This is a sponsored post. All opinions expressed in this post are mine.
After having a couple of long stressful weeks, Ashley and I decided that we needed a weekend away from base. Since our weekends are crazy we made Monday and Tuesday be our weekend. Thankfully the Hotel & Resort Sunshine Sazan Seto hosted us for our girls’ trip. The resort is located about an hour away on Oshima Island. It is the perfect distance to make you feel like you are far from base. With the palm trees surrounding the resort, it is easy to imagine you are on a tropical island. It helped set us up for the relaxation we were seeking.
The resort is absolutely gorgeous. It is styled after European resorts. Half the resort looks out towards the mountains while the other half looks out over beautiful sandy beaches. Every room has beautiful views. Ashley and I went inside to check in. Saori from Explore Translation met us at the check in desk to help translate for us. The resort does have some English speaking staff but being able to use her services made things incredibly easy. The resort does have her contact information incase a guest needs a translator.
The manager led Ashley, Saori and myself to our room. Ashley and I would be staying in one of the suites on the third floor. The suite has its own unique entrance off the hallway. It has a garden gate that separates the room from the rest of the hallway. It helped make the room feel even more special.
Upon entering the suite I was pleasantly surprised by the size of the rooms and all the amenities. It had its own living room with a full sized table and a desk that over looked the balcony. The couch was comfortable and actually reclined on both ends. Tucked away in a closet was a large hotel refrigerator with a freezer and coffee/ tea kettle. There was also a half bath located off the living room.
The bedroom was huge. It had two beds, armoire with robes, small dresser with kimono (which Ashley had to try on and model for me), another desk and another table. The bathroom off the bedroom was huge. It had his and her sinks. On one side was the toilet room and on the other was a Japanese style bathroom. The shower was beside the bathtub and the Jacuzzi bathtub was almost big enough to swim in. This was a dream bathtube because both my knees and chest could be under water at the same time. Every woman dreams of a bathtub like this.
The best part of the suite was on the balcony. On the balcony was an open air bath that overlooked the beach. The resort had already filled it up with piping hot water. Even though it was drizzly outside, the bath looked inviting and relaxing. The views from the balcony were breathtaking. We could see the mountains and the ocean.
After hanging out and exploring our suite for a bit, I headed down to the second floor to meet with the resort’s masseuse, Hiroko. The resort had arranged for a 60 minute oil massage for me. Since this was my first massage I was a little nervous but Hiroko immediately put me at ease. She is such a sweet, gentle woman. She doesn’t speak English but Saori was able to translate for us.Hiroko is also able to call Saori in case a guest needs a translator. Hiroko offers many services so I will go into more detail about what she offers, etc in tomorrow’s post. Her services really deserve to shine all on their own. I do want to mention that the services that she offers are for females only. If any male guests want a massage, the resort has a chiropractor that is able to come to the hotel room to offer a massage.
After my massage, I was feeling incredibly relaxed but also hungry. I met Saori and Ashley down by the restaurant for dinner. The resort has been working hard with Saori to make the resort more American friendly and it really reflected in the menu. They have a variety of meals available. Everything looked delicious and it was hard to decide what to pick. Saori picked the salmon and calamari. Ashley had the chicken and pork grill platter. I chose to have caprese as an appetizer and the pork tongue as my entree. All of the food was really delicious and surprisingly larger than what we were expecting. Definitely closer to American sizes than Japanese size meals. Everything tasted extremely fresh and seasoned beautifully.
After dinner we said goodbye to Saori. I decided to check out the resorts onsens before heading back up to the room. The resort has two indoor onsens and two outdoor onsens. The indoor ones look identical and have matching foot baths. One outdoor onsen is lined with large rocks. The other is lined in cypresses and it was so fragrant. The onsens switch everyday from male to female. On Monday the cedar one was for the women and the rock one was for the men. These are natural hot spring onsens. These are the ones with the minerals that do wonders for the body. Surprisingly the resort allows some tattoos in their onsens. As long as the guest doesn’t have anything extremely large, extremely colorful, or vulgar they don’t mind the tattoos. This is great news for a lot of us Americans that want to experience the onsen experience but have tattoos.
When I was done exploring the onsens, I decided to explore the resort itself. The downstairs area has a giftshop with various foods, drinks, and other things you would expect to see a beach gift shop. There was also a tea room that over looked the indoor pool. Beside the tea room was a little book cafe area that allowed guests to read a variety of books and manga in a quiet area. The resort also had a bridal area showing the different options for having a beachside wedding. I also found a model that showed that part of Oshima Island including the resort. It was interesting to view the different areas.
I eventually found my way back up to our suite. Ashley and I decided to go sit in the open air bath for a bit before bed. It was so relaxing to sit in the hot bath while the cold rain drizzled down. Even in the dark we could make out the beach. It was a perfect end to an amazing day.
The next morning Ashley and I went back down to the resort’s restaurant for breakfast. The hotel offers a breakfast buffet. The buffet is a pleasant variety of American foods and Japanese foods. Ashley and I had no problem finding a variety of foods to try. Just as with dinner everything was delicious and very fresh tasting. Even though we went towards the end of the breakfast hours, nothing was dried out or looking like food was running out like I usually see at hotel breakfast buffets. This resort really goes out of its way to show that they care for guests. The breakfast is ¥1,500 for adults and ¥800-1000 for children depending on their age. With the large variety of foods they offer, it is well worth the price.
As we headed back to our suite we noticed one of the rooms beside ours being cleaned. Curious about what the looked like, I poked my head in. It was a large hotel room with two double beds. The room looked over the ocean like ours. It was the perfect size for a family.
Before checking out of the hotel, we decided to walk around the resort. We found the indoor pool and we were both shocked to see how big it was. While we were there we talked to one of the staff members that mentioned that while tattoos are permitted in the pool, the resort prefers that either rash guards or tattoo tape be used to cover tattoos. It seemed like a fair compromise so that those of us who have tattoos can enjoy the pool as well. The view from the pool onto the beach was just beautiful.
Speaking of the beach, the beach itself is gorgeous. It is smooth soft sand unlike some of the beaches near the base. The water was so blue. My pictures don’t do it justice. With the way the mountains come around the resort and down to the beach it is easy to feel like that beach is just yours.
Turning around to go back to the resort, I was again surprised by the beauty of the resort. I could easily see why it was a popular place for weddings. One of the staff members I talked to on my way back up to the resort described the hula shows that are performed often either on the beach or the pavilion just in front of the hotel.
As Ashley and I were leaving we noticed two go karts by the front entrance. We were surprised they went up to 60 mph. Turns out guests can rent them and drive them around Oshima Island. We debated about renting them because the prices were really great for an hour or longer. We decided that we would save that for when our husbands could join us on our next stay. We have to save something for them to try.
All in all this resort offered us the perfect girls’ weekend getaway (even if it was on a Monday). They have really worked hard to be American friendly and I truly appreciate it. They made it really easy to escape for a quick trip and just relax. I know I will be back in the future with Jeremy. I hope others from the base go to check them out. They have so much to offer whether it be for a girls’ weekend, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation. The prices are extremely affordable for what they have to offer. The mountain views start at ¥12,960 for a weekday stay and ¥16,200 for weekends/holidays. The ocean side rooms start out at only ¥25,920 for a weekday stay or ¥28,080 for a weekend/ holiday stay. They do have a standard double that is only ¥8,640 on the weekdays and ¥10,800 on the weekends but I am not sure what views the standard double has. While some of the staff does speak English, it is easiest to book through Saori by either calling her at 070-4125-3730 or emailing her at www.exploretranslation.com. If you stay there, please let me know what you thought of the resort.