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Kakegawa Grand Hotel

Stay in lavishly luxurious (but affordable) style

As its name suggests, Kakegawa Grand Hotel is the grandest place to stay in town. Immediately south of the station, it's well located for transportation and sights and, despite the luxurious surroundings, its rooms are perfectly affordable.

My room was a case in point: I used a popular booking website a couple of weeks in advance, and scored a single for just ¥5500 for the night. Of course, at that price it was pretty compact, but it was certainly a good cut above no-frills business hotels of comparable cost, with pleasant, elegant decor and a very comfortable bed.

It's the rest of the hotel that makes it grand. On the upper floors there are spacious banquet halls and lounges, lots of comfortable couches to sit on, and display cabinets showing off beautiful ceramics; it's relaxing and interesting to stroll around slowly, admiring the decor and taking in the restful atmosphere. Near reception there's also The Mandarin Lounge, a classy place to enjoy lunch, an afternoon snack or an evening cocktail in the high-ceilinged dining room. Up on the tenth floor, the Arcadia Dining Court serves Chinese, French and Italian dishes, and you can enjoy a good view north over the town towards the mountains.

Kakegawa is just a small place, so most of its handful of sights are within walking distance. To the north there's the castle, palace, historical residence, and neighbouring Ninomiya Museum and Stained Glass Museum, and an alley of fun little bars on Honjou-dori; on the south side there's the bird park, and a little further away is the Shiseido Art House and Corporate Museum.

English speakers are well catered for here. Many of the staff speak capable English, there's plenty of information available, and there are local English-language newspapers available to read at reception.

There are a range of different rooms, ranging from singles up to hundred-square-meter Royal Suites which boast a living room, dressing room and Japanese style side room. All the rooms have a TV and wired internet - free Wi-fi is available in the public areas - and regular suites also have a projector room. Prices depend on season and availability; a couple of checks on the hotel website and another booking site suggest you'll pay between around ¥5000 and ¥12000 for a standard single, double, twin or a junior suite, ¥15-18000 for a regular suite, and upwards of ¥24000 for a Royal Suite.

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