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
We have stayed many Aman resorts and never complained (except the one in China). Aman stands for perfection. It is hard to find fault and it has always been beyond our expectation. Unfortunately, not this time.
Never, ever in an Aman resort, you come back from your breakfast, your room was NOT made. Never, ever in an Aman resort, you stand in front of the reception but being totally ignored by the staff as you are invisible.
From the moment we arrive, the staffs have been so nice to us. They sent a Japanese butler who is fluent in Bahasa Indonesia as he had lived in Indonesia for many years, so communication came easier with us.
The public areas are well designed and maintained. The restaurant, bar, sunken bar, and pool are really nice.
The spa is one of a kind, where it has a huge hot spring pool that we can hangout and relax during the day. We also rent for a private onsen room which is great, and the massage and acupuncture were also great.
The pavilion is spacious and well designed (Aman style) with a great view of the bay.
Had a great time for a short weekend trip there.
My wife and I stayed at Amanemu for one night as a "recovery period" following a Kumano Kodo trek. The room was beautiful and peaceful. We really enjoyed a spa treatment. The service was outstanding (as you would expect with an Aman). Special thanks to the concierge staff that assisted me with some logistics of our trip, a tour of some shrines, and our onward travel – they went above and beyond for me.
Thanks so much for a great, but entirely too short, stay!