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Mandarin Oriental announces second Japanese location with a trio of new resorts around Setouchi

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced the development of three distinctive boutique properties in Japan, branded as Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi, strategically located around the picturesque Seto Inland Sea. Set to launch between 2027 and 2030, the three resorts, crafted by the finest Japanese artisans, often using centuries old techniques, are set to represent a new benchmark in luxury hospitality while honouring the region’s remarkable traditions and history.

Few global destinations can match the unique charm of Japan’s Setouchi, with its sublime landscapes and seascapes, serene tranquil beauty, a fascinating history with age-old traditions, a profound connection with art, crafts, culture and elegant cuisine. The gateway resort is easily accessible, located adjacent to Takamatsu station and just a 30-minute drive from Takamatsu airport.

Laurent Kleitman, Group Chief Executive, explains: “Setouchi is a unique part of a special country, beloved by discerning and curious global travellers. This relatively undiscovered region of Japan will excite our fans as they explore its different and remarkable facets, particularly as each of our three resorts channels its own distinct character, environment and purposeful, carefully curated experiences.”

“Our elevated properties are set to add to the region’s luxury landscape and offer an unparalleled, sustainability-focused opportunity for guests – especially for lovers of art and nature – to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of this captivating part of Japan. This announcement also underlines that the Group remains focused on growing its portfolio across the country with truly unique, high-end experience-driven hospitality,” added Kleitman.

Takeshi Fuke, President of the development company of Takamatsu and Naoshima properties stated, “As developers with a rich experience in hospitality and tourism we are excited to be creating the first two components of the overall resort – the boutique hotels in Takamatsu and Naoshima. We look forward to collaborating with Mandarin Oriental who are renowned for providing legendary hospitality to their guests. We aim to meticulously design the properties, immersing them in the unique setting of each location and promoting a circular journey for guests to experience the key attractions in Shikoku and Setouchi.”

Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi at Takamatsu, opening in 2027. This 92-room urban resort is situated on the harbour front of Takamatsu, the capital city of Kagawa prefecture known as the gateway to Setouchi and the perfect place for guests to embark on their journey of discovery. It sits just a 30-minute drive from Takamatsu Airport which accommodates domestic and international flights from major Asian hubs, while Japan’s JR rail network also provides convenient train access from Takamatsu.

With panoramic water views, the resort will be ideally placed for exploring the Seto Inland Sea and wider region by boat, while distinctive restaurants and bars as well as comprehensive spa and wellness facilities also feature at the property.

Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi at Naoshima, opening in 2027. This 22-room contemporary Japanese ryokan is set in a picturesque fishing village, on a site that has been the residence of the established Miyake clan for over 800 years. Ryokan-style guest suites and villas will be located in a new main building and also in three village houses, while private terraces and gardens will help ensure that the resort delivers an authentically local, culturally rich experience.

Naoshima is one of Setouchi’s best-known islands, thanks to its wealth of artistic treasures curated since the late 1980’s by Benesse Holdings, Inc. and the Fukutake Foundation.

Highlights include Monet’s “Water Lilies” series at Chichu Art Museum, a masterpiece designed by the legendary architect Tadao Ando, or Yayoi Kusama’s iconic “Pumpkin” sculptures. The island is scattered with Ando’s acclaimed works, including ANDO MUSEUM, while every three years the internationally-acclaimed contemporary art festival, The Setouchi Triennale, seamlessly integrates art installations, exhibitions, and performances.

The third property, which aims to open in 2030 on a separate island, will feature 50 guest rooms with fully immersive wellness experiences. Further details of this will be announced in due course.

Private yacht tour

To link the three new properties, and to add to the overall experience, Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi will curate an unparalleled cruise for guests to travel between the sites on board a private yacht. This distinctive concept, the first of its kind for Mandarin Oriental, will immerse guests in the diverse attractions and beautiful landscapes of each island, offering a truly unforgettable journey.

Design of Takamatsu and Naoshima properties

Driven by sustainability, the design of Mandarin Oriental, Setouchi will respect and celebrate the region’s natural beauty and rich heritage. Working in collaboration with local artisans, the renowned Design Studio SPIN has been appointed as the interior designer and design architect, ensuring that local materials and practices will be incorporated throughout the overall aesthetic. Yamashita Sekkei and Takenaka Corporation will serve as the lead architect, crafting spaces that harmonise with their surroundings, while SOLA Associates will lend their expertise as the Landscape Architect.