I have stayed at Hotel Alpha in December 2011, during a longer trip through Japan.
The hotel is extremely well positioned, very close to Gyon, the city centre, the river, subway and bus stops. The surrounding area is full of well priced restaurants, there's a 7/11 around the corner, Loft and Uniqlo are also close.
The lobby was probably the area of the hotel I enjoyed the most as it's really comfy, offers free coffee and tea, and free wifi - in a very cold December in Kyoto, this was a warm place to be in!
It's true that rooms are a bit old and tiny, but I was not at all bothered by this, as I've spent most of my time around the city. What I really enjoyed was the bathroom with the tub, and the complimentary Shiseido amenities. Plus, the sign that the water is safe for drinking made me enjoy several long warm baths!
I would perhaps not recommend the breakfast - was a bit pricey for the limited choice they offered.
The staff was pretty friendly and they speak English, they even sold bus cards and helped me understand what buses I had to take.
I would totally recommend the hotel if you're looking for a convenient place to stay close to the centre!
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