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Sankara Hotel & Spa Yakushima
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Reviews (171)
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All reviewsnight stayevery eveningbreads and pastriesfair bittropical vegetationsmall airportbeautiful propertyfrench cuisinewonderful islandfree laundry roomon arrivalhot waterbreakfast and dinnerlow tideworld heritagehotel staffstar hotel
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40 - 45 of 171 reviews
Reviewed 26 February 2013

Stayed two nights on our honeymoon over New Year 2013. Totally agree with all the other reviewers and will just add a few observations:

1. We had an upper level Samudra villa. Their website says 53 sq m, but it is significantly larger than our 70 sq m home in Hong Kong.

2. On New Year's Eve, we had dinner at okas. Just before coffee and petite fours, they brought each of us a bowl of the Toshikashi Soba (年越し蕎麦) that's traditionally eaten at that time. Very nice touch.

3. We tried their thai message with the herbal ball. We were fortunate to have their Thai trainers on property at that time, and the message was phenomenal. And even though it says 90 minutes, they worked on us for close to 120. Perfect after the hike in Yakusugi Land earlier that day.

4. Service was impeccable, and most incredibly, a butler with very good English called my phone in Hong Kong a week prior and asked personally what he could do for us, including the transfer. [We didn't need it as we had a rental car.]

5. Another very nice touch was their laundry room. Three washer/dryer to use, and they stock detergent and softener as well. All free of charge.

Overall, the cost may seem high, but it really isn't. In fact, I can actually call their rates a bargain.

Room Tip: Our Samudra villa is the "highest" one. View from balcony was partially blocked, but we could easily walk up to the main building, without having to call for the golf cart.
  • Stayed: December 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank rkkwan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 December 2012

Yakushima Island that has forests containing trees 3,000 years old - hard to believe - and also to find a hotel that excited my friends and I as much as the nature made the visit to the island an exceptional one and unforgettable. The service, the accommodations, and most especially the food made this a truly 5-star experience. I will go back!

Room Tip: The upper floor rooms have the better views and cathedral ceilings.
  • Stayed: November 2012, travelled with friends
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2  Thank Graeme H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 October 2012

We can echo the previous reviews. This place is exceptional. In particular the service is second to none in my experience. We stayed for three nights and during breakfast the staff noticed that we particularly enjoyed a type of bread the chef made. Upon departure the manager handed us a little package of beautifully wrapped, freshly baked buns for us to take along. He helped us make reservations elsewhere ( against their own interest) and they simply tried to fulfill any wish we might have without being disturbing. English is generally spoeken, if not always fluently, but we gained the impression, that this is a place more frequented by Japanese than foreigners.

The food, the rooms, the facilities – it is all oft he highest standard. The pool is cool, yes, but that is because it is filled with the most amazing freshly flowing mountain water.

What is also true, is that the island itself is another matter; apart from hiking in the forest (on prepaired trails) there are not many attractions. You can swim in the sea, but the beach is not much to write home about. There are waterfalls etc. but Sankara is best if you just want to get away for some peace and quiet. Having said that we had to cut our stay short because of an approaching typhoon.

Our Japanese friends critisised the place for being too South East Asian, not really Japanese, There is some truth in this and this conflict of the Thai style luxury service and the relatively rugged environment is maybe the biggest draw-back of Sankara. Having said that, Ryokans can also be testing in the long run and compared to Ryokans of the same standard, this is actually quite a good deal.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank malou1001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 June 2012

It was my first time to Yakushima. The flight to Yakushima is already exciting.
I was put up at Sankara Hotel & spa. I really enjoyed myself with the dinner, spa, Yoga and breakfast in my 2 days.
The staffs were really of great help and friendly.

  • Stayed: June 2012
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1  Thank des0829
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 April 2012

I have to admit that after all the glowing reviews, I am a little disappointed I could not find much to complain about this resort. To make it short: it was an absolutely incredible stay, and without any hesitation or exaggeration the best resort I have stayed at, ever.

The rooms, view, and location were amazing; the food divine; the staff ethereal. It was so good that my partner and I decided to lengthen our stay another night on the very last evening. It was incredibly hard to leave, and I will be back again very soon.

+++: (Sorry if this section is too lengthy)
Rooms: We got the Junior Suite located in the main building, and it was fantastic. As per Japanese standards, the room was incredibly clean, but there was so much more. Wonderful view of the ocean, huge (and I mean huge) and incredibly comfortable bed; day couch with TV and DVD player; walk-in closet with dehumidifier; all-inclusive minibar with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; giant bathroom with separate shower, toilet and bathtub, along with incredible amenities. There were a few minor problems which I will mention later, but those in no way distracted us from the incredible comfort of the room.

(The staff also allowed me to see the other rooms, all of which were pretty amazing) Also, a 60-minute spa treatment is included per person (2 per room is included) which was helpful after a day of trekking on Yakushima.

Food: Despite being a western-styled resort, Sankara includes breakfast and dinner in the room rates (Japanese resort style). Breakfast was fairly standard fare, with freshly baked bread, eggs, as well as some surprises here and there (including flying fish carpaccio), but it is dinner that I really want to mention. Dinner was offered at two restaurants – Ayana served casual French food, and Okas served fine dining.

We ate at Okas all four nights, and it was absolutely amazing. Chef Tsutomu and his two sous-chef prepared some dishes that combined fresh ingredients with ingenuity, turning the food into some unbelievable Japanese-inspired French dishes. Meats and seafood were locally or regionally (from Kyushuu) sourced and fresh, while many vegetables, mushrooms and flowers were from their own little garden! A different menu was offered each night, and can be personalized. The fourth day we were there, we asked the chef to include a few dishes that we loved from the previous dinners, and he happily obliged.

Staff: I cannot gush enough about the staff. Tomohiro-san and his staff took such good care of us. I honestly cannot thank him and his entire staff enough, because they made our trip incredibly special. At every single step of the way, everyone was helpful and had an unbelievable attitude. Everyone seemed to love the resort, the surroundings, the island, and it permeated into their attitude towards the guests. It was a truly special experience, and after staying at so many hotels, a unique and refreshing one. Once again, a very heartfelt thank you to all the staff at the resort. You made our stay at Sankara unforgettable.

サンカラのスタッフへ:誠にお世話になりました。心に残る旅を経ってもらいまして、皆さんの優しい態度と素晴らしいサビースだからなんです。ありがとうございました。必ず戻りますので、また次回に会いましょう。

Summary: Everything exceeded my expectations, and in addition they have a great pool with an even better view, some wonderful deck chairs overlooking the ocean, private hybrid cars for rental by the hour (all I can say is wow…), as well as a library lounge with free drinks and cigars for sale! Finally I heard from Tomohiro-san that they are opening an onsen (hot spring) at the resort soon, so I’ll have another reason to return!

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Incredibly minor points:
- Hot water took a very, very long time to get started. It felt quite wasteful to let so much fresh water go down the drain
- A fair bit of empty space in the room still, the TV cupboard was empty, but perhaps this will change in the future?
- My partner wasn’t a very big fan of the couch, which wasn’t the most comfortable
- Pool wasn’t heated, which made it impossible to swim as the weather was a tad too cold.

Lack of suites for families: All the rooms were designed for singles or couples, which might make it a little difficult if people are planning to go as a family. Even the suites with multiple rooms do not convert well to fit more people, so if you're planning on going as a family, it might be necessary to rent multiple rooms.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, the Junior Suites and above are a good value because of the perks they include and the view from your bedroom. Some of the detached villas may not offer such great views.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank jamesjen25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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