Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced the joint venture of a Hyatt affiliate and Kiraku to launch a collection of modern-style hot spring ryokans (Japanese-style inn) in Japan targeting global travellers under the new hospitality brand, ATONA.
Hyatt and Kiraku will each own 50 per cent of ATONA and will leverage the expertise and strengths of both companies to develop this new offering. It will be managed independently by a team of experienced hospitality experts who have a deep understanding of both Japanese culture and international hotel standards.
The ATONA brand will express the unique charm of each region’s architecture, design, cuisine, activities, and hospitality through the ryokan experience. Centred around the onsen (hot spring), a treasured part of Japanese culture, the ryokans will be modernised and set among breath-taking landscapes, offering new experiences and discoveries both within and beyond the ryokan that are special to its locale.
A combination of two old Japanese words that means “me and you”, ATONA is an expression of deep connection. The brand will offer bespoke experiences and Japanese hospitality, inspiring guests to embrace nature in a peaceful setting, and reconnect with oneself.
Kou Sundberg, founder and CEO of Kiraku said: “Through the building of hot spring ryokans under the ATONA brand across the country, we hope these ryokans will provide guests, both local and from abroad, a special place to experience the still unseen wonders of Japan, while also positively impacting local economies.”
Sam Sakamura, Hyatt’s vice president, Japan and Micronesia, added: “We believe that the five essential elements for inbound tourism are food, culture, history, safety, and transportation infrastructure, and as a highly sought-after tourist destination, Japan exceeds in each of these categories.
“Through our strong collaboration with Kiraku on the ATONA brand, the joint venture will build on the unique, personalised experience of traditional Japanese ryokans, which have been loved by locals for centuries, and make them accessible to inbound travellers, many of whom have never experienced staying in a ryokan before.”
Development plans are currently under way to unveil the collection of ATONA-branded ryokans beginning in 2025.