The Luxe List 2018: The Hiramatsu Atami

Built around a 40-year-old besso, or country villa, it features just 11 rooms and two tatami-matted Japanese suites.

Like its sister properties in Okinawa, Hakone, and Kashikojima, exclusivity is a mantra here, with prices to match.

From an intimate tented camp in the green foothills of Bali to a converted 19th-century Jesuit retreat in Tamil Nadu, our editors and reviewers have roamed the Asia-Pacific region to bring together DestinAsian’s annual collection of the year’s top hotel openings. Read on to discover which new properties stood out from the rest in terms of service, setting, amenities, and a singular sense of style.

The latest addition to Francophile chef Hiroyuki Hiramatsu’s collection of suave auberge-meets-ryokan inns perches on a bamboo-shrouded hillside on Honshu’s Izu Peninsula. Built around a 40-year-old besso, or country villa, it features just 11 rooms and two tatami-matted Japanese suites, each with a hot-spring soaking tub fronted by sliding glass doors that open onto serene views of Sagami Bay.

Like its sister properties in Okinawa, Hakone, and Kashikojima, exclusivity is a mantra here, with prices to match—decorated with work by the celebrated calligrapher Yuichi Inoue, the top suite, Ume-no-ma (Plum Tree Room), will set you back almost US$2,000 a night. Mind you, that comes with breakfast and dinner at the inn’s terrific sea-facing dining room, where chef Katsuya Miura, who trained at Hiramatsu’s eponymous Michelin-starred restaurant in Paris, entwines premium local ingredients into classic French dishes served by stewards in tailcoats. Butter, cheese, and jams are, bien sûr, from France. Scattered throughout the property, vivid landscape paintings by Tamako Kataoka and surrealist works by Joan Miró add to the eye-candy, as do the owner’s impressive collection of antique model ships. 

81-557/523-301 hiramatsuhotels.com; doubles from US$1,080, half-board.

This article originally appeared in the October/November 2018 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2018: The Hiramatsu Atami”).

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