The Hilton Odawara
You don't know it, but your new ultimate vacation destination is Odawara, Japan, a small town that lies 50 miles from Tokyo on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. That's because the Hilton Odawara Resort & Spa is host to every amenity you could imagine — from ten bowling lanes to an indoor driving range. The challenge of using every single facility during a stay at the resort just became your life goal.
The massive resort complex was first opened in 1997 by the Japanese government with the intention of creating jobs in the area and offering a wellness center for visitors. The Hilton brand — seeing an opportunity in the resort's stunning location and wealth of facilities — took over management of the property in 2004 and finally bought the hotel in 2012. Since then, the property has undergone major renovations that instill the luxury brand's standards across the resort's extensive facilities.
The "Bade Center" Pool Complex
Even the most typical hotel amenity, a pool, is over-the-top. The Hilton Odawara's swimming pool complex actually features 11 types of indoor and outdoor leisure pools, steam rooms, saunas, and a 25-meter lap pool. Don your swimsuit and the traditional Japanese yukata robe that's provided in your room, and head on down via the hotel's third floor corridor that connects conveniently to the complex. Towels and lockers are provided at the pool center's reception, but don't forget to leave your slippers at the locker room door!
Natural Hot Springs
Do not don your swimsuit on your way to the Hilton's traditional Japanese hot springs, though. The hotel's onsen facility is separated by gender and is a place where ages old rituals rule. Leave everything but your small towel in the locker room, and head to the indoor bathing room; you'll shower thoroughly before wading nude into the communal, natural geothermal waters. The hot spring bathhouse features both indoor and outdoor soaking pools, plus saunas and a cold water bath for when things get too steamy.
The Stone Spa
The Stone Spa is a dimly lit room where you can lay your body on warm stones—all in the name of relaxation. The heat here encourages muscle tension relief and incites a sauna-like sweat experience. This facility is available by reservation only so if baking on a stone like a pizza sounds good to you (we'd try anything once), be sure to book.
The Bowling Arcade
The Hilton's ten bowling lanes are served by a mechanized shoe rental system. Simply push the button corresponding to your shoe size and a sliding door will open to reveal your shoes. When you're done, just throw those shoes back into the machine for recycling. BYO two-toed socks.
The bowling lanes — where you're likely to throw strikes with three generations of guests ranging from the ages of 9 to 90 — are backed by arcade games and claw machines.
The hotel also offers synthetic grass tennis courts: two ventilated indoor courts with natural light and two outdoor Pacific-Ocean-view courts, to be exact. Lessons and complimentary equipment rentals are available and reservations are required.
The Indoor Driving Range
Tee off at the Hilton's 27-meter indoor driving range, where even lefties are able to participate on a specially designed lane. This is a particularly popular facility with companies and conferences who also often request that buffets and bars be set up in the range's lobby. The driving range comes complete with club and shoe rentals, but this is one facility where additional charges apply.
The 18-Hole Putting Green
If you're more about the excitement that comes from putting a hole-in-one, step onto the hotel's outdoor, natural grass miniature golf course, which is more family friendly than the driving range and, of course, overlooks the ocean.
Yep — you can practice your badminton skills at the hotel's multi-purpose, 800-square-meter "Hilton Arena The gymnasium facility is also a basketball court and table tennis center. Around the top of the gym? A running track with a state-of-the-art built-in, light-up pace-tracking system. That's not in use, though.
And finally, yes, the Hilton Odawara does feature five private karaoke rooms with a catalogue of thousands of songs ripe for performing, with options in both in Japanese and English. Inclined guests can sing the night away.
The 173 newly renovated guest rooms at the Hilton Odawara are minimally decorated with Japanese accents (like traditional Odawara lanterns and motifs featuring the local black pine tree) and offer comforts catered to both Japanese and foreign guests. Superior Twin rooms feature two (or, potentially, three) beds perched on a low wooden platform which doubles as ocean-view seating, while the hotel's Japanese Western rooms offer both Western-style beds and tatami mats upon which guests can enjoy a traditional night on the floor. Every room at the Hilton Odawara features a view of the Pacific Ocean.
(As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with some discounted services for review purposes. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our Ethics Policy.)