6 spectacular new hotels to shortlist when planning a trip to Okinawa, Japan’s subtropical paradise

If you’re mulling over a visit to Okinawa, the most southerly of Japan’s main islands (and which of us isn’t?), then we’ve news of no fewer than six spectacular new hotel openings that would take any trip to these subtropical islands to another level…

The Emil Nakijin offers panoramic ocean views

Emil Nakijin – where luxury design meets minimalist living

Opened in October 2020, minimalist luxury resort Emil Nakijin encourages guests to escape city life and experience a retreat free from clutter and distraction. The property, located high upon a north facing cliff and surrounded by serene countryside, offers five suites with panoramic ocean views and a private open-air terrace with infinity pool.
Prices start from JPY45,000 per night.  

U-MUi Forest Villa , surrounded by lush forests (obviously)

U-MUI Forest Villa  – your private hideaway  

On the western coast of Okinawa Island is U-MUi Forest Villa. The resort opened December 2020, with 18 private villas surrounded by manicured gardens and forest. Facilities include a fitness centre, golf simulation experience, communal outdoor swimming pool and restaurant serving French cuisine made with fresh local produce. All villas come with a sun garden and outdoor jacuzzi. Private pools are available in the Executive and Luxury Suites.
Prices start from JPY78,800 per night for two persons.  

Face recognition tech is used at the Hotel Third Ishigaki

Hotel Third Ishigaki – a base for island hopping in Yaeyama 

Another recent opening, Hotel Third Ishigaki is proving a popular base for travellers looking to island hop around the Yaeyama Region. It’s located a short walk from Ishigaki Ferry Terminal. Attractions include a spectacular rooftop terrace (pictured top), plus café, bar and book lounge with a library of over 700 publications. Suitably hi-tech, contactless check-in is standard and room entry is by facial recognition. Room types include suites, family and twin rooms and light refreshments are included in the room price.
Prices start from JPY20,000 per night.  

Feliz Villa Suite Kouri Island View – set to open on Yagaji Island  

Scheduled to open this summer on Yagaji Island, Feliz Villa Suite Kouri Island View will feature eight self-contained beachfront villas with ocean views to Kouri Island beyond. Each villa will boast its own resort-style terrace, private infinity pool leading down to the sea and a fully equipped kitchen. Villas will sleep between two and six adults, making them a smart option for families or friends, or those extended ‘workoliday’.  

Torifito Miyakojima – a handy base for island hopping

Hotel Torifito Miyakojima Resort – opening on Miyako Island  

Opening this March, within local access of Miyako Airport, Hotel Torifito Miyakojima Resort promises 207 spacious and contemporary style rooms, each with their own terrace, a seasonal hotel pool and buffet style restaurant. Consider it a handy base if you want to explore Miyako or hop between island groups.

OMO5 Okinawa Naha – coming soon from Hoshino Resorts

The OMO5 Okinawa Naha, set in the prefectural capital, is set to be Hoshino Resorts’ first opening in Okinawa under the company’s ‘OMO’ urban tourism hotel brand. The concept of the 190 room hotel is to inspire those of us seeking a more cultural travel experience.

Artist HIGA Satoru’s digital installation on display at Naha Airport

Finally, when passing through Okinawa’s Naha Airport, take time out to visit Culture Gate to Japan, a new digital arts exhibition. Running until September 2021, it features the works of 29 artists and promises a new perspective on the diversity of Japanese culture.  

Panton Yokocho review: Step back in time with this retro ramen special

In a corner of London’s Leicester Square, just a short walk from Piccadilly Circus,  there’s a doorway to downtown Tokyo. Yokocho on Panton Street is a retro-styled ramen eatery that recreates the vibe and visuals of 1970s Japan.  It’s more Shibuya than Ginza, but that’s no bad thing, and with a playlist that’s an eclectic…

This boutique hotel in Kyoto’s geisha district offers a luxury twist on the traditional ryokan

Step back in time and indulge in luxury at Kyoto’s newest hidden gem, The Sowaka Hotel. Nestled in the charming and historic Gion geisha district, this 23-room boutique bolt-hole will transport you to a world of traditional Japanese elegance. Recently renovated and featuring a 12-room annex with modern Japanese design, this insta-friendly hotel offers the…

Wheel estate: Aston Martin designs first ultra-luxury home in Japan and it’s stunning

Premium British automobile manufacturer Aston Martin has turned its luxury design sights on Asia, partnering with Japanese concierge specialist VIBROA, to create a jaw-dropper of a private home. № 001 Minami Aoyama is located in Tokyo’s upmarket Omotesando area, itself a hot spot for architecture and style.   The Aston Martin designed ultra-luxury residence features a…


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