It may not be the most obvious choice of locations for Aman’s second Japanese property, but lazy Ago Bay on southwest Honshu’s Kii Peninsula feels like the perfect fit for this serene resort. Known for its oyster rafts and islets, the area is also famed for its mineral springs, and Amanemu makes the most of this with a sprawling spa complex where terraces of tiled hot pools are interspersed with daybeds and an outdoor fireplace. Mineral water is also on tap in your bathroom, whose deep basalt tub is just one of the touches for which architect Kerry Hill should be applauded. Hill’s design throughout takes cues from nearby shrines and farmhouses, resulting in an earthy palette of wood, bamboo, and stone complemented by low-hanging tiled roofs and sliding screens that open onto pebbled courtyards. The resort’s kaiseki restaurant is excellent, and you could easily eat every meal here. But there’s also a shuttle service to nearby towns where izakaya dens beckon with seafood, sake, and friendly locals. (65/6715 8855; aman.com; doubles from US$1,060).
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