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“Just a little too Zen”
Review of Hotel Kanra Kyoto

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Hotel Kanra Kyoto
Ranked #6 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Canada
Level 6 Contributor
250 reviews
93 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 233 helpful votes
“Just a little too Zen”
Reviewed September 7, 2013

This hotel is a thing of beauty. It's new and modern.
It's location is handy to the station and close to a subway station but its about a 20-30 min walk to the major attractions of Kyoto - the temple area, the shopping street and Gion, the Geisha/nightlife quarter.
The staff are absolutely delightful. They could not do enough to be helpful.
We booked their standard room, called double, I believe. At 35sq.m., it sounded pretty large. However, there are so many cutesy design features, such as a large bathroom with deep wooden tub, shower stall, big vanity and the requisite wash 'em, dry 'em, send 'em on their way Toto toilet; there is a raised tatami alcove with writing desk; there is a long table running along the window with artistically placed moss. All of these leave very little useable space. There's almost no place to put your suitcase. There are no bedside tables and access to one side of the queen-sized bed is tight.
The bathroom is up two steps - not ideal for people of a certain age who may have occasion to use it in the night. It's dramatically lit which can make shaving a challenge. The aforementioned vanity is countersunk in a black stone counter. The base of the sink consists of two, foot square stone tiles. I found it a bit gross. Whatever went into the sink tended to linger for quite awhile. It was often challenging to wash it clean.
The next two room categories up - superior and deluxe, I believe, are large enough that the Zen design features don't compromise useable space. The bathroom is on the same level as the room - no stairs. The vanity has double faucets - twice the potential for lingering effluent. Unfortunately none of these rooms were available during our stay.
Their breakfast - western or Japanese - are beautifully presented and delicious.
I had a problem with their Wifi. My partner and I both have iPads which connected easily. I also have an iPhone 4S. After the first day, even though the iPhone showed connection (the four semicircular lines) I was unable to access the Internet. I took it down to the lobby, same prob. So, assuming it to be a defect with my device, I did a series of resets culminating in a complete deletion of all data. And it still wouldn't connect. I took it to an Apple repair centre and it connected just fine. Took it back to the hotel, same problem. The next day, my iPad did the same thing. It was rectifiable with a reset of network settings. I mentioned this to the front desk staff. I felt certain that there was something about their system. They weren't able to offer any help.
So, would I stay here again? Possibly. But in a larger room. I guess my first choice, location-wise, would be the Gion nightlife area. It's absolutely beautiful.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank boundary
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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Lansdowne, Canada
Level 6 Contributor
159 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
Reviewed September 6, 2013 via mobile

We spent 5 nights at The Kanra. It is an exceptional property. Objectively I must give it 5 stars...subjectively 4.5 stars. The staff was without exception one of the best hotel teams that I have encountered. Service was flawless. The front desk gave terrific restaurant recommendations. Some might criticize the location but I don't think Kyoto has any ideally situated hotel. We were steps from the subway and bus routes and a short walk to the station and shopping areas. We had there smallest room category and it was ample but you must like "zen". The western breakfast was superb. I anxiously awaited breakfast even though the menu didn't change. There were two things about the room I didn't like. You couldn't view TV from bed and there were two steps up to the bathroom. I'm getting too old for steps in the dark. I have one suggestion. Offer some breakfast variations with the western breakfast. Don't change the quality though. The staff were ever so helpful and obliging and in my opinion the strength of this property.

Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank John G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed August 31, 2013 via mobile

We stayed here for 2 nights and it was the best hotel we stayed in while in Japan. It is a nice boutique style hotel with beautiful equipped rooms on a good location. The hotel offers good bikes for rental and the staff is super friendly! We would recommend this place for anyone!

  • Stayed August 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank KarenLimpens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Francisco
Level 4 Contributor
37 reviews
30 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed August 23, 2013

We were originally booked in to the Hyatt but I wanted to be a little closer to the central Sanjo-Kawaramachi area, so we moved to this hotel instead. They make impressive use of limited space in the rooms. Very clean, modern, bright. No views really from our room. Huge bed the equivalent of 2 queens, and then a generous tatami sitting area with flat-screen t.v. where you can also lay out futons at night to sleep several additional people. They charge by the person. Wooden sunken Japanese tub plus shower. The lobby area is very small--this is truly boutique--as is the dining area for breakfast. But it's all done very well. Breakfast was quite good--try the Japanese style. Having lived in this area for several years, I would not call this location central as it is still a 15-20 minute walk from the Sanjo-Kawaramachi shopping area. However, it is very close to the Gojo-Kawaramachi subway station. One of the largest temples in Kyoto/Japan, Higashi Honganji, is directly across the street. I do feel the location is better than the Hyatt. If you are looking for all the amenities of a huge hotel, this place is not for you. But if you are looking for very tasteful, more bespoke accommodations in Kyoto in a fairly quiet, decently convenient location, this place is great. Would stay here again.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mae O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Kingston upon Thames, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 18, 2013 via mobile

This small boutique style hotel is only a 2 minute cab ride from the station, making it very accessible even with lots of cases. We arrived very early but, helpfully, our room was ready and waiting for us. The room was fantastic! We are a family of 4 and opted for a superior room. It was amazing! The biggest bed I've ever seen! A living area with low desk and seating, which transformed into a Japanese style sleeping area on tatami mats for the children at night. The kids slept very well on the floor! Lots of thoughtful extras...great selection of toiletries, kimonos, slippers. A wooden bathtub, fabulous walk in shower, separate toilet...perfect! The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. The only small area for improvement is that the restaurant/bar area closes very early so you can't have a nightcap, even at 9.45pm. It's a great location, a minutes walk from a subway station, 15 min stroll to the main station and central area. Absolutely loved Kyoto, one of the most beautiful places I've been, and the Kanra is a fantastic place to stay.

Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
1 Thank NewMaldenMum72
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 1 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed August 16, 2013

Hotel Kanra is a little piece of Oasis in the middle of Kyoto. It is a modern hotel with a very traditional vibe and we could not fault our experience. The hotel itself is amazing, it is sleek, quiet and each room feels like you are walking into a Ryokan. The bed is huge!! After walking around the city all day this is exactly what we felt like getting into!
The location of the hotel is a little bit too far out of the action of Kyoto. It is a 30 min walk to Gion and roughly a 20 min walk until you reach anything interesting the city has to offer. That being said, it is close to Kyoto station and public transport around the city is easy so it did not effect our trip at all.
The hotel staff are very helpful and their English is faultless.
Make sure you print out directions to the hotel because it is tucked away and very hard to find on your first visit.
I would definitely stay here again!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Atof
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, D.C.
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2013

Our family of four (mom, dad, and 2 kids (12 and 6) stayed here for 2 nights, and we really enjoyed it. The hotel is kind of tucked away in an unobtrusive location off a side street, but easily accessible by subway from the Kyoto Station (just one stop away, and then less than half a block from the south entrance to the Gojo subway station). The hotel is modern and hip, but with a traditional Japanese twist -- the low table and sofa, paper window shades, etc. If you're looking for a Japanese flair but don't want to stray from a traditional Western hotel, this hybrid could be just the ticket for you. It's quite small, and the staff is helpful and knowledgeable. The WiFi was very good; no problem downloading emails on my smartphone in the room. Great big beds and bathroom facilities. The hotel is small and intimate, and has a "boutique" feel.
One thing we did not like, although it may be standard for Kyoto (or Japan for that matter) is that our 12-year-old son was basically treated as a grownup and we were charged 70% of the room rate on top of the regular room rate for him to stay in the room with us, with or without an extra futon bed. Again, don't know whether this is unique to this hotel, but worth checking into if you're traveling with kids.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 27Quincy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Hotel Kanra Kyoto

Property: Hotel Kanra Kyoto
Address: 190 Kitamachi Karasuma-dori Rokujo Sagaru, Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto 600-8176, Kyoto Prefecture
Phone Number:
Location: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Shimogyo-ku
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 369 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4 star — Hotel Kanra Kyoto 4*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hotel Kanra Kyoto is a modern designed hotel in style, and yet aiming to acquire and provide the uniquely sophisticated service of Ryokans(the traditional Japanese hotels) to every single guest. The 68 rooms decorated with the minimal touches and scents of Kyoto are the "Small Luxury". Once you step in to the lobby, you are immersed in the cozy warmth in the sun and the rejuvenating coolness under the shades of the green leaves that will emotionally take you to the front garden of the "MA-CHI-YA"(the historic Kyoto's townhouses).Our famous Hiba-cypress wooden bathtub and a separate shower are built in each room.We would do our best to assist your trip in Kyoto to be the precious memory of a lifetime.*Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility.*Located approx. 12minutes on foot from the Central Exit at JR Kyoto station, 1 minute walk from the Exit 8 at Gojo Subway Stop to your right(the South direction). ... more   less 
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