Monday, November 7, 2016

Okinawa (Japan): Hotels Review - Toyoko Inn, Okinawa Grand Mer Resort, Yugaf Inn Okinawa

We stayed in 4 hotels during our 6D5N in Okinawa:
1st & 5th night: Toyoko Inn Okinawa Naha Shintoshin Omoromachi (Naha City, southern part of Okinawa)
2nd night: Okinawa Grand Mer Resort (Central east coast of Okinawa)
3rd night: Rizzan Sea-Park Hotel Tancha-Bay (Central west coast of Okinawa)
4th night: Yugaf Inn Okinawa (Northern Okinawa)

Let's me share with you our experience in these hotels!

Rizzan Sea-Park Hotel Tancha-Bay

Staying in a sea side hotel is must-do in Okinawa! Because the sea is so beautiful! Read our detailed review in this post!




Toyoko Inn (東横Inn) Okinawa Naha Shintoshin Omoromachi

As I explained in my post on 10 Tips for Planning Okinawa (Japan) Self-Drive Trip with Children, it is an usual practice that Japan hotels charge children who are in elementary school. After paying quite a fair bit on the sea side hotel (Rizzan Sea-Park Hotel Tancha Bay), we have to save money on other accommodations. There is a hotel chain called Toyoko Inn in Japan that offers reasonable rate, and the most important thing is, it allows two children to sleep-share with two adults in a twin room without charge!

We booked Toyoko Inn Okinawa Naha Shintoshin Omoromachi on our first and last night in Okinawa. Take a look at the non-smoking twin room that we stayed!




Yes, it is really really small. The width of each bed is about 110 cm, so it is just nice for one adult and one child, provided that the child doesn't roll all over the place when he / she sleeps!

There is a small refrigerator, small kettle, cups, a safe, and a well-hidden small wardrobe. So basically all things that you need in a hotel room are provided.

There is even a bath tub in such a small hotel room. And needless to say, the toilet is the high-tech type with washer!



There are washing machines, drying machines and water dispenser at the lobby. It is really convenient!

The highlight of the stay at Toyoko Inn is the buffet breakfast, which is FREE! The spread is quite decent. It was quite crowded during breakfast time so I didn't manage to take a photo of the buffet spread. So take a look at what I have eaten on two days that we stayed there!



Yes, there is even curry rice for breakfast! Other than what I show you here, there are also salad, bread, and porridge.

Oh, you ask me about the rate? We paid 8640 yen per room per night (about SGD110). Isn't it a steal?

Toyoko Inn Okinawa Naha Shintoshin Omoromachi that we stayed is 10 minutes walk from Yui Rail (monorail) and car rental branch. Actually there is another branch Toyoko Inn Okinawa Naha Omoromachi Ekimae just next to Yui Rail and car rental branch, however, it was fully booked even 3 months in advance! But one good thing about the location of where we stayed is that it is just opposite a big shopping centre Naha Main Place, which has supermarket and eateries.

If you are interested to stay in Toyoko Inn whenever you visit Japan, you may considering applying for the life time membership at 1500 yen. The benefit is that members can make the booking 6 months in advance, while general public can make the booking only 3 months in advance. This hotel chain is quite popular, as I mentioned, I didn't mange to book the branch nearer to Yui Rail. Members get to enjoy discount too. I didn't apply for membership, because I don't know when I have a chance to visit Japan again...

Toyoko Inn (東横Inn)
Website: https://www.toyoko-inn.com/eng/index.html


Okinawa Grand Mer Resort

As we focus on experiential learning when we travel as a family, we decided to book an accommodation with Japanese-style room during our visit to Okinawa. Well, usually this type of room is quite expensive in Okinawa, but I managed to find one that our wallet can still afford - Okinawa Grand Mer Resort. It is located on a hill in the eastern central Okinawa. When we arrived in late evening, we almost lost our way even with the aid of GPS. Oh well, I think it was because I was behind the wheel.

image source: Jalan.net

The other challenge was to find a car park lot. The car park on the slope was full when we reached. Initially I was at a loss, so I drove uphill to the hotel lobby, looking for help. The staff assisted us to take down the luggage, DaDi took over the wheel, and another staff in a small van guided him to drive to another car park further down the hill, and drove him back to the hotel. 

I was exhausted after getting lost, but was brightened up when we entered our Japanese-style room! What a lovely room with tatami floor! 

image source: Jalan.net



It is quite a special experience for the children to sleep in futons on tatami floor!

There is a small bar top to make tea.



The bathroom is very big, the bath tub is on the left, the washing basin in the middle, and the toilet is in an isolated cubicle on the right.




The view from our room in the next morning. We can see the eastern sea of Okinawa!



Buffet breakfast is also included in our booking. I tried some of the Okinawan dishes like peanut tofu, bitter gourd and taco rice.



There are also bread and Okinawa jam like bitter gourd with pineapple jam.



Just outside the hotel lobby is the wall of Shisa, so interesting!



When we checked out, there was staff who drove DaDi to the car park downhill. The service of the staff is good! The hotel itself is a bit old, and you can tell it from the look of the walls and floor of the room. But it is generally clean, and quite comfortable to stay.

We booked the room through Booking.com and it was 16800 yen per room per night with breakfast for 4 of us (about SGD210).

Okinawa Grand Mer Resort
Address: Japan, 〒904-2174 Okinawa-ken, Okinawa-shi, Yogi (〒904-2174 沖縄県沖縄市与儀2丁目8番1号)
Mapcode for GPS: 33 532 316
Website: http://www.okinawa-grandmer.com


Yugaf Inn Okinawa 

Since we would explore the northern part of Okinawa for 2 days, we booked one-night stay at Nago City 名護市, which is the largest city in the northern part of Okinawa. Yugaf Inn Okinawa is located near the sea, and is a few minutes drive from Nago City centre. It is about 30 minutes drive away from the famous Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium.

There are two buildings in this accommodation, and we chose to stay at the new annex あがり館. The executive twin room that we stayed can accommodate 4 beds, but the arrangement of 4 beds looks quite funny!



There is an air purifier with humidifying function. The bathroom is separated from the toilet cubicle and the washing basin.



The view from the balcony in the morning, there is a baseball field. We could also see the sea and the mountains!



We had our dinner at an izakaya ゆきの just next to the hotel, shall share more about the food in "Okinawa (Japan): What To Eat" post!

We booked this room from the hotel's official website in Japanese, and we paid 12600 yen per room per night for 4 pax (about SGD160). Overall, it was quite a pleasant stay in this hotel.

If you are booking this accommodation with other hotel booking portals, do not mix up Yugaf Inn Okinawa with Yugaf Inn Bise, which is located near to Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. You may wonder why we didn't choose Yugaf Inn Bise, it is because Yugaf Inn Bise is surrounded by cemetery...

Yugaf Inn Okinawa 
Address: 〒905-0011 沖縄県名護市宮里453-1
Mapcode for GPS: 206 626 661*47
Website: http://www.yugaf.com


Read our post on Okinawa Accommodations for Family for more accommodation ideas!


Our Okinawa Travelogue


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