The perfect relaxing getaway is hard to find, but this luxurious retreat just a few hours outside of Tokyo has everything you need to reawaken your senses and soothe your body and mind. Opened in January 2020, Hotel Indigo Hakone Gora is a boutique onsen hotel located on the green banks of the Haya River, at the end of the historic Hakone Tozan mountain railway line. This new addition to the prime onsen landscape is overflowing with fresh appeal, offering unique features and an unrivaled dedication to creating an unforgettable and rejuvenating experience.
Hotel Indigo accommodations pride themselves on their diversity and individuality, striving to incorporate the finest elements of local culture and history for each neighborhood in which they reside – and Hakone Gora is no exception. From the moment you enter you will be surrounded by stunning aesthetics that reference the region’s abundant natural charms and a rich history of craftsmanship, in particular the wooden mosaic work of yosegi-zaiku that echoes throughout the hotel. Black and white photos bursting with local nostalgia, a traditional irori sunken fire-pit as well as numerous nods to the natural world further invite guests to unlock a deeper connection with their surroundings during their stay.
A Mouthwatering Mix
The decor is not the only thing inundated with local flavor: the hotel restaurant Riverside – Kitchen & Bar serves up a mouthwatering mix of locally sourced ingredients and international cuisine. Embracing Hakone Gora’s Daimonji-yaki fire festival and nearby volcanic peaks, Riverside focuses the menu around its core feature, an impressive open fire grill. Serving up high-class dishes including Ashigara Wagyu sirloin and 30-day dry-aged bone-in ribeye, as well as the freshest catch of the day, fire-roasted vegetables and even a delicious smoked Japanese cheesecake, the kitchen also bakes its own sourdough bread and pastries, all available to guests and day visitors alike.
Mid-century modern meets traditional Japanese design boasting yet more gorgeous wooden elements in the the eye-catching hexagonal ceiling and a spectacular colored glass wall inspired by an ukiyo-e woodblock print, creates the perfect atmosphere from sunny morning breakfasts to late night romantic dinners. You can also sit back and sip on Gora-inspired cocktails and drinks infused with natural spring water at the bar’s 360° counter. And don’t miss out on the chance to sample the hotel’s very own exclusive craft pale ale.
Soak Away Troubles
From the crackling of the wood fire grill, to the rush of the flowing river and the breeze grazing through the lush mountain trees, your senses might already be nourished before you’ve even dipped a toe into the heavenly onsen water.
“One of the baths includes a five-meter screen showcasing a digital art show”
The hotel’s public baths are one area where the balance of tradition and contemporary swings in favor of forward thinking modern life, not only accommodating guests with tattoos but also by not separating genders (all guests must wear swimwear here). The opportunity for mixed bathing in your trunks or swimsuit should be a reassuring change for any shy bathers yearning to experience onsen culture, but furthermore it allows families and friends to relax and unwind together side by side.
Making waves in the futuristic onsen world, one of the baths includes a five-meter screen showcasing a digital art show inspired by the nature of Gora tailored to each season, a chance to submerge your stress and stimulate your imagination with this one-of-a-kind entertainment bathing experience.
For those who prefer things a little more authentic and intimate, rest assured each one of the hotel’s magnificent rooms and suites also includes a personal onsen bath to enjoy at your leisure. Few things can beat the serenity and decadence of a private soak as you look out at the riverside foliage to the mountains beyond.
Art & Outdoors
While the indoor amenities undoubtedly have everything you could need as your luxury home away from home, those recurring reminders of local charm and expansive views should have you itching to head out and explore.
Active guests and families can opt for the Hakone Mountain Hiking Tour & Bike Tour where an experienced nature guide will lead you on a safe and environmentally conscious course through the wilderness, showing you the secret nature spots of Hakone, either on foot or by bike (7km hiking course ¥3,500, 17km bike course ¥8,500).
The area is also home to many popular attractions including Hakone Gora Park, The Hakone Open-air Museum and Okada Museum of Art. Exploring the hillside roads and slopes of the town, you can discover the rich regional culture from artisan crafts and historic treasures to the awe-inspiring views around every corner.
Spa Sanctuary & Fitness
The ultimate pampering begins at The Spa by HARNN. Utilizing the area’s natural resources together with Japanese and Thai healing methods, The Spa offers visitors a curated menu of treatments in addition to speleotherapy in a Himalayan salt sauna, bespoke essential oils and original yomogi teas.
Whether you are seeking a light aromatic treatment, de-stressing muscle work or a full-body exfoliation, HARNN massage therapies and holistic practices will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Couples can also enjoy soaking together in one of the spa’s private onsen rooms. Even a short visit to this stylish sanctuary will give you true taste of Gora and let you soak up some of that real Hakone spirit.
For those looking to work up a sweat, head to the hotel’s Fitness Center, which boasts modern equipment and is open 24 hours a day (a rarity in Hakone). Enjoy a display of digital art that’s designed to give rhythm to your workout by changing colors in an eight-set cycle of 20 seconds’ exercise and 10 seconds’ break.