A new hotelier has entered the boutique ryokan space in Japan, with their first project in the Setouchi Region to open in March 2021. Azumi Setoda is the first of the Azumi hotel projects – a hotel brand established by Adrian Zecha, founder of Aman, and Kyoto-based hospitality group Naru Developments.
The luxury ryokan sits alongside the Shiomachi Shopping Street on Ikuchi Island. The island forms part of the Setouchi Shimanami Kaido cycling route which is a 60-kilometer world-renowned and scenic course winding its way through the islands between Onomichi and Imabari.
A long-vacant, traditional kominka-style residence in Setoda with a history dating back 140 years has been carefully restored and refurbished into a 22-room ryokan-style hotel with a traditional garden, bar and restaurant for guests. Guest rooms range in size from 50 ~ 70 sqm and nightly rates are expected to be around 65,000 Yen. There is also a newly-built hotel building with sento-style bath and sauna, and 14 guest rooms ranging from 20 ~ 30 sqm and nightly rates of around 20,000 Yen.
According to the Chunichi Shimbun newspaper, Onomichi City sold the 2,200 sqm plot of land and its 11 buildings to the Kyoto-based hotel development company in November 2018 for 26.3 million Yen (approx. US$230,000). The sale was part of the city’s efforts to promote the commercial use of vacant, old homes, with potential buyers required to meet certain criteria and qualifications in order to acquire the properties.
Source: Tokyo Tatemono Press Release, December 15, 2020.
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