Come for the pioneering architecture and stay for the fine dining concepts
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City | Relaxation
Nagasaki – thanks to its relative proximity to the Asian mainland – was one of the only ports open to foreign trade during Japan’s sustained period of isolation. Today, its international flavour can still be experienced in its fusion-food culinary scene, cobbled streets and almost-European gardens. You can even visit Dejima, an artificial island in the city’s bay once set apart for the Dutch to be the sole foreign presence in Japan. That’s not to say that you won’t find shrines and temples that place you firmly back in Japan. However, its recent history has been blighted by the tragic events that marked the end of WWII, documented and revered in monuments, museums and the superb Peace Park. The hotel itself is set towards Nagasaki’s western hills, offering panoramic views over the harbour.
The Garden Terrace is the latest in Nagasaki’s reinventions. It’s a carefully considered jumble of contemporary architecture from the same man behind the nearby Prefectural Art Museum. Suite-only rooms appear disjointed but are, in fact, a series of box spaces covered in warm wood panelling, complemented by cool white interiors and oversized beds. In all, large, square windows and decks make the most of port views as 46" TVs, Blu Ray players and high speed WiFi prove that it’s not just the aesthetics that are cutting-edge.
Across four restaurants, the Garden Terrace showcases Nagasaki’s international influences along with its Japanese roots. At Forest, creative French cuisine is served to harbour vistas – formal wear is a must – while at intimate Chikusai, teppanyaki delicacies are cooked at private stations in front of your table, again accompanied by yet more of those pretty views. The wagyu beef is a favourite. More local delights can be had at Tenku where sushi plates are so finely crafted as to resemble miniature fruits while Akizuki serves multi-cuisine kaiseki meals, complete with lightly fried seafood tempura.
Indeed, the only feature to match the hotel’s complement of restaurants is its menu of facilities. Take yourself up to its roof terrace where an open-air infinity pool looks out over Nagasaki and boutique sun loungers make the most of the Japanese summers. Alternatively, the spa’s private hot spring bath, massages and reflexology treatments are an ideal way to unwind after a day’s sightseeing. Perhaps book into an aromatherapy session or, if that’s not enough, drink in the city lights from the cocktail bar.
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