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“Huge disappointment! Overpriced, underwhelming.” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Hoshinoya Kyoto

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Hoshinoya Kyoto
4.0 of 5
Ryokan
  |   11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007, Kyoto Prefecture   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #66 of 342 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence 2014
SF
Contributor
14 reviews 14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
“Huge disappointment! Overpriced, underwhelming.”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 5, 2012 via mobile

Spent the weekend here after doing much research on the perfect ryokan that had old Japanese charms with modern western comforts. We thought we had nailed it with hoshinoya Kyoto. How wrong we were.
Don't get me wrong, this is a nice property. But aside from the restaurant, there is nothing else. No spa, no pool, no area to hangout.
The main draw which was the room is a safety hazard. While large by japanese standard, isn't luxurious nor very comfortable.
The service is lacking by the exacting Japanese standards and English is spoken but not understood It was very fratraring.
The saving grace is the restaurant food was very good and very expensive as well.
You are better off staying at the other ryokans in Kyoto and popping over for dinner. It's way too expensive for what it offers.

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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125 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    57
    40
    15
    10
    3
See reviews for
31
51
9
5
Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (13)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Any
English first
London, United Kingdom
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
25 hotel reviews
Reviews in 26 cities Reviews in 26 cities
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 23, 2012

This is one of the most beautiful hotels I have ever had the pleasure staying at. Situated by a river, our room had direct view onto the forest and river - absolutely gorgeous! The rooms are quaint, modern, yet very Japanese. Staff speak great English and are extremely friendly. I highly recommend the Japanese breakfast (it's an experience!) and dinner was also excellent - Japanese with a fusion twist. What really sets this place apart from other hotels is attention to detail: we were served wonderful tea + local snacks on arrival, and there's a calligraphy set in the room...! I would love to go back one day! Only shame is the location: Hoshinoya is far from central Kyoto...

In short: very relaxing beautiful hotel, great service, I can't stop raving about it!

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Jakarta, Indonesia
Top Contributor
65 reviews 65 reviews
44 hotel reviews
Reviews in 38 cities Reviews in 38 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 9, 2012

Its actually the highlight of my trip to Japan. We set to stay here in the 2 nights in Japan before we go back to Tokyo and fly back.

The place is secluded, great view from the room, by the river. They will bring you to the hotel by hotel's boat with a great view of the river.

Our room was so big, with a big quiet living room and a well designed bedroom overlooking the river.

The service is great from the minute you arrive at their boat landing lounge, until checking out.

We tried the dinner there and it was good but pricey though.
We took a rickshaw tour and asked them to recommend a restaurant for lunch after the tour. The way they recommend was really smart. She asked us where have we eaten during our trip, and we, without any purpose, told her that we love the restos in Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto (came up that all those restaurants are Michelin starred). Then there she goes, she booked us at the Unagi Restaurant in Arashiyama, and we loved it. And we found out it was a 1 Michelin Star restaurant.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Minus: No TV, no swimming pool.
I was thinking, with such great location and stunning view, they shall build a swimming pool by the river.

We enjoyed our stay here to relax. For you who wants to explore Kyoto, i dont think this hotel will suit you. Come after you explore Japan...

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 5, 2012 via mobile

If you appreciate attention to detail, the Hoshinoya is a little masterpiece. The gardens are exquisite, truly perfect. I had the impression that the placement of each plant could not have been any other way. I can understand the feelings some reviewers here had for the food; much of it is not prepared to western tastes but the quality was excellent. Our first evening we had the menu dégustation in a gorgeous little private dining space overlooking the river, which was superb and certainly worthy of a Michelin star.
The rooms were very comfortable and very pretty, but if you are not up to sitting at floor level when eating, you would be better off in the restaurant where you have the option of sitting on a normal chair for breakfast. If there was any complaint, it would be the plethora of little lights from the numerous (very new) devices, such as the room humidifier/dehumidifier which required unplugging for sleep to be possible (for me at least)
The service was Japanese perfection; flawless and light humoured.

Impeccable. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 3, 2012

Stayed here as part of our trip to Kyoto to see the cherry blossoms. As it is peak season, we payed a bomb for the rooms.

However, the experience left much to be desired. Rooms were nice, and pretty modern for a ryokan. Surroundings were pretty too. Not many facilities though and the bath is not spring water. Hence if you are looking for hot spring water, go elsewhere.

The worst part of the experience has to be the meal. We were told the kaiseki dinner "could match Michelin star" restaurants in Kyoto, but the staff couldnt be more deluded. It was so bad that it singlehandedly wins the vote for the worst meal in Japan EVER. Plus it cost a bomb.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
24 hotel reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
45 helpful votes 45 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012

We tried almost everything that the hotel offers during the cherry blossom season during our 2 nights stay in the hotel. The overall landscape design and surrounding area complement each other very well. We had 4 meals in the hotel and all of them were great. My favourite was the bathroom where there was a perfect wooden bathtub. Boating was also great. All in all a very good adventure.

Room Tip: The 2-storey maisonette is definitely worth every penny
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
hong kong
Top Contributor
309 reviews 309 reviews
303 hotel reviews
Reviews in 235 cities Reviews in 235 cities
606 helpful votes 606 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 1, 2012 via mobile

What a little wonderful hotel! I was extremely tired when I got here.  My 130 am flight to osaka was delayed almost two hr.  Once in Kyoto had a wonderful two hr meal at Kichisen (superb food and service, two Michelin stars but better food  vs 3 stars hyo-tei or 3 stars Chihana in Gion) .... Was so conked out on the way to Hoshinoya, but despite being only half awake, arrival by boat to Ooigawa river in Arashiyama was  a magical experience and probably can be topped by only a paragliding into the six senses oman experience.

The hotel is very small (25 rooms- the way I like my hotels) with the rooms all facing divine Ooigawa  river. I was here during golden week so loads of tourist boats and the "romantic train" passed by but that didn't distract from the serene experience much.  

The bathroom had a cedar wood tub for soaking and was an example of how Hoshinoya blends traditional with modern comforts.  My room was not big but definitely was a zen sanctuary and I loved the fabulous kaiseki meals at the hotel. Sadly I missed the "A night at Kyogen" performance as was too tired to wake up from the deep afternoon nap.  

Service was great, they booked my restaurants for me despite most places not accepting reservations for single travellers.  They noted my no carbs request for the two kaiseki dinners at the hotel (and communicated the same to the overpriced Gion Chihana) though they served me desserts which I didn't have the willpower to walk away from.  A yoga mat was delivered as soon as I said the scenery warrants a few sun salutations.  

Arashiyama was a beautiful place to spend the long weekend even though it was almost as much of a zoo as Gion.  I spent loads of money on taxis before discovering the 15 min 230yen train from Kyoto station (much faster than the #28 bus)   This was my 1st of the 3 Hoshinoya hotels (Okinawa opens in June), while I look forward to trying out the other 2, I'm already planning to come back in the autumn to see the leaves turn red & while I usually like trying different hotels out, for once I'd have to fight the urge to return.  

  • Stayed April 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hoshinoya Kyoto

Address: 11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#19 Luxury Hotel in Kyoto
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hoshinoya Kyoto 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
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