If you try to finish sightseeing in Naoshima in one day, you will need to be quick about it, as there are many art pieces to see on this small island. Rather, it is worth staying on the island overnight, allowing for more time and an overall better experience. Benesse House has a hotel with four lodging facilities integrated within the museum. The corridors and the lounge of the hotel, as well as the guest rooms, are decorated with an abundance of contemporary art pieces. Two of the hotel facilities on the hill, the “Museum” and "Oval” are directly connected to the museum, while the other two, “Park”and “Beach” are located along the coast, somewhat separated from the museum.
They were all designed by Tadao Ando. The relatively simple interior, which avoids too much decoration, effectively enhances the art pieces and the coastal scenery. Guests can have meals at the Japanese restaurant “Issen”, situated in the “Museum” and the terrace restaurant “Etoile de la mer” in the “Park”, which also includes the “Park Lounge”. A guests-only shuttle bus operates between the wings.
This facility provides the quickest access to the art on display as it is directly connected to the museum: the guestroom leads directly into the museum. All guest rooms have large bay windows facing to the Seto Inland Sea and as a backdrop, one can enjoy the drawings, paintings and block prints that the museum has on display. Indulge in the knowledge that you are actually staying in a museum where, looking down from the window, you can see the rest of the museum and the outdoor art pieces.
This facility is located higher up on the hill from “Museum”. The oval-shaped building was specially designed and includes only six guest rooms. A monorail dedicated to guests brings you up through the bush to the facility, where only guests are allowed to enter. The guest rooms are arranged to surround an oval water garden at the center – highly enjoyable for fans of Tadao Ando. All of the rooms have a good view of the Seto Inland Sea and contemporary art pieces. The roof of the building is covered entirely withgreenery, and for which there is a 360 degree panoramic view. During night time, entirely different scenery unfolds. The “Oval bar”, reserved for guests, opens during the weekends (Thursday, Friday and Saturday). It is pure happiness to sip original cocktails while observing artworks such as "Yellow Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama and other pieces by Richard Long and Louise Nevelson.
This hotel facility, situated in a lawn park that continues to the beach, is a wooden architecture, which is unusual for Tadao Ando’s work. Looking out from the guest room windows, there is a good view of outdoor art pieces, with a backdrop of the small islands on the Seto Inland Sea and the mountains of Shikoku beyond them. "Park” also houses a lounge reserved for hotel guests and several art spaces, where a number of pieces including “Coffin of Light” by Hiroshi Sugimoto and “Rose” by Suda Yoshihiro are on display. One of the hotel restaurants, “Etoile de la mer”, is conveniently located at “Park”, as are shops, the spa and a shuttle bus between hotel facilities. The famous “Yellow Pumpkin” by Yayoi Kusama is also installed nearby.
Walking past the pumpkin artwork by Yayoi Kusama, you will find “Beach”, a hotel facility located along the coast, only a few meters away from the water's edge. The guest rooms' balconies are literally on the water. All of the guest rooms are suites and features larger closets for guests who stay long term. “Beach” is adjacent to “Park" and as such, “Etoile de la mer”, shops, the spa and the shuttle bus stop is conveniently situated nearby.
5．SPECIAL BENEFITS FOR HOTEL GUESTS
The accommodation rate includes the admission fee to the Benesse House Museum. Admission allows for multiple visits and hotel guests can come back to see their favorite artworks up to 23:00, even after other visitors to the museum have left. In addition, hotel guests can join the Benesse House Museum Gallery Tour and Park Art Tour, which is held once a day free of charge. Another benefit is the bathing experience at the “Cultural Melting Bath,” an artwork produced by Cai Guo-Qiang, which is situated along the coast near the Benesse House Museum, and which is reserved for hotel guests only. Hotel guests can enter Chichu Art Museum, Lee Ufan Museum, the House Project and Ando Museum as many times as they want while staying at the hotel, allowing for more flexible planning of their visit.
INFORMATION - BENESSE HOUSE
[Address] Gotanji, Naoshima, Kagawa County, Kagawa 761-3110
[Access] Benesse House guest shuttle buses are available according to a schedule that matches the departure and arrival times of the ferry at Miyanoura Port in Naoshima.
[Official Website] http://benesse-artsite.jp/en/stay/benessehouse/