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All reviews french restaurant high end interior design nice river view french style welcome drink female guests public bath library art suite fireplace sculptures ryokan cafeteria collection property
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Reviewed 31 March 2018

Was here for lunch at the Levo restaurant last year and was very much impressed by the quality offered by the hotel. Thus decided to return this year and stayed at the hotel and tried Levo again. Did make a good decision as the first step into the hotel was treated like VIP. No need to stand in front of the reservation desk albeit being led to seat comfortably at the lobby. All the rest was being taken by staff while one could remain seated and to enjoy a welcome drink.

There were two different hot springs with both indoor and outdoor pool. The outdoor one was facing the river and so extremely relaxing to enjoy the hot spring. In the morning. One added advantage was that free coffee and other non-alcoholic drinks were available for guests.

Stayed: March 2018, travelled with family
Thank larrylP2076NA
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 1 April 2018

Dear larrylP2076NA san

Thank you for staying Garaku. And we also appreciate to you posting your feedback and review. We will use your feedback to make future stays even more enjoyable. We hope that you will be continue to stay with us when you will be visit to Japan again.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 December 2017

The Good:

-- The lobby is magnificent. The fireplace is especially inviting since we visited on a snowy day. Most of the public areas (the living rooms, the library, etc) are terrific. Art is thoughtfully and tastefully displayed throughout the property.

-- Staff is unfailingly polite and helpful and most can speak some English.

-- We had both our dinner and breakfast at the Japanese restaurant (which is top notch). Both meals were delicious, beautifully presented in nice surroundings, served by very attentive staff. We can't comment on the French restaurant on site since we didn't dine there.

-- The public bath isn't huge but since this appears to be a quiet ryokan it never seemed occupied much (though we did stay on a week day, perhaps it's more crowded on weekend....). I really enjoyed having the outdoor bath all to myself, on a cold winter evening with the unmelted snow just outside the bath. The torch is a great touch, really adding to the ambiance. There are also sauna and steam rooms.

-- The property is relatively easy to reach. It's only a 20 minutes drive from the Toyama airport or a 40 minute drive from the JR Toyama train station. The hotel can arrange taxis for you at a very reasonable price.

-- The property have a number of colorful/beautiful yukatas (casual kimono) and belts to choose from, which makes it a fun experience particularly for female guests. This is a distinct feature that I have not seen in any other ryokans in Japan. I hope management values this feature and continues to update and expand their collection of yukatas. Staff members are available (on request) to help you put on the yukata and tie the belt properly.

- The public baths are open pretty much 24 hours except for brief period of time during dinner hours.

-- There is a cafe area that serves light snacks during the day and there is a bar area that provides free beverages throughout the day when the cafe is closed.

The Not So Good:

We stayed in one of the bigger suites (No. 201). It was spacious and comfortable and has everything you need, though not entirely satisfying. There's a strong musty smell in the room upon entering (another suite we visited also had the same smell, perhaps this is a property-wide issue?), and the suite is showing its age. The walls are in need of a fresh coat of paint and the decor and furnishing of the suite are a bit dated. The tiled bathroom/jacuzzi room, while large, feels quite 1990s/early aughts and the style just doesn't work with the rest of the suite. The white window shades in the bathroom also appear a bit dirty. The bathroom part of the suite is also not heated, which pretty much precludes our use of it during our stay. It comes with shower facilities but it was just too cold to shower in there. It probably would have been fine if we fill up the jacuzzi tub with hot water and bathe in it, however we chose not to do that since the tub is HUGE and it seems such a waste of water to fill it up. Overall the bathroom just isn't very inviting to us, which is quite a pity because it occupies a large space and has a lovely river view (which is why we chose this suite to begin with). We felt like we paid for a large amount of space that we didn't get to use...

Conclusion: Overall this ryokan has potential to be a truly magnificent property, but the rooms/suites are in need of a renovation and refurbishment to really distinguish itself and put this hotel on the map. (And it really does deserve a place on the map!) Whoever built it clearly had a grand vision for this property and I feel perhaps I came here 10 years too late and it's somewhat past its prime? At its current state, I feel it is not really living up to its potential. Hopefully, with the Hokuriku shinkansen now operational, more travelers will discover this somewhat under-the-radar ryokan, which means more revenue and more incentive/resources to be re-invested in it. I look forward to seeing it return to its former glory.

.

Room Tip: Choose a room with the river view
  • Stayed: December 2017, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank TWGirl
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 3 January 2018

Dear TWGirl san

Thank you for your staying at our hotel and your review.
We're pleased to hear that you enjoyed the stay and had a great time in Garaku.
However,we are sorry about the smell of the suite.We will consult with facility manager and we will consider further.

We hope to welcome you back again someday.

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 15 December 2017 via mobile

Because of typhoon, we just booked this hotel 1 day before arrival. The welcome service is very nice which we could enjoy the nice river view with welcome drink and snack in the reception hall. Receptionist’s English is very good.
The room is stylish, but just no bathroom so we needed to go public bath with onsen.
Food is nice and we were so full. Overall the service is great and interior design is just modern and full of arts. I will visit again next time and hope will try French style dinner as well!

Stayed: October 2017, travelled with family
Thank Ngtintin
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 18 December 2017

Dear Ngtintin san

Thank you for your staying and wonderful review.
We're pleased to hear that you enjoyed the stay and had a great time in Garaku.
However,we are sorry that our explanation about the room was inadequate.
Please be enjoy the room with hot spring when you will come to our hotel again.
We hope to welcome you back again someday.

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 11 July 2017 via mobile

We stayed in the hotel for one night on our way from Takayama to Toyama Airport. The facility is absolutely beautiful both inside and out. We especially enjoyed the open air onsen. Unfortunately our room had certain unpleasant smell. Also, when we checked in in the afternoon, we were told that the hotel's restaurants were all booked out for dinner, and that there were no other restaurants within walking distance. They did have a cafeteria that provided some simple dishes like curry rice.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
Thank KarenZ5135
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 17 July 2017

Dear KarenZ5135 san

Dear KarenZ5135 san

Thank you for your lovely review following your stay with us. We are pleased to hear that you liked our facility. I apologies that you were experienced unplesant smell in your room and weren't able to dine in our restaurants. We are sure to make a reservation in one of our restaurants for you next time when if you can come back to our hotel again. Thank you very much for staying in our hotel.We hope to welcome you back again someday.

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 8 July 2017 via mobile

River Retreat Garaku is an absolute gem of a hotel located at a bend in the river at the base of the hills that form the backdrop to the port city of Toyama. If you're lucky enough to call this property your home away from home for a few days, enjoy it. It's a wonderful setting-off point for the Tateyama-Kurobe alpine route, with Tateyama station about 40-mins away by car.

The grounds are nothing short of stunning, beautifully manicured, and feature artwork and sculptures from the owner's private collection. The building itself is very modern and sits in contrast to the remarkably lush surroundings, but it has a welcoming atmosphere that is very pleasing to the senses.

The property itself has a relatively small number of very spacious rooms, so even if you're traveling with a family, you're sure to be comfortable. We booked a suite which was thoroughly luxurious and had a full-range of top-quality trimmings. It was the most comfortable we felt our entire trip and had we had more time we would have gladly stayed for longer.

The Japanese restaurant is, as you would expect, very high end here, and while the prices do reflect it, the whole experience, food & service, is totally top-drawer, so you're getting what you pay for.

Last but not least, the service here is everything you would expect. The essence of sophisticated, yet understated, overall wonderful Japanese hospitality. Charming folks who really put their heart into providing a great experience for their guests. You can tell they know the place is special and the pride they take in it shows.

Overall, a truly fine stay was had at River Retreat Garaku, and if our travels ever bring us back to this corner of Japan, there is no doubt we'll be staying here again. Just wonderful.

Stayed: June 2017, travelled with family
Thank bign00dle
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 17 July 2017

Dear bign00dle san

Thank you for sharing your wonderful comment.We are delighted you were able to enjoy all aspects of our hotel and hope for an opportunity to welcome you back for another visit one day soon.

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
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