Tuesday 1st of March 2016 saw the launch of Amanemu, a hot spring resort located in the idyllic setting of Ise Shima National Park on the shores of Ago Bay. Providing the perfect rural complement to Aman Tokyo, and continuing Aman’s journey within Japan, Amanemu adopts a classic Japanese aesthetic in the ryokan tradition with each of the 24 suites and four two-bedroom villas featuring their own onsen.
A relaxed, peaceful and contemplative destination, Amanemu embraces ‘omotenashi’, the Japanese welcoming spirit blending with warmth and respect. Further illustrating Aman’s ethos of adopting the customs and heritage of the location in which it operates, Amanemu has also embraced one of the most important Japanese traditions relating to ‘ryokan hospitality’.
Designed by the same team behind Aman Tokyo, Kerry Hill Architects, the architecture of the resort is based on a contemporary interpretation of Japanese Minka buildings, which incorporate traditional low-slung tiled roofs and dark-stained Japanese cedar exterior walls, reflective of the simple nature- influenced design of ryokans, Japan’s traditional bathing retreats.
The resort’s winding driveway, leading to the welcome pavilion, curves up a small hill lined with maple and cherry trees, setting the scene for the rest of the property, rich in greenery and Japanese foliage.
The warm interior spaces offer elegant simplicity and have been carefully crafted in light shades of Japanese timber. Each stand-alone suite encompasses floor to ceiling windows with woven textile and timber sliding shutters, stretching from one end of the suite to the other, allowing for unobstructed views of the national park surrounding the resort.
Sunken terraces constructed with basalt stone, located between the restaurant and bar, are the ideal spot for an aperitif and feature glass covered fireplaces, whilst a 33 metre freshwater infinity pool close by provides panoramic views over Ago Bay, dotted with pearl rafts floating on the calm sea.
The resort is accented with traditional Japanese art, namely intricate Kumiko artwork developed in Japan in the Asuka Era (600-700 AD) and passed down through generations of craftsmen. It is created using a delicate technique of assembling small wooden segments together using a chisel to form a larger piece without the use of nails or glue.
In addition, the spa and two-bedroom villas feature unique pieces of artwork by Japanese Kimono and Obi artisan, Genbei Yamaguchi, who hails from a family at the helm of obi making for over 270 years in Kyoto. Genbei's intricately designed obi, the broad sash worn around the waist of a kimono, decorate the walls as an ode to an age-old Japanese tradition of displaying treasured family heirlooms.
At Amanemu, the holistic approach of the Aman Spa aims to promote wellbeing through the integration of treatments, relaxation, movement and nutrition. Heavily influenced by the abundance of natural hot springs and therapeutic powers of water, the 2000 square metre spa encompasses a large central onsen for communal bathing, plus two private spa pavilions each with their own indoor and outdoor onsen, perfect for easing muscles after a day of trekking the historic pilgrimage routes that the region is renowned for.
Guests will have access to Nemu Golf Club, an 18-hole championship golf course overlooking Ago Bay. Located just a few minutes away from Amanemu and having recently been redesigned, the course represents a series of challenging holes with views of the bay in a serene setting.