The Ritz-Carlton luxury hotel in UNESCO World Heritage site Nikko is an appreciation of Japanese beauty and art
Nikko in the Tochigi prefecture, Northern Kanto region of Japan is located some two and a half hours north of Tokyo. The town and its surrounding area have been long-deemed a religious location and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its cultural, religious and architectural significance to the country. Nikko is famous for being the center of Shinto and Buddhist mountain worships and boasts many temples dedicated to the same. It is also known as the home of the Toshugo, the lavishly decorated shrine and the mausoleum of Tokugawa Ieyasu, the founder of the feudal military government, Tokugawa shogunate.
The picturesque town with its mountainous landscapes, waterfalls, wild flora and fauna is now also the site of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company's latest hotel in its Asia-Pacific portfolio, 'The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko'. The property is located in the midst of the UNESCO World Heritage Site and gives the destination a refreshing and new luxurious outlook with the promise of an experience of embracing the majestic natural surroundings. In a press statement dated July 15, Rajeev Menon, president Asia Pacific (excluding Greater China), Marriott International announced the hotel's grand opening. “Following much anticipation surrounding its debut, we are thrilled to finally open the doors to The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko and to continue the growth of the luxury segment in Japan," he said. “
The hotel is situated along the scenic Lake Chuzenji and Mount Nantai, in Nikko National Park, allowing guests to bask in the glory of nature and feast their eyes upon the attraction. Inspired by its panoramic surroundings, the hotel embodies graceful details of Japanese architecture in its design through a modern lens, while also highlighting the essence of Nikko indoors. The designs are incorporated with earthy materials like woods and stones, further enhanced by streams of natural light. The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko boasts 94 spacious guest rooms and suites featuring a private balcony with an engawa lounge area. This provides an added space for guests to take in the pleasing sights around them.
Although the central motif of the hotel is nature, The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko invokes Japanese tradition and craftsmanship in its four distinguished dining experience. The Japanese Restaurant is an all-day dining eatery, with vibrant displays of elements from Japanese cuisine. Lakehouse procures fresh and local ingredients to present patrons with imaginative Western dishes in a serene setting. The Bar is your go-to spot for some downtime, where you can have all access to delicious and original cocktails that incorporate local ingredients celebrating the culture, nature and spirituality of the ancient Asian city. You can expect some relaxing moments in the Lobby Lounge where you snack on some food and sip your afternoon tea while enjoying the views from the striking garden.
The hotel scouts ingredients from local purveyors, citing each drink and dish to reflect the culture's appreciation for beauty and design. It also hosts some exclusively crafted pottery by well-established Mashiko potters and artists, GENDO, or by traditional wood carving motifs created by the first female wood carving artists in the 400-year history of the shrines and temples. The Ritz-Carlton Nikko also has a spa and the wellness sanctuary offers treatments that use an abundance of natural revitalizing elements and the rich heritage of the town. It has four specialized treatments and is also one of the first hospitality properties to feature authentic onsen Japanese hot-springs. Guests can enjoy the spacious indoor as well as outdoor, open hot spring baths and wallow in the therapeutic thermal waters from the springs of the Yumoto Onsen. Hot spring baths are known to replenish and rejuvenate the body and mind and are a holistic approach to personalized treatments.
In addition, the guests of Ritz-Carlton, Nikko can also experience the traditions and practices of the local culture and take delight in the natural surrounding, while also enjoying the highly tailored authentic service that has been established by the brand. Taking advantage of the hotel's spiritual and meditative setting, guests also have the opportunity to indulge themselves in nightly meditation. The lobby area will be transformed into a place for spiritual respite, every evening, offering a few minutes to reset and retrospect the day's events. During check-out, guests receive as sacred omamuri (amulet), a souvenir from the hotel.
The hotel's location also benefits a wide range of outdoor activities that it offers. Guests can take in the scenic beauty of the Nikko National park, and the architecture of the temples whilst choosing from a collection of memorable excursions. Cycling through protected wetlands, strolling through the precincts of centuries-old sanctuaries, meditating under waterfalls or ascending their frozen cascades in the winter, and more. Collaborating with the local culture, the hotel also offers patrons the opportunity to master the skill of furoshiki wrapping, witness a mystical temple fire ceremony, and enjoy the mellifluous Japanese drum beats and flute music at a ritual ceremonial dance. The hotel also has programs for children, under Ritz-Kids.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer an elevated level of luxury and the first of its kind to be located in the sublime mountain region of Nikko,” said Jennie Toh, Vice President, Brand, Asia Pacific, Marriott International. “Our Ladies and Gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, Nikko are looking forward to welcoming guests and providing enriching, authentic experiences that truly embrace the local culture and destination.”