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Nara Hotel
Ranked #1 of 63 Hotels / Ryokan in Nara
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed July 22, 2013

Five nights using this hotel as a base to explore Kyoto and Nara. As you might expect from a hotel that has hosted the royal family, The Dalai Lama, and Charlie Chaplin, there's a feeling of tradition and quality in the hotel. Service and courtesy are excellent, even by the high standards of Japan. Rooms are spacious and well equipped, and include in room LAN and wireless internet access. Breakfast was a pleasant surprise with a choice of Japanese or American breakfast. The western choice proved to be an outstanding and well presented choice of juice, cereal or porridge, very well presented eggs (poached and scrambled) accompanied by perfectly cooked bacon, toast and tea in silver gilt monogrammed teapots. A few days before I'd eaten breakfast in the Tokyo Peninsula. The Nara Hotel beat it for quality by a mile. The hotel is 5-10 minutes stroll from the Kintetsu Nara train station (although not with luggage - take a taxi for ¥800), and buses to the train station pass the hotel entrance frequently (and exactly to schedule - from the reception). The Kansai airport limousine bus stops at the end of the hotel drive, and tickets are available from the reception. A very memorable stay at a very well run hotel.

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled with family
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Thank dlaynmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 30, 2013

I stayed in the "historic" section of the hotel on the second floor. This was a disappointment. The good: as advertised, it's in a good location for sightseeing (although it does not have a monopoly on this advantage). The lobby and hallways are spacious and exude old-world charm. Despite being adjacent to a major roadway, the windows are well-insulated from noise (although voices in the hallway and adjacent rooms could be heard). The bed was comfortable. The not-so-good: the brochure about hotel facilities in my room contained only page upon page listing the hotel's "limitation of liability" - consisting of 18 articles each with multiple sub-sections describing what the hotel was not responsible for, what the hotel would not do for me - including forwarding to me any items I may have left behind. The bathroom - the tub was small. The shower water temperature changed abruptly and significantly from minute to minute. The sink was beyond small and very low. I am 5'3". The top of the sink was at mid-thigh level on me making it very uncomfortable to wash my face. Perhaps the worst was that there was a coffee maker and packets of self-serve coffee and tea in the room - at a charge of 4300 yen for coffee that you make yourself and 4250 for tea - plus tax. There are other options for hotels close to Nara Park. You may want to consider them.

Stayed: May 2013, traveled solo
1  Thank ber357
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2013

This hotel is well-known in the city. This hotel is very old, i think more than 100 years. Building has old part and new one. So if you like modern interior you should choose new-buildt wing. It is typical hotel for bussiness with spacious an dcomfortable rooms. It is absolutely top level.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled on business
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Thank Unforgiven11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 25, 2013

Stayed in Nara Hotel for a night on 22nd May 2013. Arrived Nara early but couldn't check in but they were kind enough to let us store our luggage when we went walking around Nara. The hotel is centrally located and you will be able to connect to the key places by walking past a church compound adjoining to the hotel. I stayed on the 2nd floor on the older wing and I must say the room was spacious for Japanese standard, clean and comfortable. It is not the cheapest option for us but I think there is value in the rooms and service. No wonder the royal family still stays in when they visit Nara!

Room Tip: 3pm check in and I think 11 am checkout so plan your journey accordingly.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank wschoong
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 16, 2013

This hotel has a stunning location – in Nara Park, on a hill overlooking a lake, with trees all around, and a view of the famous Five-Storey Pagoda. The main building, built in 1909 in a mixed-Japanese-European style, oozes history, charm and old-fashioned elegance. The vast majority of the guests are Japanese, and at times, with its un-remodeled, un-hip beauty, the hotel seems like a time capsule of Japanese travel before the age of mass tourism.

Breakfast is served in the hotel’s gorgeous main dining room, Mikasa. And if you stay at the Nara Hotel, you should really go all the way and eat dinner once at Mikasa. We have a review of Mikasa on Trip Advisor under Nara restaurants.

With all these pluses, though, come some minuses. We took everyone’s advice and booked a room in the main building. (There’s also a new building, built in 1984, which everyone, including the hotel’s own employees, say is a far step down from the 1909 main building.) Our “standard twin” turned out to be quite small, the bathroom even smaller, the sink ridiculously low, and storage space hard to come by. We want to go back to the Nara Hotel again, but if we can afford it, we’ll try for a larger “deluxe” room.

The staff at the front desk is sweet and well-meaning, and there’s always someone on duty with passable English. On the other hand, level of service is not what you get in a top international hotel. (We came to the Nara Hotel directly from the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, a move that underlined the difference.) For example, if you want a taxi, there are no cabs waiting at the hotel; the staff has to call, and it takes a few minutes for the cab to arrive.

Oddly enough, despite its old-fashioned looks, the Nara Hotel has excellent free wi-fi in every room.

The Nara Hotel is not a wallow-in-luxury type of place, but it’s something even better: full of character, one of a kind.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank LaBu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2013

Being able to walk from the hotel to some of the famous Nara sights was great. When we got tired, there were taxis available to take us back. It is a beautiful area and worth staying at least overnight. We had a room on the second floor of the old section. It didn't have a view but we did like the feel of being in an older, more traditional hotel. The room was quiet and comfortable, but the bathroom was very small. Breakfast was included. It was not a buffet but it was good. We could order the traditional Japanese breakfast or the American. All of the staff were very kind and helpful.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank N0rCalfamily
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2013

We were lucky enough to stay at the Nara hotel for 1 night during our holiday to Japan, whilst this hotel didn't have the shine and sparkle of some of the big named hotels we also stayed at it did have something very special.
It felt like going back in time, the service was fantastic and breakfast and dinner excellent, altogether we would not have missed this experience, a lovely addition to our fantastic holiday in Japan.

  • Stayed: May 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank gj6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Nara Hotel

Address: 1096 Takabatake-cho, Nara 630-8301, Nara Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Nara Prefecture > Nara
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 63 Hotels / Ryokan in Nara
Price Range: $119 - $526 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Nara Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 129
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