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Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

Experiencing locality at The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

By Shelley Smith

Becoming a part of Relais & Châteaux’s group of prestigious hotels and restaurants is no easy feat. The rigorous selection process involves multiple screenings and secret inspections by a team of inspectors who evaluate over 500 checkpoints. These inspectors who pose as regular guests focus on impeccable service and cleanliness alongside environmental considerations, and a crucial emotional touch that the hotel must exude to be approved. Once approved, this title isn't permanent. Inspectors will regularly check the establishment every couple of years to ensure they are maintaining their standards.

Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas in Okinawa’s Yomitan Village has been a distinguished member of Relais & Châteaux since 2017. They embody the group's core values of local anchorage, family spirit and authenticity, and signify a commitment to people empowerment, sustainable cuisine and anti-waste practices. While all of this sounds impressive in words, what is it about Uza Terrace that captures the hearts of guests?

A taste of sustainable luxury

Image: Shelley Smith

The Uza Terrace’s commitment to sustainability can be seen through its onsite farm, "Our Farm." Spanning 3,000 square meters and managed by a team of seven hotel farming staff members, the farm supplies the hotel’s fine-dining restaurant, cafe, bar and in-room dining with a variety of vegetables, fruits and over 40 herbs. They utilize natural farming techniques, such as "companion planting" where they grow different types of plants together that prevent harming pests.

Image: Shelley Smith

The hotel's Executive Chef, Masatomo Kina, sources 90% of his ingredients locally or directly from "Our Farm". The fine dining experience he offers is visually stunning, with vibrant vegetables and fruits coloring the various seafood and meat dishes. Chef Kina's visits to the local fish port ensure the freshest catches are served to guests.

Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

For a more casual bite, the hotel’s cafe offers refreshing smoothies, sandwiches and salads made from their farm’s seasonal fruit and vegetables. In-room dining is available for a private, luxurious meal experience, including shabu-shabu (a type of hot pot) with Japanese black wagyu and locally raised pork.

Sunset view from The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas in Okinawa Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

The Bar & Lounge provides the perfect setting to watch breathtaking sunsets while enjoying local rum, tropical cocktails and Okinawa’s famous Awamori, indigenous alcohol made from distilled long-grain Indica rice.

A stay you want to call home

Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

The villa-style accommodations at The Uza Terrace offer a luxurious and spacious retreat that makes it difficult to leave once stepped foot. Each villa features a private pool, and those with two bedrooms or more also include a hot tub. For larger groups, a presidential villa with four rooms is available. The villas are designed with showers that connect to both indoor and outdoor spaces, perfect for a quick rinse after a swim.

Image: Shelley Smith

A personalized touch is expressed with welcome herbs freshly picked for aromatic tea and a plate of seasonal fruits from the onsite farm.

Activities for all

Chef Kina bids on freshly caught seafood for the restaurant during a visit to the Toya Fishing Port. Image: Shelley Smith

A plethora of hotel activities that immerse guests in the local culture and environment are available for all ages. The "Our Farm" tour educates guests on sustainable farming practices and introduces them to unique tropical fruits like the jabuticaba — a fruit that grows directly from the tree’s trunk and tastes like a mix of lychee and grape.

Image: Shelley Smith

Families can enjoy the hotel’s open field with various interactive games and a large community pool that fosters new friendships and cherished memories. For self-care-seeking guests, a gym and aesthetic room are available, offering tailored beauty treatments using natural Okinawan botanicals. The nearby beach, cleaned in a community effort before the hotel's opening, is also just a couple of minutes walk away.

Image: The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

Other activities include SUP (standup paddle boarding) yoga, a magic hour adventure tour, snorkeling at the Kerama Islands, and reef and whale watching from January to March. Guided tours of Yomitan village's historical and cultural sites, like Zakimi Castle Ruins and Yachimun-no Sato (Pottery Village), are available, too. During these tours, guests can engage in pottery and Ryukyu glass-making workshops.

The unforgettable touch

Image: Shelley Smith

The unique blend of kind service with an evident focus on human-centered design and the locality ingrained in The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas creates an unforgettable experience. The comforting ambiance, stunning views and delectable flavors truly make it hard for guests to leave. This is the exceptional hospitality of The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas, and why they were swiftly welcomed into Relais & Châteaux, just a year after opening. They are currently the only member in the whole of Okinawa, a visit here proves why.

Discover more of Relais & Châteaux Japan.

The Uza Terrace Beach Club Villas

630-1 Uza, Yomitan, Nakagami District, Okinawa

How to get there: From Naha Airport, the drive will take you about an hour.

© Japan Today

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