Hotels in Kobe, Japan

by Steven Blum

Located on a hillside facing the sea, Kobe is the sixth-largest city in Japan. Famous for its restaurant scene, thriving nightlife and cosmopolitan flair, it is sometimes referred to as the Paris of Japan. Many of Kobe's hotels cater to business travelers and have little ambience. But several hotels in the city boast views of the harbor and Mount Rokko, two of Kobe's most recognizable landmarks, and noteworthy interior decor.

Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel

Each room in the Kobe Meriken Park Oriental Hotel has a balcony with views of Meriken Park, the harbor and Kobe's city center. Rooms are furnished in warm warm and inviting tones, and upper-tier rooms come with aromatherapy kits. The pool and sundeck are modeled after those found on luxury cruise ships and offer views of the Kobe harbor. A sushi bar, lounge, Japanese restaurant and a steak house are on-site. A free shuttle provides service to the Sannomiya train station.

Hotel Okura Kobe

With five restaurants, a bar, two indoor tennis courts, and a heated indoor lap pool, the 35-story Hotel Okura Kobe offers more facilities and amenities than many Kobe hotels. Located on the waterfront, the hotel is close to most of the city's major tourist attractions, including Merikin Park, the Kobe City Museum and Chinatown. More expensive rooms offer views of the harbor and Mount Rokko. The hotel has five on-site restaurants, serving French, Japanese and Chinese cuisines.

Hotel Monterey

The Hotel Monterey is a nautically-themed boutique hotel in downtown Kobe, just a couple of blocks from the Sannomiya train and bus stations. This hotel features hardwood flooring, heavy-beamed ceilings and an old-world European feel. Rooms have natural wood furniture, wardrobes, wooden shudders and tiled bathrooms. Some of the rooms overlook the Ikutu Shinto Shrine -- one of the oldest in the world. Amenities include an on-site restaurant and in-room massages.

Kobe Portopia Hotel

Located near Universal Studios Japan, the Portopia is a high-rise hotel with views of Osaka Bay and Wakayama peninsula. There are a bevy of eating options here, including six Japanese restaurants, a French restaurant, a Chinese restaurant and a lounge. Facilities include both indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court and two saunas. Relatively large rooms -- by Japanese standards -- have flat-screen TVs, spacious work areas and broadband Internet access.

About the Author

Based in Seattle, Steven Blum has been writing about arts and culture since 2002. His articles have appeared in "The Stranger" and "The Seattle Post-Intelligencer" newspapers. For two years, he served as Seattle city guide editor for New York's "Blackbook Magazine." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Washington.