The Oriental Hotel, Kobe

The Oriental Hotel Kobe today is in its fifth incarnation as a high-rise hotel with heritage roots in the Former Foreign Settlement.

The Oriental Hotel Kobe today is in its fifth incarnation as a high-rise hotel with heritage roots. It sits in Lots 25 – 26 of the Former Foreign Settlement.

The Oriental Hotel is the grande dame of the Kobe hospitality scene, and it has had a long and complicated history. The first generation of the hotel was established by a Dutchman in 1870 at Lot 6 of the Foreign Settlement.

Ownership was subsequently transferred to Englishmen and the hotel was moved for first time in 1907 to Lot 6 of the Foreign Settlement. That incarnation – the third generation of the Kobe Hotel – became world famous for its service, hospitality, and in particular its Kobe Beef.

The third incarnation of the Oriental Hotel was the one famous world-wide for its hospitality and for Kobe Beef.  It sat at Lot 6 of the Former Foreign Settlement.

The third incarnation of the Oriental Hotel was the one famous world-wide for its hospitality and for Kobe Beef. It sat at Lot 6 of the Former Foreign Settlement.

Luggage Label of the Hotel from the 1930s/40s.

Luggage Label of the Hotel from the 1930s/40s.

In modern times, the history of the hotel has been a lot more convoluted. The original hotel building was damaged beyond repair during the Kobe Air Raids in World War II and was demolished.  The fourth generation of the hotel was erected in Lot 25 – 26 and became a modern structure with a lighthouse.  The 1995 Kobe earthquake again damaged the hotel irretrievably and business afterwards so bad that the hotel actually shut for a period of time.

Finally, in 2010 – the fifth generation of the hotel (under a completely different management) re-opened its doors on the same lot: 25-26, and it is this hotel that I stayed at during my sojourn in Kobe.  While it is a completely contemporary hotel with no traces of its past; it attempts to draw links with its illustrious past through many reproductions of period ephemera – postcards, maps and the like.

The hotel was easily my favourite in Japan, with its large rooms complete with stunning views of the Kobe hills and skyline; with its amazing restaurant that morphs into a different creature in the evenings when it serves delicious Kobe European cuisine.  The old world atmosphere of the original Oriental Hotel in Kobe has been amply captured and I highly recommend a visit and a stay.

Entrance to the hotel today.

Entrance to the hotel today.

Another view of the entrance.

Another view of the entrance.

Rug depicting the historic hotel logo.

Rug depicting the historic hotel logo.

Lobby Lounge area.

Lobby Lounge area.

The Oriental Hotel mall adjoins the hotel.

The Oriental Hotel mall adjoins the hotel.

Guestroom.

Guestroom.

View of the Kobe Hills.

View of the Kobe Hills.

Breakfast at the Hotel's Restaurant.

Breakfast at the Hotel’s Restaurant.

Map of the Former Foreign Settlement.

Map of the Former Foreign Settlement.

The restaurant transforms into a Bistro at night and is one of the best places to dine at in the city.

The restaurant transforms into a Bistro at night and is one of the best places to dine at in the city.

Having a quiet glass of wine at the Bar.

Having a quiet glass of wine at the Bar.

The Hotel at night.

The Hotel at night.

Entrance to the hotel at night.

Entrance to the hotel at night.

Old view of the hotel.

Old view of the hotel.

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About Kennie Ting

I am a wandering cityophile and pattern-finder who is pathologically incapable of staying in one place for any long period of time. When I do, I see the place from different perspectives, obsessive-compulsively.
Gallery | This entry was posted in Art & Architecture, Cities & Regions, Japan, Landmarks & History, Photography, Travel & Mobility and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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