The Luxe List 2015

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Zaborin villas are situated directly above the Zabo natural hot spring.

The Luxe List 2015: Zaborin, Kutchan, Japan

Overlooking rolling pastureland and the volcanic peak of Mount Yotei beyond, Zaborin is a startling architectural gem on Japan’s northernmost island, Hokkaido. The property, designed by Makoto Nakayama, is like a traditional ryokan hot-springs inn with its devotion to service, privacy, first-rate kaiseki-style meals, and staff garbed in head-to-toe gray pajama-style outfits catering to guests around the clock with all sorts of treats. But its floor-to-ceiling glass walls, monumental fireplaces; and adumbrated lighting that heightens its gray, black, and white interior make it seem as if you’re in a futuristic Stanley Kubrick movie. In a long, austere corridor above the main areas, 16 rooms are huge and so well furnished as to justify the property’s calling them villas, each with an indoor and outdoor sunken tub that pipes in water from the surrounding springs. Tea ceremonies, horseback riding, wine tastings, and cooking classes are among the activities on offer, and nights are best spent in the jazz-filled bar area, whose 10-meter-long countertop was made from a single log of Indonesian hardwood.

81-136/230-003; Zaborin; doubles from US$600

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