Dormy Inn: Affordable Onsen Lodging in Japan
Japan is one of lostinbeautifulplaces.com‘s favorite counties in the world to visit. The culture has so many unique qualities that you won’t find anywhere else. Japanese craftsmanship is apparent in everything from its architecture to its food. Timeless traditions are rigorously practiced, while at the same time modern advancements are embraced and encouraged. Unfortunately, finding suitable hotel accommodations on a budget can be a mighty challenge. Lodging in Japan can vary in price and quality quite a bit from property to property, so doing a proper search for the best value is a must.
On our six month trip through Asia in 2019, your friends at lostinbeautifulplaces.com spent one month exploring Japan. We discovered the Dormy Inn chain after checking into a hotel in Osaka that smelled like a stale cigarette. Even though the room was non-smoking, it smelled as bad as the rest of the hotel. Luckily, we had booked a room through Agoda.com that was able to be cancelled last minute. After a quick call explaining our circumstances, Agoda refunded our account. We then booked at a nearby Dormy Inn based on reviews and moved in.
We had a great experience at our first Dormy Inn and ended up staying at 3 more during our month stay in Japan. In our experience, Dormy Inns consistently provide some of the best “bang for your buck” that could be found while traveling through the the country. The free services offered such as private onsen, noodle and drink service and laundry facilities put the Dormy Inn a step ahead of its competition in terms of value. For us, checking in always feel like coming home; good food, comforting hot springs and a comfortable bed.
We usually book Dormy Inns through Agoda.com. In our experience, Agoda.com consistently finds the best deals on accommodations across Asia, often up to 60% less other sites. Look for the “Deal of the Day” for each search. Most offers included free cancellation. The app seems to offer lower prices and more promotions than the desktop website. That said, never rely on it completely. Always price compares with booking.com and at least one other travel website before booking.
If making reservations while in Japan, be sure to use a credit card that does not charge International Fees. We use Chase Sapphire Preferred and it has proven to be a great card for traveling. In addition to not charging International Fees, double reward points are awarded for all travel purchases such as hotels, flights and restaurants. If in Japan and needing access to cash, be sure to use Charles Schwab’s no fee debit card. We have saved thousands of dollars in fees during our travels over the years by using these cards.
As with most hotels in Japan, rooms can be quite small. That being said, Dormy Inn rooms are well equipped and laid out to utilize the space efficiently. All hotels include comfortable beds with high quality pillows and linens, a kettle with tea and coffee, as well as a small refrigerator. Rooms are stocked with toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, razors and hairbrush. Slippers and pajama sets are also provided in each room. Cleaning service is offered daily. If service is declined, a complimentary bowl of Dormy brand instant noodles, is offered for each guest!
47 of the 64 Dormy Inns have an onsen. Onsen is the traditional Japanese word for hot spring and consists of three tubs, warm, hot and cold plunge, as well as a sauna. Separate onsens exist for men and women and changing rooms are well equipped with an impressive toiletries selection. This feature is a relaxing treat and well worth taking advantage of. After a long flight, there is nothing better to help with jet lag and getting into the Japanese flow than relaxing in an onsen. The spa-like rooms are located on the top floor of each of the hotels that we have stayed in. The communal area outside of the onsens is where you will find a wide variety of vending machines that Japan is famous for. Massage chairs (paid) and laundry (free) machines are also located in the communal area.
Dormy Inns offers a variety of food choices for all types of travelers. An outstanding breakfast buffet, which includes traditional Japanese style food choices as well as a wonderful selection of western options is offered each morning. Some bookings include the breakfast, while others offer it for a small fee. Dormy Inns also offer free evening noodle service. Many travelers dress in the provided pajamas before heading to the restaurant to enjoy the savory slurping of ramen. Some of the branches offer unlimited free beer, wine and Japanese whiskey. If you happen to miss breakfast or evening ramen, there are vending and ice machines located on each floor and in the common area near the onsens. Vending machines are loaded with a variety of hot and cold drinks, including beer, and snacks.
Taking advantage of an onsen while in Japan is a must. When searching for lodging, keep in mind that on-site onsen facilities add value by offering an authentic Japanese experience that is both healthy and relaxing. Don’t let the low prices and “campy” name of Dormy Inn fool you into thinking that they are lower than average hotels. They aren’t. We highly recommend them.
If you have any questions, comments or experiences at Dormy Inns, feel free to comment below….
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This is not a paid endorsement, nor have we received free lodging or any benefits.