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The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa Pioneers Luxury Hospitality on Japan’s Secret Tropical Getaway

Japan – May 28 - The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C. opens its first luxury resort in Japan on May 28th on the tropical island of Okinawa. The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa will pioneer luxury hospitality on an island that has been the secret getaway for generations of Japanese visitors but remains relatively unexplored by the international luxury traveler.

The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa is the ultimate luxury destination for visitors to an island that is rich in championship golf courses and surrounded by pristine emerald waters that are perfect for waterborne activities. It also heralds the return of exquisite fine dining to the heart of the island. The Okinawan concept of hospitality or “gusuku” which translates as “castle” or “guest house” has been carefully reflected throughout the property to give it a welcoming sense of place. The new Ritz-Carlton resort embodies this spirit through its landscaping and contemporary architectural design which extensively features the Shurijo face motifs, distinctive red clay roof tiles, white walls and holy water ponds.

“We are delighted to be able to bring our first true luxury resort hotel to Japan to complement our city hotels in Tokyo and Osaka,” said Herve Humler, president and chief operations officer of The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. “We have no doubt that Okinawa has the potential to be a resort island of true international appeal, attracting visitors from all over the world, whether they are visiting the island for business or pleasure. It really is a hidden gem and the opening of The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa helps to put this destination on the map for discerning luxury travellers.”

Victor Clavell, area vice president, Asia for The Ritz-Carlton added, “our first luxury resort in Japan underlines our commitment to the Japanese market. The culture of friendship or ‘keion’ on this island blends seamlessly with The Ritz-Carlton promise to offer the finest personal service and facilities in a warm yet refined ambiance. We anticipate bringing more of the island’s incredible culture to the world.”

The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa enjoys sweeping panoramic views that overlook the East China Sea and the Kise Country Club. Inspired by the spectacular scenery of ancient forests, manicured golf courses and the sea, the luxurious resort has been designed to be in harmony with its natural surroundings.

This new hotel presents a host of exquisite sophisticated restaurants and a bar. Set in a modern and refined environment, the three restaurants will feature creative and sensational dining options.

Restaurants include Chura-Nuhji – an Italian fine dining restaurant which takes its name from the Okinawan word for beautiful rainbow. The restaurant with its own outdoor terrace overlooking the sea and the golf course will be helmed by Executive Chef Koji Hayakawa who has been at the forefront of restaurants which have helped to popularize Italian fine dining. He previously was head chef of Ristorante La Granata Ginza and Ristoranted La Granata, TBS.

Chef Hayakawa enjoys a reputation for creating the finest Italian dishes using regional and original ingredients.

Kise, a Teppan-yaki restaurant will offer local seafood and renowned Okinawan, Kuroge and Wagyu beef. Teppan Chefs will create a sense of theatre in a relaxing environment. Kise will uniquely allow the warm personalities of the chefs to come through to surprise and delight guests as they explain their creations on the menu.

Gusuku, an all-day dining experience that serves Japanese, Okinawan and international dishes with its outdoor waterside terrace. The restaurant will also serve a selection of tasting-style platters for guests to indulge in an elegantly designed space.

Guests can also enjoy traditional afternoon tea and a variety of elegantly prepared finger foods in the Lobby Lounge, in a space that will offer spectacular views of the beautiful emerald green sea overlooking the golf course. The legendary Bar, will invite guests to indulge in moments of timeless pleasure for the special nights at the Ritz Carlton, Okinawa. It will also include a selection of the Okinawan spirit, Awamori, and special cocktails. In addition to counter seats and tables, guest wishing to entertain can enjoy the seclusion of the private rooms.

Meanwhile, poolside guests can also relax in the whimsically-named Library which offers a selection of books as well as a bar and casual dining.

Located a short stroll through landscaped gardens is The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA, in its own separate enclave. The Ritz-Carlton Spa by ESPA combines the essence of ancient and modern Chinese, Indian, European and Balinese spa cultures. It uses the luxury ESPA products that harness the best of nature's essential oils, botanicals and marine supplements. The exquisite collection of treatments represents complete care, personalisation and the ultimate in luxury.

The Spa features four treatment rooms, four dry treatment rooms, outdoor Cabanas offering Shiatsu or Thai massage. It also offers the Heat Experience (Steam Sauna, Jacuzzi hot tubs, Stone Sauna with weathered coral tiles). Two special Retreat Suites are also available (Forest Suite and Ocean Suite) with their own private decks and stone baths. The spa retreat also houses a Nail Studio, Relaxation Room, Indoor Pool, and the fitness center.

The Spa reception features the use of organic materials in all design points, and the deep forest motif is particularly evident where a display of light creates textural and moving shadows as if under the forest canopy. Views to the ancient Yambaru Forest can be enjoyed from treatment rooms.

For additional information on The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa please call +81-980-43-5555 or visit www.ritzcarlton.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Okinawa joins three other Ritz-Carlton hotels operating or under development in Japan – Osaka, Tokyo and Kyoto (opening 2014).

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