Nestled between the sea and the mountains of Southwestern Japan, the coastal resort town of Beppu and its network of 2,000 hot springs, powered by eight major geothermal hot spots, has become a magnet for lovers of onsen.
Now there's another reason to visit: this week's opening of the ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa. Located within the region's Oita Prefecture, the InterContinental promises sophisticated travellers a 'unique fusion of traditional hot spring culture' along with the InterContinental's 'world-class service'.
The hotel's 89 guest rooms, including ten suites, range from 62 sqm to 212 sqm in size and include large onsens.
The spaces are designed with natural materials for a sense of relaxation while incorporating traditional resources from various parts of Kyushu.
All suites and Club InterContinental rooms feature private open-air baths on the terrace along with sweeping views of Beppu Bay.
It's all about the hot springs in Beppu, and the resort offers two large outdoor onsens with an arrangement of Beppu stones placed to create a waterfall effect.
Private onsen rooms offer a modern experience complete with a day bed. The heart of the InterContinental is an iconic infinity pool with views overlooking Beppu's hot springs below.
In conjunction with the Thai spa brand HARNN, the resort spa offers a selection of treatments and therapies to rejuvenate the body and mind. There's five treatment rooms with private ensuites, plus two massage rooms with a jacuzzi made from Japanese cypress.
Fine dining isn't forgotten here either: Atelier blends French and international cuisine with high-quality local ingredients, and all-day dining is at Elements, offering a variety of Japanese and Western dishes.
The Bar features whisky and Japanese shochu, plus original cocktails with Beppu's unique citrus fruits.
Aqua is the pool-side bar and The Lounge offers a more traditional and authentic afternoon tea experience.
This new hotel is one of four InterContinental resorts opening in 2019, with Beppu joining Hayman Island, Maldives and Phuket.
The ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa is part of IHG Rewards Club, so you can earn and redeem points for stays at this luxury hotel. Rates start at ¥60,000 (A$803) or 60,000 IHG Points per night.
InterContinental Ambassador members should also be able to use their complimentary weekend night certificate as part of a two-night weekend stay, as long as there is availability in a standard room.