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“Just what we needed...” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of HOSHINOYA Kyoto

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HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Ranked #72 of 363 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
10 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Just what we needed...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 10, 2013

We arrived in Kyoto after a busy few days in Japan and before we headed off to South Korea. It was perfect. We had a similar experience at Jicaro on Lake Nicaragua so we had high expectations- all of which were met.

First you arrive by cab to a dock where you are met with the kindest staff. They either load your luggage on to your boat or take you up to a nice waiting spot to wait on the boat. If you have to wait, you are promptly served tea and snacks. Once the boat arrives you head down to the river to Hoshinoya. The scenery is beautiful and you get to experience a little more traditional Japanese culture. There is of course staff waiting for you at the dock to help you off the boat and take you right up to your room.

We stayed in a private villa type room that looked directly out on to the river. You do have to take your shoes off before entering, but you are on vacation and already breathing lighter so why not. Hoshinoya provides each guest with slippers, pajamas and relaxation ware for the duration of their stay. We promptly changed and began relaxing. It is so peaceful, quiet, tranquil and impossible to leave. The room have giant sandalwood bath tubs and you are provided fresh flowers and herbs for your bath. It truly is magical. In fact, Hoshinoya is so great that it is nearly impossible to leave your room to see the city of Kyoto.

We did opt to do the American style breakfast in our room the first day. They come in with everything and set it up and leave you to enjoy the beautiful rooms and views. While it is pricey, it is a lot of food. We did not eat everything so the next day we opted to order items individually which turned out to be more expensive than the package. In other words, if you are going to do the in room breakfast (which I highly recommend) go ahead and do the full package.

The rooms are great. The sleeping area is a separate room, the toilet is in a separate room, and the shower and bath tub are in a separate room.

The best way to end this review is to say I wish we could have stayed longer or forever. We felt so refreshed when we left. It really was a wonderful place with excellent and kind staff.

  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Kat G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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226 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    120
    63
    22
    14
    7
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (25)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Russian first
  • Thai first
  • Any
English first
The Tropics
Level Contributor
27 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 24, 2013

Great location, great staff, everyone speaks English and are very helpful. The restaurant is excellent, the food presentation was perfect and everything tasted wonderful and fresh. The executive chef, Ichiro KUBOTA, prepared a excellent multi-course dinner. The area has a lot of sightseeing and shopping options. Very peaceful and relaxing. Breakfast was a real treat, hotpots with local produce.

The extra touches in the room were nice. They offered evening tea and CDs with relaxing music at night, fresh herbs for the bath and two outfits, one day and one night, which were both very comfortable. The Monko: Introduction to incense ceremony was a treat I would recommend if you have time.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DiveShark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2013

We stayed at Hoshinoya Kyoto for 3 nights last autumn. We really enjoyed our boat ride from Togetsukyo bridge to the hotel and the first impression was excellent as we checked in. Our room was very stylish with a great view of Hozugawa river.

Although we generally had a good time at Hoshinoya Kyoto and were very impressed with the design of the property and its location, quite a few little things went wrong and considering the reputation of Hoshinoya and the level of service expected, those careless mistakes shouldn't have happened. The booking confirmation email stated that breakfast and dinner were included but actually weren't. Butter was forgotten to be delivered for breakfast. We ordered vodka and tonic and were served vodka and soda instead. The worst was that despite our two calls to ask for our luggages to be collected from the room for our departure, nobody turned up until we mentioned it again after settling the bill and we missed our boat back to the bridge, made our taxi driver wait and nearly missed our train to Tokyo.

We really wanted to like Hoshinoya Kyoto more, as it was a stunningly beautiful hotel and each staff was very friendly and trying hard to do their job properly. But we couldn't help feeling that our experience would have been so much better, should those errors have not happened. Perhaps after a few more years of training of the staff and the management team, the hotel will be a lot better? We do hope so then we may go again to Hoshinoya Kyoto one day.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Flying_babi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kanazawa, Japan
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed June 3, 2013

While Japan has any number of ryokan boasting idyllic surroundings, lovely premises, and stellar cuisine, none bring it all together quite as seamlessly as Hoshinoya Kyoto. From the enchanting riverboat ride down to their private dock, to the peaceful stroll up to the rooms (or private "houses") through exquisite gardens, entering the resort alone brings a sense of tranquility. The accommodations are flawless; elegant, comfortable, well-designed, blending East and West and taking every consideration into account. And then, there's the cuisine. Their Michelin-star chef emphasizes a uniquely seasonal menu, pairing Japanese and French dishes with perfectly balanced ingredients. Everything is so fresh, so beautifully presented, and most importantly, so delicious, it's impeccable. The resort offers a number of on-site activities, and is also convenient for exploring the Arashiyama area. One caveat: if you're planning on a lot of coming-and-going from your hotel, or want to eat out a lot, you may consider splitting your time in Kyoto between Hoshinoya and another, more central hotel because once you settle into Hoshinoya, you really won't want to leave again!

Room Tip: If it's in your budget, the private "houses" are pretty amazing.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lauren S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level Contributor
13 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 14, 2013

Everything about our stay here was perfect from start to finish. The greeting staff are most gracious, and quite fluent in English. The locale is secluded but only in the best possible, most scenic way imaginable.

One accesses Hoshinoya via a free ferry service exclusive to Hoshinoya guests. The meal within the restaurant was spectacular, and the room itself was a knockout blend of traditional decor, scenic view of the river, and modern amenities. This place is not cheap, but it's worth every cent you pay for it. We hope to be able to return again someday!

Only one minor friendly suggestion: When we checked in, we were informed of a choice of either a "Japanese breakfast" or a "Western breakfast". Both are excellent in their own way, but both are huge and rather expensive. On our third day, we asked if there wasn't something smaller and simpler we might order (like just toast and tea, for example.) The staff were quick to oblige, which was great. This was both cheaper, and more in line with our own appetites. But why not advertise the "a la carte" menu in advance? Why only provide guests the choice of "Japanese" or "Western" breakfasts? Make sure to request the "a la carte" option if you're not that hungry and/or don't want to spend quite so much for breakfast.

Quick note: WiFi was available in the room free of charge. It's not the strongest signal, so we had to remain in the bedroom for optimal use. But that's not so bad!

Room Tip: We stayed in the Tani room and loved it. Spectacular view of the river, ultramodern amenities, and v...
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Daniel H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
91 reviews
49 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 11, 2013 via mobile

Amazing experience from the start. Room, although a little compact, was so comfortable & a truly stunning view!! The location was beautiful & the hotel gardens were lush. The food was delicious & beautifully presented. You have to choose a multi course menu in advance, but it was stunning.
If you are looking for accommodation in the middle of Kyoto, look elsewhere. But if you want an hotel that truly reflects the elegance & beauty of Kyoto, look no further.
Probably not suitable for travelling with children.
Stunning, stunning, stunning hotel!!!

Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank hargar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mangawhai, New Zealand
Level Contributor
24 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 9, 2013

What a brilliant little place this is. Set in beautiful gardens, the Hoshinoya consists of several East-meets-West sort of luxurious villas / rooms. The surroundings and the architecture are so stunningly beautiful and well-maintained that the tourist train across from the river actually stops to have a look at the hotel. (Don't be afraid that your privacy must be at stake -- the Hoshinoya is very private).
I can't even put to words the quality and beauty of the food. It's... it's.... beyond yum.
The staff is very friendly, helpful and accommodating. We even learned some calligraphy and could write our names in two types of Japanese writing in no time. They will go out of their way to make you feel at home and happy.
All in all, places like this come with a hefty price tag. But boy is this one worth the money.

  • Stayed May 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank avw_mg
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about HOSHINOYA Kyoto

Property: HOSHINOYA Kyoto
Address: 11-2 Genrokuzancho, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto 616-0007, Kyoto Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Western Kyoto
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites
Hotel Style:
#21 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
#23 Luxury Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$$
Hotel Class:4 star — HOSHINOYA Kyoto 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Kyoto's famed craftsmanship and celebrated history pervade every inch of this fully restored century-old property, from the woodblock-print designs in guestrooms to the refined Kaiseki meals, landscaped grounds, and timeless setting in Arashiyama, a former playground of cour nobles. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Hoshinoya Kyoto Hotel Kyoto

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