This hotel, although somewhat pricy, is a solid place to be based out of for seeing Kyoto's numerous sights. Its key strength is that it is very close to the Kyoto Shiyakushomae metro stop on the Tozai line, and it is about a 5 min walk southeast across the river to Sanjo station on the Keihan line. With these two options, plus the bus system, its easy to move around town. Plus, getting here from Kyoto station only involved a few subway stops and one transfer.
From Kyoto Shiyakushomae subway stop, take the attached shopping center's exit 1 and walk west, and you'll see the sign in a minute. Check-in and out was smooth. Service was pretty good and they were able to promptly accommodate a couple of nonstandard requests. They have 2 handy desktop PCs and a printer in the lobby. I did not try any of the restaurants or the bar.
The floor I was on allowed access to the elevator only from one side, due to some poor building design. Unfortunately for me, I was on the side furthest from the elevator, and it really took forever to get to/from it... So ask for a room close to the lift! The clean twin room was not too small. There was a closet and fridge. The bed was a little small, but comfortable. It wasn't too hard to regulate the heater/AC. The bathroom was a very decent size for Japan, with a rare roomy sink area, and had some nice Shiseido products and a good bathrobe. The free Wifi wasn't super speedy, but got the job done. TV had BBC for keeping tabs on Putin's scheming, and maybe 1 other English channel. Housekeeping was quite good and polite - when I had my Do Not Disturb sign up, they always followed up later to see if I wanted housekeeping. A couple of weak points - I think the room I had was converted from a smoking room, because occasionally I could smell some unpleasant tinges of smoke at night. Also, the walls seemed a bit thin - I often heard goings-on in the hall or next rooms (crying babies and other delights). Travel with earplugs.
In the immediate vicinity are many good restaurants (try the pancake place on Kawaramachi-dori for a good eggs benedict when you tire of Japanese fare), 7-11/Family Mart convenience stores, currency exchange via discount ticket booking booth, bakeries, cafes (Starbucks to the southeast, not far from Sanjo station), and the Teramachi-dori shopping arcade across the street to the north. Its also a 5-10 min walk south to interesting Ponto-cho, Gion, and the somewhat tame (certainly isn't Fukuoka or Osaka) nightlife area of Kamiya-cho.
I had one oil based full body 60 min massage at the spa on the top floor. It was quite pricy, but undeniably good and relaxing (couple of times almost hurt at how good it felt). The staff is very polite, and they serve tea afterwards. If you have some $ to spare, its a good experience.
Overall, despite a few weaknesses due to iffy building design and thin walls, the excellent location and good service make this a solid recommendation if you've got a little money.
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- Also Known As:
- Kyoto Royal Hotel And Spa
- Kyoto Royal Hotel Kyoto