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“Overpriced”
Review of Basaratei

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Basaratei
Ranked #18 of 85 Hotels / Ryokan in Shima
Reviewed December 27, 2011

My wife, who is Japanese and knows a thing or two, considered this a terrible experience, and wanted to rate it as such with one star. I was not as put off by the pretentiousness, but found the food mediocre, so would have given three stars. We've settled for two stars on the basis that although the location is indeed lovely, the cost far exceeds the quality of the overall experience.

My wife, who enjoys the little details, was offended more or less from the outset. On arrival we were seated in the lobby and served tea while signing in, but then forgotten. We were led to our room only after my wife asked if there was any reason for us to remain in the lobby. During a tour of the available baths, we were told we could only look from the outside, though each was empty and bathing was clearly the reason for our being there.

Once in our room, our guide told us that slippers were not provided so that we could enjoy the feeling of bare feet on the wooden floors. In fact, since our visit was in wintertime, the floors were cold and uncomfortable. The room had no central heating, had not been warmed prior to our arrival, so we had to use three space heaters to keep the barn-like room sufficiently warm throughout our visit. Similarly, we were encouraged to relax and forget the time, but given only two possible opportunities for dinner and breakfast (5:30 or 6pm, if I remember correctly, and 8 or 8:40am for breakfast). Etc, etc.

The main purpose of our visit was to bathe, and the wooden tub on the porch of our room was lovely and comfortable, as described in other reviews. The food was plentiful and fresh, but very moddish and not terribly interesting. The staff buzzed around us wearing telephone headsets, I suppose to let us know that they were at our beck and call. The pickles that we were told had been made for us by the owner's mother with the utmost care seemed to have come out of a package, but the fresh yogurt was delicious; a mixed experience, in other words.

Let me put it simply: had the evening cost $200 we'd probably have forgiven the eccentricities and given an average rating. At $475 PER PERSON, we departed feeling that we'd been duped. Whatever romance there was in the location was drained from the experience by a general sense of mediocrity. For example, we have subsequently read that the spring water here is boiled, not naturally hot, making this not really an onsen in the strictest sense of the word. Had we known that, we would never have considered spending so much on what is essentially just a well appointed bath.

  • Stayed: December 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank fabmun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4 - 10 of 104 reviews

Reviewed January 5, 2010

Basaratei is an amazing onsen, or hot spring. In a country where hot springs are widespread, this is definitely a high-end place (which is reflected in the price). The room I was in had its own hot spring, meaning I did not have to go in the public baths (something which, as a westerner, I was grateful for as I don't enjoy being naked in public). I am not sure if all rooms have their own hot spring filled baths, but most do, and ours was on the balcony overlooking the bay.

The room was very well appointed, with the attention to detail being fantastic. Comfortable beds and chairs, and an ultra modern toilet (including self-flush, seats and lids which lift up and close automatically, heated seats and water etc). As with traditional Japanese inns, shoes are off at the front door and slippers were provided, although part of the room was tatami matting (so only bare feet in those areas). All pyjamas and dressing gowns were provided, and being tall compared to Japanese people, they provided me with large versions. Plenty of top quality soaps and the like, and a wet room to shower before going into the hot spring (where, of course, no soap is to be used).

The food was a marvel. Absolutely beyond compare. But a word of caution - food at Japanese inns is different from Japanese hotels. In a hotel you go to a restaurant and order off the menu, and no doubt you could find something "western" if you so wished. In a Japanese inn, the menu tends to be set and offers the very best of Japanese cuisine. Basaratei was no exception. We had seven or eight appropriately sized courses which were so beautifully presented it was almost a shame to eat them. Of course, when they were eaten the balance and delicacy of flavour was superb. Breakfast, too, was great, and a choice of Japanese or "western" (with a Japanese twist). If you want true Japanese food, then you will be very happy at Basaratei. If when on holiday you like to eat more international food, then here wouldn't be for you.

One element I don't know about is how geared up it is for international travellers (I was their first Brit, apparently). I am a Japanese speaker and so had no problems. This onsen is in a very rural area, so I don't know if they would have English speakers always available. That said, I am sure visitors from all nations would be more than welcome, and even if an English speaker wasn't on hand, you'd be able to get by and still enjoy what is an amazing place.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Naniwa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 27, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: October 2016, traveled with family
Thank ちぃーり
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 14, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: May 2017
Thank taaa U
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2017
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  • Stayed: April 2017, traveled with friends
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9  Thank 自己流ミシュランガイド
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2017 via mobile
Google Translation

Stayed: November 2016, traveled with family
2  Thank wan w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 14, 2017 via mobile
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Stayed: April 2017, traveled as a couple
Thank masahikot640
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Basaratei

Address: 3618-74 Ugata, Agocho, Shima 517-0501, Mie Prefecture
Location: Japan > Chubu > Mie Prefecture > Shima
Hotel Style:
#4 Top resorts Hotel in Shima
Price Range: $533 - $963 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Number of rooms: 15
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Also Known As:
Basaratei Shima, Japan - Mie

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