W HOTEL MAKES ITS JAPAN DEBUT IN OSAKA

Loved for its cheeky off-kilter vibes and futuristic aesthetics, W Hotel has made its Japan debut on Osaka’s gingko tree-lined Midosuji Boulevard. The hospitality brand’s latest Asian outpost is an outstanding one, courtesy of celebrated Osaka-born architect Tadao Ando’s design sensibilities. Expect to be greeted by a black monolith façade that opens into a colourful space brought to life by Amsterdam-based design studio Concrete—the brainchild of W London and W Verbier. The minimalist exterior is a reference to the Edo period when excessive displays of wealth were discouraged, while the flamboyant Living Room (the hotel’s version of a lobby) features an original interpretation of Kawaii Kokeshi wooden dolls to celebrate the diversity of international guests.

Photo: W Osaka

One enters the hotel via an illuminated tunnel whose walls reflect the changing seasons and the Japanese art forms of origami and kirigami (cutting and folding paper), before checking into one of the 337 guest rooms and suites that boast floor-to-ceiling windows, bathrooms with rain showers, and luxe amenities. Meanwhile, a little surprise awaits guests behind closet doors: a “pixorama” of Osaka, a graphic by pixel art group eBoy that showcases the city’s famous landmarks. On alternate floors, neon light accents in pink and blue allude to Japan’s famous cherry blossoms and Osaka’s idyllic beaches.

Those seeking a luxurious experience can book the Extreme WOW Penthouse Suite, W Hotel’s take on the Presidential Suite. Perched on the 27th floor, the 200-square meter room features a 5.4-meter ceiling, a zen-inspired garden, and five rooms separated by oak portals. Furnished with artwork by Sigrid Calon, a Dutch textile artist whose works have been shown around the world, including at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMa) in New York, the bedroom comes with an open kitchen and an in-built DJ booth, said to be the first its kind in a Japan hotel room.

Photo: W Osaka

Equally enticing are the dining options here, inclusive of four restaurants and two bars. There’s Bistro Oh.Lala, a collaboration with Yusuke Takada, the chef-owner of the two-Michelin-starred Osaka venue La Cime; Teppanyaki Mydo, which serves local comfort food in a space designed by Japanese celebrity interior designer Yasumichi Morita and Osaka-born artist Seitaro Kuroda; as well as Sushi Ukiyo, an omakase restaurant inspired by the Japanese art genre ukiyo-e (floating world). For a quick snack, head to street-side café Mixup for tea, coffee, and pastries, or visit the Living Room for drinks and a taste of the hotel’s own private-label champagne. Cocktails are also served by the poolside at the Wet Bar on the fourth floor.

Other recreational facilities within the hotel include a gym, yoga room, as well as an indoor pool with a LED ceiling. For a spot of pampering, the Away Spa offers couple massages, manicures, pedicures, and other rejuvenating treatments.

More information here.

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