ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki

by Mandy Bartok
Japan Travel

Want to get away?? Feel the need to be pampered on a subtropical Japanese island? Then book your next vacation at the ANA Intercontinental Resort in Ishigaki, one of Japan’s southernmost islands. From the rooms to the food to the on-site beach, you’ll be tempted to never leave the grounds during your stay.

The ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki sits on the southern tip of the island, a short drive from the new airport and just on the outskirts of the island’s eponymous main town. The hotel itself is a tiered white structure, featuring two smaller wings around a garden and a tower where the rooms all have balconies and ocean front views. The rooms themselves are spacious, featuring either twin or king beds, and have ample area to move about and relax. The bathrooms feature both showers and deep soaking tubs. A plate of island-grown fruit (like pineapple, starfruit and dragon fruit) is provided on arrival and the staff will come and cut it up for you at any point during your stay.

The hotel features numerous on-site restaurants, from a laid-back bistro style eatery to high-class Chinese to a sushi bar highlighting Ishigaki’s excellent tuna sashimi. In the Japanese restaurant, you can find many island specialties, such as Yaeyama soba (named after the island group where Ishigaki is located) with slabs of local pork and jimami-dofu, a creamy peanut-based tofu dish. For breakfast, two different buffet choices are offered, one with typical Japanese dishes and one featuring a few more Western options.

One of the best things about the resort is the water activities. A huge pool complex sprawls over the front lawn of the resort, with a water slide a waterfall and a shallow section for younger guests to play. A cement path leads from the pool through landscaped gardens down to the beach. An area of the ocean is roped off specifically for guests to swim in and is surveyed by life guards daily until 6 pm. The white sand is perfect for castle building or digging, and chairs and umbrellas are provided for guests who prefer to stay out of the subtropical sun.

Should you want to get away from the creature comforts, Ishigaki island offers many opportunities for exploration, from hiking to snorkeling to kayaking through mangroves. It's a vacation you're sure to remember long after you return home.

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