The room was absolutely authentic, with tatami floors and wonderfully comfortable futons. We left ours set up all day so we could lounge in between outings, and every time I laid down and curled up under the comforter, I fell asleep. The table was low enough to type at comfortably. The water heater in the room was wonderful, and the little tea crackers they provided were yummy. However, their policy is to only give one tea bag, one coffee package, one sugar and one creamer per day. If you wanted more creamer or sugar you had to pay for it. I thought that was quite ridiculous, considering the price of the room. Keep in mind we were there between Christmas and New Years, but it came out to approximately $225 USD per night, which was much more than we paid at either of the other hotels we stayed at.
The location could not have been more perfect. We literally had to walk less than 2 blocks to get to the Yasaka Shrine, and all of the other shrines and temples were within easy walking distance, including the Kodaiji daibutsu (big Buddha statue, specifically Kwan Yin, the female manifestation of Chenrezig, Buddha of Compassion) and the Kiyomizudera temple. Walking along the streets was an experience in itself. The streets were narrow and the buildings were historical, with little shops selling souvenirs, traditional wares like tea sets, hand-painted fans, and wooden sandals, and all manner of snacks and teas. We saw elegant women in kimonos and even a couple of geishas.
The staff at the hotel was extremely friendly and helpful, some of them spoke quite good English and others only a little, but they were happy to give us maps and circle the helpful places. We asked for recommendations on good vegetarian restaurants and of course the ones they recommended were way out of our price range, but they were helpful nonetheless, and even offered to make reservations for us. One woman even drew a map to a recommended spot and ran it up to our room.
It was about a fifteen minute walk to the south end of Kiyamachi-dori, the main nightlife street with restaurants, bars, adult shops and "girls bars". There is also a lot of more high-end shops on the walk over there, on Shijo-dori.
There was a little restaurant-cafe on the corner about a five-minute walk from the hotel that serves some Western-style breakfasts in the morning. The name and location are printed with the area information and maps in the guest rooms. I can't recall the name (you'd have to go to the hotel to find out), but the food was quite good. They were willing to remove the meat from some foods to make them vegetarian.
Parking was $20 per night and was only about a block from the hotel. It wasn't terribly easy to get in and out, since the lot was rather cramped, and we had to turn in our key when we arrived, although we could ask for it and come and go as we pleased.
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- Also Known As:
- Maifukan Hotel Kyoto