This hotel is a must if you ever need to stopover in Toyama. The surrounding area was not very interesting but once we stepped inside the hotel, we just WOW all the way to our room. The hotel was like a contemporary art museum with artsy objects and decorations everywhere. The interior of the hotel was really chic - a cool lobby accented in black and white, a cute loft library, marvellously designed stairways…even the souvenir shop was very unique. The hotel is situated along a river and the ambience of the hotel was very relaxing. There was a large bar/lounge area where you can hang out and help yourself to free flow of coffee, tea and soft drinks while enjoying a soothing view of the river. If that's not enough, there are 3 or 4 massage chairs as well as foot massagers outside the public baths in the basement to help you unwind. Our room was beautiful, it was modern and nicely designed. I love the bathroom which has a lovely bathtub overlooking the river.
Hotel staff were very polite and friendly. Upon check-in, female guests were asked to pick out a Kimono of their choice to be worn inside the hotel during their stay. This was nothing new to us, but it was the first time a hotel offered to assist guests if they don't know how to "wear" it. Out of curiosity I requested for assistance and a cheery female staff came to my room and helped me tie a beautiful bow in the back. It looked very nice! One minor issue, the check-in staff forgot to tell us about the free heated stone room (see attached photo), we only found out ourselves much later. By the time we tried to make a reservation it was already fully booked :(
Last but not least, the dinner and breakfast. They were simply exquisite! We had our own private dining room which was beautiful itself and the food was a feast both to the eye and to the stomach. On both occasions we were under the care of 2 servers who spoke perfect English (they studied overseas) and both were most courteous and attentive.
A truly memorable stay!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- we've been awarded "four red pavilion, the best comfort hotel" by the Michelin Guide 2016 Toyama • Ishikawa. River Retreat Garaku is a luxury boutique hotel situated on the Jinzu ("Path of the Gods") River in the forested foothills of the Northern Japan Alps. In this sublime setting outside central Toyama City you are enveloped in the unique Japanese aesthetic of nature and art, all within a modern architectural masterpiece. Ever present views of the timeless hills and river are brought through dramatic windows into the lobby, restaurants and guest rooms, which are filled with stunning sight lines, quiet spaces and exquisite art. The spring fed baths, cedar tubs, and colors of traditional Japan are paired with more than 300 pieces of contemporary Japanese art from the owner's extraordinary collection. With only 25 very spacious rooms and suites, each with a different decor, large common spaces, multiple onsen (spa) and aromatherapy facilities, and two exceptional restaurants with traditional Japanese and French/Japanese fusion cuisines, Garaku emphasizes personal attention, relaxation and privacy. L'evo or Evolution is the new nouvelle cuisine French/Japanese fusion restaurant at Garaku where the world class seafood of Toyama Bay and local mountain vegetables are brilliantly combined for a total culinary and aesthetic experience. At Garaku's Japanese restaurant Rakumi ("Enjoy the Taste") you can experience the best of washoku, the traditional Japanese cuisine UNESCO has designated a world cultural asset. Here the chef blends Kanto (Tokyo) and Kansai (Osaka) styles in delectable presentations of elegant simplicity where every ingredient can be savored. Whether you are looking for a memorable experience away from the pressures of the city, want to avoid the rule bound atmosphere of a traditional ryokan or want a romantic getaway, Garaku invites you to come, be pampered, and relax. Imagine visiting the amazing home of a serious art collector where your every wish is granted. This is Garaku. Garaku is conveniently located 20 minutes from the Toyama Airport, 30 minutes from the Hokuriku Shinkansen (bullet train) at Toyama Station, or one hour from Kanazawa Station. ... more less
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