The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka
Mark Neukomm, the soft-spoken general manager of the Ritz-Carlton in Osaka, boasts that a number of his hotel’s guests are Tokyo residents. For these visitors, the Ritz, located in Osaka’s commercial district, offers an easy—and exotic—escape. The property’s 18th-century Georgian-style design, English country artworks, and Continental cuisine create, in effect, a miniature European world. Once checked into this world for the weekend, many of Neukomm’s guests never leave. “They simply don’t have to,” he says. All guests, meanwhile, enjoy Osaka views from their rooms, reminders that they are in Japan after all. Accommodations The 292 guest rooms include 22 suites and 62 Club Level rooms with English country–style decor, plus two traditional Japanese-style suites. Facilities A fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, Japanese baths, a beauty salon, and three floors of conference and banquet facilities. Dining Despite its emphasis on European elements—and its commendable French and Italian restaurants—the Ritz is known to gourmands for its traditional Japanese eatery, Hanagatami, which serves sushi, tempura, and teppanyaki. Concierge Recommends An evening walking the narrow streets of the Dotombori district, where restaurants and bars line alleyways lit by Japanese lanterns. Rates From $340 for a superior room to $4,825 for the presidential suite.