Grand Park Otaru
11-3 Chikko, Otaru
With close to 300 guest rooms (the ocean-view suites are well worth the splurge), five restaurants, and one massive mall, Grand Park Otaru is essentially a playground for adults. There’s a great breakfast buffet and fresh-baked pastries for days, but it’s the just-caught seafood offerings you’ll find on neighboring Sushi Street, that deserve the bulk of your attention. And while the accommodations are as five-star as it gets (deep soaking tubs, in-room tea-making stations), the hotel blends into Otaru’s port town quaintness pretty seamlessly. Plus, it's situated 30 minutes from Sapporo and within walking distance to the Otaru Chikko railway station, making it the ideal home base from which to explore Hokkaido.
11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku
This stunning ryokan (traditional Japanese inn) in the west of Kyoto is for those looking to unplug and relax. You get to the resort by boat, and the ride over on the river between the mountains is just breathtaking. Once you arrive, you’ll be greeted by a welcome song of chimes and led to one of the luxury ryokan style rooms overlooking the water. In the morning, have a Japanese breakfast in the room before joining in on breathing exercises. This is a really unique place.
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