In 2021, the untouched jungle of northern Okinawa’s Yanbaru region and the beauty of the surrounding subtropical islands earned the area a spot on the list of official Natural World Heritage sites. To enjoy Okinawa’s sun, sea, and mountains to the fullest, head to Yanbaru and try a stay at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa.
In Harmony with Nature, and Aiming for SDGs
“Have fun with the island, connect with the forest” is the motto at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa, located in the recently established Natural World Heritage site of Yanbaru, in northern Okinawa. Previously known as the Okinawa Mariott Resort & Spa, this hotel went through a full rebranding in October 2021, with the aim of providing a high-quality new experience, with a more intimate atmosphere, and ample opportunity for rest and relaxation.
The hotel lobby is bright with natural light thanks to the island sunlight streaming through a roof of skylights, and guests are greeted with Okinawa’s lush subtropical greenery, accented by subtle fragrances made from natural plant extracts. The result is a relaxing space that still feels connected with the natural world heritage surroundings outside, and the hotel aims to be environmentally friendly in line with the UN’s SDGs as well. Among other efforts, the hotel’s standard rooms* forego single-use amenities, and guests can instead take whatever they might want from an amenity area set aside in the lobby. This includes locally-made Okinawan soap, which comes in a large block that allows guests to cut off however much they might need.
The hotel encourages visitors to join in on the eco-friendly effort in a number of different ways. For one, guests staying more than one night can opt out of new towels and sheets, and in return receive a gift certificate for use at the hotel gift shop. This gift shop sells products developed by the hotel itself, plus a variety of local artisan items, and all kinds of Okinawa snacks and souvenirs, including Blue Seal ice cream. You can see some of what the shop offers on the official website.
Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa (オリエンタルホテル沖縄リゾート＆スパ)
1490-1 Kise, Nago, Okinawa
Reservation Line: 0980-51-1900
Check-in/Check-out: 15:00~ / ~11:00
*Guests staying on floors 14 & 15, or in premium rooms, can check out until 12:00.
Official Website (en)
Natural & Elegant: Oriental Hotel Highlights
Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa is built in a unique V shape, so all guests – whether staying in a basic double or triple, a family room, or an ultra-luxurious penthouse suite – get a balcony overlooking Okinawa’s bright blue waters. The rooms are also quite spacious, particularly for Japan, so even basic double rooms are almost 45 m² (480 ft²). The penthouse corner suite is 109 m² (1173 ft²), and even the bathroom has its own stunning sea view.
The hotel has a selection of different room layouts to cater to different customers. The family room comes with its own ensuite front-loading washing machine, and a little living room space that gives kids room to play. Even the TV is equipped with an adjustable mount, to follow the action. The Japanese-style rooms, on the other hand, are great for guests who want to enjoy the tatami mats and traditional furnishings. Guests looking for an elevated experience will want to take a look at the Club Rooms and Suites on the 14th & 15th floors, which were newly updated in a renovation last year (2022), and come with exclusive access to special services and facilities like the Club Lounge.
Most of the rooms at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa are westward-facing, which means that guests can watch from their rooms as the glowing sun sinks into the sea every evening. Looking out over the garden-like outdoor pool, with the mountainous slopes in the distance, this gorgeous view is one reserved for guests only. For those staying in a Club Room, we recommend connecting your phone to the room’s Balmuda bluetooth sound system, and listening to your favorite relaxing tunes while watching the sun set over Okinawa.
If you’ve already read the recent Japankuru article on Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel, you might be familiar with the exclusive lounge options found at some Oriental Hotels. The first-floor lobby at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa also comes with a lush green Club Lounge, which is reserved for the use of guests staying in Suite or Club Rooms.
To start the day, the Club Lounge offers a special breakfast that comes with both a main dish off a menu and a buffet of breakfast sides. At other hours throughout the afternoon and evening, the lounge is open for “tea time” and “bar time,” and offerings include Okinawan coffee grown on local small-scale farms, snacks, sweets, and even light meals to go with the many drink options. The comfortable lounge is well-stocked with books and magazines, and the drinks and snacks are available throughout much of the day, making it tempting to stay all day long. The club lounge is a great place to relax and take a little break after a day out in Okinawa.
Highlight ③: A Stylish Sea View Garden Pool (One of Okinawa’s Biggest)
When coming to stay at this Okinawa resort, alongside the ocean access, there’s also a pool with its own ocean view! At Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa, the outdoor pool looks out over the nearby ocean during the daytime, and at night the water is set aglow with romantic lighting. This “garden pool” is actually six different pools connected together, creating a 170-meter-long garden-pool area that is among the largest in Okinawa, complete with a water slide, a low-temperature sauna, and a jacuzzi.
The pools vary in depth to give swimmers some options, and arranged around the water guests can find seating areas, walking paths, barbecues, and bars, making it a great place for a party. The outdoor heated pool means vacationers have no need to feel limited to summer trips, either. Okinawa never gets too cold anyway, so this is one stylish option for a little getaway throughout the spring and fall! In the mood for a swim or not, the garden pool gives guests a relaxing place to go for a stroll in the warm Okinawa air, or relax on a deck chair in the sun.
Here’s the Japankuru recommendation: don’t miss the poolside during sunset. Whether you’re looking to slip into the water, or just want to take a little walk, the elevated view from the pool deck is worth seeing.
Highlight ④: Thoughtful Ingenuity & Unexpected Surprises
All the glamour of the hotel’s luxurious facilities and great views is enough to make your eyes shine with excitement, but much of what makes Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa a nice place to stay is all the small, thoughtful things that make guests’ stay just a little bit better. For example, the hotel not only has its own well-stocked gift shop, but also a morning market (朝市) that sells the kinds of local specialties you might find at a neighborhood farmer’s market.
The Japankuru team was also quite impressed to see that the hotel’s breakfast buffet offers a takeout option, which guests can bring back to their room for a more private breakfast experience. For families with young children, or busy business people, it’s great to have options!
For many guests at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa, the buffet at the hotel restaurant Qwachi is one of the most exciting parts of the stay. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the buffet offers a selection of Japanese dishes, Chinese cuisine, regional specialties like Okinawa soba and taco rice, and more. And it’s all made with fresh local ingredients! Breakfast includes Okinawa’s popular spam and egg onigiri (rice balls), fresh-squeezed orange juice, Oriental Hotel sliders, eggs benedict waffles, and a wall of colorful mini donuts. The variety, quality, and affordable price are what make the breakfast buffet such a consistent favorite among hotel guests.
Diners can dig into the generous buffet at Qwachi while enjoying the relaxed, comfortable dining area, with spacious seating and floor-to-ceiling windows letting in the sunlight from the Okinawa scenery outside.
Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa offers a few different options for dinner, in addition to the classic buffet. Jinanbo is an Okinawa-style izakaya, and Ryusen specializes in high-quality meats, which customers can cook up as yakiniku (barbeque) or shabu-shabu.
Travel Recommendations, Experiences, and Activities Around the Hotel
Guests at Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa are given access to a number of facilities around the resort, including a gym, an indoor swimming pool, and special morning aerial yoga classes! (Sign-up required.)
On the edge of the subtropical forested hills that make up the Yanbaru Natural World Heritage site, and close to Kariyushi beach, Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa is ideally located for travelers looking to dive deep into nature, and enjoy some of the most popular local attractions. Through the hotel, guests can sign up for all kinds of local experiences, including feeding the sharks and stingrays at Okinawa’s famous Churaumi Aquarium, hiking in the Yanbaru forests with a nature guide, touring the small local Nakayama Coffee Farm, and all kinds of activities at Kariyushi beach.
A handful of popular Okinawa tourist attractions are also an easy 30~40 minute drive from the hotel, like Okinawan theme park Bios Hill, the elephant-shaped Cape Manzamo, and Yomitan Village, which is famous for local pottery. If you’re already getting around in a car, stop by the Onna no Eki Nakayukui Market for road snacks and decadent shaved ice!
Relax and Enjoy the Forested Subtropical Island
Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa is surrounded by scenery so beautiful that it’s earned a World Heritage designation, and recent hotel renovations have added elegance, comfortable spaces, and plenty of natural light to the inside as well. With top-notch service, a variety of popular dining options, and plenty of little surprises waiting to put a smile on the face of each and every guest, the resort and spa complex is just waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re looking for pure rest and relaxation on your next vacation, or you’re ready for a “workation” in some beautiful surroundings, you won’t find a better change of scenery than Oriental Hotel Okinawa Resort & Spa.
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