining and lounge, retail shops and recreation facilities, as well as public grounds and gardens.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Resorts

Hyatt announces beach resort debut in Japan

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Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa opens as the brand’s first beach resort in Japan…

With the 2020 Olympics and Paralympics in Tokyo approaching, hotel design in Japan, with its tech-savy attitude, is enjoying somewhat of a moment. The latest hotel brand to debut in the country is Hyatt Beach Resort, which has just announced the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa.

Located on the private Seragaki Island and linked by a bridge to the main island of Okinawa, the hotel offers a stunning view of the East China Sea from all 344 guestrooms. An immersive destination hotel, Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa blends local culture, warm hospitality and thoughtful service, enabling guests to feel refreshed and reconnected to who and what matters to them most.

“We are delighted to celebrate the opening of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, the first Japanese beach resort in Hyatt’s portfolio and we are grateful for the continuous support from Tokyu Land, NTT Urban Development Corporation and Milial Resort Hotels Co. Ltd.,” said David Udell, group president, Asia-Pacific, Hyatt Hotels Corporation. “With the debut of Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa, our 12th Hyatt property in Japan, we are excited to offer guests an energizing seaside retreat in the country’s sunshine isles.”

Image caption: Hyatt Hotels

The breezy, light-filled interiors by Tokyo-based, Hashimoto Yukio Design Studio draw from the hotel’s idyllic waterfront surroundings and the rich traditions of Okinawan culture to create intuitive spaces where guests can connect and recharge. All guestrooms feature mesmerising views sf the crystal clear waters. There are 320 guestrooms housed in a seven-floor building on Seragaki Island, including 71 Regency Club rooms and 16 suites which come with unique privileges such as dedicated check-in and check-out and use of a private lounge.

Suited for families or longer stays, an additional 24 Beach House rooms are located in a three-story building across from the main hotel. These accommodations range from 592 to 807 square feet, and are equipped with full kitchens or pantry-style kitchenettes.

Hyatt Regency Seragaki Island Okinawa is home to six dining outlets, offering delicious comfort food alongside breathtaking scenery.

The resort has six banquet venues with ocean views and outdoor terraces that can be configured to range in size from 968 to 1614 square feet to host business retreats and social gatherings. Featuring a glass rooftop and a 32-foot aisle leading toward the ocean, the luminous Seragaki Island Chapel offers an elegant setting for an unforgettable and intimate beachfront wedding for up to 40 guests.

The Hyatt Regency brand than 180 conveniently located Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries around the world, which serve as the go-to gathering space for every occasion – from efficient business meetings to memorable family vacations.

Bvlgari to open new luxury hotel in Tokyo

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The 98 room hotel will be designed by Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel.

Real estate giant Mitsui Fudosan Co. Ltd has inked inked an agreement to open Japan’s first Bvlgari Hotel in the large-scale, mixed-use development planned for the Tokyo Station area.

Bvlgari Hotel Tokyo is scheduled to open at the end of 2022 and will occupy the top seven floors, 39th – 45th, of an ultra-skyscraper planned for construction in the Yaesu 2-Chome North District Category-I Urban Redevelopment Project.

As with other Bvlgari sites the hotel will be designed by the Italian architectural firm Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel and will be located within walking distance of the Imperial Palace and the shopping areas of both Nihombashi and Ginza. Its proximity to the Tokyo Station and the financial districts of Nihombashi and Marunouchi will make it attractive for business use too.

In addition to the Bvlgari hotel, the tower will also be a high grade mixed-use with offices and retails. The hotel will offer 98 guest rooms in a variety of configurations, mainly twin and double rooms, as well as luxury suites and an ‘extraordinary’ Bvlgari Suite.

Bvlgari Features

The usual Bvlgari features such as Il Bar, Il Ristorante and the fireplace Lounge will all be available for the hotel guests, together with Il Cioccolato store, and a Ballroom including a large outdoor space. A 1,500 sqm Bvlgari Spa will include a state-of-the-art fitness centre and 25-metre indoor pool.

The Bvlgari Hotels and Resorts portfolio currently includes properties in Milan, London, Bali, Beijing and Dubai. New openings are planned in 2018 in Shanghai and in 2020 in Moscow and Paris. Bvlgari Hotel Tokyo will be its ninth property and the first to open in Japan.

Bvlgari CEO Jean Christophe Babin said: “We are extremely proud to be able to announce the Bvlgari Hotel in Tokyo, as it will be another important step for the Bvlgari Hotels & Resorts project. Japan is such a strategic market where Bvlgari as a brand has been present for 30 years. Jewellery and hospitality combine perfectly to meet Bvlgari’s clients expectations of a high level of service not only in our brand stores, but also when staying in our extraordinary properties offering luxury services in an environment which reflects the Bvlgari spirit. In addition, we are particularly honoured to partner on this extremely exciting project with Mitsui Fudosan, one of the leading Japanese companies in real-estate, while our uncompromising Italian contemporary style in hospitality will create a welcome addition and irresistible experience in the upscale Japanese hotel market.”

Ace partnering with NTT Urban Development for Kyoto hotel

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Architect Kengo Kuma will seek to blend old and new Japan.

Ace Hotel Group has partnered with NTT Urban Development Corporation to design and build the Ace Hotel Kyoto, a new cultural hub that will be part of the ShinPuhKan redevelopment.

Designed in part by architect Kengo Kuma, Ace Hotel Kyoto will open in Winter 2019 in an area with a industrial and imperial legacy. The firm says Kuma’s designs will blend new with old, incorporating renovations of the historic building — erected in the mid 1920s as the Kyoto Central Telephone Office — into the new build.

Kuma is known for his work in Japan and abroad, including the Asakusa Culture and Tourism Center in Tokyo, the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum and the forthcoming Olympic Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Games. His designs tend to embrace natural materials and light, and create spaces for interaction and comfort.

Connected to Kyoto

“The thought was to create a hotel that is connected to Kyoto and open to the surrounding area,” said Kuma. “To begin with, the proposition was to create a dense garden where communities, as well as the past and the present, are connected to this venerable land with its various gardens, which have existed since the Heian period.

The existing Kyoto central telephone office building was designed by one of the great Japanese modern architects, Tetsuro Yoshida. Through the central courtyard, the red brick building will converse and create a new harmony with a wooden grid system that reminisces traditional Kyoto.

“The integrity of Aneyakoji road and Higashino-toin road was preserved through the delicate use of fine louvers and meshes,” said Kuma. “These louvers and meshes also act as environmental devices, which gently filters light and wind. Furthermore, the concrete was mixed with iron oxide to produce a fine warm color, which cannot be fabricated by paint. Every detail and material was thought through to connect the building, land and history together.”

“It’s been our long-standing dream to put down roots in Japan,” said Brad Wilson, President at Ace Hotel Group. “We feel incredibly humbled and grateful to work with such well-respected and admirable partners as NTT Urban Development Corporation and Kengo Kuma to make our dreams a reality, creating a space that honors the beauty and history of Kyoto while fostering global connection and cultural innovation.”

W Hotels expands to Osaka

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W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has announced the development of W Osaka in Japan.

Set across 27 floors, the new hotel is expected to open in 2021 and will boast 337 guestrooms and suites, restaurants and cocktail bars.

Under an hour away from Kansai International Airport, W Osaka will be based within the indie boutiques and restaurants of the city.

“In 2020, Japan will capture the global spotlight, welcoming nations from around the world to the country on a grand scale for the 2020 games. This is a great build up to the launch of the first-ever W in Japan,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader for W Hotels Worldwide.

“W is always bringing its new/next vision and bold approach to new destinations, especially cities as vibrant and energetic as Osaka. We are confident W Osaka will add even more energy and excitement to this already action-packed year in Japan.”

Inside, guests will also be able to maintain their health and fitness with the Away Spa and fitness centre.

Isami Wada, chairman of Sekisui House, added: “We are excited to add yet another Marriott International property to our portfolio and even more thrilled to be introducing a brand as daring as W to the country.

“It will be an exciting year for Japan, and the W brand will surely offer limitless experiences to those visiting from all corners of the world.”

The new opening joins more than 50 W Hotels currently open globally, including the W Shanghai – The Bund, W Suzhou, W Bellevue and W Goa, as well as the soon-to-open W Panama, W Amman and W Brisbane.

Moxy Tokyo

Marriott’s Moxy brand continues expansion with Tokyo opening

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Tokyo-based real estate developer Pacifica Capital has opened the Moxy Tokyo Kinshicho, the first hotel in Japan for Marriott International’s new lifestyle brand targeted at the Millennial generation.

Already off to a great start, the hotel was fully occupied on its third night of operations.

Located in the dynamic commercial district of Kinshicho, it is walking distance to Sky Tree and Asakusa, and only 8 minutes by train to Tokyo Station.

The hotel has 205 guestrooms, 24 hour food and beverage service, a complete gym and high-tech meeting rooms.

While guests can comfortably relax in their retro-style rooms, the first floor of the hotel offers plentiful space to eat, drink, talk and play table and board games.

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

The Luxury Collection signs IRAPH SUI on Okinawa

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The Luxury Collection has signed IRAPH SUI, a luxury hotel in Okinawa, Japan.

Owned by The Mori Trust Group and slated to open in late 2018, the new island resort will be will be located in the city of Miyakojima, in Okinawa Prefecture and will be the third Luxury Collection hotel in Japan.

The new Luxury Collection resort will be located on an elevated headland on the southwestern coastline of Irabu, a small island in the Miyako Island group, where its 57 guest rooms will enjoy stunning sea views.

In addition to nine suites with private plunge pools, the resort will also feature 10 luxurious Junior suites and one Executive suite. Amenities will include a 72-foot outdoor swimming pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center and spa. IRAPH SUI will also feature an all-day restaurant, a relaxing pool bar and beach club.

Roxy-Pacific acquires second hotel asset in Japan

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Established property and hospitality group with an AsiaPacific focus, Roxy-Pacific Holdings, has announced the acquisition of its second hotel asset in Japan, Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka.

Launched in May 2017, the 154-room Tenmabashi Grand Hotel Osaka is an 8-minute walk away from Tenjibashi shopping street – the longest shopping street in Japan. Nearby tourist hotspots include the Osaka Tenmangu Shrine, Osaka Castle Park, as well as the famous Cherry Blossoms at the Osaka Mint Bureau.

The 9-storey hotel comprising 3,672-square-metres of total floor area will, upon completion of the acquisition in October 2017, be self-managed by the Group’s Noku Roxy hospitality management arm, which currently operates a boutique hotel in Kyoto, Japan – Noku Kyoto.

Through its furnishings and curated list of attractions and F&B offerings in the vicinity, the Noku Roxy brand aims to showcase the best version of the city, as well as hidden gems only visited by the locals. Attention to detail and personalised experiences also create a differentiated stay for guests.

Osaka received a record number of foreign visitors in 2016 exceeding 9.4 million, representing a 31% hike from 20152. The city also boasts one of the highest hotel occupancy rates of any major city in Japan.

Amongst the Noku Roxy hospitality brand asset pipeline includes a 50-villa resort in Maldives, and a separate resort in the Chalong sub-district of Phuket, Thailand, planned for launch in the last quarter of 2017 and 2019, respectively.

New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World

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This May Small Luxury Hotels of the World is welcoming five new luxury properties to its portfolio. Introducing a brand new eco-certified hotel in Cap Corsica, a newly opened palazzo turned boutique retreat in Rome, a serene forest dwelling in Izu, Japan and a sophisticated retreat wrapped up in bright botanic gardens in Puerto Vallarta.

Le Domaine Misincu: Corsica

Opening June 2017
Due to open in June 2017, set in 35 hectares of natural parks and gardens, Le Domaine Misincu will be the only five-star rated environmentally friendly and eco-certified luxury boutique hotel in the region of Cap Corsica. Highly protected, savage and unspoilt in natural beauty, Cap Corse is the last remaining “wild” part of the island and therefore nicknamed as “the island on the island” which sets its history apart from the rest of the island. Aiming for Corsican modern luxury living at its best, Le Domaine Misincu is an epitomised “barefoot casual luxury” experience with a holistic approach. Contemporary yet traditional in style, the hotel pays homage to Corsican heritage and the outstanding beauty of its natural surroundings coupled with 21st century amenities for today’s luxury leisure travellers. Whether it is the vast range of local products in the F&B outlets, Corsican fabrics, materials and woods to be used for anything interior design or the fleet of Tesla cars available for guests, any stay here is to reflect an authentic Cap Corse experience.

Casa Velas: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Found amidst blooming grounds of tropical flora, the adult-only hotel and ocean club, Casa Velas, sets the scene for a perfect romantic seaside escape. The 80 suites offer guests a private piece of luxury in the botanic gardens and the wooden beams and furniture and earthy tones are inspired by traditional Mexican designs. The hotel is just minutes from the beach, an 18-hole golf course and the buzzing boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. The treatments at Casa Velas Spa draw on ancient wisdom and local ingredients, with treatment rooms for couples and singles, a hydrotherapy area and beauty salon. The on-site restaurant, Emiliano, is an AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, headed up by one of the area’s leading chefs, serving Mexican and international cuisine. Alternatively guests can opt to take a short stroll to the Ocean Club for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails on the beachfront.

Margutta 19: Rome, Italy

Opening July 2017
This brand new Roman boutique hotel will open its doors on July 1 2017. Tucked away on Via Margutta – known locally as ‘the artist’s street’ thanks to famous prior residents such as Picasso and Stravinsky, this elegant palazzo has been given a modern make over. Despite its city location Margutta 19 provides a chic and restful escape, away from the buzz of Rome. The 16 rooms have been styled in gentle shades of sage and ivory, with parquet floors, travertine marble bathrooms, king size beds and Frette linens. Classic and deluxe suites overlook the cobbled Via Margutta and its terracotta buildings, while the Garden Suite comes with its own 43 square metre terrace. Restaurant Assaggia is courtesy of angelo Troiani who serves his own inventive spin on Roman classics, including recipes handed down through generations of the hotel owner’s family.

ABBA Resorts Izu: Izu, Japan

Situated on the stunning Jogasaki coast, ABBA resorts Izu is an intimate, 30 room retreat, featuring an indulgent Neen-spa and three world-class restaurants serving French and Japanese fare. Built in the ryokan style of a traditional inn, the luxurious Abba Resorts Izu, blends seamlessly into its ancient forest backdrop. The resort’s natural garden was created from diverse lava formations and the villas come with their own open-air bath, filled with warm, soothing mineral waters flowing in from the Ukiyama Hot Springs that Izu is known for. The rooms are designed to calm and soothe, with woven tatami straw mats and other natural touches in abundance.

São Lourenço do Barrocal: Monsaraz, Portugal

This 200 year old family run, fully working farm-come-luxury boutique retreat (main picture) seamlessly blends contemporary scandi-style décor with vintage homestead touches. Every element of the hotel celebrates its Alentejo surroundings. Guests can wander the grounds, take a seat in the wooden deck chairs amongst the orange grove, stroll through the wine and vegetable garden, take a dip in the pool or pack up a picnic and cycle to the estates lake. At night guests are invited to enjoy farm-to-table dining at the onsite restaurant, where classic Alentejo flavours are served up using home grown and locally sourced produce alongside the winemakers selection from the onsite vineyard. The 40 rooms, suites and cottages are a tasteful mix of old and new, with white fabrics, wool blankets, carefully selected vintage features and farm views. Certain suites and cottages also come with a private terrace, perfect for star-gazing. A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool, as well as a variety of treatments.

Best Western Tokyo

Best Western unveils exciting new hotel in Tokyo

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts will soon offer travellers to Tokyo another exciting place to stay, with the opening of Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai Grande on April 1, 2017.

The hotel’s 105 rooms – all of which are non-smoking – come in a range of configurations for all types of guest. These include triple rooms, allowing families visiting Tokyo Disneyland to stay together before they catch the complimentary shuttle bus to the theme park’s main entrance.

All rooms also feature international power sockets, USB ports, flat-screen TVs and free Wi-Fi, allowing business travelers to stay connected and leisure visitors to keep in touch with home, including those all-important social media updates.

Corporate guests can use the 24-hour business centre, and all guests will enjoy the exquisite Japanese and international cuisines served at the hotel’s restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

And visitors wishing to explore the local area will discover a shopping mall and many local restaurants, some of them open 24 hours. Traveling to and from airport is easy too, with buses and trains connecting swiftly toNarita International Airport.

“Japan is one of Best Western’s most important markets, and we are delighted to offer guests yet another excellent hotel in the vibrant capital city, Tokyo,” said Olivier Berrivin, Best Western’s Managing Director of International Operations – Asia.

Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai Grande becomes the company’s third hotel in the Japanese capital city, joining Best Western Rembrandt Hotel Tokyo Machida and Best Western Tokyo Nishikasai, which is located just five minutes away from the new hotel.

 

Okura Nikko Hotel Management has announced that it will open Hotel JAL City Nagoya Nishiki, the Okura Nikko Hotel's first property in Nagoya, Japan

Hotel JAL City Nagoya Nishiki to open in 2019

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Okura Nikko Hotel Management has announced that it will open Hotel JAL City Nagoya Nishiki, the Okura Nikko Hotel’s first property in Nagoya, Japan. The company signed a contract with Enuwan LLC to operate and manage the hotel on January 31.

The 14-storey Hotel JAL City Nagoya Nishiki will offer 216 guest rooms and a choice of queen or Hollywood twin beds. Rooms will average 26 square metres of floor space (ranging between 20m2 and 28m2) with separate shower and bathtub. The hotel will offer modern, convenient and highly functional accommodations.

Hotel JAL City Nagoya Nishiki will be a lifestyle hotel targeted at energetic travelers between their late-20s and early-40s. It will place a special emphasis on satisfying demanding needs, including with a food-and-beverage facility that flexibly offers buffet, open-kitchen and bar options all day long.

okura-nikko.com

Holiday Inn - Osaka

Holiday Inn opens in the heart of vibrant downtown Osaka

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InterContinental Hotels Group has announced the opening of Holiday Inn Osaka Namba. This is the fifth Holiday Inn hotel in the brand family in Japan, joining others in Sapporo, Sendai, Kanazawa and Miyazaki. The 314-room Holiday Inn Osaka Namba is located in the heart of Osaka.

Hans Heijligers, Head of Japan, IHG said: “We are delighted to strengthen our brand portfolio in one of Japan’s major cities, Osaka and the opening of Holiday Inn Osaka Namba will bring more choice for our valued guests and nearly 99 million IHG Rewards Club members all over the world. With a tourism boom in Japan, and especially in Osaka, over the last few years, we have also seen a shift in the travelling patterns of international travellers who are now more interested in local experiences than just visiting world famous places or shopping. Travellers can find a variety of local experiences, such as sampling local delicacies and exploring the back streets that are unique to Japan, right here in Osaka.”

With the government’s focus on increasing annual international visitor arrival numbers to 40 million by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games, Japan’s capital city and outlying regions are set to benefit from the tourism boom.

First established in 2006, IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan, a joint venture between IHG and ANA Holdings, is the largest international hotel company in Japan operating a total of 33 hotels across IHG’s three international brands: InterContinental, Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn – supported by the strength of the local ANA brand. There are currently three IHG branded hotels in Osaka – InterContinental Osaka, ANA Crowne Plaza Osaka and Holiday Inn Osaka Namba, catering to both domestic and international guests.

There are currently 1,199 Holiday Inn® hotels open across the globe, with a further 269 hotels due to open in the next three to five years*. Across the Asia, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region, there are 90 Holiday Inn hotels open and 49 hotels in the pipeline.

Four Seasons Kyoto

Four Seasons Kyoto now open

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In the shadow of Higashiyama Mountain in the temple district of Japan’s ancient capital, Four Seasons Kyoto has opened.

“Kyoto is one of the world’s most alluring cities, but she can be shy in revealing her secrets – our mission at Four Seasons is to help our guests discover her wonders and experience all the city has to offer,” says General Manager Alex Porteous, who leads the 270-person team at the intimate hotel with 123 rooms and 57 residences.

Four Seasons Kyoto

Guest rooms – including 13 suites – are designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates to showcase views of the pond garden, Myoho-in Temple and surrounding neighbourhood. Traditional elements such as shoji panels, polished woods, locally crafted Kyoto-style fusuma screens and urushilacquerware are paired with modern at-one’s-fingertips technologies.

Four Seasons Kyoto
Selected accommodations, including the lavishly appointed Presidential Suite, also have balconies. At 245 square metres indoors plus additional furnished outdoors space, the Presidential Suite is one of Kyoto’s largest. All guest rooms and suites feature the signature Four Seasons Bed.

Four Seasons Kyoto
The new Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is the sister property of Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi, suggesting an opportunity for travellers to experience the ancient and modern capitals of Japan in Four Seasons style. The company recently announced plans for a third hotel in Japan, in Tokyo’s Otemachi business district.

http://www.fourseasons.com/kyoto/

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

Starwood unveils Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho hotel

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, has announced the opening of The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, marking Starwood’s first-ever luxury hotel in Japan’s capital city.

Managed by Prince Hotels, the distinguished property is situated in the prestigious Kioicho neighbourhood, with interiors by Rockwell Group Europe, and the hotel is the second property part of The Luxury Collection brand to open in Japan, following the debut of Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Kyoto last year.

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

“We are thrilled to open our first luxury hotel in Tokyo with the debut of The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a market that attracts both business and leisure travellers from across the globe,” said Lothar Pehl, Senior Vice President, Operations and Global Initiatives, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Asia Pacific. “The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho presents indigenous flavours and colourful character within a rich cultural context, further elevating the luxury offerings in Japan’s capital city.”

Designed by Rockwell Group Europe, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho features a striking contemporary aesthetic inspired by the sprawling sky and kaleidoscopic colours of the surrounding city. Located on the 30th to 36th floors of Tokyo Garden Terrace Kioicho, the hotel features 250 guestrooms, including 11 opulent suites that fuse traditional touches with modern amenities.

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

For unrivalled dining experiences, the hotel features four unique restaurants and bars, including Oasis Garden, an all-day dining venue with a sky garden setting; Washouku Souten, a Japanese restaurant with a contemporary dining room, sake bar, teppanyaki area, sushi counter and private dining room; Levita Sky Gallery Lounge, a sophisticated lounge serving tea, light snacks and cocktails and illumiid THE BAR, asignaturebar located on the 35th floor distinguished by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Other facilities include the Kioi spa and fitness centre, operated by Swiss Perfection, which offers a large indoor pool, spa treatments, a sauna, and personal training, as well as a state-of-the-art business centre.

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

The adjacent Akasaka Prince Classic House, a western-style building completed in 1930 and the former residence of the last crown prince of Korea, is now home to La Maison Kioi, a modern French bistro; and the cosy Bar Napoleon. Preserving the historical ambience with a modern twist, Akasaka Prince Classic House also offers almost 3,000 square feet of an elegant banquet hall that can accommodate up to 140 guests.

Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

“The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho caters to the top tier of Japan’s hospitality market,” said Shigeyoshi Akasaka, President of Prince Hotels, Inc. “We are confident that the hotel’s refined offerings and insightful programming will resonate with seasoned and affluent travellers, providing a fresh perspective from which to enjoy this vibrant city.”

Fraser Suites - Japan

Frasers Suites Tokyo to open in Japanese capital

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Frasers Hospitality Group has announced a collaboration with Japan’s leading property and real estate developer, Sekisui House, Ltd to open Fraser Suites Tokyo. Redeveloped from an existing 4-storey commercial building, Fraser Suites Tokyo will be a 23-storey building comprising 223-unit premier Gold-standard serviced residence.

The leading real estate developer in Japan, Sekisui House is involved in local and international housing developments, comprehensive urban commercial projects and mixed-use developments. Sekisui House is no stranger to hospitality properties, having collaborated with international hotel brands to launch Ritz Carlton and St Regis in Kyoto and Osaka respectively. With a strong focus and emphasis on environmental sustainability, Sekisui House is a front-runner in incorporating environmental technologies into their developments and the upcoming Fraser Suites Tokyo will be no exception.

Befitting of the Fraser Suites brand, world-renowned Hirsch Bedner Associates have been appointed interior designers of Fraser Suites Tokyo. The interior design will embody touches of sophistication and understated elegance with evident traditional Japanese accents highlighted throughout the property. Fraser Suites Tokyo offers a selection of spacious and luxurious studio apartments and one-bedroom apartments, ranging 35sqm to 60sqm.

Each fully-serviced residence will feature living, dining, and bedroom areas furnished with international quality fittings. A wide comprehensive range of lifestyle facilities provided will include a fully-equipped 24-hour gymnasium, a golf simulator, an alfresco dining restaurant with beer garden and a 140sqm conference and meeting facility. Also available is the signature Retreat, where one can rest and relax amidst a tranquil setting.

Frasers Hospitality Group’s global portfolio, including those in the pipeline, stands at 139 properties and more than 80 cities and 22,800 keys worldwide.

Fujita Kanko

Two designers for Fujita Kanko’s Okinawa hotel

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Japanese hotelier Fujita Kanko has opened a new hotel in Okinawa. Hotel Gracery Naha’s building and facility design was carried out by Shimizu Corporation, while interior design was by age co.

Located on Kokusai-dori, in Okinawa’s downtown area, the newly built 198-room hotel is a 15-minute drive from Naha Airport.

The hotel design is said to reflect Okinawa’s ocean. There is a one-of-a-kind “Churaumi Room” that has a high-tech video projection of local underwater footage, including marine species such as manta rays and whale sharks, on its wall. It incorporates touch-video functionality so that touching the wall activates the ocean and fish.

The hotel’s entrance area also has a similar visual effect that gives the impression of guests walking on water. Guestrooms all have separate toilets and bathrooms.

Hotel Gracery Naha is the fifth property in the Hotel Gracery group, following the 2015 opening of Hotel Gracery Shinjuku, a Godzilla-themed hotel in Tokyo. Next, Fujita Kanko plans to open Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo in July.

Four Seasons Kyoto

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto opening October 2016

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Set in an 800-year-old traditional garden in Japan’s historic imperial capital, Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is now accepting reservations in anticipation of its opening in the autumn of 2016.

The all-new hotel is enviably located at the foot of Higashiyama Mountain in the city’s temple district with numerous historic landmarks surrounding it, plus minutes-away access to Kyoto’s tech industries, creative arts and leading educational institutions. Known for its four distinct seasons and the natural beauty that unfolds year round, the city attracts visitors from across the region and around the globe.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

“Kyoto is one of the world’s most alluring cities, but she can be shy in revealing her secrets – our mission at Four Seasons is to help our guests discover her wonders and experience all the city has to offer,” says General Manager Alex Porteous, who has returned to Japan to open the brand’s second location in addition to the acclaimed Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi.

The light-filled Hotel affords breath-taking views in every direction, from the neighbouring Kiyomizu-dera Temple to its own five acre (two hectare) pond and gardens. Inside, guests will find 123 guest rooms and suites plus 57 residences decorated in traditionally-inspired yet contemporary style by Hirsch Bedner Associates. Four dining options include an exclusive sushi restaurant, a modern brasserie, lounge and a lovely garden tea house. An intimate spa is adjacent to a shimmering indoor pool.

Destined to become Kyoto’s preferred address for glamorous weddings, social occasions and prestigious business functions, the Hotel’s flexible event spaces include an exquisite, one-of-a-kind chapel.