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“ONLY PLACE I'LL EVER STAY IN KYOTO”
Review of Hotel Mume

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Hotel Mume
Ranked #2 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“ONLY PLACE I'LL EVER STAY IN KYOTO”
Reviewed June 9, 2011

My husband and I went to Japan (Tokyo and then Kyoto) 2 weeks after the quake. Best decision ever = not cancelling. We had been planning this visit for over a year. I started talking with Hotel Mume a year ahead of time - they answered all of my hundreds of questions very promptly and treated me and my husband with extraordinary service before and during our visit. The whole place was exceptionally clean and boutique - very very nice. The rooms were huge for Japan standards and very well equipped. We tried 2 different rooms and both were amazing. And being able to walk to all of gion - a starbucks isn't that far away either. And the breakfast - amazing! They had fresh squeezed grapefruit juice every morning. Hidden Gem. Can't imagine being in Kyoto again and not staying here. With modern style and exceptional service, this hotel is a true japanese charm - best experience ever for someone who speaks english only. They had maps, directions, got taxis, and spoke perfect english. So our stay was so relaxing! You will not regret trying this place out, I promise.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SouthernBelle8463
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (147)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
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  • Japanese first
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English first
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
18 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
Reviewed June 2, 2011

There is a reason why Hotel Mume is rated number one on Tripadvisor for hotels in Kyoto -- it truly is an amazing little hotel. The hotel is beautifully decorated and the level of service is just over the top.

Hotel Mume is a boutique hotel with only 7 rooms, and just celebrated its second anniversary. The hotel is located in the charming Gion district, and is appropriately located on Shinmonzen Street (Antique Street) as the hotel is decorated with carefully selected antique pieces by its owner from all over the world.

The distinctive front red door is normally locked so you need to press the door bell on the left and a staff member will open the door with a big smile. As soon as we walked in, they knew who we were, and invited us to the lounge where they served us tea and cookies as they checked us in.

We booked the Wind Room and it was absolutely gorgeous -- a beautiful blend of European influences and Asian accents. Bright, roomy, beautifully decorated with a large window looking out into a quiet street behind the building. We had become accustomed to the wondrous toilets of Japan but the one in our room was by far the best. The toilet lid lifted automatically and on the wall were two rows of buttons including seat warmer, automatic flusher, cleaner, dryer, massager, deodorizer...and a night light!!

Bathrobes and slippers are provided, as well as an in-room safe, and a mini-fridge with mineral water replenished daily. There is a CD player with a few CDs in your room, and free wireless internet.

One thing I miss about home when I travel is my Tempur-Pedic pillow. I was so thrilled to find out that they had Tempur-Pedic pillows in the closet for our use! It made for the best sleeps of the entire trip.

Each morning, we looked forward to a wonderful healthy and hearty Western breakfast featuring three freshly baked breads, wonderful jams, fruit salad, yogurt, hard boiled eggs, and delicious home-made soups. We stayed a total of 7 nights and we had a different soup each time--amazing!

The hotel offered "Happy Hour" each evening from 5pm to 7pm in the lounge/bar with snacks and alcohol drinks. They offered a wonderful selection of beer, sake, plum wine, sparkling wine, and cocktails. This was a wonderful way for us to wind down after a day of sightseeing before heading out to dinner. It was also a great opportunity to spend some time chatting with the hotel staff. They helped us make reservations for dinner (and then provided us with directions and a printout of what the restaurant looked like), as well as gave us suggestions for our next day's itinerary.

Every morning at breakfast we were provided with the weather forecast of our destination, and were given an umbrella if there was any chance of rain. We were given train schedules as well as maps of the area.

The staff truly went out of their way to assist us in any way possible. They made wonderful restaurant recommendations, as well as helped us find specific items we wanted to shop for.

Prior to our arrival, we asked them to reserve tickets to Miyako Odori for us. We originally requested the cheaper seats but the staff emailed back to explain that sitting on the floor for an hour will probably be a bit uncomfortable, and wanted to double check if we were aware of that before booking for us. Upon recommendation, we upgraded our seats to include the tea ceremony. The hotel pre-paid and picked up the tickets for us in advance so they were all ready for us when we arrived. We loved the show, and were so glad that we changed our minds and purchased the VIP seats.

We were interested in purchasing some yukatas as souvenirs and Hisako, the owner, called several department stores to find out their selection. She gave us the name of the department store, what floor to go on, and the price ranges so we knew exactly where to go and easily find what we were looking for. We were also interested in looking for some cooking knives and we saw a very expensive store in the Nishiki Market. Hisako told us about a no-frills store that sold kitchen equipment to restaurants that we ended up going to and finding knives for half the price.

Before we left, Miyuki helped us arrange our luggage to be shipped to the Hilton Tokyo Bay for the last leg of our trip and called the hotel to ensure they would accept our luggage.

The hotel is about a 10-15 minute taxi ride from the Kyoto train station depending on traffic. The hotel emailed us an attachment that contained driving instructions in Japanese that we could just give to a taxi driver when we arrived in Kyoto. We showed the sheet to our taxi driver who read it through and then nodded to us to confirm he knew where to go. Once we saw the red door, we knew we had arrived at the correct location!

A true gem. We loved it there so much, we extended our stay! We cancelled our hotel reservation in Hiroshima and did a long day trip from Kyoto instead. We can't recommend this hotel enough.

Room Tip: The Wind Room is bright and roomy
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
5 Thank italybound01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed May 28, 2011

We decided to stay at Mume after reading the reviews here on Tripadvisor. It completely met our expectations. From the moment we made our booking to the time we left, Hisako and her amazing staff bent over backwards to help us in every way. We visited Japan for our honeymoon from mid-April to the beginning of May.

Here are some of the many things we'd like to mention:
Before we even arrived:
- they gave us very sound advice, during the aftermath of earthquake/tsunami, as to how the areas of Japan we were to visit, had been affected by the disaster
- after discovering my interest in the 'geisha world', they suggested we get tickets for the Miyako Odori; something I would not have known about had they not suggested it. They organised the tickets for us and we had an amazing time watching this world-renowned annual cherry blossom dance
- we were so happy with the pre-arrival assistance that we decided to come back to Kyoto, during our 2.5 week tour of Japan, and stay at Mume for the second time (for which we were offered a free upgrade!)

During our stay:
- the breakfast was delicious; the homemade jams were out of this world!
- after a long day of sightseeing it was so lovely to be able to come back and be offered drinks on the house together with very yummy snacks!
- Hisako and her staff always went out of their way to help us decide the places to visit. They gave us clear instructions of how to get there and made life so much easier
- a beautiful bunch of flowers were left in our room as a 'honeymoon present' - a wonderful surprise
- the rooms were perfect - extremely stylish, with free wifi

After our stay:
On the last day, Hisako arranged for one of her friendly staff to escort us all the way to the metro station just so that we wouldn't get lost. He insisted on carrying our bags all the way
- and last but not least, when we got to our next hotel in Osaka we were told by the staff there that Hisako had been in touch with them saying that we had left our iPhone charger in the room and that one of her staff was already on their way to deliver it to the Osaka hotel! We just couldn't believe how much they went out of their way to help us.

We were really sad to leave Mume. It was like being part of a family. We certainly would stay there again if we were ever lucky enough to visit Japan for a second time.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Anoushka0904
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
11 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed May 24, 2011

My wife and I travelled to Kyoto for our first Japanese trip, and stayed at Hotel Mume for a week in mid May, and had the most wonderful time. A small hotel with only 7 rooms, extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff & highly talented cooks.

Even before we arrived, I sent an email asking for some help booking a 3 michelin star restaurant in Kyoto for my wife's birthday. They responded with a detailed listing of alternatives, some reviews and personal recommendations. After a few more email interchanges on budget, pricing and dietry preferences, they had booked it all for us. Without even arriving!

Upon arrival, we were met by Hisako, the lovely owner/manager, and ushered into the lounge for a drink, and a free upgrade to their suite (which was nice!). The rooms themselves were amazing - Hisako has filled all the rooms with antiques from both Japan and other countries she has travelled too, giving each of the rooms a very unique and authentic feel. The suite was beautiful and reasonably spacious, free wifi (surprisingly rare in Japan), lovely beds, huge bath, plus the ubiquitous heated & massaging toilet.

The breakfast provided is a very good array of food - from freshly baked (good!) bread/croissants (some of the best croissants I've had outside of France, better than some in France), fruit salad, excellent homemade yoghurt & jams, to a bowl of soup. Accompanied by surprisingly decent coffee - they use a Nespresso machine.
The lounge is open for free soft drink/juice/coffee all day until 10pm, and also there are free (alcoholic) drinks 5-7pm. I would highly recommend this happy hour, as it gives you a chance to chat to the staff (Hisako and others), about your stay, where to go for dinner, and what to do in Kyoto.

The help they provide is also second to none. Every time we went off and did our own thing, we came back with the feeling 'we wished we'd asked Hisako about that'. Our favourite temple/shrine in Kyoto - Ninna Ji - we basically only went to on the urging of Mume staff. They are more than happy to recommend places to eat, things to do, places to shop, matching any budget or dietry preference. They also independently came up with suggestions for things for us to do, just because they thought we might enjoy them (they were right). They provided us with help when we were struggling shopping in Japanese (my Japanese is extremely, extremely broken/rusty - to the point of being non-existent).

Location wise, it's actually very good It's just north of the traditional Gion district, full of restaurants, bars, and Geishas. It's about 5 minutes walk from Downtown, closer to the side of 'Pontocho', a beautiful street full of restaurants and bars that Hisako recommended on our first night. On the other side, it's very close to some of the bigger shrines, allowing for a wonderful day walking - either south to Chion-in or Kiyomizu-dera.

Overall, our stay in Kyoto would not have been nearly as enjoyable if we had stayed elsewhere. We will definitely be returning to Kyoto, and definitely be staying at Hotel Mume again!

  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mishgo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Queensland
Level Contributor
8 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed May 9, 2011

The level of hospitality, and the services provided to guests at Hotel Mume are absolutely amazing. A stay at this wonderful, small boutique hotel should be on everyone's 'bucket list'.

Each morning your day starts with their 'to die for' breakfast. Freshly squeezed grapefruit juice, an excellent bowl of soup, boiled egg, a bowl of freshly cut fruit together with a bowl of yoghurt, a basket of homemade pastries with three different varieties of home made jams, and large choice of teas or coffees. Every morning, the choice of soup, jams and homemade pastries will change so you certainly look forward to the start of every day.
During the day, the staff will always offer to make coffee or some other drink if you return from tripping around or walking the great local area that this hotel is situated in.
Each evening from 5.00pm till 7.00pm is 'happy hour' and the choice of drink to accompany the nibbles is at your discretion.
All of the above is enjoyed in a beautifully furnished room, overlooking the water and greenery views.

Hotel Mume adds total meaning to the term ' boutique' hotel.
The very competent staff will assist with the planning and research for anything that you may choose to do whilst staying in Kyoto. Absolutely nothing is too much trouble for them and they take a personal interest in your enjoyment. You will be provided with all necessary maps, bookings arranged and detailed explanations, and if necessary, any language translations. It is not possible to imagine how a better level of service could be provided.
During our stay, Hisako, Yoshie and Miyuki ensured that our holiday would be unforgettable and it is so easy to understand why Hotel Mume has received so many rave reviews.

The rooms in the hotel are superb with modern facilities, interesting furnishings, free wi-fi in all rooms and a great quiet location in one of the best areas in Kyoto. The bus stop is very near the hotel as are train stations so it is very easy to commute whilst staying here and there are just so many walking options to the local attractions, restaurants and large shopping options.

As soon as you enter the little red door of Hotel Mume, you are treated as a valued guest with the ultimate in hospitality.

Room Tip: Wind room is spacious with great views
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  • Stayed May 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank QLDKev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
Reviewed May 1, 2011

From my first email correspondence with Hotel Mume I knew it was going to be a great experience and I wasn't disappointed from the moment we arrived. The staff are superbly trained and go out of their way to please their guests, the attention to detail is always present and the small touches each day were always appreciated. The breakfasts were substantial, which set you up for a great days exploration of the beautiful city of Kyoto.

We stayed in the Flower room the only suite in the hotel; its beautifully furnished with antiques. We loved the raised bedroom and the adjacent bathroom; the added extras of personal items, means you don't have to include these items in your luggage!

Hotel Mume is the best accommodation I've booked in a long time and we will definitely return to further explore Kyoto.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Tipper016
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
5 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed April 25, 2011

We had to change our plans last minute, so we were very lucky to get a room at this hotel. It's best to get to this place via taxi from Kyoto station (approx 1700yen) and it may be difficult to spot at night! Our tip is to keep an eye out for a red door! However, it's in the perfect location for visiting the shrines and Gion. The hotel is a little expensive, but worth the service and style!
As mentioned we had to change our plans last minute (we cancelled our week in Tokyo due to recent events); but they were very helpful in finding a place for us to stay in our next destination and even made introductory calls for us!
Breakfast was included; made up of a variety of home-made breads, fruits, yogurt, vegetable soup etc. We even had chance to enjoy their home-made cookies when we stopped to have a drink in the evening!
The rooms were clean and modern. All amenities we could need were available.Also has free wifi. Book the Butterfly room if you want a chance to peek into the bathroom through the glass window!
They took very good care of us and we would definitely visit them again!

Room Tip: Very nice romantic rooms. Book well in advance.
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank othersidedudette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Mume

Property: Hotel Mume
Address: 261 Shinmonzen dori, Umemotocho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto 605-0064, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Number of rooms: 7
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