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“Inspiring aesthetic masterpiece.”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Benesse House

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Benesse House
Certificate of Excellence
Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
253 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 320 helpful votes
“Inspiring aesthetic masterpiece.”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 9, 2013

This is an absolute must stay for all those interested in modern art, architecture and design. There is no hotel complex like this anywhere on the planet. Naoshima - the 'art island' - is out of this world. The scale of modernist art and architecture on offer is mind-boggling.

We stayed in the 'Museum' section of this hotel for three nights. All things considered, I think three nights is the minimum to get the most out of your stay on the island. When we booked, they asked us if we preferred Japanese cuisine, or, an international menu, so, we decided to keep it Japanese. All of our meals were served in their lovely restaurant called 'Issen': breakfasts, lunches, and dinners were very memorable. Service was professional, and yet still friendly.

Must visit modern museums are within walking distance, incl., Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, Benesse House Museum, and the Art House Project.

I am still blown away by my visit to Naoshima; I cannot wait to go back to this island aesthetic masterpiece of modern art, architecture and design.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank R M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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577 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (87)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2013

First time staying in a hotel designed by Tadao Ando. Naoshima is a bit off from the popular Japan cities but a very good point for going to different islands under the Setouchi Triennale. Looking out from the balcony, you have the wonderful views of artworks with the sea and blue sky as backdrop. Restaurant choices are limited, the hotel staff will remind you to book the two restaurants, one Western and the other Japanese. There's no TV nor WIFI in the hotel room, it's fine for us but we do see visitors paying a rental fee for TV set.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank mho_hk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brussels, Belgium
Level Contributor
76 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 28, 2013

Yes the environment is superb, but really, most of it left me indifferent. It's arty and all, but the rooms are not that great actually, and certainly not worth the high rate. Breakfast was average. The Japanese restaurant in the museum was just fine. The museums were good but really, I think one day without overnight would have been sufficient. The place is too crowded, and for me, that breaks the magic of an otherwise beautiful island.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Andoreasu2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wigan, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 23, 2013

Found out about Benesse House by pure chance, as even my daughter living in Japan hand't heard of it.

There is no denying it is expensive, especially as you have little option but to eat at either the French or Japanese hotel restaurants. The menu choices also appeared very limited, especially as one daughter is vegetarian and me and my other daughter don't eat fish. However, we were able to explain our dietary requirements in emails to Benesse House before our arrival and our meal in the French restaurant turned out to be delicious, filling and was very enjoyable. Breakfast in the museum was also tasty and very nicely presented.

Our family of four adults stayed in Room 404 in the Oval, which had wall paintings by British artist David Tremlett and a patio widow that lowered into the floor - Fantastic!. The room had two double size beds, which would have been fine for us, but also two temporary beds had been installed. Although these took up some floor space there was still loads of room.

We really enjoyed the whole Naoshima art experience and also the architecture of Tadao Ando. The use of natural light, even in sub terrarium art galleries was incredible and added very much to the experience of viewing some stunning art works. You really should visit all the art museums and make every effort to see the outdoor artworks, which seem to be everywhere around Benesse House. Unfortunately we didn't have time to experience the Bath House, much to my eldest daughters disappointment.

Our only regret was that we could only afford to stay the one night and although we made the very most of our time, it would have been be much more relaxing to have bitten the financial bullet and stayed for a second night. It would have been great just to stroll down to the beach admiring the works of art and then have a swim in the sea.

Would we go again - you bet!

Room Tip: Would recommend the Oval if you want to some tranquility with great sea views. The Oval is also a f...
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  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 570AS570
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Paris, France
Level Contributor
189 reviews
186 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 335 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2013

World class Naoshima island's Benesse House modern art offers to those who wish to stay overnight 4 options.
The "MUSEUM" where 10 rooms are situated inside the museum itself.
The "OVAL" which is the hilltop extension of the MUSEUM and is privately reached by a monorail, only to be used by staying guests of the 6 rooms up there.
8 huge suites are to be found in "BEACH", next to the Terrace restaurant and are the most expensive staying option.
41 rooms are at "PARK", the main building, where staying rate remains affordable, and we stayed here 2 consecutive nights ealy july.

We love :
- Wood theme room are simple yet very classy. We, europeans call them scandinavian design, but they surely are Japanese. The view is beautiful to the sea in the distance and on a clear night, we can see the Takamatsu side shining.

We like
- Nothing missing

We don't :
- The 41 rooms on "PARK" are packed on 2 levels and they are so close each other. It is like sitting on a plane, coach class, next to some fellow travellers you don't know, but you must. An annoying situation at 30.000 already.

Tips :
- No in room WiFi, which is a good thing afterall, but it can be connected in the lounge.
- On site eating options are : expensive french at the Terrace for dinner, very expensive japanese at the Issen (you must choose your dinner when you check in ; the menu is shown while you still have your bags in your hands, which is a total absurdity to us), expensive but nice buffet breakfast at the Terrace. Alternatively, go back to the pier where several restaurants are opened all day. But then you must rely on the shuttle bus, which runs very infrequently.

So this unique and peculiar art island is to be experienced once, after that, not sure we're back again.

Room Tip: PARK is the most affordable, but not moeny value at all
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank BEEPfromPARIS
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Luanda, Angola
Level Contributor
156 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 4, 2013

This is by far the weirdest hotel we have ever stayed in. We opted for the Oval hotel, you also get the beach side, which after our stay I think would have been a better option for us. Though staying in the Oval you are in fact staying in a museum. The Hotel has very good transport both between the beach hotel and Oval but also with the town and other museums on the island. To get to our room we had to take a mono rail that added a good 10 minutes at worst to our trip, to our room, especially if someone else had just caught it to go down as happened to us, lets say it’s a slow moving box between two buildings that when you were in a hurry it was not there but when you had all day it was ready and waiting.

We made the mistake of staying here Sunday and Monday. Note everything is closed on a Monday! So you are bored out of your mind on the Monday. Note most museums close on a Monday in Japan thus use Mondays for shopping, relaxing or what takes your fancy just not sight seeing.

Our booking agent booked us supper one Japanese and one French for the two nights we stayed there. The suppers were extremely expensive for the price and the food was average. The Japanese dinner was way better than the French by some distance. We made the mistake of ordering a glass of wine as a bottle looked like to much wine, don’t make that mistake order the bottle its way cheaper! The cup they pour you is so small, you get to be honest one month full if that much! The Wine was a rip off, get the bottle even if you do not finish it. All people around us got beer in a bottle, they knew what we did not know. In regards to Coke we noticed large volume of ice and not much Coke. If you can go into town and have food its not easy especially on Monday with services closed but the other days there is city council busses that do not cost much, you will save your self a fortune.

Breakfast was included and was OK. Strange another hotel were you can get two sausages or two pieces of bacon but not one of each. for this price I expected both! One cup of coffee you can't have two. Its a joke in bad service with a high price!

The room is getting old. Many years back when built it was high tech today it looks old and feels old, needs a revamp. The view was great but the beach house views were better. This place is one large experiment with concrete which we did not like. We found rubbish on the beach which was a surprise to use.

We would skip this place, way expensive, service low and you do not get much for it. We noted a strange high level of marketing around this place which is unusual in Japan.

Room Tip: Stay in the Beach house side avoid the Oval hotel
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  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mwant999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne
Level Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 27, 2013

I am an architect and chose to fork out the extra money to stay at this hotel designed by Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Architecturally I wasn't disappointed, but for the amount of money I paid I was little disappointed with the overall service and facilities provided by the hotel. Getting picked up from the ferry terminal by the hotel minibus was no problem, however, when I checked in there were many people checking in all at once (who had arrived on the same ferry). They had only 2 staff at the front desk and the check-in process was slow for everyone. It took 30 minutes of waiting before I was checked-in. I stayed in the Park building. The carpet in the hallway looked worn and tired. The rooms were well sized, but felt bare even considering the minimalist design approach. There is no television and no internet access available in the rooms (due to the hotel's remote location). I was told that there was wifi available in the guest lounge, but the signal was extremely weak. When I asked about the internet connection, the staff failed to tell me about the two computers they had available. I only found out about them on my last night there. The food available through the hotel is extremely expensive. I sampled breakfast and dinner at both of the hotel's restaurants. I recommend their Japanese restaurant for both meals, though from the Park building it's less accessible. I asked the staff whether they hired bikes, but they said no. Though in the car park I saw there were several hotel bikes. Overall I felt like what I received in terms of service and facilities was not worth the amount of money I paid to stay at this hotel.

On the plus side, the scenery from your room is amazing and the grounds are beautiful themselves. I enjoyed walking around the site and exploring their sculpture garden. The hotel bus was a convenient way of travelling around the island. For those who will be staying at this hotel. I recommend hiring an electric bike as it gives you more freedom to explore the island. Also if you dont wish to eat all your meals at the hotel, the Park hotel is located within fair walking distance to a town (just past the camping ground). For everyone visiting Naoshima I highly recommend also visiting Teshima. You will not be disappointed.

If I were to visit this island again, I would stay at the hostel they have situated close to the main ferry terminal.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank okayb83
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Benesse House

Property: Benesse House
Address: Gotanji, Naoshima-cho, Kagawa-gun, Naoshima-cho 761-3110, Kagawa Prefecture
Location: Japan > Shikoku > Kagawa Prefecture > Kagawa-gun > Naoshima-cho
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels / Ryokan in Naoshima-cho
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 65
Also Known As:
Benesse House Hotel Naoshima-Cho
Benesse Hotel Naoshima Cho

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