Free perks and beautiful design features make this more like a ryokan than a business hotel.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced hotel chain in Japan, you really can’t go wrong with a Dormy Inn. These hotels offer free food, great breakfasts, hot springs, and a number of other perks for guests, but at Premium branches of the chain they take things to new levels.

One Premium branch that’s particularly impressive is located in Tokyo’s historic Asakusa district, and it’s called Onyado Nono Asakusa Bettei. Opened in January this year, the inn has an expensive air to it, but surprisingly, it costs around the same to stay here as it does at other Dormy Inn Premium hotels.

Onyado Nono Asakusa Bettei is located right next to Asakusa Hanayashiki, and is a four-minute walk away from Asakusa Station on the Tsukuba Express. Although the hotel is close to Sensoji Temple in an area popular with tourists, the hotel entrance is located a little further back, giving it a surprisingly calm atmosphere.

The first thing that surprises you when you walk through the entrance is that the entire area is covered in tatami mat flooring. You don’t usually expect to see tatami at a business hotel in Tokyo — Dormy Inns are generally classed as business hotels — so this is a nice surprise, even for locals like our reporter Maro, who decided to stay here the night. When she arrived, it was pouring with rain outside, but as soon as she entered the hotel, a staff member greeted her and wiped down her carry-on case, which was an impressive gesture of polite hospitality befitting a luxury ryokan inn rather than a business hotel.

▼ Another kind gesture of hospitality is the free “welcome coffee” guests can help themselves to in the lobby.

After checking in and pouring herself a coffee, Maro made proceeded along a beautifully designed hallway to get to her room.

Opening the door to her triple room, Maro smiled in delight. It was beautifully laid out, and because this is a new hotel, every corner of the room was spotless, so she had absolutely nothing to complain about.

Checking out the amenities, she found towels in baskets, which were designed to be used when heading to the public bath. This is where she also found some socks, which she slipped on before grabbing one of the baskets and making her way to the public bath for a relaxing soak.

The Japanese-style design features throughout the hotel were incredibly impressive, even extending to the area outside the bath, which made Maro feel as if she was visiting a hot spring town.

Onyado Nono’s special feature is its hot springs, which are said to be more luxurious than other Dormy Inns, and Maro can attest to that, as she was able to enjoy a wide variety of hot spring experiences, including saunas, jet baths, and tub-style baths.

The hotel provides free ice cream and lactic acid bacteria drinks for post-bath enjoyment, and from 9:30 p.m. it serves up “Yonaki Soba“, a free service you’ll find at all Dormy Inns.

Once you’re bathed and fed, you can slip into the inn’s comfy room wear — another nice perk you’d expect to find at a ryokan rather than a Dormy Inn.

▼ Checking the fridge revealed free bottles of water and apple jelly, which was incredibly delicious.

The bed was super comfy, giving Maro a fantastic night’s sleep, and when she awoke the next morning, she had even more to look forward to, in the form of breakfast.

▼ One of the best features of the hotel is said to be the breakfast venue and the food it serves.

“Hagoromo Saryo” (“Heavenly Robe Cafe”) was the beautiful name given to this breakfast venue, and when Maro stepped inside, she was curious to see if the dishes served here were better than a regular Dormy Inn.

▼ The first thing to catch her eye was the display of golden boxes, which gave her a sense of déjà vu because…

▼…these boxes were the same as the ones served at the Premium Dormy Inn at Ginza, where she’d stayed previously.

Known as “Seafood Tamatebako“, these boxes contain a high-quality selection of delicious dishes, which are a level above what you’d get at a regular Dormy Inn.

▼ Another highlight is the beef hotpot, made with Harima beef from Hyogo Prefecture.

There were so many great options to choose from that Maro filled up on as many as she could, trying delights such as chawanmushi (steamed savoury egg custard), firefly squid, and fresh tofu.

▼ Breakfast of kings, or should we say shogun.

Maro decided to add some of the ingredients from the tamatebako to her beef pot to create a hybrid meat-and-seafood dish, and it turned out to be incredibly delicious.

Because the food is served buffet-style, you can get unlimited refills of everything, and though Maro wanted to grab another tamatebako, her stomach wouldn’t stretch that far, so she settled for two bowls of rice instead.

▼ Yet again, quality this good is something you’d usually find at a ryokan inn rather than a Dormy Inn.

Those who aren’t staying on a breakfast-inclusive plan can add on a breakfast for 2,300 yen (US$14.53), which is standard at Dormy Inn Premiums, and a very good deal for what you get.

▼ And did she mention that the hallway leading to the breakfast venue is also like something you’d see in a ryokan?

Thinking about it, Maro realised that the tatami flooring played a big part in making this feel like a luxury ryokan rather than a business hotel, as it allowed the Japanese-style features to blend seamlessly together .

▼ Even the shoe lockers are beautiful.

Before her stay, Maro had a preconceived notion that this would be a hotel aimed at foreign visitors, but rather than finding a garish display of “cool Japan” iconography throughout the building, it had the authentic feel of a Japanese inn, which was pleasantly surprising. In fact, when she was there, she saw that a lot of the guests were Japanese people, and they seemed to be just as impressed with the setup as she was.

▼ While this photo spot at the front of the hotel does have a lot of Japanese icons, it’s done in a way that’s reminiscent of a retro arcade in a Japanese hot spring town.

As of this writing, Onyado Nono Asakusa Bettei is Dormy Inn’s newest hotel so it’s been attracting attention both domestically and internationally. After staying there, Maro would highly recommend it to anyone looking for traditional Japanese accommodation at reasonable prices — a triple room for three people works out to be 17,672 yen ($111.60) per person per night — and if you’re looking for a Japanese-styled capsule hotel, she recommends Resol Poshtel nearby.

Hotel information
Onyado Nono Asakusa Bettei / 御宿 野乃浅草 別邸
Address: Tokyo-to, Taito-ku, Asakusa 2-7-26

Photos © SoraNews24
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