The Miyako Hybrid Hotel is a destination delight!
From the minute my daughter and I arrived, we were immersed by the beauty and impeccable hospitality of a Japanese retreat that’s ten miles from the Los Angeles airport, close to the ocean, smack dab in the middle of Torrance, California, and 20 minutes from downtown Los Angeles.
Japanese hospitality in Torrance.
It also happens to be down the street from Toyota and Honda’s U.S. headquarters.
In Japan, “miyako” refers to a flourishing center of business and entertainment.
In the U.S., it’s a fusion of Japanese elegance merged with Southern California’s flair for fun.
When the double glass sliding doors to the lobby ceremoniously opened, we were embraced by the magic of a natural light that streamed through the wood-wrapped glass walls.
A radiant decor of hospitality overwhelmed us.
The white marble flooring glistened. Delicate white orchards accented jet black wooden table tops. The green leaves of large potted bamboo plants shimmered.
The wooden light fixtures suspended from the ceiling cast an elegant glow upon the earth-toned furniture accented with gray, green, and blue pillows. The lobby seating area was flanked by a sandstone wall that encased a large glass fireplace lit with blue-green golden flames.
This hybrid hotel bloomed auspiciously around us.
The hallway to our room exuded a quiet serenity.
The 1900s black-and-white photographs on the wall depicted the early days of Torrance. It was a thoughtful memento of a past that blended with the beauty of a contemporary present.
As we stepped into our guest room, we were greeted by the hybrid design of East meeting West — the twain met here.
The effect . . . simply exquisite!
The eight foot entry way with twelve foot armoire and built in luggage holders made it easy to access our vacation wardrobe from our suitcases. Music filled the room from an IPod player. The unique Japanese silk fabrics of chocolate brown and lime green pillows and comforters were yummy.
My body melted into the soft luxurious bedding, as I snuggled under the crisp white striped duvet comforter. We had our choice of feather or foam pillows and robes/slippers waited for us in the spacious closet.
Cork walls mean serene slumber.
The eight-feet-long mahogany double-wide headboard set against the cork wall; earthy and modern. Delicate silver and gold light fixtures graced the wall with specially designed reading lights. The recessed lighting cast a warm glow.
The sliding glass windows leading to our balcony were richly adorned by floor-to-ceiling chocolate-colored drapes accented with the delicate cream swirls of silk organza inserts.
The carpet was taupe.
The 50" flat-screen television, DVD player, and free Wi-Fi satisfied all our technology needs. (They even have a Wii system in their workout room for exercising; if you have kids, they’ll love it!)
Remember the saying, “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover?” Well, when it comes to hotel rooms, you can always judge a hotel by it’s bathroom. It’s true. The amenities and design of a world class hotel bathroom either make or break a first class rating with me. I gave the Miyako Hybrid the five star bathroom award.
Marble tub and rain shower.
The bathroom is accessed through a massive four-by-ten foot sliding wooden door with a silver handle that opens to slate gray flooring and the biggest marble tub I’d ever seen!
A roomy rain shower was adjacent to the tub complete with a Japanese stool and bucket. In ancient Japan, the man would sit on the stool and rinse off with a bucket of water. Then he’d soak in the bathtub. Each member of the family would do the same, sharing the bath water. This ritual intrigued me so I tried it — hybrid style. I giggled with pleasure between playing with the bucket water and feeling the soothing rain shower pellets wash away my travel fatigue.
As I soaked in the deep marble tub I wished I could transport this bathroom home. I also wanted to pack the thre-by-three feet circular lighted mirror — fit for a super model.
But the epitome of pristine indulgences were the heated toilet seat and electric bidet. I wanted them all. I couldn’t believe how an exotic hybrid of Japanese love for technology and Western craving for comfort could be so amazing. And to think that each of the 208 guest rooms, including 12 suites, have these hybrid indulgences.
Another pleasurable indulgence is Miyako Hybrid Hotel's world-famous Gonpachi Restaurant.
Stylish Gonpachi Restaurant.
It’s a mastery of hybrid cuisine blending the unique style of Japanese cooking with the California flair for flavor and style.
The restaurant looks out on a Zen-type Japanese garden. The decor is awesome with their black and white Japanese ceiling screens and elegant seating arrangements.
We sat at a high backed booth lined in cream-colored leather. It was elegant and comfy. Two large sushi bars faced each other. The blown glass pendant lights hanging from the ceiling gave the restaurant a warm glow. But it’s the food that makes this dining experience world class.
My daughter experienced the Japanese Tasting menu. She was presented an exotic array of different types of saki. ( I think that was why she choose the menu to be honest.) But she assured me her three course meal was even better!
Three Saki taste test.
Her first course was crispy shrimp dumplings with a sweet chili sauce. She was speechless! Next came this huge plate of five kinds of nigiri sushi with house sushi rolls. The presentation was beautiful but the taste spoiled our culinary cravings .
My dinner was succulent.
I had an assortment of sashimi that was magnificent.
Prime New York Steak.
Green tea mousse.
My Prime NY Steak was out of this world accompanied by three pieces of delectable sushi and their house handmade buck wheat noodles served hot — what a delicacy. The green tea mousse for dessert was tangy.
The dessert of creme brulée with caramel sauce delicately satiates any sweet tooth.
The real testimony for this dining experience came from the table next to us, when ten Japanese business men stood up from their table and applauded the restaurant. We raised our saki drinks and joined them.
Everything in this hotel exudes elegance, beauty, and sheer pleasure.
The spaRelaken, adjacent to the hotel lobby is a mini heaven.
They specialize in in Japanese-inspired spa therapies, including Shiatsu massage, reflexology aroma treatments, facials, and Swedish and Thai massages.
Relaxation room at the spa.
A quiet reverence for life enfolded us as we were greeted with a Japanese bow by the proprietor. We were graciously shown to our lockers and kindly escorted into an elegant relaxation room.
Our treatment began with a consultation with our Japanese masseuse. Each guest has a consultation to receive a customized treatment.
We decided on an aroma therapy massage. We were presented with a tray of 20 different essential oils. The fragrances of Rosemary, Lavender, Peppermint, Ylang Ylang, Rose Otto, and fourteen others were ceremoniously opened before us.
Intuitively we picked the fragrances that appealed to us which became the signature scent for our massage experiences.
The fragrant formula of essential oils fused with the gifted Oriental touch of my masseuse was transformational. The hybrid experience of the healing properties of the oils that caressed my skin infused with the skilled and gentle hands of my masseuse opened my heart to experience the true power that abounds in relaxation.
Relax with an aroma therapy treatment.
It’s what the guru’s call “wholeness.” The Japanese call it “Omotenashi Hospitality”, a recovery of mental and physical health by multi-sensory relaxation. I call this hybrid spa experience, with the blending sounds of birds chirping, flowing water, fragrance of essential oils, smell and taste of herbal teas, and nourishing touch of healing hands, miraculous!
Miracles do abound in this spa.
Spa treatment room.
The SGE ganban-yoku natural stone spa enables the body to detoxify. The SGE stone that they use at the spa is a rare natural mineral ore from the mountain areas of Kyushu, Japan. It is a bathing method of lying down on the stone bed (which are like tiles) without using any water.
It uses far-infrared effect from naturally heated mineral ores that promote perspiration, enabling the body to flush out toxins. I was entranced by the science. This treatment not only detoxifies, it enhances weight loss, helps blood circulation, strengthens the immune system, increases energy, and aids in relaxation.
I enjoy saunas and steam baths. I know the healing properties of heat and water but this hot stone spa is quintessential. We entered the 12 x 12 room dressed in all cotton pajama-type clothing. We lie down on the smooth heated tiles and slowly began to feel our bodies heat and perspire. We lie there for about 20 minutes. Our clothing was drenched. The effect left us amazingly energized, refreshed with a natural exhilarated feeling! Both my daughter and I giggled with the thrill of feeling so good!
We loved every taste, touch, sound, fragrance, and amenity this property offers. It was like visiting Japan without a passport or jet lag. The final “coup de gras”: the hotel is LEED Silver certified. ( U.S. GreenBuilding Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design approved.) It has excelled in making “green.” an adventure in luxury.
Because of my experience at the Miyako Hybrid I am an advocate of eco-conscious consumerism. I even slept better knowing, I was in a “safe for the environment” building. This property is a flagship for how aesthetics greets science.
The Miyako Hybrid Hotel is LEED certified.
Among the notable advanced technology and architectural designs are 97 solar panels on the roof that supply up to 5% of the hotel’s energy; tankless water heaters reduce gas consumption; usage of local, natural, and recycled materials through out the property; and a key energizing systems automatically shuts off lights and appliances when a key card is not inserted in a guest room module. (It saves between 25%-45% of the energy used in the hotel rooms.) The sustainable operations and statics are astounding. Low-flow plumbing fixtures save 23% of water usage, and their irrigation system uses 50% less water. All cleaning products are non-toxic, non-phosphate, biodegradable, and concentrated. It’s a 100% non-smoking facility.
The Miyako Hybrid Hotel redefines the business travelers experience as sheer pleasure. You actually feel privileged to travel for a living.
Exquisite detail in decor and cuisine.
States General Manager, Cherie Davis: "There are usually two considerations for hotel managers and owners: superior quality lodging and impeccable service. Here we feel we have captured these aspects but we go an important step forward. We do it in such a way, that enhances the health of our guests and employees as well as be a building block that contributes ot our environment. By staying with us, everyone gets that chance to be a part of improving our world."
The hotel has event space and meeting rooms that total nearly 5,000 square feet. The four different rooms are available for groups from 10-200, including outdoor space. When I talked to the Assistant General Manager, Benjamin Simpao, he emphasized the excellent business center and staff the hotel provides to assist meeting planners in setting up and executing events and meetings of all sizes.
The Miyako Hybrid has elegance, sophistication. It is a blend of a Japanese hotel with Western services and amenities. When you add their world-class spa and restaurant, this property becomes a hybrid heaven of miraculous experiences.
Don’t take my word for it . . . make plans to take a trip to L.A. so you can personally experience this “hybrid heaven” of pleasure and luxury.
Let me know what happens?
— Feature by Janice Wilson, Jetsetters Magazine Spa and Hotel Editor; photos by Janice and courtesy of The Miyako Hybrid Hotel and Spa.