The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa pioneers luxury hospitality on Japan’s secret tropical getaway
The Ritz-Carlton presents Okinawa – known as “Gusuku” which means “Castle”’ in the local dialect
Japan’s tropical island of Okinawa is the home to the first Ritz-Carlton luxury resort in Japan. Okinawa island has been the secret getaway for generations of Japanese visitors, but remains relatively unexplored by the international luxury traveler. The destination is rich in championship golf courses and surrounded by pristine emerald waters.
The Okinawan concept of hospitality or “gusuku,” which translates as “castle” or “guest house,” has been carefully reflected throughout the property to give it a welcoming sense of place.
The 97 guestrooms and two suites of the Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa have balconies or terraces which enjoy sweeping panoramic views that overlook the East China Sea and the Kise Country Club. Inspired by the scenery of ancient forests, manicured golf courses and the sea, the resort has been designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings.
This new hotel presents a host of exquisite sophisticated restaurants and a bar. Restaurants include – Chura-Nuhji, an Italian fine dining restaurant; Kise, a Teppan-yaki restaurant featuring local seafood and renowned Okinawan beef; and Gusuku, an all-day waterside dining experience that serves Japanese, Okinawan and international dishes on its outdoor deck.
Located a short stroll through landscaped gardens is The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, in its own separate enclave. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA combines the essence of ancient and modern Chinese, Indian, European and Balinese spa cultures. It uses the luxury ESPA products that harness the best of nature’s essential oils, botanicals and marine supplements.
The Spa features four treatment rooms, four dry treatment rooms, outdoor Cabanas offering Shiatsu or Thai massage. It also offers the Heat Experience (Steam Sauna, Jacuzzi hot tubs, Stone Sauna with weathered coral tiles). Two special Retreat Suites are also available (Forest Suite and Ocean Suite) with their own private decks and stone baths. The spa retreat also houses a Nail Studio, Relaxation Room, Indoor Pool, and the fitness center.
The Spa reception features the use of organic materials in all design points, and the deep forest motif is particularly evident where a display of light creates textural and moving shadows as if under the forest canopy. Views to the ancient Yambaru Forest can be enjoyed from treatment rooms.
“We are delighted to be able to bring our first true luxury resort hotel to Japan to complement our city hotels in Tokyo and Osaka,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “We have no doubt that Okinawa has the potential to be a resort island of true international appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world, whether they are visiting the island for business or pleasure. It really is a hidden gem and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa helps to put this destination on the map for discerning luxury travellers.”
Victor Clavell, area vice president, Asia for The Ritz-Carlton added, “our first luxury resort in Japan underlines our commitment to the Japanese market. The culture of friendship or ‘keion’ on this island blends seamlessly with The Ritz-Carlton promise to offer the finest personal service and facilities in a warm yet refined ambiance. We anticipate bringing more of the island’s incredible culture to the world.”
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company currently operates 79 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean.