News & Notes
Ritz-Carlton Opens First Luxury Resort in OkinawaJun 03 (Sun ), 2012
Ritz-Carlton has opened its first luxury resort in Japan, on the tropical island of Okinawa.
Okinawa has been a popular getaway for generations of Japanese visitors but remains relatively unexplored by the international luxury traveler.
The island features championship golf courses and is surrounded by pristine emerald waters that are perfect for waterborne activities.
The Okinawan concept of hospitality or “gusuku” which translates as “castle” or “guest house” has been carefully reflected throughout the property to give it a welcoming sense of place. The new Ritz-Carlton resort embodies this spirit through its landscaping and contemporary architectural design which extensively features the Shurijo face motifs, distinctive red clay roof tiles, white walls and holy water ponds.
“We are delighted to be able to bring our first true luxury resort hotel to Japan to complement our city hotels in Tokyo and Osaka,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. “We have no doubt that Okinawa has the potential to be a resort island of true international appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world, whether they are visiting the island for business or pleasure. It really is a hidden gem and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa helps to put this destination on the map for discerning luxury travellers.”
The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa enjoys sweeping panoramic views that overlook the East China Sea and the Kise Country Club.
Inspired by the spectacular scenery of ancient forests, manicured golf courses and the sea, the luxurious resort has been designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings.
Restaurants at the resort include:
—Chura-Nuhji – an Italian fine dining restaurant which takes its name from the Okinawan word for beautiful rainbow. The restaurant with its own outdoor terrace overlooking the sea and the golf course is led by Executive Chef Koji Hayakawa who has been at the forefront of restaurants which have helped to popularize Italian fine dining. He previously was head chef of Ristorante La Granata Ginza and Ristoranted La Granata, TBS.
—Kise, a Teppan-yaki restaurant offers local seafood and renowned Okinawan, Kuroge and Wagyu beef.
—Gusuku, an all-day dining experience that serves Japanese, Okinawan and international dishes.
Guests can also enjoy traditional afternoon tea and a variety of finger foods in the Lobby Lounge, in a space that offers views of the emerald green sea overlooking the golf course. The Bar serves special cocktails, international favorites and a selection of the Okinawan spirit, Awamori.
Poolside guests can also relax in the Library which offers a selection of books as well as a bar and casual dining.
Located a short stroll through landscaped gardens is The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, in its own separate enclave. The Spa features four treatment rooms, four dry treatment rooms, outdoor Cabanas offering Shiatsu or Thai massage. It also offers the Heat Experience (Steam Sauna, Jacuzzi hot tubs, Stone Sauna with weathered coral tiles). Two special Retreat Suites are also available (Forest Suite and Ocean Suite) with their own private decks and stone baths. The spa retreat also houses a Nail Studio, Relaxation Room, Indoor Pool, and the fitness center.