The Okinawa Prefecture is a cluster of islands within Japan, and it should be on your bucket list. A short flight will take from Tokyo to Naha, where you’ll experience something different than what you’d find on the mainland. Okinawans have their own culture influenced by many factors, other than just mainland Japan, and the surroundings are enriching and vibrantly tropical along the pristine beaches. Convinced to check it out? An abundance of lodging options are at your disposal, from older but neat hostels to giant new constructions. These are great ones to start with.
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Kariyushi Beach is right across the street from this sleek resort, making the views from the pool deck and room balconies incredible. Rooms are generously sized with a high end feel with traditional touches, and the overall resort is oozing with Insta-worthy backdrops.
Located amongst the Mihama American Village, a ride on the island’s giant Ferris wheel or a list of tasty places to grab a bite are only a stone’s throw away. The rooftop pool and hot tub area is the perfect spot to soak in the aqua ocean views; then later you can retreat to the spa to swim or sweat it out in the sauna.
Contemporary elegance combined with warm ambiance epitomizes the feel of Rihga Royal Gran Okinawa, and the appeal extends into the artistically sophisticated rooms with huge windows for viewing the surroundings. From the city to the National Park of Kerama Islands, there’s much beauty to take in from any window. The food is as awesome as the aesthetics, with everything being chef prepared and sourced from Japan—dishes are fresh and authentic from breakfast to dinner.
Only 14 suites are available at this intimate retreat among the island’s Onna Forest. Each guest will enjoy the luxury of their own, private place to swim, in addition to an incredible infinity pool, which is accented by a cozy restaurant with superb food. A complimentary airport shuttle is also available to guests. Oriental Hills detaches from the big resort mentality and offers a truly secluded escape.
Outdoor hot tubs nestle into a maze-like design, and the area is an alluring place to spend the day at this ritzy oceanside haven. An expansive pool stretches toward the ocean and it is completely breathtaking. The Terrace Club at Busena is a high-end wellness retreat focusing on spa treatments, innovative therapies and hyper healthy, delicious cuisine. There’s plenty of amenities for those wanting a good workout, or for those just seeking a serene getaway.
Clean Japanese style meets modern touches in this refreshing hotel. Massive windows in the simple but lovely rooms create an airy feel, while providing generous glimpses of downtown Naha. JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Naha does a fantastic job at melding the true essence of Okinawa, while also presenting new design at the same time. This is a great place to stay to partially immerse in the island’s culture.
You’ve got to love the simplicity and beauty of Okinawa style, which is ever present at Hotel Hamahigashima Resort. Tatami floors and furniture add authentic touches to the tranquil atmosphere of each room. Enjoy soaking in the large indoor communal bath which faces outward toward the ocean, or swim in the pool that melds against the horizon of Muruku beach. Fun fact—the onsite store has some interesting goodies and snacks to try.
Simple rooms are paired with drop dead gorgeous bathrooms fit for any fine spa, and breakfast offers both western style, and traditional, more savory Japanese breakfasts. Overall the hotel is inviting and not too fussy—a welcomed escape from overwhelming stays that overshadow the area itself. It gets bonus points for the convenient location.
If you decide to island hop to Ishigakijima, another island within the Okinawa Prefecture, this budget hotel is a charming spot to set up home base. Bathrooms are small but house all the bells and whistles like multifunction toilets, and concrete wall rooms are about as basic, and comfy, as it gets. Little extras like coffee, snacks, and bike rentals add that extra touch of love we all seek out in a hotel experience. Ishigakijima is breathtaking and is known for their incredible beef which is often served raw over rice because it’s that pristine.
Its pyramid-shape stuns from the first site, as does the interior lobby water feature and other artistic accents inside. Beautiful balconies, wood accent rooms, and high-end dining are just the beginning. But one show-stopping aspect is the 800-foot zip line trailing from the hotel, over the ocean to a landing pad on a small sliver of land. Talk about a great way to view beautiful Okinawa.