What it is
A ryokan-inspired retreat of suites and villas tucked into the thick forests fronting Ago Bay, with onsen mineral pools that bubble up from the earth itself.
What it isn't
Just about spa-ing. Activities here include golfing their 18-hole course and custom driving itineraries along, say, the Miya River canyon.
What we think
Soulful doesn’t even begin to describe this hotel stay, where you can explore UNESCO World Heritage Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trails by day, then tuck into charcoal grilled local lobster and prawns on a lantern-lit bluff overlooking the frothy sea by night. Suites and villas here are equally cinematic, and inspired by the region’s ancient architecture, with floor-to-ceiling windows that put the focus on lush woodlands and warm blonde wood wrapped walls and soaring ceilings (bonus: each one comes with its very own private onsen, or natural mineral spring-fed pool). The 1,065-square-foot Sora Suites have furnished verandas perched over Ago Bay; book the two bedroom Nagi Villa for all that aaaand a leafy private garden that makes the ideal setting for your morning matcha. Whichever you pick, Aman’s trademark streamlined style is as restorative and spa-like as it gets (the only clutter here is occasional boats bobbing on the water).
You're here because
The holistic spa has you dropping your shoulders upon sight, thanks to private onsen bathing pavilions, a thermal spring garden flanked by chillaxing daybeds, and treatments that use locally cultivated seaweed and pearl powder.
The best part of waking up isn’t coffee—it’s breakfast alongside the infinity pool, no Folger’s in sight. Instead: steamed congee, miso soup with Japanese pickles, and a glass of Ise Kabuse Cold Green Tea.
Restaurants & Bars
- Amanemu Restaurant - Fine Japanese cuisine
On a densely wooded hill above Ago Bay, a 40-minute-drive from Toba Aquarium, where the 1,200 species may include baby dolphins and baby sea lions alike.