What We Love
- Hushed leafy surroundings steeped in ancient Japanese traditions
- The 100-foot infinity pool overlooking Ago Bay
- Drinking Japanese whiskey on sunken open-air terraces surrounding a fire pit
- A spa built around natural hot springs converted into shallow pools edged by oversize daybeds
What To Know
- Because of the focus on relaxation and regeneration, options for active pursuits are limited
- The property is quite spread out; bikes or a staff-driven buggy are on offer
- Guests have access an 18-hole championship-level golf club nearby
Aman’s trademark restrained luxury is especially subtle at this countryside property, 190 miles southwest of Tokyo, made up of a series of low-slung, pitched-roofed pavilions inspired by Japanese farmhouses known as minka. The hotel’s contemporary interpretation of vernacular architecture was informed by Amanemu’s setting in Ise-Shima National Park, a foliage-rich area bordering Ago Bay where ancient traditions like pearl diving are still alive. At the resort’s heart is a 22,000-square-foot spa built around a natural onsen that was designed as a series of tiered shallow pools. Signature treatments like the 90-minute Seasonal Journey, which starts with a centuries-old foot-cleansing ritual using wasabi scrub, are a must.
Blond wood and off-white textiles predominate at Amanemu’s 24 luxurious but spare suites and four two-bedroom villas, all with alfresco decks overlooking Ago Bay or the resort’s gardens. An exception is the bathrooms, whose dark palette is made up of black basalt stone tiles covering walls, floors and private onsen bathtubs that draw mineral-rich water from nearby hot springs.
At the in-house restaurant, a small army of chefs create the daily-changing menu, which focuses on the area’s natural bounty, including rare fruits and vegetables, freshly caught fish like abalone and spiny lobster, and Matsusaka, an ultra-tender and finely marbled wagyu beef. Western options like pasta are also available.
Amanemu is set within Ise-Shima National Park in the southern Mie Prefecture, a region known for its seafood, pearl farms and one of Japan’s most sacred shrines, Ise-Jingu. High-speed trains from Nagoya, Osaka, or Kyoto, which take between two and three hours, arrive several times a day at Kashikojima station, where guests are ushered to a private car for the 20-minute drive to the hotel.
How to Get There
Situated in a very quiet part of the national park, it was just what we wanted for a quiet and understated getaway. We drove ourselves from the airport, which we enjoy. However, it is not easy to find, so just be aware.
The GM greeted us upon arrival. A nice touch. She also provided us an unexpected upgrade to a larger villa with a water view in celebration of our anniversary. The room was very nicely designed and appointed. The only letdown, was that at a resort of this stature and price, you would expect not to have to share a fence with your neighbor who was quite noisy in the evening. A minor thing in the grand scheme of the visit.
The spa was wonderful (three visits over the three days). The treatments were very meticulous and well done. We appreciated the onsen afterwards as well and used it each time.
The food was impeccable (with the price to match also - but to be expected). The only drawback was the formality of the room, which was not our preferred dining style every night and morning. It would have been nice to go down in shorts and slippers to relax, but you will definitely feel out of place if you do that.
Overall a fantastic stay and would recommend and return.
Although an expensive drive from Kyoto or Osaka, Amanemu offers an oasis of calm and superlative service. The food is outstanding, the naturally-heated pools relaxing, and the rooms are of a higher standard than any 5 star urban hotel.
This Chain of Hotels are excellent. Including the room, all of them with jacuzzi and beautiful view. Service with a butler for you at your disposition, Rooms near the main restaurant are better. Food is preordered so next day no waiting time. Highly recommended
We stayed as a family of four for y few days at this property. We had a very good experience there. The rooms are very large and beautiful. The beds are very comfortable. The spa is great. The swimming pool is fantastic. Breakfast and food are very good. We did a sunset cruse, which was one of the highlights of our trip in Japan.
nice rooms, great service and friendly staff. its far away from anything though. there is nowhere else to eat but at the hotel unless you want to take a cab to the nearest town. and taxi in japan is one of the most expensive in the world. the other option is to rent a car so you'll have more flexibility to explore the surrounding area at a more reasonable price.
the food in the restaurant is just average in my opinion and its very pricey. so its good to stay for a day or 2 max to enjoy the facility and the rooms.