This is a very decent, clean and comfortable hotel a short suitcase pull from Kyoto's huge railway station, although slightly tucked away. The restaurant looked fine, but we did not try it.
The reception staff were pleasant and helpful. The room was a standard Japanese semi-double and so the size you would expect for the money. It had a fridge and the air conditioning was effective - these were the most important things as we visited in August. the rooftop spa was a great feature.
The onsen (spa) on the roof is a very pleasant feature. Part of it is indoors and part is open air. Remember to have a good wash and rinse before getting into one of the pools. There are a couple of things you could usefully know that we found out in the traditional manner (the hard way). One is that it has two distinct sides segregated on gender lines - we kind of assumed that we would go into separate changing rooms and meet up in the middle. Maybe that is the Japanese catering for western visitors' sensibilities or maybe their love of peace and quiet. The other thing is that when the girl on reception said "all you need is a 100Y coin and your yukata" (the latter is provided in the room) we should have taken it absolutely literally. I went into the changing room, kicked of my flip flops, changed into my voluminous blue patterned swimming shorts and slipped on my yukata hoping to merge seamlessly into the onsen as if I had been to one before. Even without my glasses on, I realised my mistake immediately. I felt like Mr Bean on Holiday. The purpose of the yukata is for getting from your room to the onsen changing room, the coin is for the locker to put the yukata in along with your room key-card, swimming shorts do not figure in the process at all. There were a few of the small towels in use, but these would only cover your modesty if you were modest about your head as they really are folded up and balanced there like it says in the books. It was quite funny, and did not stop me going back the next evening - the hot water takes away the aches of walking about all day.
Practical tips - there are three APA Hotels in Kyoto and none of them is that far from the station, and this is the little one. Kyoto station has two very distinct sides (not the To-Ji side, you want the side facing towards the Kyoto Tower and turn left, go under the overhanging part of teh station and carry on) so you need to get your navigation right and if you ask directions stress the "Horikawadori" which is the name of the main road that runs behind the hotel. There is, however, a very nice shopping mall across from the other side where you can find groceries and drinks.
Suggested day out of Kyoto - get a train to Nara.
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- Also Known As:
- Apa Hotel Kyoto