Why we like it
- Located on the Shima Peninsula, a spectacular stretch of coastline scattered with numerous islands and inlets
- The hotel overlooks the dazzling blue waters of Ago Bay, or Bay of Pearls, famous for pearl cultivation
- 24 Suites and four Two-Bedroom Villas feature a private onsen and terrace with bay views
- A unique restorative retreat, Amanemu features two private onsen pavilions, a watsu pool, four treatment suites and a fitness centre
- Nearby forests shelter ancient pilgrimage routes as well as some of the country's most sacred Shinto shrines, including Geku Shrine and Naiku Shrine
Following the successful launch of Aman Tokyo, the luxury hotel group's second hotel in Japan is on the island of Honshu. Amanemu, which translates as peace and joy, is located on Ago Bay on the Shima Peninsula. There are 24 suites and two villas, each with its own private onsen and a terrace with views of the bay. The resort interiors are typically Aman – clean lines, East-meets-West styling and natural materials in abundance. Focusing on locally sourced produce, the restaurant impresses with fresh seafood dishes such as Spiny Lobster and Abalone, as well as the renowned Matsusaka wagyu beef; a close rival to the popular Kobe.
The area surrounding the proposed resort is famous for ancient (and revered) woodlands, hot springs and shrines, such as Ise-Jingu, and a number of pilgrimage trails referred to as the Kumano Kodo. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, these trails have been used for over 1000 years to connect the sacred areas of the Kii Peninsula. At just an hour off the bullet train, you can also factor in a journey on the Shinkansen, coupling techy Tokyo with the bucolic surroundings of the southern Ise prefecture.