After spending the past year having babies, packing, moving across the world, unpacking, etc., Ryan and I were in desperate need of a relaxing vacation in a tropical location. We decided that rather than staying in the local area over Memorial Day weekend, we would venture out on our first trip away from mainland Japan to the nearby island of Okinawa.
We have heard a lot about Okinawa since moving to Japan as there is a huge military community there full of Marines and their families stationed overseas. With beautiful weather year-round and an abundance of outdoor pursuits, we knew Okinawa was just the place for a much needed escape.
Ryan, Summer, and I flew into Naha Airport, rented a car, and headed North to the Ritz Carlton Okinawa, where we had booked a three night stay. We had grand plans of things we were going to do around the island, but after arriving at the beautiful resort, we decided not to leave again until the day of our flight back home.
· The Resort ·
The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa, referred to by locals as “Gusuku,” meaning Castle in the local dialect, is a luxury golf resort perched on the banks of the East China Sea. It’s Shurijo design is symbolic of Okinawa with its traditional red clay tile roofs, white walls, and stunning pools surrounding the entire hotel.
There are comfortable guest suites, numerous delicious restaurants and lounges, sparkling pools, a luxurious spa, a private beach, and a PGA Championship Golf Course to keep you occupied during your stay!
· The Pool ·
Luckily, we scored a room right next to the pool, so we ended up spending a lot of our time hanging out there. Some of my favorite moments of our vacation were ordering tropical fruit juices from the pool bar, curling up on the loungers, and flipping through the pages of travel magazines. This is exactly the type of vacation we had in mind.
· The Spa ·
The spa is a quick three minute walk through the resort’s lush gardens. Upon arriving, Ryan and I were whisked away to our gender designated spa areas, where we could shower, bathe in a silk water bath, relax on heated stone beds, or drink spa water while nodding off in the relaxation room. In true Japanese fashion, the men’s and women’s spa areas were separated, but luckily we had reserved a private shared spa room where we could indulge in a couples massage treatment later that afternoon.
· The Golf Course ·
I am not much of a golfer, but Ryan was eager to play a round at the resort’s PGA Championship course. The hotel arranged a baby sitter for Summer so Ryan and I could spend the day together on the beautiful course.
· The Beach ·
Just a quick five minute drive from the hotel, the resort shuttles guests to the private beach overlooking the East China Sea. Upon arriving at the beach, we were greeted by a set of beach chairs and an umbrella, as well as sunscreen, beach towels, and cold waters provided for us by the hotel. In addition to kayaks, surf boards, floats, and wave runners available for rent, there was a huge floating obstacle course in the middle of the water next to the designated swimming area that looked like a lot of fun had I not been too pregnant!
Since this was our first beach trip of the year, Summer was apprehensive about getting in the water, but after spending the weekend in Okinawa, she is a lover of the ocean for sure!
· More Information ·
The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa ★★★★★ 1342-1 Kise, Nago Okinawa, 905-0026 Japan +81 980435555
· Tips ·
• All of the hotel rooms are super chic, but if you’re traveling with children, get a suite next to the pool. These are a little more expensive than the average double rooms, but they have private courtyards with outdoor soaking tubs that conveniently open up to the pool for easy access for kids.
• If you want to enjoy spa time with your honey, book the couple’s private room… otherwise, the rest of the spa areas are segregated.
• Make sure to try the daily afternoon tea. They serve delicious traditional Okinawan snacks and desserts, which is something we really enjoyed during our stay.
• Take advantage of the many classes offered at the resort. They have daily fitness and cooking classes, as well as craft classes like hand-made herbal soap and Okinawan glass accessory making.
• There’s no need to over pack. The resort has everything you may need from luxurious toiletries in your room, complimentary waters, sunscreen for the beach, and even reading material available in the library. There’s also a shop located next to the lobby in case you forget any essentials.