Little over a year after first arriving in the land of the rising sun with a spectacular hotel perched atop a highrise in downtown Tokyo, exclusive hospitality chain aman expands with an equally alluring second property far away from the capital’s hustle and bustle. Called Amanemu, it’s Aman’s refined contemporary take on traditional Japanese hot spring resorts, and not surprisingly, the premises and location have us swooning. Quite extraordinarily, Amanemu is situated smack in the middle of the lush greens of Ise-Shima National Park in rural Mie prefecture, and comprises of a small-scale hilltop complex of buildings, featuring just 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas.
Australian practice Kerry Hill Architects was enlisted to design the stunning property, drawing inspiration from local minka houses and featuring many modern interpretations of traditional achitectural styles and materials. The first structure guests encounter on Amanemu’s serene grounds is the welcome pavilion, a lofty space with a meticulously crafted minimalist aesthetic captured by light Japanese timber, and which sets the scene for the rest of the resort. Each standalone suite has floor to ceiling windows with woven textile and timber sliding shutters, providing sweeping vistas of the national park’s natural beauty.
Obviously, the suites come with a private garden and outdoor seating just as stylish as the indoor setting. Bathrooms follow the design of traditional Japanese baths, with charcoal-coloured basalt stone tiles and a private onsen with even more scenic views. Upping the ante in both space and style are Amanemu’s luxurious villas. As said, these dwellings offer two bedrooms, but at 375 sqm. [4,036 sq.ft.] each, they also feature a kitchen, a powder room and a private onsen. Custom-made furnishings ensure a harmony between architecture and design, and include white oak coffee tables, sofas and armchairs with neutral fabric tones.
The grounds of Amanemu are obviously a seamless extension, and feature matching facilities that further boost the unique sensation of luxury offered here. The property’s restaurant takes cues from an authentic izakaya and offers a menu of informal sharing dishes. Mind you, Mie prefecture was known as the breadbasket of the ancient imperial court, and has a rich variety of fresh local produce, including the world renowned wagyu beef. Located between the dining venue and the bar are sunken terraces made from basalt stone with glass-covered fire places, and an ideal place for an aperitif or a night cap.
Nearby, a freshwater infinity pool is situated, providing panoramic views over ago bay. As the hospitality formula takes pampering to great heights, the property also features a stellar Aman Spa. Influenced by the abundance of natural hot springs and therapeutic powers of water, the spacious spa boasts a large central onsen for communal bathing, in addition to two private spa pavilions, each with their own indoor and outdoor onsen. Obviously, this facility also has a state-of-the-art fitness centre, watsu suites, a yoga studio with an outdoor deck. And that’s not all, folks. Four additional treatment suites offer a more comprehensive relaxation by offering specialized therapies which combine mineral-rich onsen water and traditional herbs.
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