Nara, a tourist destination in Japan known for the historic Todaiji temple and a central park filled with friendly, free-roaming wild deer, welcomed its first international luxury hotel brand this July with the opening of JW Marriott Nara. The brand’s debut in Japan also marks Marriott’s 50th property in the East Asian country, as well as its 800th property in Asia Pacific.

The spacious living area.

This looks to be great news for travelers used to making day trips to Nara from Tokyo and Kyoto, both about an hour’s Shinkansen train ride away. Now, they can spend the night in the 158-room hotel, which includes 16 luxurious suites designed like the traditional homes of Nara.

Sculptural deer antlers hanging over the beds.

Conceptualised by London-based global design firm GA Group, the hotel pays homage to the prefecture’s rich cultural background and the surrounding nature. Think sculptural deer antlers hanging over the beds, warm and natural tones of bronze, leather, and timber, fabric wallpaper woven in glittering gold, as well as patterned carpet that references Nara’s scenic landscapes—from the lush hillsides to the watercolour-like rainpools.

Miwa somen noodles, one of the dishes served at Silk Road Dining.

A treat for all senses, the hotel is fulled with manicured gardens and herbs that are ripe for the picking in craft cocktails and menu items. Guests can look forward to three dining and drinking venues, including Azekura, a specialty restaurant serving teppanyaki, sushi, and kaiseki meals; Silk Road Dining, which showcases the region’s freshest produce in both Western and Eastern cuisines, as well as Flying Stag, a stylish lounge bar that also offers afternoon tea. Other recreational facilities include a 24-hour fitness center, an indoor swimming pool, and a spa decked in natural timber and stone. Meant to help guests unwind and relax, Spa by JW will offer an extensive menu of facials, massages, and facials that seek to recreate the peaceful serenity of Nara’s beautiful shrines.

More information here.

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