Why IHG's upcoming Japan resort will be unique

Beppu is famous for its onsen spas. Image: ©iStock / SeanPavonePhoto. (Beppu, Japan)

On the southern Japanese island of Kyushu, the city of Beppu is poised to get a new upscale hotel after IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan and GHS K.K. signed a management agreement for the ANA InterContinental Beppu Resort & Spa. 

When it opens in 2019, the resort will be InterContinental Hotels & Resorts' first onsen resort. An onsen is a Japanese hot spring, and the term frequently refers to the bathing facilities and inns that surround the springs. 

The property will also be the first international luxury branded hotel in Ōita Prefecture and is expected to be a key attraction for both Japanese and overseas visitors, catering to the burgeoning luxury traveler segment. The resort will be developed by Tokyo Century Corporation, with the support of Ōita prefecture and Beppu City.

The resort will include a public onsen bath, spa and pool. Each of the 89 guestrooms will include both common and private onsen, supplied with water from a local hot spring. 
“With its natural beauty and more than 2,400 natural springs, Beppu has built a reputation throughout Asia as one of Japan’s most renowned onsen destinations,” Satoru Kondo, president of GHS K.K., said in a statement. GHS has leased the property from Tokyo Century Corporation and engaged IHG ANA to manage the hotel. “We are very focused on further developing the city’s potential as a destination for travelers who seek a world-class luxury resort experiences.”
Ōita Prefecture has become increasingly popular as a tourist destination in recent years, especially for visitors from South Korea, Taiwan and South East Asia, and that is expected to grow as Oita City prepares to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup. 

There are currently 69 InterContinental Hotels and Resorts across Asia, Middle East and Africa, representing over one third of a total 187 of the brand’s properties globally, with 27 in the development pipeline set to open in the coming three to five years.