One might expect a Japanese Ritz-Carlton to set aside the company style book and make some concessions to the local traditions. But one would be wrong. The only thing distinctly Japanese about the Ritz-Carlton Osaka is the fact that it occupies the upper floors of a mixed-use high-rise building — aside from that it’s as resolutely Old Europe as any Ritz-Carlton anywhere.
Which is frankly no fun if you’re only in it for the design. But anyone who appreciates the old-world values of hospitality will be quite at home here. The atmosphere is nothing if not regal, and the rooms are exquisitely comfortable, with all the requisite gadgetry and those opulent Italian marble baths. Some look out over the city skyline, others over the bay — either way the views are stunning.
One of the restaurants is Japanese, which is sensible enough; it’s joined by French, Italian and Cantonese options. Afternoon tea in the lobby feels odd in a country that was never British — one has to admire the dedication in sticking to the Ritz-Carlton plan throughout. And little need be said about the service — take a hotel group already known for its service and put it in a country like Japan and the odds of any glitches quickly approach zero.
How to get there: From Kansai International Airport - 60 minutes by an airport limousine bus. Take No. 5 bus bound for Osaka Station and get off at Herbis Osaka bus stop. At the stop, use the courtesy phone of The Ritz-Carlton, Osaka to contact the bell desk. A bell will pick you up. The hotel is a few minutes away from the bus stop.