Whether visiting Osaka for business, to take in the sights or as a night’s stop before tackling the hour-long journey to Kyoto, The Ritz-Carlton Osaka is an easy choice for indulgent rest and recovery.
As you approach the old English-manor style building in Umeda district, you almost forget you’re in Asia as suited, top hat-wearing doormen smile warmly and hold open heavy cherry doors. If it’s not your first visit, don’t be surprised if you’re greeted by name. It’s these personal touches that keep this chain perennially near the top of the hotel heap.
The same feeling continues throughout the lobby. From chandeliers to European paintings to a grand piano being beautifully played, we wanted to linger even though check-in was as efficient as expected.
The hotel has 291 well-appointed rooms including four suites, two Japanese-style keys and two Western-style offerings. Going for a rich mix of European finishings, guests enjoy plush sofas, carpets and drapes that frame city views, many of nearby bustling Osaka Station.
Expect sumptuous bedding, plentiful minibars with espresso makers and tasteful marble bathrooms – with the latest Japanese washlets, of course – and amenities from Asprey. No need to pack pyjamas for your stay, either, The Ritz has taken care of that detail, providing starched white classic men’s style pyjamas in guest rooms. We enjoyed an early morning laze in our hotel pyjamas with an espresso, watching the city below come to life.
With indoor and outdoor pools, whirlpool, gym and spa, guests will have no trouble finding healthy ways to pass the time at The Ritz-Carlton Osaka.
When leaving the hotel, a large, well-outfitted corridor runs beneath the building, connecting to both the train station and a high-end shopping centre for convenience in inclement weather.
Hosting a Michelin-starred eatery among a host of other beloved options, guests barely need to leave the hotel to take in the best of the city’s dining. From Japanese fine dining at Hanagatami to the starred La Baie to dimsum at Xiang Tao and all-day dining at Splendido, it’s hard to make a choice here.
The Bar offers not just a 100-entry whisky menu, well-made cocktails, wine and beer, but entertainment as well. With a bit of flair bartending on offer and live music in the evenings, it’s a perfect stop for before or after an evening out in Osaka.
For a quieter cocktail, the Lobby Lounge won’t disappoint, but this ground-level offering really shines for English-style afternoon high tea, where we gorged on a tower of decadent cakes, breads and English Breakfast tea. Since we were still in Japan, cupboards lined the walls displaying the tagged bottles of whisky belonging to the lounge’s regulars.
Hanagatami offers a setting inspired by Japanese gardens and chefs that perform live cooking in sushi, teppanyaki, sumibiyaki, kaiseki, and tempura sections of the high-end restaurant. Whereas French offering La Baie, with a coveted 2020 Michelin star, has traditional and inventive menu offerings that go heavy on meat and shellfish and a can’t-miss wine list.
Taking a luxurious Club Suite will net guests a living room with an oversized work desk and cosy living room, many even feature velvet chaise longues by the windows to take in the stunning city skyline.
But the thing that a Club Suite really offers is access to the Club Lounge, a lounge that some have called among the world’s best, offering excellent food and drink and the hotel’s best breakfast options. We were not disappointed by the morning’s repast of smoked salmon, pastries and a la carte offerings, including a sublime truffle omelette.
Whether it’s an innovative conference or a lavish wedding, The Ritz Carlton Osaka shines when it comes to MICE. From the intimate Cricket Room for a group of 12 to The Grand Ballroom with space for 1,500 guests, groups of any size will feel welcome here. They have onsite audiovisual experts and state-of-the-art equipment and can suit a range of dining options and dietary requirements.
Unique offerings here include sushi-making team-building workshops with renowned chefs and Japanese theme parties. They also work with live entertainers that specialise in jazz, opera, gospel and traditional Japanese music to ensure that your event is memorable.
All in all, we’d quickly book another stay at this European gem on our next trip to Osaka.