A slice of contemporary luxury that does nothing to detract from its natural onsen baths
Mountains | Relaxation | Spa
While the West had its coaching inns, travellers in feudal Japan enjoyed soaks in hot onsen. And, Hakone, with its volcanically heated waters and location just outside the capital was the ideal stopping off point for wandering samurai. Today, thanks to its French parks, museums and caldera lakes ringed by pines and shrines, it’s not surprising that Hakone quickly became a destination in itself. The hotel is just a ten-minute walk from the first section of the Hakone Ropeway – ideal for exploring the area from a vantage point.
Despite the Hyatt Regency’s commitment to fashion-forward modernity, in its rooms you’ll find balconies or sun terraces that remind of traditional ryokan and carpets that resemble bamboo forests. You’ll even receive summer yukata kimonos along with a warmer tanzen jacket that guests are encouraged to wear about the hotel. The carefully selected lines of the dark wood furnishings and the high speed WiFi brings you back to present day. As Hakone is known for its picturesque vistas, consider upgrading to a mountain view room or a Deluxe room or Suite that comes complete with traditional tatami mats in its living room.
After 11 years in Paris, executive chef Yasuhiro Kanayama has returned to his homeland, bringing with him the French gastronomy that saw his La Bigarrade receive a Michelin star. In the Regency’s elegant Dining Room, guests are treated to mountain range views from its terrace, the backdrop to such wine-paired offerings as marinated scallops and lobster with passion fruit and white asparagus salad. If you’d rather something more local, sip on a fine sake at the sushi counter where you can enjoy everything from miso soup and wagyu beef to sashimi and makizushi roll favourites.
Each morning, not only are guests treated to the day’s papers but, in the cosy Living Room, they’re served tea and coffee around the log fire. Later in the day, this is replaced with complimentary champagne and cocktails, available between 4:00 and 7:00 PM. It’s the perfect end to a day spent soaking in the hotel’s onsen hot springs. You’ll also find a full spa where – over eight treatment rooms – you’ll enjoy mist saunas, soaking bathtubs and fruit massages. However, don’t forget to explore Hakone’s hiking trails and fishing spots or stop off at its open-air museums.
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