Dormy Inn puts Western hotel chains to shame

One of the mysteries of traveling Japan is that their domestic business hotels often deliver a higher level of service and amenities than comparable Western chains, even so-called "luxury" brands—all while charging a fraction of the price.

To illustrate, I've mostly been staying at Dormy Inn and their higher-end Nono brand for most of the last two weeks.

When you stay at a Dormy Inn, these services are more-or-less always included with your stay:

  • All the typical hotel amenities you'd expect (wifi, etc.)
  • Access to a large public bath, typically featuring a sauna, an outdoor bath (露天風呂), and a cold plunge—moreover, the baths are typically genuine certified onsens when the hotel resides in an area with hot springs nearby
  • Free use of their laundry machines and dirt-cheap (¥100 per 20 minutes) electric dryers
  • "Roomwear" – in lieu of proper yukata, shirts and pants suitable for traipsing back and forth to the baths; especially handy when you're doing laundry
  • Free ice pops at night and yakult-style probiotic yogurt drinks every morning
  • Free coffee machines, and often soft drinks as well
  • Free "yonaka" late-night ramen (9:30pm - 11pm)
  • Mini libraries with comics and novels
  • Some properties feature complimentary massage chairs
  • Each room's fridge comes pre-loaded with bottled water and a seasonal sweet
  • Local flair. For example, Aomori's Dormy Inn features free local apple juice (probably the best apple juice I've ever had, and I'm from Michigan), as well as beautiful Nebuta-style mini-floats lining its bathing floor

The Nono chain goes a step further by being completely floored with tatami mats, requiring guests to check their shoes in lockers at the hotel entrance. It's actually really nice in practice, and creates a very relaxed atmosphere throughout the hotel.

The price for all these amenities? Usually about $70 USD. Here's the total damage for all my Dormy stays this month:

That's $597.2 for 8 nights at a fantastic hotel loaded chock full of amenities and which probably saved me $50 in coin laundry and coffee alone. For comparison, the cheapest room in a Red Roof Inn in Orlando, Florida tonight is $112.36, just 30¢ cheaper than the downright luxurious Nono property in Matsue.

Several Japanese hotel chains offer (to an American) an unheard level of value, and I'm mad nobody told me that Dormy Inn kicked so much ass until I stumbled upon the Kobe property last spring. So here you go, someone is telling you.

Anyway, hopefully this is some news you can use.

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