Once again, checking reviews in Trip Advisor did not fail me. Kyoto Brighton hotel had rave reviews and I would like to add mine to the long list.
The hotel is near the Imperial Palace Park and quite a way off from the downtown or Kyoto station area. This made it a little bit more out of the way, since we were trying to squeeze in a lot of sights in a week-end but the fact that it was in a quiet and residential sort of place added to the charm -- after all, who would want to be right in the middle of the action in Kyoto -- a place famous for serenity and calm? Brighton was perfect -- it was an oasis of quiet to come home to, after a long day of cramming in all the sightseeing we could do.
The hotel has a huge atrium and this adds to the light and spacious feeling. The rooms are large and so is the tub -- while it wasn't a wooden tub, I enjoyed luxuriating in the hot water after a long day -- pretending I was in my private onsen.
The staff are very polite, helpful and did their best to map out a strategy of sightseeing which would allow us to cover as much as we could in two whole days. The concierge and the front desk staff spoke english so that was a big help.
There is a free shuttle bus that leaves every 20 minutes to take you to the nearest subway where you can connect to Kyoto station. But since the area around the hotel was so interesting anyway and with lots of small shrines to see along the way, we found that skipping the shuttle rewarded us with small discoveries along the way.
We had breakfast in the hotel and the choices were very elegant and refined -- much like the over all atmosphere and tone of the place. I specially liked the yoghurt that they made themselves and the breads that were baked on site.
This is a terrific place to enjoy Kyoto -- traditional Japanese hospitality and yet with all the modern efficiencies and professional and courteous service.