Throughout my 10 days of family travel in Kyushu, we have travelled the 8 prefectures of this Japanese island and stayed in 8 different hotels. An average of 5 hours drive is required to travel from one prefecture to another. From Nagasaki to Fukuoka, we usually check-in our hotels at 4 pm and check-out the next day after breakfast. If we needed more rest for the next day, we will opt for the hotel’s breakfast. Else, we will choose to have our breakfast elsewhere like McDonald’s or a nearby cafe because it will be more pocket-friendly.
In this post, I will not be strongly rating the hotels based on customer service, housekeeping, facilities and all the food on the menu. Well, the main reason is because I have less than 12 hours to truly experience each hotel. In short, these 5 hotels are based on the unique and memorable experiences they gave me during my one night stay. My photographs will tell you why these 5 Kyushu hotels hit the right note in my memory.
Located in National Park Unzen, Unzen Fukudaya gives its guest the traditional Japanese ryokan living, open-air hot spring bath and authentic Japanese food culture. Upon reaching the hotel, guests will get to enjoy some light refreshments before checking into the room at the lobby. With 34 guests rooms that are able to accommodate up to 150 guests, my Haikara Room (Tempur Pillow Twin Room) fits just nice for 2 adults and 1 child. It feels good to sit down in the small Japanese-style living room and watch the nature outside during the sunset.
Meals are held in the Riki Traditional Teahouse which is able to fit up to 300 diners. Before stepping into the restaurant, shoes must be taken off. Dining in this restaurant made me experience the Japanese food culture of DIY stove cooking and small plate delicacies. From sashimi to the grilling of fish, the food was very good. My breakfast experience was almost similar to dinner.
With the separated Japanese Onsen for men and women, hotel guests can revitalise themselves with the outdoor hot spring bath in the cold autumn season of Japan.
BEST WESTERN Rembrandt Hotel
Step into your room’s balcony and get a full view of Sakurajima. Sakurajima is a beautiful and active volcano which overlooks Kyushu’s prefecture, Kagoshima. Known as Best Western Rembrandt Hotel, the picturesque of the Kinkoh Bay during the break of dawn is the best morning viewing experience I ever had.
Besides the beautiful Kagoshima view, what I love about this hotel is there is self-service laundry service. For washing and drying, each service cost 200 Yen. This surely comes in good if you have packs of dirty clothing after a few days of road travel.
Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian
Very much like Unzen Fukudaya, Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian also provides Japanese Onsen and traditional Japanese delicacies. Instead of staying in a hotel room, guests of Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian stay in vintage houses with a countryside experience.
With the interior furnishing done the ryokan way, staying a night made me experience the way of traditional Japanese living. What I love most is the semi-private Onsen outdoor bath in my house. Turn on the tap and enjoy hot spring bath during the cold autumn season.
The food served in Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian are similar to Unzen Fukudaya. They are mostly traditional Japanese way of dining, which is grilling and boiling. As for breakfast, Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian offers Japanese buffet.
Located in Beppu, Suginoi Hotel is a huge hotel with shopping, restaurants, spa, hot springs and amusement park. Modernised yet with a touch of ryokan, the room which I stayed for one night is the most comfortable.
Since Christmas is coming, Suginoi Hotel decorated their premises with the festive mood. During the night, the Christmas decorations are extremely beautiful. As the hotel is divided into 4 main areas – Suginoi Palace, Hana-Kan, Naka-Kan and Hon-Kan, shuttle buses are provided to bring their guests to the hotel.
Although Suginoi Hotel does not provide traditional Japanese food culture like those I had in Unzen Fukudaya and Yufuin Onsen Sanso Shikian, the international buffet served taste very good too.
Hotel Centraza Hakata
Step into the modern world with Hotel Centraza Hakata. With two train stops away from Fukuoka Airport, Hotel Centraza Hakata is the best hotel for shoppers. Taking the lift down to basement 2 will reach the subway station “Hakata”, which makes travelling to other shopping districts very convenient.
In less than 5 minutes walk away, there are many dining restaurants, souvenir shops and retails shops available. With the Christmas season coming soon, there is Christmas Market nearby where many food stalls are selling delicious quick bites and beers during the cold evening. To brighten up this festive season, they are live music performances to liven up the mood.
The above mentioned 5 hotels, each has their own charm to leave the best impression for their guests. If you have recently stayed in Kyushu’s hotels which also leaves a good impression in your memory, please share your experiences in the comments below.