- Detailed Review
- Facts & Amenities
Amanemu sits on a hilltop in Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park, peacefully gazing out over Ago Bay. The hotel is minimalist perfection, deriving its inspiration from traditional Minko style in a refreshingly contemporary way. It’s a bit of a hike to get to – and is a two-and-a-half-hour train ride from the nearest airport – but for those seeking a deeply calming respite away from the crowds, Amanemu will fit the bill quite nicely.
Each of the 24 suites is a study in luxurious simplicity, with vast expanses of blonde wood, bamboo lanterns and modern furnishings. Colour comes from the world outside as seen through the enormous floor-to-ceiling windows that take up nearly an entire wall. Dark basalt bathtubs invite guests to enjoy the tradition of onsen bathing (bathing in natural hot spring water), though you can set the tap for conventional cold and hot water if you’d prefer.
Dining at Amanemu is an extravagant affair, the only element of the hotel that isn’t utterly streamlined. The Restaurant pays homage to the culinary traditions of the region in colourful meals that change with the seasons. Western-leaning dishes are offered as well, but you’d be remiss to pass up such tantalising dishes as spiny lobster and grilled barracuda – all of which are spectacularly fresh. Cocktails at the Lounge Bar are a delight, bursting with flavour and colour from whichever fruits are currently in season.
Amanemu’s elegant spa (which is every bit as minimalist as you’d expect) embraces first and foremost the idea of water; indeed, it is built around a large onsen and there are two private onsen pavilions in addition to a watsu pool. The thermal spring water is said to have many curative benefits, and the serenity of the environment has a pleasantly soporific effect. Experience “meditation in the water” with aquatic bodywork, or pamper yourself with one of the spa’s other treatments, all of which use natural ingredients sourced from the surrounding Mie Prefecture. There’s a yoga pavilion and light-filled fitness centre for those looking to keep active, in addition to a 33-metre swimming pool. Leave time to go for an evening swim – the combination of the verdant rolling hills and sunset over Ago Bay is positively idyllic.
How to get here
25 minutes by helicopter from Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport
28 suites & villas