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Private onsens, Watsu suites and traditional Japanese Obi art star at Amanemu hot springs resort

by Jane Kitchen | 04 Mar 2016

Aman’s first Japanese hot springs resort, Amanemu, has opened in the idyllic setting of Ise Shima National Park on the shores of Ago Bay.

Providing a rural complement to Aman Tokyo, and continuing Aman’s journey within Japan, Amanemu has adopted a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition with each of the 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen.

Designed to be a relaxed, peaceful and contemplative destination, Amanemu aims to embrace ‘omotenashi,’ the Japanese welcoming spirit blending with warmth and respect, the company said.

Designed by the same team behind Aman Tokyo, Kerry Hill Architects, the architecture of the resort is based on a contemporary interpretation of Japanese Minka buildings, which incorporate traditional low-slung tiled roofs and dark-stained Japanese cedar exterior walls, reflective of the simple nature-influenced design of ryokans, Japan’s traditional bathing retreats.

At Amanemu, the holistic approach of the Aman Spa aims to promote wellbeing through the integration of treatments, relaxation, movement and nutrition.

Heavily influenced by Japan’s natural hot springs and therapeutic powers of water, the 2000sq m (21,528sq ft) spa encompasses a large central onsen for communal bathing, plus two private spa pavilions – each with their own indoor and outdoor onsen – perfect for easing muscles after a day of trekking the historic pilgrimage routes that the region is renowned for.

There is also a state-of-the art fitness centre, Watsu suites and an expansive glass-walled yoga studio with an outdoor deck overlooking a peaceful garden with a Tabunoki tree at its centre.

In addition, the spa also features unique pieces of artwork by Japanese Kimono and obi artisan Genbei Yamaguchi. Genbei's intricately designed obi – the broad sash worn around the waist of a kimono – decorate the walls as an ode to an age-old Japanese tradition of displaying treasured family heirlooms.

The interior spaces of the rest of the resort offer elegant simplicity, and have been crafted in light shades of Japanese timber. Each stand-alone suite encompasses floor-to-ceiling windows with woven textile and timber sliding shutters, stretching from one end of the suite to the other, allowing for unobstructed views of the national park surrounding the resort.

Custom-made furniture ensures a harmony between architecture and design, and incorporates white oak coffee tables, sofas and armchairs with neutral fabric tones. Bathrooms follow the design of traditional Japanese baths, with charcoal-coloured basalt stone tiles, which draw the eye across the room to the private onsen with floor-to-ceiling windows and the vista out onto the private gardens. Accessories are kept to a minimum so as not to distract from the view and the experience of taking a traditional Japanese bath.

The resort also boasts sunken terraces constructed with basalt stone and featuring glass-covered fireplaces, as well as a 33m freshwater infinity pool.

Amanemu is accented with traditional Japanese art, namely intricate Kumiko artwork developed in Japan in the Asuka Era, from 600-700 AD, and passed down through generations of craftsmen. It is created using a delicate technique of assembling small wooden segments together using a chisel to form a larger piece without the use of nails or glue.

The restaurant, with its vaulted and coffered ceiling, gives a sense of space and draws on the authentic Japanese ‘izakaya’ style of informal sharing.

Amanemu has also developed hiking routes which will lead guests through parts of the Kumano Kodo, a series of five ancient pilgrimage routes through the nearby Kii Mountains.

Aman  Amanemu  hot springs  resort  Japan  Ise Shima National Park  onsen 
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07 Aug 2015

Hot spring resort designed by Kerry Hill Architects to grace shores of Japanese national park

Aman’s first Japanese hot springs resort, Amanemu, has opened in the idyllic setting of Ise Shima National Park on the shores of Ago Bay. Providing a rural complement to Aman Tokyo, and continuing Aman’s journey within Japan, Amanemu has adopted a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition with each of the 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen. Designed to be a relaxed, peaceful and contemplative
CLD,SAB,CAS,HHR,HOT,RST,ARC,DES
Amanemu adopts a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition with each of the 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen
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company profile
Company profile: Alliance Leisure Services Ltd
The company’s core business is the provision of facility development and support for local authorities, educational establishments and leisure trusts that want to improve or expand the leisure products and services they offer.
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