December 1, 2023

Alex o'Loughlin

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Hyatt and Kiraku Reveal New Brand Under Joint Venture – Hotel Magazine

Hyatt and Kiraku Reveal New Brand Under Joint Venture – Hotel Magazine

The new hospitality brand, ATONA, will showcase the distinctive culture, history, and environment of each of its destinations in Japan through a modernised hot spring ryokan experience.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation and Kiraku, Inc. (Kiraku), a Hyatt affiliate, have entered into a strategic joint venture that will debut a collection of modern-style hot spring ryokans (Japanese-style inn) across Japan, targeting globetrotters under the new brand, ATONA. Hyatt and Kiraku will both own fifty percent of the joint venture and will leverage the expertise and strengths of both companies to develop this new offering.

According to the recent Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI 2021) published by the World Economic Forum, Japan is the number one tourist destination out of 117 countries and regions. Each area in Japan is home to an incredibly unique culture and landscape, many of yet to still be explored by the world. Leveraging the interest of global travellers to the country, the ATONA brand will express the distinct 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 built by the joint venture will flaunt a contemporary style. Nestled amongst breathtaking landscapes, each will offer new experiences and discoveries within and beyond the ryokan that are special to its locale.

“ATONA” is a combination of two old Japanese words (吾汝) that means “me and you”, symbolising deep connection. The ATONA brand experience will deliver bespoke experiences and warm Japanese hospitality away from the bustle of everyday life, inspiring guests to discover the profound wisdom hidden within nature and reconnect with themselves.

Rooted in the rich history, culture, and people of the location, guests will be able to experience encounters and meaningful exchanges with other travellers, build connections with the local community and contribute to the revitalisation of the region.

“We are thrilled to announce this new hot spring ryokan brand, ATONA, through our joint venture with Kiraku, that will showcase Japan’s many attractions and unique experiences to our guests and support the revitalisation of the local economy,” said Sam Sakamura, Hyatt’s vice president Japan and Micronesia. “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.”

One of Japan’s leading designers, Kenya Hara, will join the project as creative director for the ATONA brand. The ATONA brand will also be managed independently by highly experienced hospitality experts who have a deep understanding of Japanese culture and global hotel standards.

Development plans are currently underway to unveil the collection in 2025.