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“Very pretty hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island

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HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Certificate of Excellence
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
25 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Very pretty hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 3, 2013 via mobile

The hotel was marvelously designed with a large heated pool in the center.
The hotel location was a bit inconvenient - it was somewhat far from the major beaches and the town center. We rented bicycles (reservation req'd - just call the front desk in advance) to go around the island. It only took us 2-3 hrs to see the entire island. There really isn't much things to see or do on the island. We stayed at Hoshinoya for two nights and thought it was plenty.
We had dinner and breakfast in our room. The food was very delicious.
I would recommend Hoshinoya Taketomi-jima to my family and friends.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank JapanMuse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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168 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    81
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    17
    16
    9
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (5)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Russian first
  • Any
English first
Bangkok, Thailand
Level Contributor
248 reviews
78 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 113 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 13, 2013

Hoshinoya Resorts have gone to tremendous lengths to recreate a typical Okinawan/Taketomi village of almost 50 villas, fitted out in luxurious Japanese style. I must say that we particularly enjoyed relaxing in the villa and using the pool, including my daughter (almost 4) which is one of the primary objectives of staying in a resort such as this. The daily events in the lounge and the complimentary bicycles with kids bicycle seats were a nice touch and highly appreciated. The only areas that let this property down related to food. Firstly paying first rate ryokan type prices, one would have expected at least breakfast to be inclusive. Second, whilst we honestly appreciated the complimentary juice and food offered to my daughter, the choice was seriously limited e.g. potato soup and bread, particularly when child-friendly thoughtfulness has been given to other areas (eg swimming pool toys). Third we did very much enjoy the set menu breakfast and dinner, but if the hotel offered even a small a la carte menu, then they would surely retain more guests for meals during multiple night stays. On a separate matter, we were a bit disappointed that after returning from cycling around the village for 5 hours at 2pm and looking forward to a relaxing rest, the staff were only just starting to clean our room (i.e. reception were aware that we had left cycling at 9am but clearly hadn't advised the cleaning staff). Summing up though, a fantastic property, and I sincerely hope that Hoshinoya will be very successful, but please revisit your strategy on food. Thank-you!

Room Tip: Our room location (301) was actually very good, in the middle of the resort, close to the pool, loun...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank steveamcb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
88 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2013

We stayed there for two nights in June, 2013. The hotel is located in Taketomi Island of Okinawa.

Facilities: The villa is built according to the traditional houses on that island. A lot of glassed doors that can open up and he breeze can pass through the villa, but you do not have privacy as the fense is too low to block the view from the people walking outside. There is a door bell but did not find the way to answer, so the staff will press the door bell, then walk into the yard.
The resort does not have much to do. It is probably meant for people who wants just to relax and read, swim, or walk. I found the pool to be nice at night, when you can swim under the moonlight or stars. We rented the bicycle from the resort for free to go around the island. There is no way you can walk to the village as the resort is a bit away from the village and the streets are not lit. The bicycle have no gear as the island is MOSTLY flat. We had to exchange on bicycle as the handle were broken. It was a leisurely ride around the island with the bicycle to the beach. We prepared ourself with the icebox from home and only asked the ice from the hotel. You can then bring your own drinks to the beach and relax.

Food: There is only one restaurant in the hotel. There is almost no choice but to eat in the hotel for the breakfast, and they only provide two set menus each day. One do not have choice just for cereals or fruits or continental breakfast. For the western meal breakfast, included was pigs ear which is the local food. It will be good for someone adventurous, but I believe a bit more selection of food should be available to this standard of hotel and price. Just for this limited menu on the restaurant (only one), it can be difficult to stay there for several days.

Hoshinoya is expanding very rapidly. In order to be a good hotel, I think it will take time to train the staffs to serve as they want it to be. Perhaps the island is not populated enough to get the local staffs. I would like to give a a few more years before I revisited this resort again in the future.

Room Tip: stay at the villa around the pool. reserve the bike before you arrive, as they do not have enough f...
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  • Stayed June 2013, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
Helpful?
3 Thank wutan01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Milan, Italy
Level Contributor
35 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 31, 2013

We really enjoyed the experience in this japanese style hotel. Beautiful little houses in Taketomi style, now it's possible also to dine at the village taking the resort bus (last one back at 21:30) and we had no problem with reservation at restaurant (quite expensive but very good) or dining in the room. With the free bicycle you can go wherever you want in the island (also carrying a 4 year child).

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Nicola I
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
84 reviews
53 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 17, 2013

Taketomi island has always been one of the places to visit near Ishigaki. My GF and I stayed there the second time spending two nights, enjoying its beautiful landscape, tranquility and great food. Hoshinoya, as it's known to be the best "ryokan" chain in Japan, does live up to its standards when it comes to service and quality. The villa is spacious, but wouldn't hurt to add some more Okinawan objects in both interior and exterior. It provides huge space, but on the outside with a table and a set of chairs, we never got to use them.

We had a dinner in the main dining place and as it had always been; absolutely fabulous. Well presented and very tasty! For the second night, we decided to eat inside the villa by reserving in-room dining. It's a bit odd to make a reservation and delivery time for so called "in-room" dining, which is normally available 24/7 in other top class hotels, but the food was delicious.

The spa was also great. We had a body massage course in a segregated villa area away from the main villas. A bit pricey, but highly recommended.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank teddybear1216
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong
Level Contributor
74 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 5, 2012

We stayed here for 3 nights in October 2012. We enjoyed our stay, but felt the price was too high for what we received in comparison with other top hotels (ryokan) in Japan and the Aman resorts elsewhere. I think a few additional touches would make it feel more worthwhile and special.

Our villa was lovely and spacious. At first we were disappointed to find a western (albeit huge and gorgeous) bath, instead of a traditional Japanese bath, but then we discovered we could close off the rest of the room with the paper screen and open the sliding glass doors in back, creating a lovely Japanese bathhouse effect in our own room. Fabulous. The hotel provides herbal bath soak packets, which were lovely. There was a separate sleeping area with futons, a daybed (a bit too small to fit 2 people lounging), and plenty of additional space. The front garden was spacious, but not very practically furnished with an uncomfortable metal table and chairs; 2 sun loungers would have made more sense (and no more difficult to deal with in case of typhoons?).

All of the villas appear the same on the outside, are closely spaced with low walls, and have no vegetation around them; I realize this is meant to reflect the traditional houses on the island, but it also gives the resort a bit of a cookie-cutter feel. The pool is enormous, but the lounge area not very practical - the sail-like sun shades were perhaps chosen to stand up to typhoons, but didn't provide enough shade. I'm not sure there would be enough seating when the hotel is full. There are only a few loungers, the rest were seating cushions or seats.

A main problem we had throughout our stay was with booking the restaurant for dinner. The island is very small and unlit at night; not only are there few places open, but one has to use the hotel shuttle (which ends early) to get back & forth - no chance of walking or biking. That basically leaves the hotel restaurant - which we were told had only a 5pm reservation available (!!) and then were told was actually fully booked the first night we arrived (with the hotel not even half-full!). We ended up having to have room service - we had to reserve a time for this as well, and then were told that only 7pm was available! Fortunately, the room service (Okinawan meal) was *excellent*, but we really could not believe this kind of service from a luxury hotel charging US$1,000/night - without meals (we would normally expect to pay this at a top ryokan, but with 2 gourmet meals included - and far better and more personalized service).

They managed to find us a table at the restaurant at 8pm the second night. The food was good, but a bit fussy - I suppose it is ambitious, but we found the long, multi-course meal to be too much for an island holiday. Why not provide a la carte options as well? How can this be the only option besides room service for dinner at the hotel? We went back to room service for the last night. The breakfast in the main restaurant however was excellent - not to be missed.

We had 2 spa treatments during our stay. Similarly, we were told there we no realistic times available during the initial days of our stay, due to the small number of spa rooms and therapists available. I would expect to be extremely disappointed when the hotel is full. We managed to arrange treatments later on, which were of average quality. I realize the hotel is on a remote island where it is probably difficult to find top spa staff, but again, at this price, the spa treatments should be both readily available and excellent.

The staff were unfailingly polite and tried to be helpful wherever possible - typically wonderful Japanese service. I could not fault them for trying, but if the management could just sort out some of the issues we encountered - and add a few more personal touches, like complimentary fruit bowls, small local crafts to take home placed on the pillow at night, a menu of suggested itineraries/activities like the Aman has, etc - I think this has the potential to be a much better hotel than we experienced.

As for the island itself, it was charming - we cycled everywhere - but next time 1-2 nights will be enough. There is only one swimming beach and the currents were too strong to snorkel when we were there, as it was getting late in the season and the wind was getting up. The island is tiny and there is just not that much to do, unless you want to just vegetate. You have to to back to Ishigaki to take the ferries around, so island-hopping is not possible.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank IPGHK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island

Property: HOSHINOYA Taketomi Island
Address: Taketomi, Yaeyama-gun 907-1101, Okinawa Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kyushu-Okinawa > Okinawa Prefecture > Yaeyama-gun > Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho
Amenities:
Beach Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels / Ryokan in Taketomi-jima Taketomi-cho
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Number of rooms: 48
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A mere ten minutes by ferry from Ishigaki, the transportation hub of the Yaeyama archipelago, the island of Taketomi is a step back in time, with traditional villagescapes to explore via bicycle or water-buffalo cart, in addition to unique festivals, handicrafts, and dreamlike diving and snorkeling. ... more   less 
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