When I saw a hotel where all the rooms had different art on the wall and decent reviews for Naha I booked it. Only to show up and realize that it was a hotel seemingly mostly to cater to kids. Whoops.
I don’t think I was the only adult not traveling with kids at the hotel. I doubt I was the only solo traveling adult. But there were a lot of kids stuff. And it truly was a family friendly hotel. The room styles are broken up into two parts, kid’s art and photography. Each room is different. The photography rooms showcase photographs from artists around the world. All of the children art, from the rooms, to mugs in the rooms, to hallway decorations to the at behind the check in desk is done by children living in ‘Ban Rom Sai’ in Thailand. ‘Ban Rom Sai’ is a home for children who have lost their parents to AIDs or were born with AIDs. I am unaware if there is any sort of partnership beyond the use of the artwork since nowhere does it say proceeds from the hotel help. But at the very least it brings awareness to the home and the children.
The majority of things available for guests at the hotel is located in the lower level/ b1. To reach this from the street you must either go down the stairs or take the elevator to the left of the stairs. This elevator only takes people from the street to the lobby. In the lobby is where the front desk is, where luggage is stored within view of the front desk, where bathrooms are as well as coin operated washers and dryers. There are also a couple of vending machines with various drinks including bottled water. (There are no free water bottles in the rooms.)
If you go to the left of the lobby there is a long table with computers to use and books to sit and read, there was an English title or two, and then behind that is where breakfast is served.
Breakfast is all Asian. They have spring rolls, dumplings, various curries from different parts of asia, rice, soup, salad with different themed dressings, Japanese egg, mackerel, rice and bread. Unlike most of the asian style breakfasts I’ve had there isn’t a corner with fruit and cereal and yogurt or meat or omelettes.
However if you have a picky kid, the kids table includes western style breakfast options like silver dollar pancakes and…. a chocolate fountain. It is lower level for children to easily access it and help themselves. They also have baby food available.
Breakfast at the WBF Artstay has the longest breakfast period I think I’ve ever seen at a hotel. Breakfast runs from 6:30am to 12pm daily. Although please note that last order is at 11:30am. Which still, for a daily breakfast is pretty late. I liked that they had the option to go down early or sleep in. If your room does not include breakfast you can purchase it at the front desk for 1,500 yen per person.
This breakfast space is open the entire day. There is a lego space for kids to play as well as an outdoor play place. The hours of which I don’t know seeing as when I went to breakfast the kids couldn’t get the door open. The lego space is 24 hours as is the breakfast space. While breakfast isn’t available 24 hours they do offer a wide variety of drinks for the rest of the day and a couple of soups. Drinks range from kid friendly juices and water (and infused water) to a large selection of teas, coffee machines, and sake.
It seemed like it was a popular place to sit and eat food purchased elsewhere. I saw lots of groups coming in with their take out to eat together. I think it’s also a good idea in case your kid is hungry or thirsty and you don’t want to leave the hotel or it’s too late. Then there’s some gentle soups and some juice available downstairs. I also quite enjoyed it, taking a book downstairs and sampling at least three of their teas and trying all of the local Okinawan sake (too strong for me. I only had a sip of each.)
I also quite liked my room. It wasn’t particularly big or too small. I did however struggle to enjoy the bathtub which was deep but short so not good for tall people but maybe good for kids? I wasn’t sure.
I also liked that there were a couple of mixes for drinks that weren’t just your average coffee and basic black or green tea. Instead the mixes included hot chocolate, a matcha cappuccino, milk tea and then a coffee. If this isn’t enough coffee for you I’m sure you could ask for more downstairs or enjoy the coffee machines in the 24 hour space.
There was also a TV and a fridge. I’m unsure though whether the fridge stays cold when you’re gone with your key. So if you have things that must stay cold maybe stick them in ice in the fridge.
The elevators are a bit small. There’s only two. One to take you from street level to the lobby and one to take you from the lobby to your room. So be careful if you have to be somewhere at a certain time. A large portion of people at the hotel, during when I was staying, were families with strollers. Because I was one person I could easily slip on or off the elevator. But just be prepared.
There is also a lot of stuff you can rent. There’s special toiletries you can get from the lobby for kids from kids pajamas to kid friendly soaps. You can also borrow a pair of scissors or nail trimmers (in the lobby only, you can not take it back in the room for safety reasons) as well as all sorts of stuff for kids including a baby thermometer or for yourself like an aroma therapy diffuser.
I really enjoyed my time at this hotel. Even though it seemed a popular choice with families it wasn’t too noisy and it was in a good location for all the things I wanted to do during my short time in Naha.
There is another WBF hotel art stay available in Osaka in Namba and this hotel is part of a large group of hotels under the WBF name that seems to have many many hotels located around Japan, many of which have a family friendly side.