This is not the sort of place we normally would chose to stay. It's a huge hotel complex, targetted at families, and very much a Japanese take on an all inclusive resort. However, we wanted somewhere not too expensive, within walking distance of Aso JR station, that we could book on the internet as we don't speak Japanese. While there's quite a lot of accommodation of various types available in the Aso region, this area is not frequented by many non-Japanese, so it is difficult to book direct by email or telephone if you are foreign. This hotel was booked through the Rakuten Travel website which is available fully in English.
As to the hotel itself. It's a huge complex, spread over several blocks around the grounds. All the buildings, accommodation blocks, restaurants and bars and the leisure pool complex are all linked via underground tunnels - in which you could easily get lost! The buildings are in a fake European style and all rather ugly, to be polite. The grounds are odd, with regimented rows of plants and trees, in planters looking somehow temporary. The front is just a huge car park. Upper rooms, facing south have views to Mt Aso and you can just make out the steam emitted from the most active vent. If you face the other way, I would guess you see the raillway and the wide open valley floor of the caldera and rice paddies.
We were allocated a Japanese style room. This had regular twin beds with duvets and light wood fittings, but half the room had tatami mats, a low table and cushions with backrests. The European style rooms have ornate, dark wood furnishings and very upright chairs. As we found throughout Japan, the beds were very good but firm, and the bathroom was clean, modern and the shower very efficient.
If you book with Rakuten, dinner and breakfast are included. Dinner can be taken in 3 of the 4 or 5 restaurant on the premises, including an Italian one - these are the ones with buffets rather than a la carte. We opted for Japanese. The food itself was reasonable, with a large selection of choices, and the buffets were replenished frequently enough for the demand. Drink prices for beers were reasonable, soft drinks, juices and tea/coffee were included. What was an education to us was the large number of rowdy Japanese families with ill disciplined children roaming around the dining room, and some groups with appalling manners - our only experience of this ever in Japan.
There are several public baths included in the room charge, but the leisure pool complex has an extra charge to use the facilities. All seem well used by hotel guests. It was a Saturday night that we stayed, before a public holiday so the place was pretty full.
The hotel is a 10 - 15 minute walk (with trolley cases) from Aso JR station. There are a few convenience stores and a coffee shop, plus gas stations, but not much else in the area. Buses up to the top of Mt Aso depart from in front of Aso station and seem quite frequent. There are toilets, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops where the buses drop you off, and the ropeway (cable car) to the very top - but it's also an easy 30 minute walk up or down from the bus drop off point.
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Orbitz, Expedia, Hotels.com, Agoda, JAPANiCAN, Rakuten, Travelocity, Ctrip TA, Hotwire, Priceline, Booking.com, TripOnline SA, Cheap Tickets, Cancelon and HotelQuickly so you can book your Aso Villa Park Hotel & Spa Resort reservations with confidence. We help millions of travelers each month to find the perfect hotel for both vacation and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.