All-room temperature spring, cypress baths… Why Dormy Inn is evolving in an amazing way | FRIDAY DIGITAL

All-room temperature spring, cypress baths… Why Dormy Inn is evolving in an amazing way

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on LINE

In recent years, the so-called “business hotel” category of hotels has been becoming more upscale and premium. For example, the “Natural Hot Spring Hananami no Yu Oyado Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi” opened in January in the Yodoyabashi area of Osaka’s business district.

The brand is operated by Kyoritsu Maintenance Co., Ltd. which operates the Dormy Inn hotel chain nationwide, as well as student dormitory and resort businesses. Kyoritsu Maintenance operates ” Goyado Nono” as a premium Japanese-style hotel in the “Dormy Inn” series.

The hotel is located in an office area, but has the appearance of a Japanese inn. Entrance of “Natural Hot Spring Hananami-no-yu Miyado Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi
A guest room at “Natural Hot Spring Hananami-no-yu Ohshuku Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi” where guests can take off their shoes and relax on tatami mats.

Competitors are also steadily increasing the number of lodging facilities that are more than just a place to stay, such as facilities with large baths and enhanced breakfasts using local products. We asked hotel critic Nobuaki Takizawa about the background behind these trends, as well as other hotels that offer excellent cost performance and a high level of satisfaction.

Transported daily from Ikoma Nishimura Onsen! A large bathroom with an open-air hot spring bath on the top 13th floor

Goyado Nono was established in 2016 and has eight locations nationwide, including Asakusa in Tokyo and Shichijo in Kyoto. The entire hotel is tatami-floored, a rarity in the business hotel category, and guests check in at the front desk after taking off their shoes.

The entrance to the front desk is also tatami-floored. The entrance to the front desk is also covered with tatami mats.
The corridor is also lined with tatami mats in the style of a hot spring inn. Natural hot spring “Hananami no Yu” in Yodoyabashi, Osaka

The “Natural Hot Spring Hananami-no-yu Oyado Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi,” which opened on January 11, 2022, is the second location of the “Oyado Nono” brand in Osaka following Namba. Located on the 13th floor of the hotel, the bathhouse is equipped with a strong cold water bath, an open-air pot bath, a pelting bath, and a high-temperature sauna for the exclusive use of hotel guests. The quality of the spring water is radon hot spring, which is said to be highly effective for recuperation, and is brought in daily from Ikoma Nishimura Onsen (Shijonawate City, Osaka Prefecture). The bath amenities are slightly different for men and women.

The large bath at the “Natural Hot Spring Hananami no Yu Oyado Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi,” where water from the Ikoma Nishimura Hot Spring (Shijonawate City, Osaka Prefecture) is brought in daily from the site.
A pot bath in the open-air section. Natural hot spring “Hananami no Yu” at Osaka Yodoyabashi
The entrance to the large bathroom of “Hananami-no-yu, Osaka Yodoyabashi” with a rest corner and manga in the back.

In the guest rooms, you can sit directly on the tatami mats to relax, and the chairs are also upholstered with tatami and have cushions. The windows are not curtains but shoji screens, the bath baskets can be taken directly to the bath, and various toiletries are stored in drawers so that they cannot be seen. All guest rooms are equipped with showers only.

In addition, the bathrooms are decorated with gourds that were used as horse seals by Toyotomi Hideyoshi, and the front desk has a picture on a shoji paper with a motif of the Dojima Rice Market, reminding us of the history of the hotel’s neighborhood. In addition to a lounge with manga books and ice cream monaka, which are popular at Dormy Inn hotels nationwide, there is also a corner with books related to Osaka. At breakfast, the original seafood rice bowl on which you can put your favorite ingredients and the freshly fried tempura using seasonal ingredients are said to be especially popular.

Exterior view of the natural hot spring, Hananami no Yu Miyado Nono Osaka Yodoyabashi

Although the hotel does not offer the typical services of a ryokan, such as being shown to your guest room after check-in, setting the table and laying out the futon, the entire building is covered with tatami mats, and there are large baths with natural hot springs. I felt that it was easy to use for all age groups and purposes of stay. The hotel also has a convenience store on the first floor, complete with high-speed Wi-Fi and power supply as only a modern accommodation facility can.

Dormy Inn has had a large bathhouse since 1993 when it started its business, which was rare until then. Kyoritsu Maintenance started out in the dormitory business, and Dormy Inn was created as a result of requests from people who lived in the company dormitories to have dormitory-like services even when they were on business trips. Based on the Dormy Inn PREMIUM, which is a more advanced version of the regular Dormy Inn, Goyado Nono was launched with the idea of offering ryokan-style stays with a sense of Japanese culture throughout the city. In the future, both brands will be expanded to areas where they do not yet exist.

(Continued on next page)

Business hotels, which evolved from ryokan in front of stations, have become polarized into “low-cost” and “high-brand” hotels.

To begin with, the term “business hotel” may conjure up the image of a “lodging for business travelers. According to Mr. Takizawa, “In fact, the term ‘hotel specializing in lodging’ is more accurate, as it is a facility that offers only lodging without restaurants or banquet halls. Overseas, such lodging facilities are called “INN”, which matches the image of hotels with the brand name “INN”, such as Toyoko Inn, Route Inn, and Dormy Inn in Japan.

All rooms at “Natural Hot Spring Toyama Tsurugen no Yu” have a cypress bath (Image: Kyoritsu Maintenance Co., Ltd.)

Business hotels in Japan are said to have originated in the Hokke Club, but their original business model was inns in front of stations. Initially, business travelers, then tourists, began to use the hotels, and in recent years, with the boom in inbound tourism, the number of visitors to Japan has increased rapidly.

As the number of competing hotels increased in the same area, there was a move to differentiate the hotels, and they gradually became more upscale, with large baths, luxurious breakfasts, and spacious rooms.

According to Mr. Takizawa, business hotels can be broadly classified into two types: “low-cost” and “high-brand” hotels, with the former including Toyoko Inn, Route Inn and Super Hotel, and the latter including Richmond, Daiwa Roynet and Dormy Inn. The difference is mainly in the size of the rooms and whether breakfast is free or chargeable. In recent years, some low-cost hotel chains such as “Super Hotel Premier” and “Route Inn Grand” have launched more upscale brands as “sub-brands.

The “Gokaimori” breakfast, which includes unlimited salmon roe, is highly popular (Image: Kyoritsu Maintenance)

Mr. Takizawa has a high opinion of Dormy Inn. Mr. Takizawa’s evaluation of Dormy Inn is high: “Since its opening, most of the facilities have had large baths, and they are basically natural hot springs. Although the number of business hotels with large baths is now increasing, Dormy Inn is overwhelmed by its unique attractions, such as its full breakfast and free ‘yoru-naru soba’ (buckwheat noodles) served late at night.

Dormy Inn’s famous “Yomaruki Soba” is offered free of charge to guests (Image: Kyoritsu Maintenance)

(Continued on next page)

Hotel critics’ top recommendation! Local small independent hotel brands with high satisfaction levels

In addition to Dormy Inn, there are other accommodations with a high level of satisfaction throughout Japan. While some of them no longer fit the image of a business hotel, we asked Mr. Takizawa to recommend a few of his favorites.

Ref Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels (Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture)

One of the hotels that Mr. Takizawa recommends is the Vessel Hotels, which he calls a “local small independent hotel brand. Vessel Hotel Development, headquartered in Fukuyama City, Hiroshima Prefecture, operates “Vessel Hotel,” “Vessel Inn,” “Vessel Hotel Campana,” and other hotels throughout Japan.

The view from “Lev Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels” (image: courtesy of Mr. Takizawa)

The “Lev Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels,” which opened in Matsuyama City, Ehime Prefecture in December 2021, has “THE STATION” as its hotel concept, and has an excellent location adjacent to Matsuyama City Station of the Iyo Railway Company. In addition, the hotel offers breakfast with local Ehime gourmet foods, designs using traditional Iyo Kasuri and Tobe pottery, and the “Iyotetsu Room” with a railroad concept.

Iyotetsu concept room at Lev Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels (image: courtesy of Ms. Takizawa)

Even though Dogo Onsen is nearby, the hotel has a large public bath, a sauna, and a family bath that can be reserved for private use. The hotel and the local company are working together to contribute to the revitalization of the area.

Breakfast at Lev Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels. The breakfast at Lev Matsuyama City Station by Vessel Hotels, featuring local specialties.

Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki (Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture)

Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki (Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture) Hotel Forza, operated by Fukuoka City-based F.J. Hotels, is located in Oita, Nagasaki, Hakata, and other areas. Hotel Forza, operated by Fukuoka City-based F.J. Hotels, has been well received for its user-friendly and comfortable guest rooms, customer-oriented equipment, and breakfasts featuring local specialties, and has now expanded to Osaka, Nagoya, Kanazawa, and Sapporo. Green Hotel Maurice, which operates six facilities in the San-in and Chugoku regions, is headquartered in Tottori City, and has had a large bathhouse with sauna and water bath since the beginning, making it popular among business travelers and leisure travelers of all ages.

Premium Coco Suite at Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki (image: courtesy of Mr. Takizawa)

Furthermore, Mr. Takizawa praises Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki in Takasaki City, Gunma Prefecture, saying, “There is no other business hotel with such a high level of satisfaction. The hotel has a hot spring facility with an open-air carbonated spring bath and sauna, high-grade massage chairs in all guest rooms from 18 square meters, a full breakfast at a restaurant popular among locals, and a premium suite on the top floor with a deck terrace, open-air bath, Jacuzzi bath with TV, and steam sauna. Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki

Luxury twin room at the Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki (image: courtesy of Ms. Takizawa)

Hotel Coco Grand Takasaki is called a business hotel because it targets mainly business travelers. On the other hand, by making the hotel more premium, the hotel aims to attract people of all ages and purposes of stay, including tourists. In these days of diversifying needs, it is beneficial for users to have more choices.

The information and data in this article are current as of February 13, 2022.

For the ” Dormy Inn” website, click here.

For the website of hotel critic Nobuaki Takizawa, click here.

For Aki Shikama ‘s website, click here.

  • Interview, text, and photos (except as noted) Aki Shikama / Aki Shikama

Photo Gallery16 total

Photo Selection

Check out the best photos for you.

Related Articles