Hoshino Resorts, the leading family-owned Japanese hospitality company with a contemporary take on the traditional ryokan (inn), provides the perfect base for exploring Japan and beyond. With a range of new properties launching, and Japan hosting the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics (24 July – 9 August), there has never been a better time to visit.
Hoshino Resorts is delighted to announce three new openings in Okinawa, a Japanese prefecture of over 150 subtropical islands in the East China Sea between Taiwan and Japan’s mainland. Home to one of the world’s most beautiful blue coral reefs, explore pristine white sand beaches and see vibrant marine life, lush mangrove jungles and the historic castles of the Ryukyu Kings. Okinawa residents have the longest life expectancy in the world, and the archipelago is the birthplace of karate.
HOSHINOYA Okinawa (opens 15th April 2020)
HOSHINOYA Okinawa is the eighth property within flagship brand HOSHINOYA‘s portfolio, and will open on 15th April 2020 on Central Okinawa island, in the village of Yomitan. Built around a reef pool (called Ino in Okinawa), the hotel has been designed in the style of a traditional ‘Gusuku Estate’ linked to the island’s ancient Ryukuan culture. Encircled by Limestone walls, the estate will feature 100 ocean-view guestrooms housed in traditional wooden buildings set amongst papaya and acerola (cherry) tree orchards, tropical plants and flowers. Each guest room will have an indoor patio with a large dining table and wallpaper featuring original Ryukyuan Bingata (dyed cloth, made using stencils and other methods), with plant and animal motifs that are native to Okinawa.
The main dining hall will feature a unique combination of Ryukyu Siciliana cuisine – Okinawan ingredients combined with Sicilian cooking techniques – and will be overseen by HOSHINOYA’s first female Executive Chef (details to be announced before the opening date). This is a move away from other HOSHINOYA properties which use French-inspired cookery techniques.
Guests can also dine in their rooms using the ‘gathering dining service’ which allows them to pick from a list of pre-prepared fresh seasonal ingredients which are delivered to the room so guests can cook for themselves at leisure. Other facilities include a kitchen garden, library lounge and an oil treatment spa. The hotel is 80 minutes’ drive from Naha Airport on Okinawa Island which is a 2½ hour flight from Tokyo. Prices from ¥80,000 – ¥109,000 (from £602 per room per night (two sharing; room only).
Swim with Manta Rays at RISONARE Kohamajima (opens 20th April 2020)
RISONARE Kohamajima is located in the Yaeyama Islands, Okinawa Prefecture, and will open on 20th April 2020. Set on a white sand beach, the hotel overlooks the largest coral reef (Sekisei Lagoon) in the northern hemisphere. Flying into Ishigaki Island from mainland Japan, the ferry transfer takes 25 minutes and is followed by a 10-minute shuttle bus transfer to the hotel. Prices from ¥18,800 per person (£134 pp, two sharing, including breakfast).
Stay amongst wildcats on Iriomote Island, Okinawa
Hoshino Resorts recently took over the running of 100-room Iriomote Hotel on the palm-fringed Iriomote Island in Okinawa Prefecture. Known for its wildcats and superb coral reef, over 90% of the subtropical island is carpeted by jungle. The hotel is an ideal base for trekking and wildlife-based adventures, plus kayaking and snorkelling in the crystal-clear waters of the East China Sea. Hoshino Resorts Iriomote Hotel has a restaurant and café, spa, outdoor pool and shop. From Ishigaki Island to Iriomote Island, it takes 45 minutes by ferry. From Iriomote island’s Uehara ferry terminal to the hotel, it is a 10-minute shuttle bus transfer to the hotel. Prices from ¥13,200 per person (£96 pp, two sharing, including breakfast).
Riverside KAI Nagato, Yamaguchi Prefecture (opens 12th March 2020)
Located beside the Otozuregawa River, KAI Nagato is set in the heart of the historic Nagato Yumoto Onsen region in south west Japan – an area frequented as a health resort by the heads of the Mori clan in the Edo period (1603-1868). Surrounded by the mountains of northern Yamaguchi, the property embraces the region’s rich culture. Due to recent reinvestment, the area has benefited from new terraces running along the river and the ONTO – an open-air bath said to be the oldest onsen in the region – has been completely rebuilt by Hoshino Resorts
Much of KAI Nagato‘s design has been inspired by Samurai culture. Each of the 40 bedrooms has a raised bed with a Tokuji Washi headboard; ten rooms have their own private outdoor bath. Tokuji Washi was established over 800 years ago and became the largest manufacturer of Japanese paper. Today, the hotel produces kozu and mitsumata which are used to make the hotel’s Japanese paper screens. There is also a tokonoma (alcove) above each bed with several shelves displaying original Hagi pottery, made by three artisan potters who live in the region
The dining hall features semi-private booths and will serve kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course meals) made with local seasonal ingredients. The area is known for its fresh squid (served either as an appetiser or as sashimi) and the different courses are presented on Hagiware dishes or in small wooden buckets made by Akira Sakamura, the only artisan bucket maker in Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Other facilities include an indoor and outdoor onsen, a travel library, shop and AKEBOMO Café, also open to non-residents. By car, the hotel is 60 minutes from JR Shin-Yamaguchi Station and 90 minutes from Yamaguchi Ube Airport. Prices from ¥22,000 per person (£157 pp, two sharing, including dinner and breakfast).
Hoshino Resorts to operate The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Hawaii (from 15th January 2020)
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club in Honolulu, on Hawaii’s Oahu island, is just a few blocks from the town’s iconic Waikiki beach. There are 112 vintage-inspired rooms, featuring hand-crafted mid-century furniture and local artwork. Open all day, restaurant Mahina & Son’s is run by revered local chef Ed Kenney and serves Hawaiian-inspired dishes using local organic ingredients such as avocado tacos, red moonfish and ice cream sandwiches, and has an impressive cocktail list. The hotel’s Swim Club is open to locals and guests alike and hosts regular after-dark film screenings. There is a lively programme of regular events including silent discos, Pilates classes, alcohol ink painting, art & craft pop-ups, surf restore yoga, flower crown workshops and Aloha Fridays where guests make their own lei wristlet from fresh flowers. Olive & Oliver boutique sells authentic Hawaiian gifts and beachwear and has its own café serving coffee. Guests can use bikes to explore the local area. Prices from $250 per room (£194 per room/£97 pp based on two sharing). Contact Hoshino Resorts (https://www.hoshinoresorts.com/en/resortsandhotels/uniquehotels/surfjack.html).
The origins of the Hoshino hospitality brand started with the opening of the first hot spring resort in 1914. The company was rebranded as Hoshino Resorts by current CEO Yoshiharu Hoshino in 1995, and now includes four hospitality brands under its parent company – HOSHINOYA (Hoshino Resorts’ flagship luxury brand), KAI (authentic hot spring ryokan/inns), RISONARE (family-friendly) and OMO (urban-based mid-range hotels), together with other unique lodgings.
Hoshino Resorts currently operates 39 properties (37 in Japan, plus Bali and Taiwan) – this will rise to 43 properties from January to April 2020, when the properties above either open or relaunch.
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