Hidden in the quiet, residential streets of Kanazawa, the Sainoniwa is a homely, comfortable hotel – very much a modern-take on a traditional Japanese abode, and blissfully unlike anywhere else in town. Public baths are available to relax in, with views of the impeccably well-manicured gardens, and you can continue to unwind – post-dip – in one of the many lounge areas throughout the property. The hotel will even give you an ice lolly to cool you down after the hot springs have worked their magic… and it’s the little touches like this that make the Sainoniwa a real favourite of ours.
As with archetypal Japanese houses, twin beds are the norm here – though a few diminutive double rooms are dotted across the hotel’s three floors. Luckily these ‘single’ beds are of a generous size, and few guests seem to mind having a bed to themselves for a few evenings. All rooms enjoy subtle decor, muted colours and light wood furnishings, with larger options having a living area too – in keeping with the unpretentious, ‘Japanese house’ feel of the hotel.
The restaurant dishes out wonderful breakfasts each morning, but does not serve meals at other times of the day. A scheduled free shuttle bus can take you to the grandiose Kanazawa Station, where there are dining choices aplenty, but this will be a 15 to 20 minute walk (or an inexpensive taxi ride) if you wish to stick to your own timetable. Despite it’s marginally inconvenient location, the Sainoniwa is a welcoming sanctuary when visiting this vibrant and fascinating city.