This wasn't our first choice hotel for our trip to Kyoto but it turned out to be a fantastic choice. Hotel is a lot cosier than some of the photos suggest and it is very very Japanese. English language skills were wanting in areas outside the front desk (restaurants, housekeeping, etc.) but service was excellent and staff were always attentive and willing to help (e.g. front desk staff asking the taxi driver to "please bring these clueless folk to a Starbucks in Gion for breakfast as their kids haven't really gotten into the whole Japanese breakfast thing").
Decor felt a bit 1980s Japan, but with a nice 21st century update. So it's still got that vibe of being a bit opulent in that Japanese eighties bubble way, but it's not so dated at the same time, so you don't feel like you're trapped in some time warp. But it is definitely a bit of a throwback to a more decadent period in Japan - and quite a bit of an experience to observe.
Rooms were very well appointed. Wifi worked. Air-conditioning controls in Japanese (no English help...), room safe had electrical sockets inside so you can charge up your iPhones and iPads. Beds were very comfortable and housekeeping has a list of complimentary "extras" too long to describe (our kids went for the ice pillow options....resulting in wet mattresses the next morning). Bathroom was Japanese style though - with the wet shower area located right next to the bath.
Tried the "Western" restaurant - decent, nothing to shout about and then went for the Teppanyaki option the following night which was superb. Loads of local Japanese clientele spending close to £100+ per head on the dinner course, which was a fantastic intimate experience.
So whilst we wanted to try one of the hipper boutique hotels - this turned out to be a great family option for us (family of 4 with kids 11 and 7). A bit on the pricier side of things, but kids thoroughly enjoyed returning to their oasis after long long walks about in Kyoto.
Last bit on location. Not great but if you're fine hopping into a cab - trips to Gion etc were 1200-1600 yen. Trip back to Kyoto station was just under 2000 yen. Not much to do immediately outside the hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award Winning HotelLocated at heart of Kyoto with newly renovated Atrium lobby and bar. The hotel has won 4 Black Pavilion on Michelin's guide in 2012 and is located near Nijo Castle, Nishi-jin and other must see tour spots. Facilities and servicesFree shuttle bus to Karasumaoike is available. Also there are 6 restaurants/bars offering cuisines from traditional Japanese to contemporary Western with chef from International Culinary Olympics Japan team. Spacious Guest roomsRenovated in 2010, all rooms include hotel's original brand Dream Journey Bed, large size bathtub and a cotton waffle bathrobes with night shirts. Flat-screen TV is viewable from both the bed and dining area. ... more less
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