Check These Stylish Hotels in Okinawa for Great Stays in Japan's South
While you are visiting the stunning beaches and islands of Okinawa, Japan, you may want to stay at one of these six stylish hotels.
Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture of Japan, is essentially an archipelago of about 150 islands that are also known collectively as Ryukyu Islands. It is divided into three major island groups. The biggest of which is Okinawa Islands, where the prefecture’s capital city Naha is located. The other two are the Miyako Islands and the Yaeyama Islands. Okinawa has a rich natural and cultural history that goes back for many centuries. It also became one of the major battlegrounds in the Pacific in World War II and a key staging site of US military operations during the Vietnam War.
Okinawa is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. It is favored mainly for its long stretch of stunning beaches and bountiful coral reefs that are home to millions of colorful saltwater fish and other marine life. That is why scuba diving and snorkeling are the most prevalent tourist activities in the area. Its subtropical waters is also home to whale sharks and manta rays, and its sandy beaches in the southern islands serve as laying grounds for sea turtle eggs during breeding season.
Because of its natural beauty and bracing climate that attracts holidaymakers, some of the biggest hotel chains in the world built their own beach resort and hotel complex in various parts of Okinawa. Here is a list of what we think are the trendiest hotels in these islands.
1. The Ritz Carlton Hotel Okinawa
This 97-room guesthouse or ‘gusuku’ is the product of an ingenious combination of first-class hotel schematic standards with architectural elements of the 14th century Shuri Castle or Shuri-jo. Auspiciously overlooking the East China Sea, The Ritz Carlton Hotel Okinawa is definitely one of the best hotels in these islands in terms of design and location. The emphatic use of traditional red clay roof tiles on the sprawling modern structure is a fitting homage to Okinawa’s glorious past. The infinity pool design and copious water features evoke the calming charm of the city’s legendary sacred ponds.
Bordered on three sides by the 18-hole Kise Golf Course and the vast ocean beyond, you can surely enjoy a spectacular view from the deck of your outdoor terrace that comes standard in all 97 guestrooms. Out of that number, the hotel has eight Cabana Rooms with private whirlpool tubs on its verandas. There is also a Presidential Suite and a Ritz-Carlton Suite that brings you to the height of absolute luxury. Even the majority Deluxe Rooms can deliver opulent accommodations with its superb amenities.
The Ritz Carlton Hotel Okinawa has a terrific all-day restaurant called Gusuku, along with an Italian restaurant and a Japanese teppanyaki-style restaurant. There is also a bar, a lobby lounge, a library lounge, a spa café, and a poolside bar. For other amenities, they have an awesome spa facility with great services provided by ESPA.
Address: 1343-1 Kise, Nago, Okinawa 905-0026 JAPAN
2. Hoshinoya Okinawa Village
This resort hotel gives you a taste of village living in Taketomi Island but with the infusion of modern luxuries. Instead of a typical guest room, Hoshinoya provides you with your own well-ventilated pavilion with a red clay tile roof adorned with shisa (lion) figurines. It is likewise encompassed with traditional Japanese stonewalls (known locally as gukku) and laid out with white sand walkways.
They have several types of breezy wooden pavilions, all with a spacious living room, a comfortable sofa, and a large bathtub. Usually, they are furnished with soft tatami straw matting, but you can get a king-size futon upon request. The wall-less living area face a private landscaped courtyard where you can feel the cool and invigorating sea breeze from the south. It is however lined with sliding glass doors, should you desire extra privacy.
Hoshinoya has a heated pool and lounging areas adjacent to it. You can also get easy access to several pristine beaches around the property. They also offer soothing and therapeutic massage and spa services. For dining options, there is a Japanese restaurant and a Western restaurant. However, the pride of Hoshinoya is their French restaurant steered by its famed head chef Tatsuo Nakasu who cleverly combined classic French techniques with Japanese traditional fresh ingredients.
Address: Taketomi, Taketomi-cho, Yaeyama-gun, Okinawa 907-1101 Japan
3. Sunmarina Hotel
This beachfront resort-hotel in Onna-son Okinawa Island is notable for its unique architectural style that seems to change its structure as you view it from different sides and angles. The Sunmarina Hotel’s unique form is a clever design solution to give each hotel guest an ocean view from his or her balcony. Equally remarkable is the building’s atrium with a skylight that bathes the huge indoor pond with natural lighting. In the middle of the pond is a lovely lounge café that can be accessed by footbridges.
Much like other Japanese hotels, they offer both western style beds and soft tatami matting according to your preference. Their top-of-the-line guestrooms are the two Corner Suites and the Royal Suite on the top floor wherein you can get the best panoramic view of the beautiful surrounding. All rooms have spacious comfortable beds, private toilet and baths, and all the modern amenities for a pleasant stay.
The Sunmarina Hotel boasts of having a huge outdoor swimming pool with water slides that kids will love. They also offer various programs for marine activities such as scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, jet skiing, and other water sports. They also have a spa that offers numerous services for relaxation and rejuvenation. As for in-house restaurants, they have Senses, which serves traditional Okinawan cuisine, and Barbecue Terrace, which offers grilled specialties in a resort atmosphere.
Address: 66-1 Fuchaku, Onna-son, Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 904-0494 Japan
4. Hilton Okinawa Chatan Resort
Located in the commercial and business district of Chatan, Hilton Okinawa can help you mix business with pleasure in style. Even if you’re in town for business, you can bring along your family and have a great time in this place. They have a huge lagoon pool, a cascade pool with waterfalls, and a kiddie pool outside for family fun and refreshment. They also have an indoor pool should you opt for a quiet workout swim. If you are in the mood for shopping and entertainment, the Mihama American Village is just nearby.
Most of the guest rooms in the hotel have their own private balconies where you can get a nice ocean view. Sunset Beach and the marina are just a few minutes away if you want to have a relaxing stroll or a peaceful boat ride. All guest rooms have ceiling-to-floor picture windows and posh contemporary design interiors. They come with all the essential amenities you can expect from luxury hotels. But if you wanted to treat yourself and/or your family with a little lavishness, then book a Suite or an Executive Room.
Hilton Okinawa has the Amami Spa that offers traditional Okinawan and other spa therapies and skincare treatments that you should try. As for dining choices, they have a contemporary Italian restaurant, a lobby lounge, and a poolside bar, as well as their all-day dining restaurant called Suriyun, which serves Okinawan dishes along with other Japanese and international cuisines.
Address: 40-1 Mihama, Chatan-cho, Okinawa 904-0115 Japan
5. InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort Hotel
InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort Hotel is actually the southernmost beach resort in Japan. From an ocean vantage point, the hotel is shaped like a ziggurat (stepped pyramid) from ancient Mayan and Incan architecture. This feature serves as a great backdrop for the hotel’s enormous central swimming pool complex. Just beyond that in a short distance lies the calm blue waters of Maesato Beach where you can enjoy various water sports and other leisurely seaside activities.
The guest rooms in this hotel have modern design interiors blended with Japanese earthy colors and wooden elements. All of these come with a private balcony overlooking the ocean, plus the usual high-standard hotel amenities. For a grander stay experience, you should try the more elegant suites on the higher floors, which are furnished with outdoor whirlpool tubs on private verandas.
InterContinental ANA Ishigaki Resort Hotel offers a great selection of Japanese restaurants with diverse cooking methods such as the teppanyaki-style, yakiniku-style, and the traditional local cuisines of the island. There is also a Chinese restaurant, a bar, and a café lounge in the house.
Address: 354-1 Maesato, Ishigaki, Okinawa, 47 Japan
6. Okinawa Marriott Resort & Spa
This 15-story hotel has two main wings that are fused at a certain angle, thus forming a boomerang shape when viewed from atop. Nestled in the middle of these wings is the grand lobby of Okinawa Marriott Resort & Spa with its iconic pyramid-shaped skylight roof. On the other side of this façade lies a 170-meter long semi-crescent shaped swimming pool bordered by a verdant landscape and other smaller pools. And beyond this setting is the vast East China Sea.
The modern interiors of each guest room are enhanced with Japanese architectural staples such as shiny hardwood floors and floor-to-ceiling glass panels that slide open to the balcony. These features are actually a modern take on the traditional village houses in the island with open porches. All rooms are air-conditioned and have the amenities for deluxe hotel rooms. Executive Rooms and Suite occupants are entitled access to the executive lounge where they can find complimentary snacks, hors d’oeuvres, and drinks, as well as other special privileges.
Okinawa Marriott Resort & Spa has an international buffet restaurant called All Star Buffet as well as four other restaurants. They also have a poolside bar, a lounge café, and an izakaya (traditional Japanese pub). They also offer a wide range of treatments and pampering services at the hotel’s spa and fitness center.
Address: 1490-1 Kise Nago-shi, Nago City,Okinawa, 905-0026 Japan
You may find that accommodation rates in our list of hotels are a bit pricier than others. It is because these places have high star ratings and offer the type of luxurious lodging and services that go with that status. These hotels are excellent choices for splurging and treating yourself to the natural and man-made wonders of Okinawa.
Lead image: flickr photo by godber https://flickr.com/photos/godber/338393523 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license
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