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A Subtropical Escape: Strata Naha, Okinawa


Subtropical islands, palm trees and crystal clear waters are not what immediately spring to mind when you think of Japan. A visit to the southernmost prefecture, Okinawa, challenges everything you thought you knew about the Land of the Rising Sun. We arrived into Okinawa Naha Airport directly from Tokyo and a 15 minute monorail journey later arrived at Strata Naha. ‘Strata’, meaning ‘layer’ in English, combines traditional Ryukyu culture with the charm of modern Okinawa to create a truly unique experience.

Walking into the double height atrium, every detail is considered from the fresh aroma to the welcoming staff that immediately make you feel at home. Our room, equipped with full corner terrace and fully retractable glass wall partitions, was the perfect sanctuary to escape the summer heat. Bespoke furnishings and Okinawan artworks bring to life the hotel’s identity and give a true sense of place. Traditional design elements are evident through soft furnishings using Shuri (首里) woven cloths, lighting fixtures made using Yachimu and Okinawan crafts that have passed through generations.

With the warm island sun spilling into the room each morning, you immediately see the beauty in the unspoilt natural surroundings. Head downstairs and take a seat by the pool for a traditional Okinawan breakfast, served from the hotel’s own Cafe Strata. And after a full day spent on the island, treat yourself to drinks on the top floor Sky Salon, or even better, dinner at the hotel’s in-house Stone Kiln Restaurant, Ayanumu.

Strata Naha is a carefully considered mix of Ryukyu history and contemporary influences; creating the perfect amalgamation of sophistication and simplicity. We left the hotel feeling revitalised and inspired by the down to earth way of island life, and are already looking forward to our next visit.

Getting around
Car rental is almost essential to make the most of a trip to Okinawa; if not only to escape the blistering heat. We kept it simple and booked straight from the airport on arrival. For trips to neighbouring islands, check out the ferry timetable at Tomari Port, or a range of flight options are also available.

Food highlights
You will be spoilt for choice with a plethora of island specialities. Particular favourites of ours were the rafute braised belly pork soba from Shimujyo, brightly coloured guava acai bowls from C&C Breakfast, and freshly baked pizza from Bacar.

Produced in partnership with Strata Naha, Okinawa
Find out more via okinawa-uds.co.jp

Photography by Ben Richards

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