Room rating: W Osaka, arguably Japan’s most Instagrammable hotel

Like a Tim Burton film set brought to life, this ultra-instagrammable luxury hotel reflects the playful spirit of the city that surrounds it.

The space

Amid the designer boutiques of Midōsuji Avenue and a short walk from neon-lit foodie nirvana Dōtonbori, this stylishly eccentric hotel is all about living the high life – and sharing the photographic evidence with your followers

Indulge in the signature spa treatment, beginning with a vodka and calendula foot bath, before visiting the attached bar, feasting on edible artwork at one of four restaurants, and returning at the touch of a button to a space lit up like a disco.

The space

Like the kimono Osakanans once wore to hide their spirited nature, the hotel’s simple exterior belies the colorful delights inside.

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Surrounded by pink neon lights against the black glass facade of the building, whose design was overseen by Osaka’s “star architect” Tadao Ando, ​​the entrance feels like the door to a nightclub. Or a modern Japanese version of Alice’s Wonderland.

Things get even more surreal as you walk through a neon corridor that changes colors with the seasons, before taking an elevator with flashing pink lights to the rainbow-colored “living room.” There, you check in while a combination of locals and other guests sip cocktails to the tune of a live DJ or jokes from a comedian (Osaka is a center for people who make a living making people laugh.

The hotel's Arrivals Hall, which changes color with the seasons, is a popular photo spot.

W Osaka/Instagram

The hotel’s Arrivals Hall, which changes color with the seasons, is a popular photo spot.

The fourth floor has a very different vibe, with a serene spa, gym, and heated indoor pool (neon-lit, of course, but in this case in soothing shades of blue and purple).

The space

You can’t accuse the W Osaka of being shy — its rooms have names like “Fantastic,” “Wonderful,” and “Wow.”

Floor-to-ceiling windows take advantage of city skyline views, while the neutral color palette is complemented by splashes of neon, including panels that glow like a disco if you wish. Other playful touches include winking pillows and a cartoon-like pixorama of the city in the closet.

The rooms are the perfect place to get the party started and also have everything you need to mix your own cocktails.

W Osaka, Japan.

delivered

W Osaka, Japan.

The food

Foodies are spoiled for choice, as the four restaurants serve gourmet versions of sushi, teppanyaki, and other Japanese specialties — with a twist (if you’re feeling more casual, grab a bite at the Living Room Bar).

Breakfast is served at Brasserie Oh.lala, which later in the day creates offbeat French-Japanese fusion dishes under the direction of Michelin-starred chef Yusuke Takada. Breakfast is a multi-course affair, where guests can choose between Japanese and Western options.

Our “detox” menu included a selection of smoothies, a fluffy, cloud-like omelet, and a tray full of pastries (matcha-flavored croissants are Japanese-French fusion at its finest). After all, what balanced detoxer doesn’t want pastries after the healthy stuff?

Other restaurants include Sushi Ukiyo, whose 10-seat counter is hidden behind an unobtrusive door, and Teppanyaki Mydo, which offers imaginative takes on Osaka classics.

The Living Room often features live entertainment and is a popular meeting place for locals and guests alike.

delivered

The Living Room often features live entertainment and is a popular meeting place for locals and guests alike.

It’s worth getting off

The designer shops of the Shinsaibashi district are on your doorstep, while the famous riverside restaurants of the Dōtonbori district serve Osaka specialties such as takoyaki (squid balls) and okonomiyaki (a pancake-like dish with cabbage, pork belly and mayonnaise). are about 10 minutes walk away. Universal Studios Japan is about 20 minutes away by train.

The culmination

For me, it was the ten-course feast at Teppanyaki Mydo. Sitting around the grill in front of our private chef, we sampled gyoza (dumplings) stuffed with matsutake mushrooms and ginkgo nuts, lobster skewers with fish roe, mini okonomiyaki with gold flecks, beef ramen, and sweet potato monaka (rice cakes) that tasted like charcoal , purple and gold macaroons looked like.

My gluten-free mochi — sticky rice smothered in toasted soybean powder and syrup — was worth the trip to Japan alone.

The deep light

You must leave before you can enjoy the spa.

Standard Rooms have bathtubs and minibars with all the ingredients to make your own cocktails.

delivered

Standard Rooms have bathtubs and minibars with all the ingredients to make your own cocktails.

The judgment

A posh show-off hotel that perfectly captures Osakan’s reputation for fun and will make all your Instagram followers jealous.

essentials

Room rates start at around 62,234 yen (NZ$710) per night on average. See marriott.com/en-us/hotels/osaow-w-osaka

The author was a guest of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO).

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