As I explained in my post about Beppu, the city is roughly divided into two areas: one around the JR station and the coast, touristic and made of concrete, and another traditional area towards the mountains.
We didn't want to stay locked in a bunker-like paradise all inclusive spa-hotel, so we turned ournselves to a more local accommodation in Kannawa district. Happy Neko offers a guest room (55 square-meters suite) and three apartments. The property is managed by a couple who live on the spot: he was born in Prague and she is a native Japanese.
Access by bus is easy enough, even if they don't come and go very often. The managers can pick you up and bring you back to the station by car for 300 Yen, that's to say 20¥ less than the bus! The reception is really friendly and we were explained neighborhood life and landmarks of the city for nearly an hour.
We got an apartment on the ground floor. It has a kitchen with a mini fridge, a washing machine, a sink and a kettle. In the Japanese tatami room, a small LCD TV and free Wi-Fi. The toilets room is fun because it hides in a closet. Everything is very clean and fairly new.
You've probably noticed that the apartment does not have a shower / tub / furo. In this neighborhood of Beppu, houses usually don't have private bathrooms and with good reason, there are onsen every 10 meters! Everyone goes bathing and relaxing at the public bath once or twice a day. It was an opportunity for me to test the private onsen!
Our two days at Happy Neko were in early August, so nights were at more than 30°C. Under these conditions, it's good news that Happy Neko now has put AC in every appartment ! During summer in Japan, AC is nearly vital.
Happy Neko is clearly a recommended accommodation, especially given its very attractive price: ¥2,800 per night (for 1 person) or ¥4,000 per night (for 2 people)!
Reservations on stay.happyneko.com