By Bonson Lam
When I was growing up, if I passed my exams or something like that, my parents would treat me to dinner at some fancy hotel restaurant, high above the port and city lights. The soft candle lights, the soulful tunes of the Spanish guitar, and the shimmering lights of the ships below will lull me into an ethereal bliss.
The Ren lounge and cocktail bar on the top floor of Hotel Nahana is the kind of place that brings back those warmest childhood memories. Floating high on the 12th floor above the Kencho-mae and Asahibashi station district and Naha Harbor, take a seat by the windows and have some Brazil nuts and a Long Island Ice Tea, while the soft piano bar music will transport you to the best of the nineteen eighties.
Hotel Nahana has all the hallmarks of a luxurious 1980s hotel, without looking overly dated. A candlelit rooftop bar that looks and feels like an revolving restaurant, marbled floors and high ceilings in the spacious lobby and reception area, cute souvenir shops by the front desk selling everything you need and don’t need, from sea shell necklaces to Okinawa shirts in bright pastel mauves and turquoise, and a queue of taxis in the circular driveway waiting to take you to the Aquarium and the golden mile that is otherwise known as Kokusai dori, not that you need the taxi for the latter, being only a five minute walk away. A concession to the twenty-first century is the complementary Wi-Fi and Internet PCs in the lobby area.
The hotel prices look like if they have been frozen in the early 1980s too. Imagine coming to a 4 star hotel and getting a room for two from 6,900 yen. You would struggle to get the same price in a similar downtown location in Hong Kong, Barcelona or Sydney.
The rooms are simply decorated with a tropical flavor, infused in pleasant earthy hues and stocked with home comforts, including a television with Japanese and English language channels, like NHK and BBC. They have thought hard about meeting your every need, from blackout curtains which come very handy if you have jet lag, to cotton linen sheets and soothing down duvets, the only problem is just coaxing yourself to get up in the morning. The single rooms are compact at 14 square meters, while the luxurious Neo Ryukyu style queen sized rooms with Japanese washi paper screens are spacious at 38 square meters.
Why not take a long soak in the deep bath tub, book an in room massage, or drop in at the Kotoran spa. The soft fragrance of the silky germanium bath; graced with traditional Hinoki (Japanese cypress wood) take me to a state of bliss, before detoxing all my weariness at the hot stone spa and sauna. I felt like a new person afterwards, light as a feather.
Hotel Nahana is located within a 10 minute walk of Kokusai Street
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I knew my future was destined to be with Japan the moment I flew from Sydney to experience the atmospheric lane ways of Kyoto last century. From the skies above Sapporo to the old charm of Naha's alleyways, I have been enchanted by the beauty and variety on every island. I am humbled to have met many distinguished people in my role as Regional Partner, especially the national living treasures of Japan, such as the doll maker to the Imperial Family. From sushi cooking classes to Ninja training grounds I welcome your ideas on what you like from JapanTravel.com. Please visit us in Kyoto or Osaka and have some green tea or sake with us.