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Luxury Hotels of Japan (mainly outside of Tokyo)

Luxury Hotels of Japan (mainly outside of Tokyo)

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Old Aug 23, 15, 6:58 am
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Luxury Hotels of Japan (mainly outside of Tokyo)

Hi everyone,

We are considering to go to Japan for cherry blossom next year. Would anyone have recommendations for hotels to stay at (apart from the obvious Aman Tokyo)?

We usually prefer smaller more exclusive hotels. Any pointers would be appreciated!

Best
DonJ
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Old Aug 23, 15, 8:31 am
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I'm going to Japan on the 7th September for 8 nights. I initially started off just looking to visit Tokyo, purely for the food and to try the Aman, but the more I looked into it the more it became clear there were some fantastic hotels within the country, not that far from Tokyo. So in the end we settled on: Aman Tokyo, Gora Kadan, Ginyu Hakone and MO, Tokyo. Gora Kadan and Ginyu are about 40 minutes via the bullet train from Tokyo and look absolutely fantastic, with amazing spas and well reviewed food and accommodation. Naturally I can't give any view on them, but I'll likely write up a trip report on them in a few weeks time.
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Old Aug 23, 15, 9:30 am
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Andaz Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental, and Ritz-Carlton Tokyo (club level).

Hoshinoya Karuizawa

Ritz-Catlton Kyoto

Gora Kadan, Hyatt Regency Hakone
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Old Aug 23, 15, 9:48 am
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Do you want a ryokan? These, especially at the upper end, would be many of the small exclusive hotels of Japan, but don't expect western style rooms or restaurants/bars. In fact, some of them really don't want foreigners as guests.
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Old Aug 23, 15, 10:01 am
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For the predicted cherry blossom season (actual dates often turn out different) at small, highest-end hotels and ryokan, you are very possibly too late to make a booking for 2016 unless you have good connections.

It's interesting that you assume the only hotel worth considering in Tokyo is the Aman. Is it just because they charge more or is it the name? Doesn't sound like you have been there before.
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Old Aug 23, 15, 2:54 pm
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Just back from Japan.

Peninsula Tokyo : excellent hard product (dlx room) / good situation / no X factor.

Park Hyatt Tokyo : room renovation would be nice but service is really, really good and the F&B views are great.

IC Osaka : no in the same league regarding service but the hard product (2 BR residence suite) was breathtaking.
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Old Aug 23, 15, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by DonJ View Post
Hi everyone,

We are considering to go to Japan for cherry blossom next year. Would anyone have recommendations for hotels to stay at (apart from the obvious Aman Tokyo)?

We usually prefer smaller more exclusive hotels. Any pointers would be appreciated!

Best
DonJ
If you are looking at Tokyo, see the discussion and recommendations here:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...thread-32.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...-report-9.html

Other areas:
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...-hokkaido.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...-non-city.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...one-japan.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...to-ryokan.html
http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/luxur...sy-ryokan.html
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Old Aug 23, 15, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by paulmorand View Post
IC Osaka : no in the same league regarding service but the hard product (2 BR residence suite) was breathtaking.
3201 3204 2BR corner, seems enormous terrace
youtube.com/watch?v=e2YW_goWo8s

3203 3206 2BR not corner, seems smaller terrace
youtube.com/watch?v=rUnOyzf6EuQ

seems 3BR have double height windows
presumably x02 x05, curious re rates
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:38 pm
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Thanks for all the advise! If you have any recommendations for ryokans that would be much appreciated!
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:41 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
It's interesting that you assume the only hotel worth considering in Tokyo is the Aman. Is it just because they charge more or is it the name? Doesn't sound like you have been there before.
No, I have not been there or in Japan in general, it's our first time visit. I have been to almost all amans and so far been rarely disappointed - hence it seems like the obvious first choice to me.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 12:56 pm
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Japan is a country, not a city. I think you should figure out where you want to go since there are good hotels all over the country. Once you have figured out where you want to go, it will be much easier to figure out which hotel you should stay at


Originally Posted by DonJ View Post
No, I have not been there or in Japan in general, it's our first time visit. I have been to almost all amans and so far been rarely disappointed - hence it seems like the obvious first choice to me.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 1:22 pm
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I would consider a luxury ryokan for 1-2 nights a must. Preferably one that has some western guests and at least someone working who speaks a bit of English (harder than you might think!) Hoshinoya fits that category IMO. Not 100% traditional but more western friendly

MO Tokyo is absolutely wonderful, though for my next trip I do plan on trying Aman Tokyo.

Have you thought about Amanemu? Provided it stays on track, it think it would be open when you are there.

Hyatt Regency Hakone is also on my list of places to make it to soon. Take a look.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 3:47 pm
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I like the Hyatt Kyoto, though I see two who are more expert on Hyatts in Japan than me who haven't mentioned it. MikefromTokyo and RichardinSF, what is your recent experience?
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Old Aug 24, 15, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by SanDiego1K View Post
I like the Hyatt Kyoto, though I see two who are more expert on Hyatts in Japan than me who haven't mentioned it. MikefromTokyo and RichardinSF, what is your recent experience?
I was there last earlier this year and expect to be there again next month.

With the opening of the RC in Kyoto, the HR Kyoto is no longer the best western-style hotel in the city. However, it remains a solid second-best and given how the RC is charging -- often 3 times the price of the HR for equivalent room levels -- I think it remains by far the better value of the two. I'd say it has a better location as well, but neither location is ideal.

There will be a Four Seasons opening up in Kyoto before too long but not, I think, in time for the original poster's schedule.

ALL Kyoto hotels fill up well in advance of the predicted cherry-blossom season, and at top rates as well. Do not expect upgrades, book what you are willing to accept.

Originally Posted by DonJ View Post
No, I have not been there or in Japan in general, it's our first time visit. I have been to almost all amans and so far been rarely disappointed - hence it seems like the obvious first choice to me.
But the Aman in Tokyo is different than all other Amans. It is the only one in a city that is not mainly a tourist destination. It has noticeably more rooms than other Amans as well. Reviews on this site have been very positive about the hard product but much less so about the soft product -- which is quite unusual since all the other top Tokyo hotels tend to have outstanding service.
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Old Aug 24, 15, 6:04 pm
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Originally Posted by RichardInSF View Post
I was there last earlier this year and expect to be there again next month.

With the opening of the RC in Kyoto, the HR Kyoto is no longer the best western-style hotel in the city. However, it remains a solid second-best and given how the RC is charging -- often 3 times the price of the HR for equivalent room levels -- I think it remains by far the better value of the two. I'd say it has a better location as well, but neither location is ideal.
I have stayed at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto and visited the Ritz for drinks last year. There is a HUGE gap between them.

I found the Hyatt Regency to be most unimpressive. I can't understand where the enthusiasm for the HR comes from but I would never go back there and I'm surprised to hear it considered as a serious option in this forum.

By contrast the RC is stunningly designed and the service excellent. I also feel the RC's location is better.

With the new Luxury Collection property up and running, FS coming and maybe even one day Amaniwa, the future looks better for Kyoto hotels. And maybe some competition will help to bring the RC's rates down.
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