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Reviewed 11 May 2017

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.

Room Tip: Room 204 is the largest river facing room with and impressive bath.
  • Stayed: May 2017, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Keith B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
リバーリトリート雅楽倶, 支配人 at River Retreat Garaku, responded to this reviewResponded 20 May 2017

Dear Keith B 様

Thank you for your review on tripadviser.
We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience this time.
And we would like to sincerely apologise that the hotel did not exceed your expectations of dining experience at the restaurant L'evo.
We discussed issues you pointed out with the manager and make sure that they will never happen again.
We appreciate you raising these issues in your review.
Thank you.
Best regards,

RIVER RETREAT GARAKU
Fumihiro Matsumiya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 November 2016

Revisited the place after ten years again. Art and design are great, rooms (except the suites) are not much outstanding though. Food is OK, though the Japanese course is definitely preferable to the French dinner, which appears to very artificial (trying to push local cuisine into French style does not work with every dish). Staff definitely is the big minus at that place. Arrived in the taxi and had to carry the luggage to the reception by ourself. When we waited for our room keys and had the welcome drinks, staff focused on my wife assuming that I don't speak Japanese. Same in restaurants and bar. Would not go there again.

Room Tip: Avoid the standard rooms
Stayed: October 2016, travelled with family
2  Thank BusinessTravelerSE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
リバーリトリート雅楽倶, 支配人 at River Retreat Garaku, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2016

Dear BusinessTravelerSE san

Thank you for sharing your informative review on TripAdvisor.It's disappointing to read your comments regarding your unpleasant experience at the hotel.We'd like to sincerely apologize to you.We will discuss the issues that you've pointed out with our staff to improve their communication skill further.
We appreciate you sharing your concerns and it is our hope that you will give us the opportunity to better serve you in the near future.

Sincerely.

RIVER RETREAT GARAKU
Fumihiro Matsumiya

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 October 2016

A comfortable retreat to enjoy with in-room private onsen, artistic interior design and decorations, beautiful river view as well as first class service.

We had French dinner and Japanese breakfast.

Delicate presentation of the cuisines at the French dinner. However, the beef, being the main course, was hard, tough and tasteless.

We were also disappointed with the Japanese breakfast of unexpected average food selection and taste.

We travelled from Nagoya by train and asked the hotel to arrange a taxi to pick us up at the rail station in the afternoon. When we got off the train, the taxi driver was waiting for us outside the rail station. Nice scenery along the river in the 30-minute drive to the hotel.

When we checked out, we took the hotel free shuttle to the Toyama Station. Beautiful mountain views of the spectacular Tateyama on the way.

A perfect prologue to Toyama.

  • Stayed: April 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
3  Thank AmyHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
リバーリトリート雅楽倶, 支配人 at River Retreat Garaku, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2016

Dear AmyHK san

Thank you for reviewing about your stay on TripAdvisor. It's great to hear that you enjoyed the atmosphere and decor of the hotel. However,we're terribly sorry about your dining experience at the restaurants.
We will discuss your comments with our kitchen team.
And appreciate you bringing this to our attention.

We hope we can welcome you back again.

Sincerely.

RIVER RETREAT GARAKU
Fumihiro Matsumiya

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Reviewed 23 September 2016 via mobile

Although I researched that Garaku I thought fairly extensively , it lived up to my expectations. The rooms were spectacular and I say rooms because I was fortunate enough to be able to stay in two different rooms on two consecutive nights.

The rooms have names, unique characteristics, and beautiful decor with great views of the river below. As for the food, it was absolutely wonderful. While each of the restaurants is different in atmosphere, food presentation, and food selection, I must say I preferred the Japanese restaurant.

All of the food is locally sourced, even the sake is from Toyama and the glassware for the sake is paired with your selection and it too is Toyama made.

As many have said, this hotel is an art museum and I would love to have purchased the dining room ceramics, glassware, and much of what was in the rooms. I just thought that the taste, the simplicity, the attention to detail throughout the retreat was absolutely perfect.

I had no problems with language since the serving staff in the Japanese restaurant, at least , spoke flawless English. In the gift shop I bought a number of locally made souvenirs so that I really didn't feel I needed to shop much any place else in To. The staff gave me great insights into the glass museum, and the glass factory where I could make my own glassware which I found absolutely what I had hoped I could experience in my short time there.

I highly recommend Garaku to anyone who wants to relax, pamper themselves, and enjoy some of the best food I felt I've ever had anywhere.

Stayed: September 2016, travelled solo
3  Thank Rakkyo318
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
リバーリトリート雅楽倶, 支配人 at River Retreat Garaku, responded to this reviewResponded 4 December 2016

Dear Rakkyo318 san

Thank you very much for your wonderful review.
We're pleased to hear that you enjoyed the stay with us and had a great time in the hotel.
We're looking forword to welcoming you back to the hotel again.

Sincerely.

RIVER RETREAT GARAKU
Fumihiro Matsumiya

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Reviewed 5 June 2016

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!

Room Tip: Pick a room with river view
  • Stayed: May 2016, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
2  Thank TPHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
リバーリトリート雅楽倶, 支配人 at River Retreat Garaku, responded to this reviewResponded 24 June 2016

Dear TPHK san

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