1. Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara, balcony onsen bath
    Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts
  2. Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Hakone-Sengokuhara – outdoor onsen
    Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts
  3. Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Hakone-Sengokuhara - outdoor onsen
    Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts
  4. Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Hakone-Sengokuhara – balcony onsen bath
    Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts
  5. Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts Hakone-Sengokuhara - Residence wing
    Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara is a secluded onsen resort with luxurious amenities

From sake dinner to the private onsen bath on the room balcony, here are five things we love about The Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara resort

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Written by
Lim Chee Wah
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Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts has an interesting pedigree. This small group of boutique destination hotels was founded by its owner Hiroyuki Hiramatsu, who was the first Japanese chef to receive a Michelin star for cooking French food in France. The owner’s love and appreciation of French culture is evident at the group’s spectacular retreat at Hakone, whose interior has the grace and charm of a French chateau.

But that’s not to say Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara feels foreign. On the contrary, this amazing property embodies the spirit of its locale, Hakone, which is known for its abundant natural beauty and therapeutic hot springs. The main building only has 11 rooms while the newly opened residence features an additional nine. There’s also a separate building housing two private open-air hot spring baths overlooking the trees.

Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara is the perfect holiday spot to pamper yourself and disconnect from the city. And here are five things we love about it.

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The pristine, secluded location
Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

The pristine, secluded location

Hidden away from the tourist crowds, Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara is a half-hour drive through the rolling mountains from the Hakone-Yumoto Station. The handsome building, with its modern slate-gray facade, is set amongst lush nature in the upscale neighbourhood of Sengokuhara, which is known for its private holiday homes. The resort promises a calm and peaceful hideaway – and it’s a perfect base to explore the region’s seasonal foliage. Autumn is especially beautiful, with the immensely photogenic pampas grass field just around the corner. 

The elegant interior design and art collection
Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

The elegant interior design and art collection

Hiramatsu Hakone-Sengokuhara combines the attentive service of a Japanese ryokan with the classic elegance of a French chateau. The property is decked out with the owner’s personal collection of antique chests and drawers, while the walls feature an array of artworks and prints from masters such as Picasso and Yayoi Kusama. The atmosphere is warm and inviting, like you’re holidaying at the luxurious home of a family friend.

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The huge private onsen bath on your room’s balcony
Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

The huge private onsen bath on your room’s balcony

The spacious and sumptuously appointed rooms at Hiramatsu are the highlight, not least because of the jaw-droppingly gorgeous private hot spring bath on the balcony, with a wall-to-wall sliding glass door overlooking the surrounding landscape. Moreover, designer chairs and furniture, a Nespresso coffee machine, a super comfy bed that you won’t want to get out of, luxury toiletries from Bvlgari and a free mini bar all conspire to make this the holiday of your dreams.  

(Rooms in the residence wing have enclosed bathrooms instead of the aforementioned semi alfresco baths. However, all guests can book the standalone rotenburo, an open-air onsen, for private bathing sessions.) 

The Modern Japanese dinner with sake pairing
Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

The Modern Japanese dinner with sake pairing

The elegant dining room in Hiramatsu offers another sensorial experience of Hakone – this time, through your taste buds. The chef’s pairing dinner is a showcase of the region’s seasonal produce and ingredients, reimagined through Italian cooking techniques, and executed flawlessly with a dash of theatrics (the food presentation is feast for the eyes). Each dish is accompanied by a different expression of sake from leading breweries in Hakone and Japan, and you’ll finish the night not only with a satisfied appetite but also a new appreciation for the varied and nuanced flavours of sake.  

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The personalised sake brewery tour
Photo: Hiramatsu Hotels & Resorts

The personalised sake brewery tour

One of the premier sake breweries in Hakone, the family-run Inoue Shuzo has been around since 1789. The atmospheric property is nestled in a residential area and it’s not the kind of place you’d just stumble upon. It’s a good thing that with a two-night package at Hiramatsu, you’re chauffeured to the brewery for a private tour to learn about the entire sake-making process from washing the rice to fermentation and filtration.

It gets better at the end: you’ll enjoy tasting some of the house’s finest drops – we love the limited quantity, gold-medal winning Hakoneyama junmai daiginjo (buy a bottle on the spot if it’s available). Best of all, the entire experience is conducted in English.

(There’s also an option of visiting the Hakone Maruyama Bussan to participate in a yosegi marquetry workshop, where you learn a traditional woodworking craft.)

For more information, check the resort website here.

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