This was our second visit to Japan, but our first time in Kyoto. Trying to find those special little hotels in foreign countries can quite often be difficult, and so we turned to TripAdvisor for guidance and Hotel Mume is the currently #1 hotel in Kyoto. A little further research and enquiry direct with the hotel and we booked three nights for our stay.
The hotel is a short taxi ride from central Kyoto station (approximaely 1,000 – 1,200 Yen). We were provided with a sheet to print out to give to our taxi driver for directions to the hotel. Located on Antiques Street (a phrase most Taxi drives are aware of it seems) in the Gion area, it is very unassuming – a lovely small hotel with a bright red door. The streets surrounding the hotel are amazing, with so many traditional style Japanese buildings home to restaurants and bars. Very romantic place to walk around in the evening.
Right from the moment they opened the door to welcome us in to when they waved us off in our Taxi when we checked out we couldn't have found a more welcoming, friendly, or helpful hotel to stay at in Kyoto, Japan or probably the world!
There are only seven rooms in the hotel, we were honoured with an upgrade from the Moon room we had booked to their largest Butterfly room. And what a room that is – seating area, large flat screen TV, complimentary WiFi, a laptop on the room if you needed one to use to access the Internet, a balcony, a large rolltop bath with views out into the city, a seperate raindrop shower, and the ultimate in Japanese toilets (heated seat, washing, drying, motorised lid).
The hotel staff have very extensive knowledge of the Kyoto area, providing us with sevaral maps and suggestions of temples and sights to visit. The ones we weren't aware of or weren't planning on visiting were by far some of the most stunning sights we saw! The recommendations for gardens were some of the most beautiful spaces I have had the honour to walk around.
All the staff in the hotel spoke perfect English, and in the evenings were more then willing to suggest restaurants, make enquiries about reservations and check places had English menu's. If you do stay at Hotel Mume I would highly recommend you ask their advice on where to eat and visit.
Breakfast each morning consists of a boiled egg, bowl of fresh homemade soup, mixed fresh fruit with a bowl natural yogurt, a selection of bread and pastries, freshly pressed fruit juice and coffee or tea as you wish. The soup, fruit selection and breads change daily. The attention to detail is so good at Hotel Mume the first morning neither of us had the bannana that morning and the following two days we didn't have any bannana in the fruit selection.
Every evening between 5:00pm and 7:00pm the hotel Bar (or Saloon as often referred to in Japan) hosts a Happy Hour. You are are invited to enjoy complimentary drinks, from their wide variety of liquors and whiskeys, wine, beer or soft drinks. They also have an amazing selection of nibbles – each time our dishes were refilled they seemed to be some new! And this is a great opportunity to relax from a day's sightseeing, and talk about where to go that evening or the following day.
The love and pride all the staff have for their hotel and city cannot be understated. Next time we won't look for another hotel, we will be returning to Hotel Mume.
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