5 Reasons To Visit The Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort, Japan

Almost as far south as you can go along the Japanese archipelago is Miyako Island, which is part of Okinawa prefecture and now home to the new Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island Resort. This island is a favorite of Japanese travelers, but it has the potential to appeal to curious international visitors who have already explored other major regions of Japan.

Many compare Okinawa and surrounding islands to Hawaii for its natural scenery with tall mountains, verdant fields and endless stretches of aquamarine beaches. Of course, Okinawa is home to a U.S. military base, and Miyako is just a short flight away (Tokyo is just over three hours by plane). If you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path itineraries, Miyako Island is just the place. You can visit famous salt farms to buy flavored Miyako salts and products made using them. Wandering the downtown area for local cuisine is a must, too. Here’s why Hilton Okinawa Miyako Island should be on your travel radar when visiting Japan.

The location

The Hilton sits in a private alcove with its own stretch of beach and a small marina to one side. This means views are unmatched, and all rooms here have a balcony facing the sea or the island. It’s easy to get to the airport thanks to a free shuttle bus that makes the 20-minute drive on a regular basis.

The chief concierge here is a savvy contact to have and knows some of the best places to visit on the island. He is a veteran of the Hilton brand having worked at other properties and speaks excellent English.

What this peninsula offers is plenty of al fresco garden, poolside and beachfront space to host weddings, conferences and plenty of family fun time. There is a rooftop chapel with epic views of the sea as well as a full-service conference center with traditional ballrooms and boardroom setups.

Fronting the main building is a series of outdoor pools including one option for families and another that is heated and indoors. Lounge chairs and canopied day beds are available around the pool, but many guests may prefer the chairs sunken into the water for a bit of refreshment on a hot island day.

Designers made a point to highlight the marine colors in the building’s interiors, and even the entry foyer is an open-air space that looks to the sea past trickling fountains. Behind the reception desk is a modern art sculpture of various shades of blue that mimic the sea waves.

Coming soon next door: a Canopy by Hilton, which will allow guests to share many of the same facilities between the two resorts.

The food

As at most resorts, guests expect plenty of choices, especially if they plan to stay put. The Hilton Miyako Island Resort does not disappoint in the food and beverage department. Azure is the main restaurant that serves three meals a day including an impressive buffet spread with action stations that prepare meals to order.

No matter what time of day you arrive, you can expect a gorgeous display of fruits and vegetables on a hearty salad bar with plenty of locally made seasonings, dressings and salts to top off the flavor. Japanese dishes are the standard, and although the selection varies daily, the menu skews almost entirely to national flavors here.

Local grains of rice are cooked to perfection and come with various curries and toppings, and the dessert bar includes Okinawa’s famous recipe for ice cream using local fruits, salt and milk.

Isoletta opens for lunch and dinner most days with an outdoor patio and an Italian menu. The pasta and pizza are made in-house with guests able to watch the action behind glass walls.

Outdoor patio seating is popular for private functions, and guests can also order snacks, drinks and even ice cream by the pool. The lobby lounge has fresh pastries and ice cream on offer from a deli plus a menu of salads, burgers, sandwiches and other light dishes plus a full bar facing the ocean.

The real wow moment comes from the rooftop bar and lounge where guests can have cocktails and watch the sun set.

The rooms

The same light color palette in public areas continues in the large guest rooms that have hardwood floor entry ways and area rugs adding more sea tones of blue and green. Light wood desks and side tables plus plentiful storage space are all in place.

Sliding doors open to furnished balconies with the prized options facing the sea. Natural light is a highlight everywhere in this hotel, and it shows. Even the bathrooms, tucked behind sliding doors, allow light to stream inside when open. Crabtree & Evelyn toiletries from wall-mounted pump bottles are just a small peek inside the hotel’s impressive sustainability efforts. This includes re-using much of its own water, renewable energy and recycling stations around the property.

Suites come in various forms including junior options with an adjacent living room with sofa  bed. The largest suites come with their own kitchens, dining rooms, living areas and multiple bedrooms. On the terrace, a plunge pool adds to the resort feel.

Premium room guests have access to the club lounge where one of the most doting teams serves guests. Partly Japanese hospitality, but also due to the general manager’s long history with Hilton and a tacit understanding of delivering top service, the staff will do anything to make your stay perfect.

Breakfast, afternoon tea and evening refreshments are served in a spacious lounge with its own furnished terrace. The cocktail hour includes complimentary beer, wine, self-serve cocktails and soft drinks plus a buffet of hot and cold dinner food. It is an impressive spread, and it earns accolades from guests.

The Hilton Honors perks

Hilton Honors Gold and Diamond members also enjoy access to this lounge. This represents enormous value in exchange for being loyal to the Hilton family of brands. Space-available upgrades, bonus points and the option for late checkout are available for elite members. Everyone can earn and redeem points and take advantage of complimentary Wi-Fi.

The spa

One level below the lobby is a lovely spa offering massage and beauty treatments in rooms that have natural light. Many of the products use Japanese ingredients, including salt and seaweed from the surrounding area. Treatments begin with a warm foot bath and scrub.

The modern fitness center is open at all hours, and of course, it has natural light, too. An indoor swimming pool means guests can swim laps no matter what the weather. This is also where many of the non-motorized watersport activities begin. Guests can train for scuba diving or stand-up paddle boarding and yoga. No matter what your reason to come to Miyako, the Hilton is the island’s newest and best. From this vantage point, the resort offers unbeatable views and all the perks of Hilton Honors membership