Tag Archives: Tested

Japan: The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

A View To Fuji San

Our Second Stop in Hakone

We arrive at the very exclusive Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, near Hakone, in the middle of the day, after many adventures on the road (we lost ourselves several times! Lol). This small establishment of 11 gestrooms with a modern architecture, is a real art museum.

In a refine decoration with many elements from Italy, I discover paintings, draws and serigraphs numbered of Japanese and Western masters (Kataoka Tamako, Chagal, Buffet, Miro …). The owner of Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts, a fine art collector wanted this hotel to be dedicated to gastronomy and farniente.

Here, no long list of activities: our private onsen with water from either Ubako spring or Owakudani spring (both having beneficial effects on the skin) is in the center of our large bathroom / terrace overlooking Fuji San. Early morning, the view is stunning (photo above taken from our room). A feeling of euphoria floats in the air …

  

Beauty is Everywhere

The elegant suite-sized room is a haven of “luxury, calm and pleasure” (Beaudelaire). For a better soundproofing, in front of each room, a private glass corridor and carpet insulate noise (7th picture below).

And if like us, you are fond of beauty and space, this bathroom is a dream! I don’t leave my onsen anymore, staring at the top of the trees, Fuji San and the horizon (photo above). 

I also liked the sliding panels that allow you to modulate the space and hide things like TV. The wide and leather sofa design is a monster of comfort. I don’t even talk about bedding! Everything, every detail is perfect!

     

The Gourmet Restaurant

  

The Dinner

On the two photos above: the view from our room of the garden at night and in the background, the silhouette of Fuji San. Picture below: the stretch of water seen from the main hall of the restaurant. The cuisine of chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi is as captivating to see as to taste. 

At dinner, the plates looks like paintings. The pleasure of sight associated with that of taste, with an exciting experience of flavors and textures, colors and shapes. Rarely, I have seen such beautiful and good dishes. For example: on the second and third picture photo below, the “Spaghetti puttanesca with marinated abalone“. In fact, the chef specialized in Italian cuisine, recommends mixing spaghetti with the whipped white sauce. It’s divine, so inexpected, top!

I will be able to list all dishes served, with my lean culinary vocabulary (I am not a food critic). But I just want to add that Chef Kenjiro Yoshikoshi’s cooking is art. His cuisine is hedonistic, generous and cheerful. 

Like the chef, his cuisine excels without pretension. As just as all the people who work in this hotel. The service is amazing and very warm. Domo arigato gosaimasu to all the (last picture)!

    

The Breakfast

  

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and all the team of The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Sengokuhara, for this beautiful and warm invitation. As always theses are my opnions.

Japan: Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas (Day 1)

The Ozonu Villa

  

The Room

Arriving this morning from Kyoto in the small station of Nabari, we were far from imagining our stay at Sasayuri-Ann Rice Terrace. We are in countryside (one hour by train from Nara), a complete immersion in an authentic traditional Japan. 

We are greeted by Mr Matsubayashi, the owner who, with his wife and two sons take care of the two villas. We stay in Ozonu, the new villa with light woods and opened on a beautiful Zen garden (above, first photo of the article). A smart blend of tradition and luxury, sober and extremely comfortable (modern bathroom and kitchens). I feel like I’m in an Ozu 

In the evening, the main space is transformed into a bedroom. We are projected into another dimension, with the backdrop of the lighted garden and the sound of the water. Awesome! Photos above and below: my first fittings of yukata (Japanese summer kimono) in the room.

  

Shabu Shabu

  

Carefully and Warmly

After a long day, we take our first dinner around the “fire”, in the center of the main room. Our hosts have prepared a Shabu Shabu (the famous Japanese fondue). 

Vegetables and beef of the region (cut into very fine marbled slices, like Kobe beef) are soaked in boiling water and then seasoned with sesame sauce. I don’t know the exact recipe, but it’s delicious. Subtle, light and tasty (photo below).

For the desert, a homemade sake ice cream ball served in frozen ceramic cup and spoon (photo above).

Ikebana & Zen Garden

Contemplative Meditation

The garden is the pride of Mr. Matsubayashi who was inspired by the most beautiful Zen gardens. Every evening he meticulously water it. Besides, the villa and the garden are one. 

The garden is divided into three sides: the Landscape Rock Garden, the Pinetree Garden and the Scenery-Borrowing Garden with, in the distance, the bluish mountains. Enchanting setting.

In the afternoon, we attended a private flower arrangement class given by Mrs. Matsubayashi, master of Ikebana. I liked her precise gesture. With few elements, her composition is beautiful! No superfluity, only the essential matters. Japanese minimalism.

 

  

The Tea Ceremony

The Immutable Japan

In another part of the garden, there is a 100 year old tea house (impressive!), With the dimensions of a doll’s house, paper doors and windows. According to Mr. Matsubayashi, the Japanese love everything small.

I feel both like Alice in Wonderland and an elephant in this confined space that seems fragile. As strange as it may seem, everyone quickly finds his little living space. 

Formerly this ceremony was practiced by monks and allowed the powerfuls and gentry to share a moment of peace over a cup of tea. Today, the masters of the tea ceremony are mostly women.

Everything is very codified, the graceful slow gesture is controlled and repetitive too, like a choreography. We hear the sound of water and birds outside. Macha and confectionery are excellent.

To be continued … 

  

    

Photos & vidéos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Sasayuri-Ann Terrace Villas

Planning your trip with Exclusif Voyages

Flying to Japan : direct flights from Brussels & Paris with ANA

Related articles : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Exclusif Voyages, Ryokan Collection and Mr and Mrs Matsubayashi and their sons for this wonderful immersion in a traditional hedonistic Japan. As always, these are my opinions.

The Grand Hotel Zermatterhof

  

A Suite With A View

By Night & Day

I like hotels with a history, the palaces that can reinvent themselves, while maintaining a charm of yesteryear. What a great pleasure to discover my Junior suite at the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof (1879), with wood panels in the entrance and separate dressing room! Photo-montage below: photos 1 and 2, well equipped entrance with coffee maker and mini bar. 

The hotel is located in the center of the village of Zermatt, a stone’s throw from the Matterhorn Museum – Zermatlantis and shopping streets. The first two photos of the article (above): the magnificent views (from my bed and living room) of the village and ubiquitous mountain. Another big crush: the chic contemporary bathroom! The rooms have been recently renovated. 

The lovely detail: the Pillow Menu to test my natural laziness (lol)! Unfortunately with my busy program, I will not have time to stop at the spa!

  

The Restaurants

Dinner At The Say Cheese!

A fondue with champagne and truffles at the Say Cheese! One of the three restaurants of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof, specially dedicated to cheese. The dishes are delicious (photo above and photo montage below). The hot bread (which we cut by square) to dip in the fondue, is amazing!

The minimalist interior design made with stone and wood is warm. The service is perfect and the atmosphere is young. Definetly, THE address where to dine in Zermatt. 

La Brasserie Lusi

In the photo-montage below: 1, my favorite restaurant, the Say Cheese! 2 & 5. Another restaurant of the hotel, the Brasserie Lusi. After the cheese orgy of the day before, I had a tasty light dinner in a classic setting! 3 & 4. Light breakfasts (too) under the glass roof of the Brasserie Lusi. 6. The coat of arms of Zermatt: Prato Borni (is also the name of the gourmet restaurant of the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof).

Photos : © Mademoiselle Le K – Tous droits réservés

Informations  

Grand Hotel ZermatterhofZermatt TourismValais, www.MySwitzerland.comSWISSSwiss Travel System (STS)

Related posts : DESTINATIONS & HOTEL REVIEWS

Many thanks to Zermatt Tourisme, Valais/Wallis promotion, Switzerland Tourism, SWISS et Swiss Travel System (STS) for this beautiful invitation. Thank you to the Grand Hotel Zermatterhof. As always, these are my opinions.