OSAKA (June 27, 2023) – As Zentis Osaka marks its third anniversary next month, the Tara Bernerd-designed property is taking its first bold steps onto the international stage.
After making its debut during pandemic lockdowns in 2020, and following Japan’s lifting of all travel restrictions last month, Palace Hotel Co., Ltd.’s first lifestyle hotel is forging ahead into the post-pandemic world with a new general manager at the helm, a new stay package and a host of cultural activities that have been cultivated since opening.
The hotel’s new ‘Zentis Welcome’ package was designed for independent travelers seeking convenience and flexibility during their stay. Package elements include:
- Two nights of accommodation
- Choice of early check-in (from 10:00 am onwards) or late check-out (until 6:00 pm)
- Daily breakfast at UPSTAIRZ Lounge, Bar, Restaurant
- JPY 5,000 F&B credit for use at UPSTAIRZ (during stay)
- A complimentary welcome beverage from the Guest Lounge’s self-service selection, including local craft beers and ginger ale made with locally sourced mineral water.
The package will be available to book beginning July 1 for stays from July 15 onwards, with rates starting at JPY 64,400 based on single occupancy, inclusive of taxes and service charge.
“We believe we have a unique story to tell when it comes to our design, our connection to the local art scene and also in how we’re raising the bar when it comes to what it means to be a select-service property,” said Mikio Akiyama, the new general manager of Zentis Osaka. Akiyama brings with him a wealth of experience working for global hotel chains as well as, most recently, in senior roles at Palace Hotel Tokyo.
The interior design of the 16-story, contemporary build was fashioned by Bernerd and her team at Tara Bernerd & Partners, the group behind the design of a number of trendy, upscale hotels such as SIXTY SoHo New York, Thompson Chicago and The Hari in London and Hong Kong. The overall vibe shimmers out of Osaka’s urban landscape and industrial heritage, with exposed brick and wooden beams throughout the public spaces. The Osaka hotel is the first property in what’s shaping up to be a distinctive, upscale lifestyle hotel brand.
The interiors of the 212 guestrooms and suites adhere to a more Japanese style, with a crisp, natural color palette and clever utilization of space that’s visually akin to a bento box, with their modular design. Palace Hotel Co., Ltd.’s penchant for green spaces and natural light, even in the heart of a bustling metropolis, is evident. Native foliage encircles the building whose lofty spaces and outdoor terraces do much to marry the inside with the outside.
Zentis Osaka has also re-invented the self-service laundry facility into a stylish hangout spot that encourages guests to do more than just refresh their wardrobes. Room 001, as it’s known, was designed as a space that guests could visit as they prepare for their day or evening out – whether in town for business or leisure. There’s a ‘fragrance bar’ at which to enjoy a spritz from an array of perfumes and colognes handpicked each season by a fragrance advisor, a shoe-shining corner where Mr. Ooka, a master polisher, uses Jack Daniels to achieve an unparalleled glow (advance bookings required), and seating on which to enjoy a cup of freshly brewed Nespresso coffee.
Downstairs, the lobby-level Guest Lounge that’s outfitted with a stylish communal table, cozy sofas and tables, chic banquettes and a double-sided fireplace also offers spaces at which to rest or work – both indoors and outdoors.
The property’s all-day dining venue, UPSTAIRZ, features a restaurant with open kitchen, a lofty lounge for light bites and Instagram-worthy afternoon tea, an outdoor terrace dressed in verdant greens, and a hip bar with sophisticated tinctures brewing behind the counter for use in original cocktails.
In line with Zentis’ concept of offering ‘Encounters of a New Kind’, UPSTAIRZ Lounge is also the backdrop for some of the hotel’s cultural pursuits. These include its ‘Salon de Zentis’ series in collaboration with acclaimed music producer Naoki Tachikawa, where legendary musicians are celebrated on the anniversary of their passing with a special course menu followed by an engaging talk against the soundtrack of their greatest hits. Jim Morrison and Brian Jones are on deck for July, followed by Miles Davis in September.
The hotel has also launched the ‘Zentis Craftsmanship’ series, working with local artisans so guests can enjoy hands-on experiences. The first of these events featured Tokyo-based coffee roaster and artisan Wani Nakagawa, who spoke about how to truly capture the coffee experience during his workshop on how to hand-roast and hand-drip coffee from fresh beans. More recently, the series featured Osaka-based artist Takehito Kobayashi, who introduced guests to the Japanese art of kintsugi – the restoration of damaged objects by beautifying imperfections with ‘golden mending’.
With art and design at the core of the brand, Zentis Osaka has also established partnerships with art museums, including one in conjunction with a pop-up Banksy exhibition, and another with the Nakanoshima Museum of Art to spotlight its Modigliani exhibition. The hotel is located within walking distance to Nakanoshima, an islet that’s become the city’s de facto art hub. Several popular destinations are situated on its three-kilometer-long stretch, including Tadao Ando’s Nakanoshima Children’s Book Forest, which opened the same month as Zentis Osaka.
“While our hotel is an ideal hub for exploring neighboring cities such as Kyoto, Nara and Kobe, Osaka is an increasingly sought-after destination in its own right,” remarked Akiyama. “Being chosen as the host city for the World Expo in 2025 is one example of how Osaka’s gaining recognition on the global stage. And with our local insights, unique offerings, great location and flexible stay packages, we hope to play a meaningful part in our guests’ memorable experiences of Japan.”
ABOUT ZENTIS OSAKA
Zentis Osaka is the debut property of Palace Hotel Group’s Zentis label, a brand with designs on raising the bar on select-service hospitality. Sixteen stories tall, the contemporary build features interiors by internationally renowned UK design firm Tara Bernerd & Partners and a pedigree that stems from the award-winning Palace Hotel Tokyo – the independent, homegrown brand that has redefined luxury Japanese hospitality.
Subtly edgy, wonderfully Japanese and naturally resplendent, the 212-room hotel pays homage to a city known for its industrious charm with an industrial chic look and laid-back feel. Osaka’s first addition to the bespoke collection of Design Hotels features local design touches, including shigaraki-yaki bedside tables crafted in the kilns of Shiga, shodo-inspired wallpaper installations and contemporary works by a local artist.
The dining concept at UPSTAIRZ – the hotel’s lounge, bar and restaurant – was conceived by a team with a Michelin-star track record and features a menu with Japanese and French influences.
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