Hated to say good-bye after three nights at this pleasant and friendly resort hotel. We visited in April with a terrific deal: third night free. No complaints. Service is just as good as everyone says. We went for room in Coral Wing, facing golf course with blue ocean beyond. Terrific and spacious! Wow. Tons of room, a wonderful bath area with polished stone flooring, separate shower, large tub and two sinks. Bamboo flooring that meshed with a nice matting in room center. Large HD screen -- what a nice place to get up early to watch Master's finish! Then went out to snorkel. A 3-par golf course is next door, a 2-minute stroll. Can rent clubs. Porter said the green fee is 4,500 yen per person, and you can play all day. Nothing special; greens looked round and flat, but the place looked well-kept.
The room was peaceful and silent. Not even any ticking from the alarm clock. Just superb sense of relaxation. I can't say enough about that. Excellent desk. Free internet in room. Big window. Really. We hated to pack up.
Weather was so perfect in April we didn't need too many excuses to have fun. My Japanese wife loved the second-floor ofuro (hot bath), and our son did a dozen reps non-stop on the swimming pool slide. Indoor and outdoor pools. They only go to one-meter in depth, so don't count on lap swimming. I did see some men swimming laps in the beach area. With wetsuits, which help. Shoji, our snorkeling guide, was outstanding and entirely patient and helpful. Took us on boat out to edge of reef, where the underwater views were good. Not much depth, but lots of types of fish and a huge assortment of coral.
As for food, the hotel breakfast was impressive and of course designed for Japanese taste. I loved the fresh fruit and nice breads. The hot food was not aimed at me.
We found three good cafes worth a visit: Cafe Puff-Puff, which is just about a mile away, an easy drive. This is a cool, seaside cafe of the type often found in Okinawa prefecture, with soft jazz in the background and fresh and trendy cuisine. Good place to ease into the lifestyle. An's Cafe near the ferry terminal opened at 10 for breakfast, with a simple 'morning set,' with fried egg, bacon, toast and coffee, for 500 yen, about a fifth of the price of a hotel breakfast. Really nice people. We found more in English there because one young waitress speaks English well. She also works as an English-language staffer on cruise ships, so you foreigners (like me) can hope she's still there. Nice interior, tastefully decorated. Foreigners would like the look and feel and the coffee.
Another good stop, especially if you have kids craving Western food, is Vanilla Deli in the restaurant district, where the hamburgers are just excellent, using the local and very tasty Ishigaki beef. Wow. Try the burger with creme cheese. Look for the sign in English above the windows on front of building. It's not on main dori (street) but is about 100 meters inland on a fairly wide side street. Took us awhile to find it, but finally spotted the sign. Worth the search.
We really enjoyed Ishigaki. Also did usual sightseeing and took tour of other islands. All great. Best part was the hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Ana Intercontinental Ishigaki Hotel Ishigaki
- Ana Hotel Ishigaki
- ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki Resort Japan - Okinawa Prefecture