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All reviews apple tv great location rooms are small gion shijo public bath free coffee in the lobby king bed hanging space hang clothes gion area quiet side street japanese style room restaurants and bars basement floor room size sister hotel beautiful lobby
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Reviewed April 6, 2018 via mobile

We recently stayed at the Kyoto Granbell. We had stayed at the Akasaka granbell in Tokyo which was good, but this was so next level up. New hotel, great location in Gion. Just around the corner from the Main Street. Lots of good food around. The hotel itself have wonderful staff and so helpful and friendly. The amenities are great with extra touch of coffee in the lobby and water for free in rooms. The hot baths were relaxing after a long day of walking. Breakfast was good with good selection or western and Japanese food.we loved it here and wish we had stayed an extra couple of nights instead of moving on. Beds were comfortable but the pillows were hard. Only downside is they need soft pillows. But overall we enjoyed our stay here.

Date of stay: April 2018
Trip type: Traveled as a couple
Thank kassi08
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 3, 2018

Had a very pleasant 5-night stay at Kyoto Granbell. The hotel has been open for less than a year so everything is shiny and new. Had a Japanese-style Moderate Double room, which was much cosier than I had imagined from the pictures but worked just fine for two people. Bathroom is also quiet small and not a lot of room to store your toiletries due to the shallow shelf (no counter in the room). Room was on the second floor facing the main street and I was concerned at first with the amount of noise we would be hearing as the street is fairly well trafficked, however, it was relatively quiet especially at night. Bottled water is provided even though the tap water was fine. Kettle in the room for making tea, but no in-room coffee, instead there is a machine that uses real beans in the lobby

Really enjoyed the convenient location - close to a lot of attractions and the Gion Station for places further afield. The public bath was really nice for soaking after a day of walking around the city. Coin-op laundry in the basement was a pleasant surprise -instructions in English, reasonable prices (400 yen to wash and dry my clothes from the week prior; drier required a few cycles) and laundry soap available at the front desk. The staff were always cheerful and greeted you upon arrival. Only minus was the breakfast, while there is a nice selection the hot foods were not hot. Not sure I would have paid for the breakfast if it had not already been included in the rate I booked. Would definitely stay here again though.

Date of stay: March 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Thank ghart83181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 2, 2018

The room was the smallest we had in Japan. Beds were firm and it took quite a while to warm up the room. With that said, it had interesting charm of modern and classic Japan. The breakfast had great variety. Location is fantastic, quite close to Gion district, easy walk to Nishiki Market.

Date of stay: February 2018
  • Trip type: Traveled with family
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Service
1  Thank CB1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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.
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