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Brian W
La Fortuna de San Carlos, Costa Rica

Just go

Review of Tensui Saryo
5.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 21 July 2019
Feels like I spent forever and a day trying to research the best onsen ryokan for a trip to Hakone. After my last ryokan experience, where the entire ryokan smelled like a thousand year old foot, I've become obsessive over the research component. I've suffered crippling self doubt over whether there's a private bathroom. It's a genuine roller coaster of surfing reviews and studying pictures. If you feel the same, just book Tensui Saryo and go.

Everything here was excellent. We wanted for nothing during our weekend getaway. The service is impeccable. From the moment you set foot inside, they bring you to the foot bath bar and offer you a glass of sparkling wine. Then we chose times to book our complimentary private bath and hot stone bath. The level of service is so good that when we finished, we found they had turned our shoes around so we didn't have to fuss with putting them on, Admittedly, we skipped dinner and went to Itoh by Nobu up the street so I can't comment on the dinner. But everything else was just amazing.

Also, I'm a coffee fanatic and the combination of a burr grinder and a long goose neck water kettle in the room made for a fantastic pour over: miles above the crappy coffee I've had in, I dunno, every hotel room I've stayed in ever. The fact that I could grind it while sitting in my own private balcony onsen bath is just gravy.

Seriously, just go.
Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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The listings of booking offers for each property take into account the compensation paid to us by our partners. Prices shown may be for varying room types. Prices displayed are the lowest available, corresponding to the least expensive room type available, as provided from our partners as of the time of the user’s search.
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Reviewed 13 July 2019 via mobile

Lovely entrance and welcome drink, but all downhill from there. Advertised WiFi through out property but the WiFi in my room didn’t work at all. Then, as I was lying on the bed trying to connect to WiFi I got a rash from the pillow! Where the pillow touched my skin it had gone bright red! Never has this happened before in my life. I immediately sent photos to a friend who is a consultant physician who advised either dust mites or a very toxic detergent. Obviously not possible to sleep in the bed. I checked out and into the Hyatt straight away. That was far better, no dust mites and perfect WiFi. The Manager however apologized when I left and said he’d never had any issues with the WiFi or pillows before. Now I’ve read some of the other reviews here I can see other people have complained. Hugely overpriced and awful experience.

Date of stay: July 2019
Trip type: Travelled solo
2  Thank Travels_No_Baggage
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 26 June 2019 via mobile

First the positives. This was my first stay at a Japanese traditional hotel. As you entered the hotel you get to pick your traditional clothes. There is a nice reception area and a bar where you can soak your feet in hot water as you have a drink. Our room was excellent. There was outdoor hot water bath. Room was large and bathroom was also nice. There was a device that looked like a hybrid baby bottle warmer/ rice Cooker. We have no idea why it was there. There was a Tv but all channels were Japanese. Internet was so so but not bad. There were four sets of shoes, one for the private hot bath area, one for toilet, one to walk around outside the room and one to walk inside the room! There was a strange looking coffee maker with coffee beans. There was beer, water and soft drinks in the room that was free. I would say the arrangement was nice indeed. Now the negative. You judge a hotel by the quality of staff and their willingness to work with the guest. We had our evening Japanese meal which was underwhelming primarily because of our taste buds. Unfortunately they failed in that department. We did not want to waste food so we opted not to eat at the restaurant. Staff member on evening shift (short haired overweight gentleman) evasive when asked if they could accommodate some of our guests who could not stand the smell of Japanese food to no avail. He simply did not care and seemed to be miffed. He could have told us that they ddI have Darjeeling tea and milk. He lied and said there was no milk! Next day when I complained to the young lady the following morning milk and cereals appeared for breakfast for two of our guests. Japanese breakfast was excellent. The young lady got us one, just one non Japanese tea bag. I have to admit that we were all at fault for not anticipating the Japanese dinner but so it goes.

Date of stay: June 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank Nishendu
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 11 May 2019

We spent one night in a third-floor tatami room which had its own onsen (hot tub) on the balcony. The view across the valley to a tree-covered hillside was great, and even better while soaking in the tub. The room was large (11 or 12 mats), and the en suite bathroom was also large and clean. The ryokan provided two beers and two ciders for free in the little refrigerator. Our kaiseki breakfast featured many little dishes, almost all of which we enjoyed; the grilled fish was particularly good. The staff was friendly and helpful, though there was one small misunderstanding that took 3 or 4 minutes to clear up. We've stayed at four or five ryokan in different locations over the past few years, and enjoyed this one the most. Out of the way, high on a mountain in Hakone; but if you are making the loop, it's a great place to rest.

Room tip: Ask for one of the rooms with its own onsen (hot tub).
Date of stay: May 2019
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank Stu_Mann
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 13 April 2019 via mobile

Let me first caveat, finding a highly reviewed, onsen-focused Ryokan that offers the authentic Japanese experience is very difficult. Online descriptions, photos don’t do your search any justice nor provide the confidence to book— let me tell Tensui is the quintessential experience.

From the moment you arrive, selecting a traditional Yakuto to wear during your stay, to a traditional Japanese style guestroom (always opt for the Japenese vs Western), great design and beautiful views of Sakura’s outside your window and a very cool foot onsen bar— we absolutely loved the seclusion, privacy and general stillness of Gora and Tensui! The hotel is modern, clean and everything you need - not rustic or dirty by any means!

If you don’t want to splurge on an onsen in your guest room room balcony, you can reserve a private onsen upon arrival which can be enjoyed solo or for couples on the 4th floor. This was just as good.

The public onsen was a nice touch, we happened to go when no one was there (sexes are separated) so it felt like your own experience, which we enjoyed thoroughly. Typically dinner and breakfast are included in the rate, make sure you get the dinner — it’s a wonderful 8-course experience and we had an outstanding vegetarian meal prepared which consisted of vegetarian / tofu hotpot, pickled vegetables, tempura, two different types of soup (one miso) and rice (by request). It was satisfying and put us right to bed.

Kaoru was a great host during our stay, she made us feel warm and welcomed even though there was a language barrier we were able to communicate well.

Note they are very strict on their check-in and check out times, there is no vegetarian breakfast available and service lacks 5-star luxury training but you are paying for a Ryokan experience not the Four Seasons :)

We would definitely be back for longer, if you get a chance definitely take the Gondola to the lake for beautiful views of Mount Fuji

Date of stay: April 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
2  Thank young221
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed 8 April 2019 via mobile

We were booked into this hotel through Inside Japan as they planned our trip. I had mentioned to the representative that we would try a ryokan as long as it had a proper bed. This should have tipped her off that we were not looking to have a complete Japanese experience. All the other hotels we were booked into were Hyatt’s and Conrad Tokyo, definitely a different cup of tea. When we arrived we were given traditional Japanese robes and slippers and were asked to dress in them while in the hotel. Once escorted to our room we were told to remove our shoes before stepping into the room. The facility was very clean but has no Western feel. I think there was only 1 other non-Asian couple in the hotel while we were there. Our first night was an adventure at dinner and while there was a lot of food, it was served very differently than we would have liked. For instance, the rice, the only starch of the meal, was plain white rice served with pickled vegetables at the end of the meal, whereas we are used to it being an accompaniment. Our first morning we went downstairs and when they served us a true Japanese breakfast without any western food or coffee I was shocked. Not at the ryokan but at the tour operator for sending us here. The hotel was quite gracious the second night at dinner and brought me my rice with my meal. They also brought us other food to insure we had enough to eat. One note, I have a food intolerance which they were made aware of but messed up by serving me incorrectly. When I questioned them they apologized and took it away. The staff did what they could but the choice of accommodation was not right for us. Moral of the story, if you want to truly experience a ryokan that the Japanese stay at then this is a lovely place. If you need to have some Western comforts then keep looking. There is a Hyatt nearby that would have been better suited for me.

Date of stay: March 2019
Trip type: Travelled as a couple
1  Thank choco_nut_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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