Okay, so let me start by noting that I have been lucky enough to have many opportunities to stay at beautiful hot springs accommodations in Hyogo and all throughout Japan.
I can state with confidence that Hotel New Awaji is one of the best experiences I have ever had.
The rooms, the food, the service, and of course the hot springs… all were exceptional.
Their standard rooms are spacious Japanese-style rooms, some with individual outdoor baths on the patio. There are also rooms decorated in a Japanese style but with Western-style beds, for guests uncomfortable sleeping on the floor.
The real gems are their “Villa” rooms, incredibly spacious multi-room suites decorated in an elegant Japanese-modern style, each with an outdoor bath and garden patio commanding a beautiful ocean view. Each room is unique, but they all feature luxuriously fluffy Western-style beds, a dressing area/boudoir, Japanese-style dining room, lounge, and deluxe bathroom and shower connected to the garden patio and private hot springs bath outside. Come here for your honeymoon!
With that said, the prices for these rooms are surprisingly affordable, especially considering what you would pay for such spacious accommodations in a city like Kyoto.
Even the standard rooms all include dinner served privately in your room. Dinner is Japanese kaiseki-style cuisine featuring Awaji beef and seafood specialties from the Seto Inland Sea. The menu rotates seasonally, but when we visited in mid-winter, the main course was fugu, the famed Japanese pufferfish.
First, we had fugu sashimi: its soft, sweet taste was incredibly fresh.
Next was a fugu hot-pot, the main dish, served with seasonal vegetables. Hot-pot (“nabe”) cuisine is very popular in Japan in the winter months both when dining out and in the home. Diners slide the raw ingredients into a ceramic pot bubbling with broth and then pluck them out with their chopsticks at just the right moment.
After that, we had deep-fried fugu:
We also had a chance to grill it on our own little grills:
At the very end, our waitress mixed rice and egg into the remains of our hot-pot to create a hearty and comforting stew to round out the meal. What a banquet! We were all stuffed by the end.
For those not interested in pufferfish, there are also a variety of other menus featuring crab, snapper, or Awaji beef along with local vegetables.
The Hot Springs
We also got a chance to take a dip in the hotel’s hot spring baths during our visit.
First I’ll list a few points important to onsen connoisseurs: the changing area had quality fluffy towels, hair dryers, and facial products, and the washing area was spacious and comfortable and included a full complement of bath products.
There was one indoor bath with jacuzzi beds and several outdoor baths with a lovely view of the Seto Inland Sea through the judiciously-planted greenery. It was nothing but sea, sky, and fresh air!
The Hotel New Awaji is located in the city of Sumoto, on the southern tip of Awaji Island. This seaside town is a great spot for swimming and fishing during the summer, and hot springs and seafood during the winter.
Look for more articles on Awaji to learn more about what you can do on other parts of the island!
Hotel New Awaji
Hours: Check-in: 3 PM / Check-out: 10 AM
Address: 20 Orodani, Sumoto-shi, Hyogo 656-0023
Website: http://www.newawaji.com/english/ (English)
How To Get There
Hotel New Awaji
From Sannomiya, take the bus from Shinki Bus Terminal (by the East Exit of JR Sannomiya Station) to Sumoto Bus Station (approximately 80 minutes). A free shuttle is available from the bus station (inquire).