1320 Gora Hakone-machi
Tel: 81 3 3222 1234
As the first international hotel brand in Hakone, the Hyatt Regency stands out among the countless inns in this resort town centered around hot springs, or the onsen. Many of the 79 spacious, muted, stone-and-wood rooms offer both beds and tatami floors, and all are equipped with plasma TVs and other high-tech gadgets. Even the baths—the heart of every onsen inn—are given a modern spin: Guests can go straight from their soak to a massage at the full-service spa. Afterward, they can assemble for cocktails in the hotel's Living Room, an open space set with plush armchairs gathered around a hearth. The only area in which the hotel's well-calibrated East-meets-West mix falters is the food: The hotel has clearly put great effort into its French cuisine, but the Japanese food feels like an afterthought. The service, however, is impeccable, notable even in this culture where the guest is always king.