Delicious Okinawan Delicacies! 10 Hotels and Ryokan in Okinawa With Sensational Restaurants
Okinawa is a series of nature-rich islands surrounded by pristine ocean south of Japan. It attracts nearly 10 million tourists annually, making it one of Japan’s most popular holiday destinations. Along with beaches and culture, one of the most alluring aspects of Okinawa is its unique cuisine, which can be surprisingly different from mainland Japanese food. In this article, we’ll introduce 10 hotels in Okinawa famous for their fantastic meals!
May 11 2023
What Is Okinawan Food?
Okinawan food is unlike that of any other region of Japan owing to the unique ingredients and distinctive culture, which developed with influences from countries such as China and Southeast Asia. There are lots of healthy traditional dishes, such as those made with “island vegetables” nurtured by Okinawa’s climate, plus soups of broth from kombu and pork, as well as richer, fattier yet irresistible Western-style dishes born through the strong American influence. While dining options are plentiful, staying at a hotel with its own renowned restaurant makes enjoying the one-of-a-kind cuisine of Okinawa all the more relaxing and convenient!
Pro tip: The best drink to accompany Okinawan food is “awamori,” an indigenous alcohol said to be the world’s oldest distilled liquor. Awamori has a rich taste and can be enjoyed a variety of different ways－on the rocks, with water, or in cocktails.
You’ll need reservations while in Japan. See our writers’ top picks!
10 Hotels and Ryokan in Okinawa With Fantastic Food
1. The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Ginoza Okinawa
The Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Ginoza Okinawa, located halfway down the east coast of Okinawa Island, was opened by luxury restaurant chain Hiramatsu under the concept of a “gourmet resort hotel.”
Its 19 guestrooms are spread out over a spacious, gentle slope. Each room differs in both size, décor, roof height, and view, and range from standard twins and doubles to detached villas with private pools. Every room features a jacuzzi on its terrace ー a blissful environment to gaze out over the cobalt blue sea.
The hillside restaurant consists of a main dining room that spans three floors, a bar lounge, and four private outdoor dining rooms. The restaurant serves French cuisine prepared by highly experienced chefs whose skills were honed in kitchens in France and across Japan. While the dishes aren’t local, they are packed with Okinawan island vegetables and other seasonal ingredients, and are both healthy and flavorful.
You’ll need reservations while in Japan. See our writers’ top picks!
2. Renaissance Okinawa Resort
Renaissance Okinawa Resort, positioned in the beautiful beach area of Onna, is a popular large-scale resort that offers unforgettable experiences like diving, sailing, and playing with dolphins, along with a natural hot spring to soak and relish the sea breeze and views. There is a private beach right in front where guests are free to swim and have fun to their heart’s content. There is also an outdoor pool, and an indoor pool for those who want a break from the bright Okinawan sun.
All 377 guestrooms have balconies flaunting breathtaking ocean scenery. There is a wide selection of types, ranging from modern deluxe twins to Japanese-style rooms perfect for large families, alongside the coveted Renaissance Twin with special access to a private lounge.
The hotel also boasts a sizable selection of restaurants and bars serving everything from French to teppanyaki and Ryukyu (traditional Okinawan) cuisine. The Sailfish Cafe also puts on a “Ryukyu Banquet” every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday for diners to enjoy traditional Okinawan performances with local hometown cooking.
3. The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa
The Ritz-Carlton Okinawa is a resort hotel in Nago with breathtaking views of Nago Bay. Even among the numerous reputable hotels in Okinawa, the Ritz-Carlton Okinawa is highly rated as the perfect setting for an extraordinary holiday. The building’s striking red tile roof was designed in the image of Okinawa’s famous Shuri Castle.
All 97 guestrooms present dazzling vistas, with those on the east side able to see the sunrise painting the ocean gold, while the west looks out over the sunset. Each room has a terrace －the perfect place to fully absorb the splendid scenery!
The hotel hosts three restaurants all cooking with fresh, local ingredients. The all-day dining at Gusuku presents courses of traditional Okinawan food accompanied by the sound of a “sanshin,” a key instrument in Ryukyu culture.
The Lobby Lounge & Bar also serves afternoon teas, snacks, and cocktails with an Okinawan flair, granting a wonderfully bright, airy, and luxurious spot to zone out and relish the breeze.
4. Hotel Nikko Alivila
Hotel Nikko Alivila is a luxury resort occupying a scenic nook facing the East China Sea. The Spanish colonial-style architecture and exotic artworks and furnishings are all designed to enhance the dreamy holiday experience. Nirai Beach, right in front of the hotel, is famous even amongst Okinawans for the remarkable transparency of its water, offering an idyllic spot to swim, stroll, and snorkel.
The guestrooms are designed in bright, lively hues reflecting the surrounding natural environment, such as the blue ocean, colorful flowers, and tropical sun. All rooms have balconies for guests to chill out beside stunning seaside panoramas.
Another of Hotel Nikko Alivila’s appeals is the wide range of gourmet food choices. There are five restaurants, a bar, and a lounge on the premises, and guests can choose between creative cuisine, Japanese food, and Ryukyu dishes painstakingly arranged with fresh, local ingredients. One notable restaurant is Brasserie “Verdemar,” which serves multi-course meals with fine attention to detail seen through colors and textures representing the seasons. There are also à la carte dishes and light meals, so guests can pop by no matter their appetite or mood.
5. The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas
The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas offer blissful privacy in villa-style accommodations with pools, all making the most of the encompassing natural beauty.
Each villa has a living room with a kitchen and bedrooms surrounding the pool. They are airy, liberating spaces, designed with a focus on privacy.
The hotel’s restaurant, “Fine Dining”, serves French-based continental cuisine made with aromatic herbs grown in the private garden, further complemented by fresh vegetables from Yomitan, and fish caught at the nearby Toya Fishing Port. Each serving is lovingly crafted to bring out the natural flavors, aromas, and textures.
There are also in-room dining services, so guests can feast upon hearty Western-style meals, “shabu shabu” hotpot with fresh vegetables from the private farm, and other dishes all without leaving their villa.
6. The Naha Terrace
Located in the Shintoshin district of Naha City, the Naha Terrace is a fantastic base for sightseeing just a 20-minute drive from Naha Airport and 10-minute walk from DFS Galleria. Built as a “city hideaway,” this resort hotel retains a serene, relaxed atmosphere despite being in the middle of Naha.
The guestrooms are universally designed with natural, calming colors, and present wonderful views of the shimmering lights of Naha at night. There is also a butler service that responds to requests around the clock, ensuring the needs of guests are met without delay.
The Naha Terrace is also highly rated for the quality of its restaurants. There are four restaurants on site: teppanyaki, Western, Japanese, and a casual tapas & grill. Each serves unique dishes made of local Okinawan and other ingredients, and guests can pick and choose depending on their mood.
There is also a tea lounge and bar where patrons can sip on aged awamori while listening to live jazz performances.
7. Okinawa EXES Naha
Okinawa EXES Naha is a resort hotel with a fantastic central Naha location, just 10 minutes by taxi from Naha Airport. With the slogan “spend some island time at a sophisticated hideaway hotel,” it is designed to exude a resort vacation vibe with city conveniences.
The hotel has some of the largest guestrooms in Naha, all with at least 40 m² of space. There is a deluxe villa-style room with a private pool on the top floor, as well as suites that can accommodate up to four guests. The hotel is also chock-full of services, including a 24/7 reception desk and room service.
The two hotel restaurants have earned a stellar reputation for the quality of their food and hospitality. Teppanyaki Ten has seasoned chefs cook select cuts of beef to perfection right in front of your eyes on an iron griddle, served together with the finest wine. Loo-Choo presents traditional cuisine that was once served in the Imperial Court of Ryukyu, prepared under the guidance of a “Successor of Ryukyu Culinary Tradition.”
8. Umino Ryotei Okinawa Nakamasou
Umino Ryotei Okinawa Nakamasou in Nakama, Onna, was the first ryokan-style inn to open in Okinawa and serve high-quality Japanese cuisine.
The building abounds with the warmth of wood, decorated in gentle Japanese “wa” aesthetics. Shoes are taken off inside so that guests can relax in bare feet. All 25 guestrooms have views of the ocean, and there are both Western-style rooms as well as modern Western-Japanese fusion rooms available, all with a full range of amenities.
The onsite restaurant Uminobo prides itself on authentic “kaiseki” cuisine made with carefully selected ingredients from Okinawa and Hokkaido. The best ingredients of the season, such as Yamashiro beef from Okinawa and red king crab and abalone from Hokkaido, are used generously, prepared to perfection and beautifully presented. Uminobo also has wonderful ocean views, so you can sit back and dive into the outstanding food while gazing upon the boundless panoramas.
9. Senagajima Island Resort & Spa
Senagajima Island Resort & Spa is a hot spring resort on Senagajima, a tiny island just 15 minutes by car straight from Naha Airport, allowing seamless access to the airport and city.
Inside is a hefty lineup of guestrooms suiting all kinds of tastes, including those with private open-air hot springs framing the majestic sunset over the Kerama Islands. The “Private Open-Air Bath Japanese-Western Room” has a space with Ryukyu tatami mats on the floor, which are stylish and comfortable, and perfect for lying on. The first floor holds a large bathhouse with an open-air bath filled with natural hot spring water and enchanting coastal views.
The onsite restaurant, Ocean Dining “Kajina,” is officially recognized by Okinawa as an establishment that serves food made with genuine Okinawan ingredients. There are courses of creative Japanese-Ryukyu cuisine, as well as an à la carte menu of local favorites like “tebichi” and “chanpuru.” Each serving is cooked by a chef well-versed in Okinawan ingredients, putting together an unforgettable tour of the island palate.
10. One Suite THE GRAND
Luxury resort One Suite THE GRAND opened in 2021 on Kouri Island, off the north coast of Okinawa Island.
Its prime location at the top of Kouri Island ensures stunning panoramas of the East China Sea from all guestrooms and the restaurant. Many guestrooms are fitted with luxuries like terrace jacuzzis and gardens, imbuing each with its own private resort feel.
The onsite restaurant, La BOMBANCE Kourijima, is the first Okinawan sister restaurant of La BOMBANCE in Nishi-Azabu, Tokyo. The seasonal dishes made with fresh, local ingredients are delicately arranged to draw out deep flavors, and are presented like works of art.
Treat Your Senses at a Gourmet Hotel in Okinawa
Eating is one of the great pleasures of traveling, which is why we’ve honed in on Okinawa hotels that have put extra effort into serving sublime food with impeccable service. If you’re planning a trip to Okinawa, combine your “to eat” list with your Okinawa accommodation to guarantee an even more restful, stress-free stay, ensuring plenty of energy for tomorrow’s activities!
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The information in this article is accurate at the time of publication.