The new brand, ATONA, will showcase the distinctive culture, history and environment of each of its destinations in Japan through a modernized hot spring ryokan experience.
Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE:H) today announced that a subsidiary of Hyatt and Kiraku, Inc. (Kiraku) have entered into a strategic joint venture that will launch a collection of modern-style hot spring ryokans (inn-style Japanese) in Japan targeting global travelers under the new hotel brand ATONA. Hyatt and Kiraku will each own fifty percent of the joint venture and will leverage the expertise and strengths of Hyatt and Kiraku to develop this new offering.
Japan was ranked as the world’s number one tourist destination out of 117 countries and regions according to the recent Travel and Tourism Development Index (TTDI 2021) and released by the World Economic Forum. Each region of Japan is home to an incredibly unique culture and landscape, many of which are still relatively unknown to much of the world. Leveraging global travelers’ interest in the country, the ATONA brand will express the unique charm of each region’s architecture, design, cuisine, activities and hospitality through the experience of the ryokan. Centered around the onsen (hot spring), a treasured part of Japanese culture, the ryokans built by the joint venture will feature a modernized style that will serve as the basis for each guest’s trip to Japan. Set amid breathtaking scenery, each will offer new experiences and discoveries inside and outside the ryokan that are unique to their region.
“ATONA” is the expression of a deep connection: a combination of two old Japanese words (吾汝) which mean “me and you”. The ATONA brand experience will provide tailored experiences and warm Japanese hospitality away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, inspiring guests to feel the deep wisdom hidden in nature and a peaceful place to reconnect with oneself.
Rooted in the region’s rich history, culture, and people, guests will experience meaningful encounters and exchanges with fellow travelers, foster connections with the local community, and contribute to Japan’s regional revitalization.
“Kiraku’s collaboration with Hyatt, a leading global hospitality company, provides an exciting opportunity to experience and share Japan’s unique charms from a global perspective,” said Kou Sundberg, Founder and CEO of Kiraku. “Having roots in both Japan and the United States, I have always been interested in the diverse cultures and landscapes that can be found across Japan, and at Kiraku we have focused on creating “companies that share these treasures with the world. Through the construction of hot spring ryokans under the ATONA brand across the country, we hope that these ryokans will offer guests, local and foreign, a special place to discover the wonders yet unknown. of Japan, while having a positive impact on local economies.
“We are delighted to announce this new brand of spa ryokan, ATONA, through our joint venture with Kiraku, which will introduce Japan’s many unique attractions and experiences to our guests and support the revitalization of the local economy.” , said Sam Sakamura, vice president of Hyatt. President Japan and Micronesia. “We believe that the five essential elements of inbound tourism are food, culture, history, safety and transportation infrastructure, and as a highly sought-after tourist destination, Japan tops in each of these categories. Thanks to our close collaboration with Kiraku on the ATONA brand, the joint venture will leverage the unique and personalized experience of traditional Japanese ryokans, loved by locals for centuries, and make them accessible to inbound travelers, many of whom have never experienced staying in a ryokan before.”
Kenya Hara, one of Japan’s leading designers, joins this project as creative director of the ATONA brand. Development plans are currently underway to unveil the collection of ATONA branded ryokans from 2025.
The joint venture is expected to expand ryokans under the ATONA brand to regions in Japan. The ATONA brand will be independently managed by a team of highly experienced hospitality experts who have in-depth knowledge of Japanese culture and international hotel standards.