Hot New Hotels: Azumi Setoda

Post-pandemic travelers bound for Japan can look forward to this new luxe retreat by Adrian Zecha.

Inside a bedroom at Azumi Setoda. (Photo: Tomohiro Sakashita)

At 88 years old, Adrian Zecha, the legendary founder of Aman Resorts, is showing no signs of slowing down. His latest project is Azumi Setoda (doubles from US$700), the debut property of a new Japan-based hotel brand conceived as a contemporary take on the country’s traditional ryokan inns. Located on the small island of Ikuchijima in the Seto Inland Sea, it occupies a 140-year-old compound that has been sensitively restored and converted into a 22-suite gem replete with natural materials. The transformation was led by Kyoto-based architect Shiro Miura, who enlisted a team of artisans, artists, and gardeners to upgrade the property over the past four years.

Gourmands can look forward to seafood-centric feasts served in a communal dining room (the launch menu includes ocean-fresh octopus sashimi from the waters off Innoshima, the island next door), while a newly built bathhouse across the road offers an immersion into Japanese bathing culture. This month, a mixed-use facility called Soil Setoda is also set to open on the doorstep of the modern ryokan. Incorporating an activity center, coffee roastery, and restaurant, it will offer guests the chance to engage and mingle with the local community.

Azumi Setoda is located on Ikuchijima, a small island in the Seto Inland Sea. (Photo: Azumi Setoda)

This article originally appeared in the March/May 2021 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Japan Ease”).

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