Gyokutei

Gyokutei

What kind of onsen ryokan is Gyokutei?

Once we entered the property, we felt that we were pulled into old Japan with the room and the garden all being perfectly Japanese.  If you are a connoisseur of Japan, I would recommend Gyokutei.  The property has only 8 rooms on a large site.  Each room has an indoor private hot spring.  The property completely emphasizes private experiences for each guest.  This is like a secret hideaway for adults.  Gyokutei would be wonderful for couples, solo travelers, family, or small groups.  The ambiance is serene, charming, and quaint.
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Is the location easy to access?

Yes, it would be easy.  The location is a 10min walk from Hakone-Yumoto Station, but there is a long slope on the way to the property, so you may want to take a shuttle bus in orange color.  Get on a bus of B course from the bus stop in front of Hakone Total Tourist Information Center, and then get off at Gyokutei.  When you get on a shuttle bus, you need to tell a bus driver where you are staying.  It takes 10min.  The bus fare is JPY100 per adult, and complimentary for children in primary school and younger.  The bus leaves hourly, at 15 and 45 minutes past the hour between 10:45 and 18:45.  Alternatively, you can get a taxi from the station.  It costs around JPY1,000 and it takes 5min.  Then if you stay here on weekends, you might want to check in earlier.  Because traffic would be heavy around Hakone Yumoto Station.  It would be sometimes faster to walk than drive. 

Rooms I would recommend?

If you are going to stay here, you may want to request a room with a nice view of the traditional garden.  You can chill out at an Engawa which is a narrow wooden deck in Yukata while viewing a well-kept garden after soaking in a private hot spring.  That’s precious time.  We spent a lot of time jumping in and out of our private one until check-out time.  The spring quality is one of the best in Hakone.  The water temperature is very high.  You need to add tap water.  The room is Japanese minimalistic, but truly relaxing and spacious.  This is a very authentic ryokan.  If you don’t want to sleep on Japanese-style mattresses in tatami rooms, you may want to find others.  There is no room with western beds.  Facilities tend to be worn out, but the housekeeping was excellent.

How about toiletries & in-room amenities?

All of the amenities are taken care of including minimum toiletries, yukatas, and a Japanese tea set, etc.  The free Wi-Fi reception was good.  Room service is not available.  There is no convenience store nearby.  You may want to buy your necessities before coming here.

How about In-house Facilities?

Then Gyokutei is not a universal design, but there are few steps.  A wheelchair is available for borrowing.  If you bring people with weak feet, you may want to inform the staff in advance as they can arrange a room near the entrance.  Then there are indoor communal hot springs.  They are open from 5:00-11:00, 15:00-24:00.  There is no outdoor hot spring in-house.  *Please note that if you have tattoos, you may not be permitted to use the communal bathing area.
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How about meals?

Kyoto-style kaiseki food experience for dinner and breakfast was good, but it may be a little challenging for western palates.  The portion tends to be small.  Dinner starts at 18:00 or 18:30.  Breakfast starts at 8:00 or 8:30.  All meals are served in your room.  *Please note that inform the staff when you book a room with meals if you have any food allergies.  Alternatively, you can go out for dinner as there are some local restaurants around there.  Most of the papa-mama shops in Hakone are closing early.  You may want to book a table in advance. 

My impressions

All staff tends to be professional, but not so sophisticated.  We arrived at the property before 3:00 PM, but the staff welcomed us with warmth and we were escorted to our room immediately.  Overall, the service wouldn’t be up to the price paid, but the experience was pure Japan and should definitely be tried.  Then Have a nice trip!  Welcome to receive any questions about Gyokutei from the below space.  Check Availability and Pricing for the onsen ryokan on Booking.com or Agoda

Info about Gyokutei

Style Authentic Japanese Ryokan
Check-in and out times
15:00/11:00
Estimated Price 65,000 JPY for 2 adults per room
Contact E-mail
hakone1@gyokutei.com
Internet Connection Free wifi in the lobby only
Facility Information Wheelchairs are available
Pets are not allowed
The free parking lot is available 
Location Gyokutei’s MAP
Access 10min walk from Hakone-Yumoto station
Address and TEL 501 Yumoto, Hakone-machi, Ashigarashimo-gun,
Kanagawa 250-0311 
Tel +81 460-85-8501
Official Homepage Gyokutei’s HP

All information above is as of the date that I posted on my blog.