Designed by Tadao Ando, Setouchi Retreat Aonagi hotel sits on top of a mountain overlooking the Seto Inland Sea on Japan's Shikoku Island. The building was built in 1998 ago as a private guesthouse, and was later turned into a small modern art museum before re-opening as a luxury boutique hotel. Overseeing each of the transformations, the architect's signature minimalistic approach has remained clear, from the large exposed concrete, bright white surfaces and straight lines throughout the space.
The hotel consist of 7 suites, with each over 100 sq. meter (1100 sq. ft.). Luxurious yet minimal - an aesthetic that Ando has perfected - all come with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, iPad, a minibar, a coffee machine, a balcony and a private bathroom with bath robes and slippers. Large windows show off the view in nearly every room of the hotel, reminding the guest of Japan’s lush natural world at every turn. The Aonagi Maisonette Suite, which – with its eight-metre high ceiling – boasts spectacular views of the sparkling Setouchi inland sea.
The Japanese restaurant, Minagi, serves carefully prepared casual kaiseki dinners with an emphasis on the abundant seafood in the area. A long outdoor pool is tucked behind tall concrete walls and visually extends into the vista beyond. There is also an indoor pool and spa mimicking the same design. 24-hour front desk.
• 7 rooms
• Hotel opened: December 2015
• Architecture & Interior Design: Tadao Ando