Hotel AZ is a chain of budget business hotels that until this year were known as Kamenoi Hotel, in fact Googlemaps still have some of them listed as Kamenoi.
The original Kamenoi Hotel was in Beppu, Oita, and most of the Hotel AZ chain are in Kyushu, but they are spreading a little on Honshu. They are easy to spot as they are all tan-beige colored with a rainbow arcing over the side of the building.
They are usually located outside the areas where most hotels are clustered in big cities or in towns with few other business hotels. I have stayed at Hotel Az's in Arao in Kumamoto, Iwakuni in Yamaguchi, Takanabe in Oita, and Yahata in Kitakyushu.
On a recent trip through Nagasaki and Saga I saw 4 newly constructed Hotel AZ's about to open so its seems they are in the midst of a big expansion. An unusual feature of the hotels is that they contain 2 restaurants, one a "family" type like Joyfull, and the other a Japanese restaurant.
This means that even though they are sometimes located away from areas with many eating establishments, you have a choice of what to eat. The family restaurant serves the free buffet breakfast that is included in the room price.
The rooms and amenities are fairly standard, en-suite bathroom, TV, fridge, kettle, internet, laundromat, etc.
The hotel in Arao also offered free bicycle rental. The price is also standard, 4,800 yen for a single person, though on a couple of occasions I was able to get a bit of a discount by booking through the Rakuten online service.
The chain also seems to be very popular with traveling school sports teams and groups, but this has never caused any inconvenience to me.
Hotel AZ Arao Kumamoto, 958 Manda, Arao, Kumamoto 864-00002
Tel: 0968 65 3301
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