That is exactly what founders of Maana Homes, Hana and Irene are doing in the heart of Kyoto, Japan. With the intention to have guests rethink the meaning of luxury and travel, Maana homes captures the refined essence of Kyoto for all guests to enjoy.
What prompted Maana Homes was a single question by Hana,
“Be honest with yourself. What do you have a deep desire to create?”
encouraging the two to let go of all their fears and allow their dreams to come to light.
Having designed hotels from five-star to boutique brands, Irene’s vision was to create a new type of hospitality brand that inspires people, feeling that most approaches were too commercialized and curated.
Upon first meeting at boarding school in California (Hana being from Japan and Irene from Hong Kong) at 11 years old, the two grew close in no time, traveling around Japan every summer to spontaneously explore during their high school years. In hindsight, those trips were the ones that would spark their inspiration and love for travel.
In time, Hana became a creative director in NYC and Irene a hospitality designer in LA, with this venture bringing them both back to Asia respectively. Though work is a priority in their lives, having fun as entrepreneurs is an attitude they strive to keep.
With each house centered around its own philosophy, Maana Kyoto being Simple Living and Kamo being Silence Within, the space was intended to allow for self discovery and quiet contemplation. The interplay of light, shadows and forms, in collaboration with the still ambiance of Kyoto air brings an aura that cannot be put into words, and is one that guests need to feel for themselves.
The lingering sense of time and wisdom of a Kyoto Machiya was the perfect location for Maana, as it aligned with their vision to create a new kind of travel experience. Working with Shigenori Uoya, an architect we previously featured who is known for Machiya (townhouse) remodels, Maana has elegantly combined modernity with time honored Japanese design .
Despite the abundance of hotels and guest accommodations around Kyoto, few are this immersive, with the ability to almost touch the most sensitive parts of the human soul. A space that encourages one to stop, enjoy stillness and experience the quiet flow of time might be the most luxurious of all.
A reminder from Maana to stay present might be the most valuable gift to take back home from the trip.
Maana will be opening a larger property of 4 houses next year, complete with a small public space. To see more on Maana Homes and their availability, check maanahomes.com or follow them on Instagram @maanahomes for the newest updates.
Photo courtesy of Maana Kamo
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