Ritz Carlton – Okinawa

Okinawa is an Island in the Southern most region of Japan. Know for its large population of centenarians; when you visit the Island you can see why. Being so far south from the Main Japanese Islands, even in the winter months its not that cold. So the Sakura season starts in late January early February, while the rest of Japan flowers bloom later in the year. To escape the cold Asian winter, I jumped at the chance to visit Okinawa.

After a search I found the Ritz Carlton Okinawa, and decided to do a weekend trip. The Hotel is high on top a hill so you can see the ocean plus its surrounded by a beautiful golf course – It was booked solid so I did not get to play.

The hotel’s public areas are built around reflecting pools with glass screen doors so inside and outside are seamlessly integrated, also make for a relaxing atmosphere – day and night. Its one of the most relaxing places I have ever been. When I went the air was just so clean, clear and crisp. Great service, great food, great building, great facilities equals great hotel – I will be coming back here. It was just such a relaxing place…

I rented a car and drove about 2 hours to the hotel. Adjusting to driving on the left was not easy. As checking in a nicer hotels go, its a process, a few people stop by and introduce themselves, you have a seat, your bags are taken… also a towel and a welcome drink… It was some kind of tea and it was really good. It seems to happen at a pace where picture taking takes a back seat.

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I get a room on a higher floor, the first thing I notice in the room is a unique coffee and tea set.img_0048img_0049

It leads right into the bathroom, and the view steals the show. img_0050

I want to take a bath, but sadly did not…img_0051-1

Two sinks, the bathroom is connected to the entry foyer and the main sleeping area. img_0051

Glass shows also take advantage of the views. img_0052

I was assigned a double bed room. img_0053

View from my room… you can see the reflecting pools of the lobby area, the golf course and the ocean in the distance. img_0054img_0055

Hotel desks are useful and I use them all the time, plus the hotel gave me a bottle of bubbles…img_0060

This is the view of some of the rooms from the lobby reflection pool area.img_0064

The lobby reflection pool. Around the pool, there are a few restaurants. img_0065

A few lounge chairs to take advantage of the view. img_0066

View form the seat. I could sit here all day… img_0067-1

Looking toward the lobby. img_0067img_0068img_0069img_0070

The cafe area serves high tea, but I did not have time to have service. img_0071

Sample set. img_0072

Inside the lobby… img_0073

View from the lobby. img_0074

Looking out to the lobby driveway… img_0076

Lobby hallway. img_0089

Lobby seating area… img_0077

And a selfie… img_0078img_0080img_0081

walking to my elevator back to my room… img_0083img_0087img_0088

I was informed  at check in that there is a pop up restaurant at the Bar in the hotel where chefs only open a few days a month when they have the right ingredients to serve fine Japanese cuisine. The menu was called Taira Sushi.  So I make a reservation because why not… img_0095

I Study the menu, and then I select omakase. img_0098img_0096

The bar had one long bar and a large section of vases that hold high end sake that they open up to ordering patrons. The other seats were set up like private rooms, one of the sets had a great view of the sunset. img_0100

Just some of the food on display. img_0101

Start out with sesame tofu with caviar. img_0102

Then it begins… don’t recall everything… also the meal was so good I forgot to take some pictures… img_0103img_0104

Uni… and it was good….no… it was great….  I had a few before and after this but I forgot to take pictures. img_0106

Eggs… always nice and sweet.img_0107

To end another great meal. img_0108

After dinner I was by the lobby to take in the view. img_0110

Then I decided that I want to work out a the gym. Its located in the spa building that is in its own building, so walking there at night was a bit of a challenge as after the tunnel it was so dark… img_0111

Like the rest of the hotel, the spa is beautiful… img_0112

I am the only one there, it was smaller than what I would have liked. img_0115

I wake up to see the sunrise. img_0116

The main restaurant has a great breakfast buffet a good mix of Asian and Western selections and both selections were good. img_0117

I actually left the hotel to see the aquarium, there are whale sharks in the tank… I could not believe what I was seeing. Make it a point to go early, and it will not be so crowded. img_0138

Then I headed over to Nakijin Castle to see the Sakura. The Sakura in Okinawa are more dark pink than the more traditional ones up North that are more light pink. img_0151img_0152

After heading back to the hotel, I decided to go to the library, in the off season you can order food and drinks via a phone located in the room. I imagine that during the summer its fully staffed as its connected to the out door pool. img_0155

I get some coffee and read a few coffee table books and relax. img_0156

View of the out door pool from the library. img_0157

A few books… img_0158

After seeing the outdoor pool, I went for a swim at the indoor pool. There are also hot tubs right out. img_0160img_0161

Its spring time, its not cold but not hot either so the hot tub temperature was just right… img_0162

The path between the hotel and the spa building, as you can see, in the dark it can be a bit of a challenge to go from one building to the other. img_0163

Sea grapes, an Okinawa specialty. Its actually really good. img_0164

Relaxing before checkout… I am getting sad. img_0170

One last look before leaving… this is the type of hotel that brings people back. img_0183

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