Benesse House Naoshima
Remote and relaxing, it is located on the beaches of miniature Naoshima island from the Setouchi Inland Sea, a region dubbed the Mediterranean of Japan because of the blue waters and temperate climate. Naoshima is a famed rural artwork hub — countless modern artworks are sprinkled around shrines, rice fields and old wooden homes in an effort to revitalise its decreasing population. The artwork job has expanded to comprise roughly half a dozen surrounding islands. Benesse House stands out as exceptional, creative and lavish one of the area’s more traditional regional inns. Approximately 400 miles south of Tokyo, it is a mission to get there but well worth it for art fans (approximately four hours from Tokyo by train followed with a 20-minute ferry).
Style & personality
The idea is straightforward: a museum in which people could sleep. The minimum design, with expanses of concrete, wood and glass — generated from the profoundly honored architect Tadao Ando — is the ideal complement to the surrounding character and artworks. The original museum started with guestrooms in 1992, together with Ando adding a number of buildings over two years — not one of which seem in the smallest bit outdated. Premium quality artworks which wouldn’t appear strange at a Tate are sprinkled throughout, from guestrooms and corridors into the shore (in which a polka dot Yayoi Kusama pumpkin sits on a dock).
Service & amenities
The employees are subtly friendly and incredibly well-informed concerning advising the ideal way to research Naoshima and surrounding islands (a free shuttle bus also functions). Besides its own museum full of creations by artists which range from Hiroshi Sugimoto into Basquiat, Benesse House also includes a tiny light-filled spa along with a gift store.
There are 65 guestrooms around four structures — known as Museum, Park, Oval (sitting on a hilltop and obtained by means of a monorail) and Beach – each with various perspectives and varying layout but all in striking all-natural configurations with ocean views. The rooms are usually mild and contemporary (expect a great deal of white, light forests, clean-lines and neutral tones), occasionally bringing to mind a minimum Muji shop. What makes them extra special, nevertheless, is your only original art in every room.
Food & beverage
The restaurant area is much more minimal than its title — Terrace Restaurant Umi no hoshi Etole p Mer. Here, surrounded by a wood beam ceiling, bold orange and blue walls and windows overlooking the Inland Sea, chefs serve up large caliber French-inspired cuisine using seasonal local produce. The set dinner selections aren’t cheap (from ¥9,504/ #70) but are tasty – perfect for a special meal (recent dishes comprised steak stew and marinated local fish). The buffet breakfast here is also suggested. There’s a café with tranquil ocean views on the top floor of Benesse House Museum, in addition to romantic guest lounges at the Oval and Park buildings.
Value for cash
Double rooms from ¥32,076 (#237) in low season; also out of ¥38,016 (#281) at large. Breakfast buffet prices ¥2,613 (#19). Free Wi-Fi. Perhaps it doesn’t seem cheap but it is a one-of-a-kind encounter — probably to be well worth it for architecture and art fans.
Accessibility for guests with disabilities?
Yes, though Oval and Beach buildings don’t have any elevators so are catchy access-wise. Guests in wheelchairs are suggested to remain in one of 2 Park Suites.
Fantastic fun for kids, but hope to say “do not touch” a whole lot, due to its artworks. Kids five and under can’t remain in Oval or even Museum rooms however, the team are extremely beneficial to guests with infants (and may even rustle up gourmet infant dishes at the restaurant).
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