Resort Kumano Club (Review)
The Pastoral Bungalows on the Kumano Kodo
Resort Kumano Club is a four-stars hotel complex located in Kumano City in Mie Prefecture. If offers the experience of a high-end lodging in a quiet and rural area, not far form the Kumano Kodo and the Kii Peninsula Pacific coast’s pilgrimage trails.
In the heart of the Kii Peninsula’s Japanese countryside, the Resort Kumano Club’s concept stands out from the classical hotels and other traditional ryokan inns. The forty rooms of the complex are dispatched into autonomous bungalows and there is a dedicated facility for each service (reception, restaurant and onsen ♨️ baths). The hotel 🏨 therefore looks like a small village with houses scattered and connected by narrow paths.
One must therefore walk from the parking lot to access the hotel’s reception, then to the room and to the other shared pavilions to eat or bath. Each customer is by the way handed a pedometer upon arrival, and if they reach a 5,000 steps threshold during their stay, they will receive an omiyage (a present). The Kumano Kodo walking trail therefore extends into the hotel’s precincts. Note that services such as a free shuttle and bicycle rental are available for those who are not keen on walking.
Luxury rural accommodation in the Kumano area
Each room is in fact a spacious suite, whose superficies spreads from 56 to 80 square meters, and includes:
- A lounge area;
- A bedroom space;
- A shower room or a bathroom with toilets;
- An outdoor private terrace, most of the time suited with an open-air bathtub.
The interior layout, with clear wood furniture mostly at floor level, harmoniously combines the Japanese and Scandinavian styles. The "Zen and cozy cottage" atmosphere perfectly suits a relaxing stay and the rural area where the resort is located. The large windows and the terrace are inviting to live outside as much as inside, following the rhythm of the seasons.
For the best comfort, the rooms are equipped with AC and a Wi-Fi Internet 📶 connection. A small fridge holds fresh drinks available with no extra fee, as well as an electric kettle and teabags. Surprisingly, the hotel provides cosmetics from the L'Occitane brand. The Provencal company is well established in Japan, with a luxury organic range of products.
The Resort Kumano Club can also be labeled as a ryokan, as it includes a thermal bath with onsen (natural hot springs) and a spa. These facilities are arranged the Japanese way, with separated baths for men and women, and indoor and outdoor baths (rotenburo).
Traditional Japanese Gastronomy
The food range is on par with the quality of the accommodation. Like any Japanese luxury accommodation, the food is often included, namely here:
- A traditional kaiseki dinner, and,
- A full Japanese breakfast the following morning.
All meals are served at the restaurant, without the possibility to be served in the room, and there is an all-you-can-drink (alcoholic or soft) service available there in the evening. However, the layout of the tables is a little downside: one can sometimes be placed only a few centimeters from the other customers and therefore lose some privacy (and health safety).
However, there is no end to the delicacies offered. The menu changes throughout the seasons to offer only fresh and local products, well prepared and delicately set. Some of the fruits and vegetables are even cultivated next to the resort: the orchards at the foot of the mountains are visible from the room.
A large modern complex, the Resort Kumano Club mainly hosts Japanese tourists who enjoy an offer which is both traditional and original, based on the private bungalows. International sightseers will find a comfortable and unusual base, ideal for a "Slow Tourism" experience in the Land of the Rising Sun.