This is a real gem. A boutique hotel (53 rooms) with 2 open air baths and 2 indoor baths for male only and female only that changes every eight hours. There are larger hotels in the area like Hakusan, with many more baths and facilities, but if you want to enjoy a bath in a more tranquil and quiet surrounding, this would be the place.
It is rated No.1 for food amongst Japanese Style Bath hotels (Ryokans) by the Japanese Travel Newspaper for consecutive years (still No.1 for food in 2010) and I agree with their assessment. Their Japanese Style banquet dinner (11 courses) is of a very high standard, and a must try experience for gourmet diners looking for authentic Japanese style cooking. The Japanese Style breakfast is also of a very high standard. All these meals are included in the cost for lodging (at US$260 per person) and it is great value.
The service is immaculate. When my group arrived at the hotel, the hotel owner/manager greeted us. During check in, I mentioned that my group would like to visit the hot-sand baths. When my group got changed and was in the lobby heading for the exit, the owner came out and offered to drive us there. During the 5 minute drive, he told us that we should only spend at most 10 minutes inside the hot sand bath, otherwise you may get dizzy and harmful to health. He also told us to call him when we are done so that he can pick us off.
Now that is SERVICE with a capital "S". He also offered those services free of charge, but as an experienced traveller, I know it is time to show some appreciation by giving him a moderate tip.
Overall a very pleasant stay.
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- Also Known As:
- Syusuien Hotel Ibusuki
- Ibusuki Syusuien Japan