Hilton (NYSE: HLT) has entered into a franchise agreement with Tokyu Land Corporation to open Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton. Located in the picturesque mountain village of Karuizawa in Nagano Prefecture, Kyukaruizawa Kikyo will welcome the Curio Collection to Japan and join Hilton's 14 operating hotels in the country. The hotel will be managed by Tokyo Resort Service Co. Ltd, an affiliate of Tokyu Land Corporation, and is scheduled to open in the second quarter of 2018.
"Keeping both guests and owners in mind, Curio Collection provides owners the expertise and support of Hilton and travelers unique hotel experiences that embody the culture and spirit of their local destinations while providing the benefits of the award-winning Hilton Honors program," said Mark Nogal, global brand head, Curio Collection by Hilton. "Karuizawa is renowned for being a scenic, mountain resort town with mild summers conducive for outdoor recreation such as golf and skiing in the winter. We are confident that when opened, Kyukaruizawa Kikyo, Curio Collection by Hilton will meet travelers' desires for local discovery and authentic experiences."
Kyukaruizawa Kikyo will offer guests facilities such as a public spa, fitness gym, restaurant and wedding chapel, with 50 spacious guestrooms. The hotel itself is located close to central Karuizawa, walking distance from the main train station, and was formerly used as a villa for public figures in the Meiji era. Its location allows guests to take in the history of "old Japan," while embracing modernity in the natural surroundings.
"Hilton has had a long-standing history in Japan, having operated here for over half a century. With the Curio Collection by Hilton brand, our owners can benefit from the proven track record and quality of the Hilton engine, also known as the Hilton Performance Advantage, while staying true to their hotel's individuality," said Guy Phillips, senior vice president, development, Asia & Australasia, Hilton. "With a diverse portfolio located in key destinations including Tokyo, Okinawa and Osaka, we are delighted to be introducing yet another brand to Japan in a location as attractive as Karuizawa."
The name "Kikyo" is both the Japanese word for the balloon flower, or Chinese bellflower, and implies the idea of returning to one's home. The flower brought hope to an area where life did not grow naturally due to the volcanic soil, while the idea of "homecoming" is reflected in Tokyu's wish to offer a human touch at the hotel, to make guests feel like they are at home and can return at any time in the future.
The opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train route allows guests from various places to reach the town with ease. Lying at the foot of Mt. Asama, the town has long been a favorite of writers, royalty and visiting delegations due to its relaxed atmosphere and beautiful scenery, while its nearby shopping outlets and ski resorts attract ever-increasing numbers of travelers from Japan and abroad.
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