Release | nobu Kawashima
“UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU” is a mix of classic and contemporary styles using a historical building in Otaru
“UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU,” located near Otaru Canal, is a modern hotel which renovated the former “Echuya Hotel” which is Otaru’s designated historical building with a modern sense. You can enjoy the aesthetics of a classic hotel and contemporary style with Otaru cuisine and morning high tea. Why don’t you choose this hotel for your stay in Otaru?
Table of Contents- Renovating the classic hotel in Otaru with a modern sense
- Three room types
- Exchange information about travel with free welcome wine service
- Dinner and morning high tea use locally sourced fresh Hokkaido ingredients
Renovating the classic hotel in Otaru with a modern sense“UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU” is located in the center of Otaru City, and it’s very convenient for sightseeing in Otaru.
▲It is about 10 mins walk from JR Otaru Station to the hotel, and two mins walk to the famous sightseeing place Otaru Canal.
The building is the former “Echuya Hotel” was built in 1931 to be the first ever hotel in Hokkaido exclusive to overseas visitors. Since this is the iconic building to represent the history of Otaru being an international trading port, it’s designated as Otaru City’s historic building.
During the war, it was used by the former Japanese army as an officers club. And the U.S. military took over it after the war. Then Otaru Grand Hotel Classic used the building until it closed down in 2009. After that, the building was closed for many years.
It reopened in April 2019 as “UNWIND HOTEL & BAR OTARU” after a bold renovation with modern senses.
The unique point of this hotel is that they do not only let you enjoy the classic atmosphere but also unique sense and artistic works. With the mix of old and new, it creates an experience unlike any other. Those who are used to stay in traditional ryokans and hotels might be shocked that it goes beyond your perceptions.
▲Let’s get inside. The decorations on windows and pillars show the history of this building.
▲The front desk let you relax and enjoy the seated style check-in. The warm fireplace invites you to the hotel.
▲Walking the solid staircase towards the guest room floor. The glass shelf by the stairs displays Otaru’s candles, etc., which you can purchase. The display was beautiful.
Relax if you have a big luggage, they also have an elevator.
Three room typesThey renovated the guest room fully except the frames of the building. The guest rooms now turned into sophisticated modern rooms.
There are three types of room.
If you are alone or coming with one another person and would like to make an economical choice, choose “Standard Double Room.” This type is the primary guest room type in this hotel.
▲“Standard Double” offers a double bed and a sofa.
If you would like a more spacious room, choose “Superior Twin Room.”
▲“Superior Twin” offers two semi-double beds and a large sofa.
▲Otaru Art base (Former Mitsui Bank Otaru Branch) is in front of the window when you open the curtain.
If you are staying with your family or friends, I’d recommend “Unwind Loft Room.” It offers two semi-double beds and two single beds, and there is not only a loft but also a window with a bay view.
All guest room comes with separated toilet and bath. Most rooms are spacious enough, offering 3.4 meters high ceilings.
The rooms don’t offer TV but instead, offer a projector. When you set mirroring with an Apple TV, you can enjoy watching videos and listening to music like a home theater.
▲Why don’t you relax and enjoy videos and music with complimentary coffee or teas?
The complimentary coffee is the original blend from RITARU COFFEE, a coffee shop in Maruyama District in Sapporo City.
Enjoy the exclusive flavor offered only here.
Exchange information about travel with free welcome wine serviceThe bar on the first floor offers a free wine service every day before dinner (5:00 PM - 7:00 PM, the last call is 6:30 PM). Take your time and enjoy one or two glasses of wine before dinner.
▲The bar is far back on the first floor from the stairs. This atmosphere makes me feel like a movie star or heroine.
▲“Bar IGNIS” means a bonfire in Latin.
▲They offer three kinds, each red and white, mainly Hokkaido wines. The wines are free-flow during the evening wine service time. Of course, this service exclusive to hotel guests.
Travelers from around Japan and the world gather here in the evenings. It is nice to have some drinks with friends and strangers who sit next to you to exchange information about traveling.
This is a perfect place for those who would like to interact with other travelers like a guest house but don’t want to stay in dormitories.
The bar is open for visitors after the evening wine service time.
They offer many kinds of drinks: Hokkaido wine and whiskey, cocktails made with locally sourced fruits, and beer, of course.
The beer they offer is the Hokkaido limited draft beer “Sapporo Classic”!
Dinner and morning high tea use locally sourced fresh Hokkaido ingredientsEnjoy the dinner and breakfast at the main banquet and the restaurant “THE BALL.” The stained glass on the window made in the early Showa Era and the ball-shaped lights create some magical atmosphere.
You can use plenty of dishes using locally sourced fresh Hokkaido ingredients such as grilled meat, etc., for dinner. You can order a la carte or a course dish.
▲All main dish is made with Hokkaido ingredients: Beef rib loin steak, pork loin roasted with low temperature, carpaccio, seafood paella, etc.
▲One of the main dish: “Jersey beef rib loin steak.” They have a direct contract with Sekiya Farm in Shintoku-Cho. Chefs visit the farm directly and build trusts with farmers to stock the highest quality meat.
▲Cheers with “Sapporo Classic” beer!
Not only the dinner but also breakfast is very unique in this hotel. This hotel does not offer usual breakfast buffet.
As it was the first ever hotel in Hokkaido exclusive to overseas visitors, they offer “morning high-tea,” inspired by the English food culture afternoon tea and high-tea.
▲Morning high-tea consists of three-tiers: hot dish, cold dish, a sweet dish from the bottom.
This breakfast is complimentary and offered to all guests staying at the hotel. How fancy it is! How photogenic it is!
This makes the perfect start of the day.
Homemade scone using Hokkaido sourced flours and drinks such as English tea is a free-refill. You can have plenty of food and beverages.
This makes the start of the day really elegant.
▲I left the hotel with sunshine to the town of Otaru as I feel satisfied.
The boutique style hotel was renovated with a modern sense from a classic hotel. This hotel is really convenient for sightseeing in Otaru and around such as Yoichi, Shakotan, and Niseko.
Have a comfortable stay at the new hotel mixes old and new!
Text / Hokkaido Likers photo writer nobu Kawashima
Photo / UNWIND HOTEL & BAR Otaru, nobu Kawashima
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