What it is
A spa-like retreat on 80 serenely forested acres, with Ryokan inspired modernist architecture, two Michelin-worthy restaurants and onsen mineral hot springs in the apothecary-inspired spa.
What it isn't
Boring. Aman has curated unforgettable exploits, including designing miniature Japanese gardens and meditating with local Buddhist monks.
What we think
You may want to pinch yourself when you first step foot into your room here. Every single one—yes, even the starting room category (a whopping 646 square feet)—is what Kyoto dreams were made of, including floor to ceiling walls of windows, slatted blonde wood walls, and artfully lofted beds that look like they could be an exhibit at MoMA. Adding to the cozy allure: each one is fitted with tatami floors (handmade straw matts) and a Hinoki wood soaking tub. For a prime panorama over the tree canopies and extra room to sprawl, book the Washigamine Pavilion, a 2,594-square-foot pavilion with a dining and kitchen space, plus two en suite bedrooms. While you’re here, we advise arranging as many spa treatments as possible; the green tea scented space has perfected both ancient arts (shiatsu massage) and modern ones (24k gold leaf facials).
You're here because
The hotel shares its landscape with the aforementioned circa 1397 “Golden Temple,” so you are likely to spot monks wandering barefoot over the soft moss-laden forest trails.
You’ve had afternoon tea all over the globe, but something about your fireside perch at the Living Pavilion makes it a transcendent experience. Is it the fig tartlet by award winning pastry chef, Hiroyuki Matsuo? The 20 types of tea? Or the birds singing in the adjacent trees? Heaven.
Restaurants & Bars
The Living Pavilion - offers all-day dining and serves both home-cooked Kyoto-style cuisine and Western dishes
Taka-An - follows Japan’s omakase dining tradition and created by Chef Shinichiro Takagi
The former grounds of a textile museum at the base of Hidari Daimonji mountain, an hour’s drive from Osaka International Airport. Your neighbor: gold leaf covered Kinkaku-ji Temple and some 16 other Unesco World Heritage Sites.