A Zen-like luxury escape in Okinawa
97 Rooms / 2 Suites
The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa seems to have unlocked the formula for an unforgettable luxury hotel. A mixture of warm Okinawan hospitality, Ritz-Carlton-level attention to detail and sweeping vistas that make TVs obsolete come together to create this escape.
This oasis of calm features its own ESPA spa that is popular with locals and international celebrities alike. The hotel also offers three restaurants, a bar and The Lobby Lounge, which affords spectacular views of the 18-hole championship golf course next door.
The property has 97 guest rooms, but it usually feels like you’re the only one there — in a good way. Everywhere you go, there is a sense of calmness that apparently transfers to all of the guests as well, because it’s rare to hear anything other than the sounds of nature and smooth music playing in the hallways.
Our Inspector's Highlights
• The hotel has a complimentary driver service, which means you can get chauffeured to nearby attractions, like The Ritz-Carlton's private beach, local stores, sights and restaurants. Pickup is arranged at your convenience via the mobile phone you receive at check-in.
• The main floor hallways have glass walls that open up to let nature in. One of these hallways is a popular Instagram spot, because it offers a view through the whole building all the way to the bay.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Service is accommodating and anticipatory. For example, champagne is typically not available at breakfast, but after asking for it on the first morning, there were always champagne glasses waiting on our table.
• The sunsets are so spectacular that reserving some time to enjoy them is a must. The Ritz-Carlton offers many terraces around the Okinawa hotel where you can take in the last rays of light.
• The hotel makes sure that breakfast will be relaxing for everyone by seating families with children seperately from couples and solo travelers.
Things to Know
• The easiest, most relaxing way to get to the Okinawa property from the airport (about a 1.5-hour drive) is by using the private transfer that the hotel offers for a fee. The premium option is a Lexus with a friendly driver, air conditioning and cold water.
• There is a special sushi night once a week at The Bar, which also offers an impressive selection of international and local spirits like Okinawa’s own Awamori.
• Check the dates before you book — this luxury hotel’s private beach is only open from April to October.
• The afternoon tea at The Lobby Lounge is a great way to relax for a couple of hours. Delicate pastries, green tea and a spectacular panorama, what more could you want?
• All of the rooms that are above ground level have an amazing view from the bathtub that sits next to a floor-to-ceiling window. But no worries, there are shades that can be closed for privacy.
• The king-size beds are huge and comfortable, perfect for relaxing after a long day at the beach or out sightseeing.
• Every room has an air conditioner, dehumidifier and automatic shades that can be controlled from the nightstand. All of these guarantee a good night’s sleep.
• All accommodations feature complimentary wireless internet access, 42-inch LCD televisions, Nespresso machines and fully stocked refreshment bars.
• Chura Nuhji combines classic Italian dishes with local ingredients in a tasting menu or à la carte format, creating a wonderful East-meets-West experience.
• Alfresco dining is available on the terrace at Chura Nuhji for those who like their spaghetti with a side of stunning sunset views.
• If a private chef and teppanyaki sound good, Kise is the place to go. Nothing beats a talented chef preparing a beautiful wagyu steak right in front of you. Bonus: The vegetarian options are also fantastic.
• The all-day dining restaurant Gusuku offers a wide variety of dishes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from pasta and burgers to Okinawan specialties. Be sure to try the vegetable or beef curry dish — it’s straightforward, but absolutely delicious.