Ritz-Carlton Osaka – A Luxury Hotel with Christmas Spirit in Full Swing
As a child, Christmas was always my favourite time of the year. I’d get excited and decorate the whole house with Christmas ornaments way ahead of time. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Osaka shares the same spirit. I stayed there about a month ago, and the Christmas spirit was already in full swing.
The thirty-five-inch-tall gingerbread castle “Mont Saint-Michel” in Ritz Carlton Osaka’s lobby stays true to the hotel’s “château” concept. The nostalgic dark-wood paneling and the European art seen throughout the hotel are reminiscent of an 18th-century aristocratic residence. The fireplace, and the eleven foot five tall Christmas tree decked with red and gold ornaments create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Ritz Carlton Osaka’s bellboy, dressed in English dandy style with a top hat, has a constant friendly smile. At check in, traditional keys are handed out instead of modern key cards.
The room offers sweeping views of downtown Osaka and is equipped with a king size bed with down comforters, goose down pillows and soft Egyptian cotton linens. The Italian marble bathroom features his and hers sinks and a separate shower and soaking tub. Cabinets are fully stocked with snacks and refreshments, and plush terry robes are nicely hung in the closet. Traditional Japanese suites, which create an interesting contrast with the hotel’s theme, are also available.
Turndown service is offered twice a day and the staff who is responsible leaves a card with his/her name written on it.
Though Ritz Carlton Osaka’s signature restaurant La Baie is awarded with a Michelin star, we really did not feel like French fare during our stay in Japan. Hanagatami is Ritz Carlton’s traditional Japanese sushi bar that serves up exquisite sushi and sake selected by their sake sommelier.
We tried Hanagatami’s omakase, a multicourse meal of the chef’s choice. Chef Nobukazu Yoshida started us with some refreshing appetizers such as crab tofu and snow fungus soup followed by an assorted sashimi plate and a round of sushi: tuna, squid, yellowtail, and more. The squid had an incredible texture and was unforgettable. The cabbage soup was a cleanser between the cooked ayu fish plate and the second round of sushi: chutoro (medium fatty tuna), ikura (roe) & shiroebi (white shrimp) on rice, sea eel, and amaebi (sweet shrimp) done two ways, the body raw and the head deep fried. Two rows of maki rolls were to follow. Red miso soup, fresh fruits and green tea then put a perfect finish to the meal.
Ritz Carlton Osaka is conveniently located in the heart of the prestigious Umeda district, Osaka’s bustling city centre. The hotel is an eight-minute walk away from the Osaka Station and is connected to the subway and many of Osaka’s business and shopping centres via underground walkways.
I have stayed at many luxury hotels, but none of them are quite like Ritz Carlton Osaka. The location delivers everything you would expect from a Ritz Carlton hotel, brought up a notch or two. Spend a night or a Christmas there and you will know what I mean.
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