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“True experience of Japanese traditional Ryokan”

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Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami
Ranked #23 of 108 Hotels / Ryokan in Atami
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
118 reviews
63 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 104 helpful votes
“True experience of Japanese traditional Ryokan”
Reviewed 29 September 2009

Bearing in mind Horai is a 150 years old property, one of the most tradtional luxury ryokan, I do deeply appreciate the sukiya architecture and every piece of art and arrangement and feel like going back in time to ancient Japan. Horai is located perfectly over the hills facing the sea and the only thing you hear at night was waves, tides and in the morning with birds singing. Service is excellent and for non-Japanese travelers, it is very comfortable to have "friendly tips" for onsen and the staff explained to us even how to wear the kimono properly. Dinner was purely an experience and each dish is explained to us and food is exotic but definitely yummy. Of course, the onsen (hot springs) is signature. As Horai only has 16 rooms, the onsen is always not crowded. I watched sunset over the sea during the onsen experience and cannot imagine something better. Horai is definitely something great for foreign travelers that have an open-mind to experience Japanese ryokan culture. Forget about the western "standards" and ENJOY!!! We sure did!

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
6 Thank Sheepo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room Tips
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English first
Oceania
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 September 2008

We stayed at a variety of accommodation business hotels, minshuku and many outstanding & famous ryokan in Japan before arriving at Horai. Forget about 'the sounds of silence and the lapping of waves' that they try and entice you with, the ryokan is located off a noisy road and the sounds of loud music -enka & rock, as well as the usual city sounds (construction work, etc) wafted up to our room most of the time. The welcome was promising, the room OK even if it was located in something resembling a rabbit warren (I got lost returning from the bath.) The hot water didn't work, the toilet smelt and the bathroom was mouldy. The lights in our room didn't work properly either!
The famous big bath was not as impressive as I imagined (it's indoors & you must open the windows for the view) and it's quite far from the main building. The stairs steep & exhausting if you are not fit, or unsteady on your feet.
The food was underwhelming -not kaiseki, more home style food; quite a plain meal. The staff clattered about noisily and forgot to bring dishes or essentials like chopsticks so we could start our meal! It just doesn't deserve it's famous reputation. Sure the Okami penned some calligraphy on our placemat but the doesn't make up for everything else. Service & facilties were not on a par with other ryokan or minshuku we stayed at. I was bitterly dissapointed - even angered somewhat. Save your money for other more deserved ryokan.

  • Liked — sea views from the room
  • Disliked — service, facilities and food
  • Stayed August 2008, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
13 Thank OceaniaJourney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
34 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 65 helpful votes
Reviewed 6 November 2007

Horai has a reputation as one of the top ryokan (Japanese style inns) in Japan. Apparently Horai opened its doors originally in 1859. The prices are very high but you get an experience approaching art. Indeed
the place mats at dinner are drawings, each one unique, sketched by the owner. We had a very large room on the top floor in the corner. Three rooms and a large enclosed veranda with chairs for sitting. The sounds of the breaking waves below are very relaxing. This ryokan defines peaceful. I only saw a couple of other guests when I went down
to the baths. The path down to the lower bath is long (and the stairs back steep) but the experience is something very "Japanese" and not to
be forgotten. The staff were of course very attentive and kind. The dinner and breakfast were both excellent. If you can afford it stay here once for an overnight escape from Tokyo.

  • Stayed November 2006, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank jamesjustin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami

Property: Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami
Address: 750-6 Izusan, Atami 413-0002, Shizuoka Prefecture
Region: Japan > Chubu > Shizuoka Prefecture > Atami > Atami Onsen , Izusan Onsen
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Atami
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££££
Hotel Class:4 star — Hoshino Resorts KAI Atami 4*
Number of rooms: 23
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The only sound that you will hear in this idyllic haven, bathed in the aromas of ancient Japan, is the wind murmuring in the cherry trees or the waves rolling onto the sands. The minimalist «sukiya» style apartments, decorated with fresh flowers, open out directly onto the ocean. Relax in the open-air hot springs, then enjoy Japanese seafood in your room or savour French cuisine at the «Nanki Bunko» restaurant. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Horai Hotel Atami

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