Affordable and Comfortable Business Hotels with Onsen
Hotels in Japan can be categorized as either city hotel or business hotel. The difference between the two is based on the services provided. City hotels offer a variety of services other than lodging; these include restaurants, bars, banquets, weddings and fitness centers. The term “business hotel” is a Japanese expression for what elsewhere is known as an “inn.” Business hotels specialize in lodging, although they have space for food and drink as required by law. Business hotels are frequented by businessmen and other budget customers. The target customer base of business hotels has always been and is still the business traveler. The percentage of business hotels used by tourists, however, is steadily increasing.
The market for business hotels is on the rise and competition is intensifying. Providing value-added services that other hotels can’t offer is now the top priority for business hotels. There are various ways to differentiate business hotels, such as adding value to guest rooms and supplementary facilities, but communal bathing facilities are typically the distinguishing feature these days. Hotels with natural hot spring baths, known as onsen in Japan, are the trend setters in the industry. In the competitive business hotel market, the number of business hotels with onsen is steadily increasing.
The Dormy Inn brand, a pioneer in business hotels with onsen, has become one of the leading business hotel chains in Japan. Dormy Inn is managed and operated by Kyoritsu Maintenance founded in 1979. Kyoritsu initially provided catering services before expanding into the accommodation business. Kyoritsu has operated business hotels and resort hotels across Japan since 1993. Recently, they have expanded their original brands, the Dormy Inn and Kyoritsu Resort, by the addition of “Oyado Nono.” These brands operate across Japan.
Designed with the aim of having guests feel at home, the Dormy Inn hotel brand caters to those looking for an “affordable” and “comfortable” experience. Dormy Inn features local seasonal delicacies and the Japanese hot spring spa style bathing experience. The Oyado Nono concept, one of Kyoritsu Resort brands, combines the high-grade business hotel with traditional Japanese features; it offers onsen and Japanese “Ryokan” style service. Once customers check-in, shoes are removed since the hotel floors and guest rooms are covered with traditional Japanese “tatami” mats.
The dramatic increase in the number of foreign visitors to Japan is changing the clientele of business hotels. Many foreign guests are selecting business hotels based both on affordability and the availability of onsen.