First off, this was an amazing experience. I wavered between giving 4 or 5 stars and ended up giving 4, simply because:
We had never been to a ryokan before and decided to go with what was deemed the "best" in Kyoto. I'm guessing that there are others that, while not on par in terms of the food/service, are better value. Sort of the reason we're 4-star hotel people in most cases vs. 5-star. There usually isn't enough of a difference to justify multiples of price.
A reason that didn't entirely have to do with the Ryokan, but factors in to the pricing/value, was that we unfortunately only had 2 nights in Kyoto (one at Tawaraya and one at the Westin). And once you're at Tawaraya, you want to stay. Mainly because of the excellent service and food, but also because, well, you're paying so much for the experience, you feel almost obligated to put on your yakatas and simply hang out! Had we stayed in a less expensive ryokan, we probably wouldn't had felt as guilty about going out and exploring more of Kyoto.
With that all said, the food was amazing, and service impeccable. We were there in December, so couldn't enjoy the outdoor garden area, but the wooden tub experience was amazing ...More
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