Hoshinoya Okinawa, Taketomi Island, Japan – Hotel Review
Part of the adventure of a trip is the adventure of getting there. This is especially true if you are going to the new Hoshinoya Okinawa resort on Taketomi Island. To get there is simple. First fly to Japan and connect to a domestic flight to Ishigaki Remote Island Airport on Ishigaki Island in Okinawa Prefecture (and the airport’s name is an accurate description since it is indeed very remote). From the airport, walk a few blocks over to Ishigaki Remote Island Port where the high-speed ferry will whisk you to Iriomote-jima in under 40 minutes. Enjoy the sunset. Stay overnight at Hoshino’s Nirakanai Iriomotejima resort, hike along a narrow jungle path, and don’t look down. See a waterfall. The next day, return to Ishigaki Island and then take a 10-minute ferry to Taketomi Island (there is no direct service between the two).
A comfortable shuttle greeted us at the port and soon we had arrived at what looked like a small village but actually is the hotel. Indeed, the entire resort was designed to mimic the look of the buildings and walls on Taketomi Island and it also complies with the island’s strict conservation and construction codes.
My Gajoni villa (one of three types of villas, the others are Kyangi and Zuki), as do all the villas at the resort, faced south to take advantage of the cool ocean breeze. It was surrounded by a Gukku coral fence that is typical on the island and had a spacious front yard with a comfortable outdoor table and chairs. A Shisa, a statue of a creature resembling a lion and protecting the occupants from evil, similar in concept to a Tomte in Scandinavia, stood guard from atop the roof.
The villa consisted of living room with a bedroom and bath towards the rear. The living room was furnished with a comfortable table and chairs and an oversized day bed that was comfortable for sitting and reading or doing some work.
The bedroom, unlike the living room which had wooden flooring, had tatami mats and two large futon beds placed on raised platforms. The beds were among the most comfortable I’ve ever slept on and I am still plotting to import one for home.
The bathroom merits a special note. The oversized soaking tub is in the middle of the room (not closed off from the living room) and situated so that one can bathe and enjoy the view and breeze at the same time, behind the privacy of the Gukka walls.
ROAD WARRIOR SUPPORT
It’s important to emphasize that the Hoshinoya Okinawa is a place I would recommend for getting away from work. Its meditative atmosphere and peacefulness make it ideal for getting away from it all. That having been said, some may prefer a working holiday and the resort is also quite suitable for a meeting.
Each villa has very fast and free Wi-Fi available. While there is no writing desk, the table and chairs in the living room as well as the day bed provide very comfortable places for working.