Nara Hotel was founded in 1909 to serve as a “state guest house” in the southern-central region in Japan that is located on a hill in the postcard pretty Nara Park. To date, this hotel has accommodated a number of famous personalities like Albert Einstein (1922), Charlie Chaplin (1936), Richard Nixon (1951), Audrey Hepburn (1983), Marlon Brando (1956), Glenn Ford (1956) and our very own Jose P. Laurel (1945) who has a statue located in the Sakura tearoom.
Last March 23 to 26, Nara Hotel has been my home during my first tour in Japan. Located on a hill in idyllic Nara Park, this hotel provides an excellent view of Nara’s historical sights such as the Great Buddha Hall of Todai-ji Temple, the Five-Storied Pagoda of Kofuku-ji Temple and of course, the serene and mesmerizing Nara Park where you can enjoy the fresh air, immerse in nature and have a close encounter with deers.
The reception is located at the main building. Opposite the reception area is a mantelpiece with a shrine gate built of Japanese cypress in the style of a residence in the late 16th century.
The hotel’s main building is all wood, and the inner decor consists of traditional Japanese designs with a Western influence.
Japanese chandeliers catched my attention as I took a quick glance of the lobby and hallway before I proceed to my room.
The Main Building is characterized by high ceilings and the floor is covered by red carpet all throughout.
Near the front desk is the “Sakura” Tea Room where guests can relax with the beautiful view of the garden outside. It’s mostly green when we were there but it turns to spectacular pink during springtime because of the cherry blossoms.
The Tea Room also serves as a mini museum because of the beautiful paintings on the wall and a lot of antiques and memorabilias are displayed here like the Dr. Einstein Piano, the Big Clock, a mantelpiece, and the bronze statue of the Philippines’ 3rd President, Jose P. Laurel.
The guest rooms throughout the main building and the new building have traditional charm and contemporary comfort combining Japanese and European style.
As you can see, my room has a mantelpiece of its own, a small round table and some sofa chairs and a vanity table.
There’s also a wardrobe, lampshades, cabinet, small refrigerator/mini bar, a large LCD TV, and steam radiators which I found very helpful because temperature tend to drop to as low as zero at night (3rd week of March is the borderline of winter and spring).
Here are the guest rooms as viewed outside the hotel:
And here is the view that we can see outside our hotel room’s window:
Since the hotel is near the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site temples, I did not ride the bus to go there but instead rented a bicycle at the lobby and tour the picturesque Nara Deer Park.
I love the classic ambience of this hotel, it’s like a time machine that will magically take you back to Japan’s glorious past. The location is so serene with mesmerizing environment wherever you look. And touring the whole Nara Park by bicycle is one of the highlights of my first ever trip to Japan.
Thank you Nara Hotel for our wonderful accommodations in Nara City, Japan.
Address: 1096, Takabatake-cho, Nara City, 630-8301, Japan
Telephone: (+81) 742-26-3300
Fax: (+81) 742-23-5252