Busena Terrace Okinawa
Overlooking the palm trees and the private beach, Busena Terrace is best known for its spectacular location and service. I have stayed here a few times, before and after I had a family of my own, but this was the very first time coming here on vacation with my parents, husband, and my two sons.
In case you did not know, as of today (8.24.2018), our blog has never been sponsored by the restaurants and venues we write about. This is great, and we intend to keep it that way, because our comments are not biased. And even if we do accept sponsorships in the future, it will be stated clearly in the post, and we will make sure our sponsors are aware of our honesty policy.
That said, I cannot wait to share my amazing trip I had with my family based at Busena Terrace, and you probably want to know why I wrote “Almost Perfect” in my title. You’ll find out soon enough.
View from our room – We LOVED it
Tour of the Resort
The Busena Terrace Resort is 165,000 ㎡ large (about 40 acres), so we did our best to cover the most important highlights of the property. Let’s start chronologically, from our check in.
From the Naha Airport to the Resort was about a 70 minute car ride. We rent a car, since we had 6 people on this trip, and we also had a plan to go to Sesoko Beach, which was one of the places I wanted to visit for a very long time.
The check in process was smooth, and it took a pretty long time, but who needs to rush on their vacation?
The Swimming Pool
The swimming pool was where we spent most of our 1st day. There are two HUGE swimming pools. One has a short water slider so that one is obviously popular amongst the children, and on the upper level, there is a more relaxed swimming pool that is about the same size (they’re right next to each other) . The image above is the one without the slider.
Unfortunately I couldn’t get out of the one that had the slider.
You can get light snacks while tanning
I REALLY liked their signature Margarita. I personally wouldn’t recommend the food here unless you were like us and just couldn’t be bothered to shower and go outside knowing that we’ll be back in the swimming pool again.
The Busena Beach
The beach was spectacular. The water is clean and clear, and we tried this SUPER MABLE ride where you get pulled by a jet ski while you…sit. There are a LOT of activities, but this was the one of the few that my 4 year old could participate in. Our kids loved it so much! I tried it too, and it ride was pretty rough and fun.
Just like in the movies
In movies, when there’s a flashback of a character’s happy childhood memories, it’s usually portrayed at the beach. And usually the children are running around or making sand castles, and the mom is wearing a sundress smiling with the dad (and with a big golden retriever too). I always thought that typical “happy moment” was so cheesy and overused in movies. Well, this was a real life moment for me, and I won’t lie, it was pretty amazing.
Look who we found
We live in Tokyo, so even meeting a hermit crab on the beach can be their highlight of the day.
We stayed in the room type – Deluxe Elegant.
We really liked the room, although the beds were a bit small for 2 adults and 2 kids. We did not ask for an extra bed because the kids took turns spending the night in grandma and grandpa’s rooms, so it wasn’t a problem. If you are a family of more than 3 staying in this room, you may want to consider getting an extra bed or a larger room.
The kids are waiting patiently for my approval to jump on the bed after I take my photos.
I can hear YOU
Everything about the room was great. But at night, I could hear our neighbor stomping and partying next door as if I was partying with them. It didn’t bother me too much because it wasn’t that late, but I could hear everything, and that was a bit uncomfortable knowing that the walls are extremely thin for a pretty expensive room. I am a pretty patient person, and this is not the reason why I wouldn’t give my best review on this hotel.
On our last night, my husband and I were on the balcony sipping on our Okinawa Orion Beer, talking about how amazing this trip had been with Ryoma (younger one) sleeping on our bed. At 10 PM there was a knock on the door by a staff, and in the most polite words possible, he asked us to be considerate of the neighbors.
It was no big deal, so we went back inside, but my husband and I couldn’t believe that people would actually make a complaint over the amount of sound we were making – zilch. The more I thought about it, it didn’t seem right that a room that costs over $900 per night has walls thin as paper (like last night where we heard our neighbors), and we our neighbors were bothered with our casual conversation that we had, with a toddler sound asleep on the bed behind us.
People have different expectations when it comes to hotel rooms. I value privacy (including sound) especially at night, because that is the only time of the day my family spends inside the hotel room. Especially in luxury 5 star hotels, when we are paying triple the amount of normal hotels, I expect more privacy and much better hospitality. And I am not overemphasizing, that when you say good night to your children, your neighbors on both sides will hear you.
The overall hospitality was good, but I have experienced better. This is why I hate to say that I do not recommend these rooms (the Deluxe Elegant) for families especially with small children. However, there are private villas (I can see some of you rolling your eyes), or other types of rooms and I am willing to try other rooms in the future!
Breakfast was included, so we ate here at the buffet!
With a view like this, anything is good for breakfast.
Breakfast Option 2
If you don’t like buffets, you can go to ”Mahae”, where you can enjoy a traditional Japanese breakfast.
I liked the buffet much more than “Mahae”. Although the quality is about the same, I enjoyed selecting my own breakfast and the view of the beach. The buffet has a good variety of food, and the quality was a little over average. I don’t want to be a critic and I don’t want people reading to think I don’t like this hotel (because I do!) but I’m just being brutally honest here.
Gift Shops and more
The convenience store located near the main gate of the resort has a selection of unique “Okinawa Brand” snacks and beverages. The gift shop beside it has a selection of chic souvenirs. Although I recommend going to the “Kokusai Do-ri” for fun Okinawa souvenirs, the pineapple, mango, and shikuwasa (a citrus fruit) flavored haichuu (soft candy) could be a great souvenir for your friends back home.
It’s a magical place
On the morning we left for home, we were able to see the rainbow through the palm trees.
Busena Terrace Okinawa is amazing. The moment you drive through the gates, it’s like you enter a different world. The sidewalks along the beach made me forget my hectic days, and I can honestly say I had the most relaxing time here at Busena Terrace. Every inch of the property is well taken care of, and everywhere you go, there are tropical flowers, greenery and fresh air. The walks along the beach let me empty my overfilled mind.
The fact that the rooms had extremely thin walls was the only true downside of this resort, and I am sure that there are other rooms that do not have this problem. However, I must stress that I do not recommend the “Deluxe Elegant” rooms for families with small children. Not that your children will be too loud, but it could be the other way around. Your children may not be able to sleep at their usual bed time because of the noise from neighboring rooms. I must point out that the Terrace Hotels are famous for its hospitality for families with children, and I have no doubt for that reputation.
The room rates can range from 300 ~ 1000 USD according to season. Make sure you choose your dates carefully, and check to avoid the rainy seasons from past forecasts. Okinawa has many typhoons, and the weather can change drastically. We were extremely lucky to have sun on all 4 days, and on the day we left, the typhoon hit the island.
But in the end…everything went well
The purpose of this trip was to get away from the city and enjoy our last bit of summer vacation, and it was a total success. Our plan didn’t include touring all over Okinawa, but to spend time with family by the beach. I can’t find a better place to do this in Japan.
Despite my not-100%-positive review on the rooms, I am definitely coming back to Busena Terrace. I have already found 1 favorite restaurant, Rumble Fish, and there are 6 more restaurants to try. We stayed when the room rates were the most expensive, so maybe next time I can do a bit more research on when may be the best time to go without paying $900 a night.
Hotel Name: Busena Terrace Okinawa
Phone #: 0980-51-1333
Access: 90 min by car from Naha Airport
Casual / Luxury: Luxury
Budget (How much we spent): ¥360,000 / 4 nights (inc. breakfast) NOT including dinner and other activities
Nursing Room: None. Diaper changing beds available in restrooms.
Baby Friendly?: 5/5
Family Friendly?: 4/5
*This post was NOT sponsored by Busena Terrace Okinawa
*Please leave a comment if you have questions, comments, or updates.