This high-end Japanese-owned hotel, off the beaten track of most tourists, has ocean views, classy interiors and experimental fusion food. The rooftop hot baths are particularly delightful places to relax – especially with a glass of complimentary craft beer.
Hoshino Resorts KAI Anjin sits in the small city of Ito, less than two hours’ journey south of Tokyo via one bullet and one local train. It is by far the best hotel on offer in the region and there are plenty of hiking routes within a short taxi or train ride from the hotel.
Despite that, Ito isn’t hugely appealing as a destination in its own right – and there’s not a huge amount for tourists to do. However, the hotel’s location next to the Pacific certainly gives it the best views in town.
Address: 5-12 Nagisa-cho, Ito-shi, Shizuoka 414-0023, Japan.
Style & character
Painted entirely black on its rendered exterior, the hotel certainly stands out within a city that’s predominantly concrete-grey. On the inside, the property has a maritime theme throughout, with nautical antiques and artworks that pay homage to the 17th-century English navigator, William Adams, who was the first Briton to reach Japan in 1600.
There’s a classy, fresh feel to the place, with dark-wood floors and granite-tiled walls. The eighth-floor San Buena Deck is a particularly great spot for sundowner drinks – built to resemble the foredeck of an ocean fairing ship with a west-facing vantage point.
Service & facilities
Each and every staff member is immaculately dressed, extremely friendly and brilliantly efficient, however, to be slightly critical on behalf of international guests, some don’t speak particularly good English. In regards to facilities, there are hot baths designated for men and women separately on the top floor overlooking the coastline and adjacent to the lobby there’s the Travel Library where guests can borrow vinyl records to play in their rooms.
For guests travelling to the hotel by car, there’s a large car park, however there is no fitness centre or spa.
Sleek and stylish, each of the 45 rooms is uniquely designed, with no two the same. One side of the hotel is afforded to full-length windows overlooking the Sagami-Nada Sea. Oars, maritime lanterns and nautical-themed artworks are common, and every room has a separate living area with a sofa, coffee table and television.
The bathrooms are particularly impressive, with walk-in showers and separate toilets, plus granite tiling throughout.
Food & drink
For Japanese guests, or Western tourists with adventurous appetites, this hotel excels, with elegantly presented dishes, delicious green teas and fresh juices commonplace with every meal.
Breakfast and dinner are, however, served as set menus, during two sittings – and while the hotel describes its cuisine as English-Japanese fusion food, the latter certainly takes precedence over the former. Meals are heavy on sushi and sashimi with miso broths, raw shellfish and eel. Depending on one’s tastes, you’ll either be in food heaven or food hell, but don’t expect steaks, toast and eggs.
Access for guests with disabilities?
All floors can be accessed by large lifts however no bedrooms have been adapted.
Children’s toys and books are available and dishes can be prepared with younger appetites in mind.
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