In its heyday it was undoubtedly a luxurious resort. Those days are long gone. The once magnificent facility is in dire need of a face lift. Decks are not stained, exterior paint is worn, mold is prevalent, etc. Ceiling air conditioning vents covers are missing in guest rooms and public spaces.
The French restaurant L'evo was a major disappointment. To begin with the atmosphere was more like a cafeteria than a fine dining venue. The focus was on aesthetic presentation, which was done well, but the various courses were less than memorable. The wine list was surprisingly limited. Moreover, the service was interminable, lasting two hours and forty minutes, most of which was spent waiting for the next course. Also, one of the female wait staff hand a, blood-stained, band-aid on the back of her serving hand.
Needless to say we will not return, nor recommend the hotel to others.
- 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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