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All reviews apple tv gion shijo superior king great location rooms are small decent shower public bath modern japanese design free coffee all day yakitori lovely little hotel onsen downstairs japanese options pocket wifi coin laundry breakfast area main shopping street
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Reviewed March 27, 2018

I am staying in this hotel and I asked the hotel to book a restaurant for me, it is now 6 days and I am not receiving any confirmation that it has been booked or not, and this is after sending 3-4 e mails to remind them. Now if the restaurant had a website or e mail I would have done it myself, but it only has a Japanese phone number and really it is quite easy for them to just call and make a booking for guests. I also do not speak Japanese, so this was also why I am asking for their help.

I am highly suspicious a lot of the positive reviews here are fake, how can a hotel that refuses to respond positively to such a simple request have such a high status? You would think as soon as you send a reminder, they would respond, but they do not.

If a hotel won't even help you to book a restaurant, I really think I am going to have a difficult time staying in this hotel in my upcoming trip. I made a mistake to do a non refundable booking so I am stuck with it, but I hope my experience would help others not to make the same mistake.

It seems to me Japan really isn't that polite as people make it out to be, there is a distinct air of insincerity about this hotel, I also noticed that the hotel does not respond proactively to other people's complaint as well, which also shows their lack of care about customer service.

Date of stay: April 2017
  • Trip type: Traveled solo
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
3  Thank Steve S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2018 via mobile

This is the kind of place that looks great but then you get the bill at check out and just say “WHAT?!?”

But I’ll start out with the positives. My husband and I booked this hotel on a recommendation from friends and were pretty excited about it. The decor, location and vibe all looked great. And, to be fair, it pretty much lived up to our expectations in those respects. However, a number of other things were endlessly frustrating and disappointing.

We should have taken a hint when we arrived and about a half a dozen people were involved in an argument at the check in desk about unexpected additional charges. But we figured they were just difficult guests. We had booked our room through Agoda and had no issues checking in quickly, getting the WiFi and breakfast information. Our room was small (but average size for Japan) but cute and we had a decent beer at the bar (which we would later be shocked by the price of) after putting our bags down. The neighborhood is great and we had an excellent dinner at a restaurant around the corner. It was after dinner the problems started. It was raining so we decided to go back to our hotel for a drink. Getting served at the bar took awhile because it is only sporadically staffed. Plus the English bar menu is VERY limited. The hotel has a well stocked bar and at least looks capable of producing some excellent cocktails but since the menu has no actual cocktails listed (just the types of liquor) and the staff doesn’t speak English, it was impossible to order anything more complicated than a gin and tonic. While finishing our drinks, I received a time sensitive work email so we told them to put the drinks on our room tab and went upstairs. We soon discovered that the hotel internet is unreliable at best. It was working sooo slowly and spottily that I wasn’t able to attach a simple word document to an email. Several phone calls down to reception proved completely pointless. The woman at the desk just kept telling me the internet worked and i could just take out the key card to reset it. Finally, at my instance, the woman came up to the room to check the internet herself. By this point, it was past midnight and I still hadn’t been able to get my work email sent out so I was getting frustrated. The receptionist walked in turned the tv on and off and then shrugged. She told us if we wanted to watch tv we should air drop it from our computers. I tried explaining that the internet was the real issue. Then she turned to my husband and handed him a bill for 9000 yen. He asked what it was for and she said it was an additional charge for having an extra guest. We tried explaining that it was just the two of us and there was no additional guest but we didn’t get anywhere. Finally, I told her that given the circumstances, it really wasn’t an appropriate time or place to shove some random bill at us without explanation. Exhausted, i gave up trying to send the document and went to bed.

Only a few hours later, i was woken up by the sound of a baby crying so loudly it felt like it was in bed with us. The walls in this hotel are truly paper thin. After tossing and turning for awhile, I decided to try to turn on the Apple TV to block out the sound. Now, in theory, having every room equipped with personal Apple TVs is a nice amenity. However, they require reliable working internet and the platform design means you’re putting your personal login information into what is essentially a public computer. Not to mention the inconvenience of having to verify all of your accounts because you’re logging in from Japan and making sure not to exceed any device limitations. AirPlay from my computer ultimately was the easier route although the still spotty internet meant it was constantly freezing and the public nature of the Apple TVs meant other guests trying to login to AirPlay themselves meant constant interruptions. Eventually, i gave up and we went down to breakfast.

Upon arriving downstairs, we were immediately confronted with the 9000 yen bill for having an “additional” guest. Exhausted and hungry, we decided not to argue and just paid up. We were thus especially surprised when we then moved on into the breakfast room and were stopped because apparently our room didn’t include breakfast. So what was the 9000 yen bill for? Just existing it seems. Breakfast would be an additional 1800 yen each. We went to the front desk to try to clear things up and were told this was the set fee structure and the Apple TVs weren’t equipped for AirPlay. Since AirPlay was the only way we had gotten the tv to work, we knew that simply wasn’t true. Again we gave up without any resolution.

So, in the end, it’s a nice hotel with a cool (though not well staffed) bar in a great part of Kyoto but it’s not the amazing value it appears to be. We would have been happy to pay a little more but the way we were charged wasn’t quite right. So enjoy but watch out for the hidden guest fees, prepare yourself for crappy internet, and don’t expect much help from the staff.

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
5  Thank rwr9985
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 25, 2018

Just in time to check in, a short stroll nearby to experience the local everyday's life in this quiet part of Cultural Capital. A designer machiya in Gion. Harmonious between traditional and modern heritage. Filled with Japanese cultural atmosphere bridging a blend of tradition yet modern styling to form a new vibe in Higashiyama area.

Bar金色Konjiki is another highlight of the hotel. Just nice to sit down and have some chats with Mr. Yusuke at the countertop bar after after a long day of visiting shrines and temples. The basement onsen is a great way start to start the day and certainly even more relaxing on the evening before calling it a day.

As the first time, first hotel and first destination in Japan. Kyoto Grandbell did give us a great hospitality, heart-warming welcome and lovely experience. Our little boy loves this place so much and we have already planned to return again on January 2019.

Room tip: Premier king room for a larger bed that fits perfectly for 2 adult and a child.
Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank KahFui
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 18, 2018

We brought our students on a study abroad program to Kyoto and found this hotel online before we even came! It was the perfect setting for the students since it’s in the Gion District and it has that feel of a historical/ancient city and you’re a few blocks away to see the more modern side of Kyoto. The staff are very friendly and accommodating! The rooms are smaller so just plan on getting used to climbing over each other. However, we are coming back in July for another study abroad and plan to stay here again!!

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Traveled on business
Thank kristoferjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 17, 2018 via mobile

Rooms are small (normal for Japanese standards though) but everything is very well designed and the rooms have all you need. Location is perfect - in the middle of Gion. Staff is very friendly.

Would definitely go back!

Date of stay: March 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
1  Thank Philippa_M_L_2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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