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Santiago Guesthouse Kyoto
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Reviewed April 9, 2013

When I booked this hostel there was no comments in either Tripadvisor or Agoda, so I decided to take a risk. It turns out that it is an OK hostel if you book very late and have limited budget. Location is great, just next to the Kiyomizu Temple and two bus stops away from Gion. They havn't got any big signature outside, so it takes some time to look for it. Because there is no elevator, don't come with a large piece of luggage. The reception is on 2nd floor and rooms are on 3rd or 4th floor. Bed is very comfortable and large, with a small light, a power socket and a lockable section. Curtain is also good for some privacy.

But there is two things that I think they need to improve: first: they only have 3 shower cabinets shared by all the guests (total bed number should be around 50), so if you want to have shower, be prepare for a long queue; Also every time you have to go up and down a few times because the shower is only available on 2nd floor. second, no water dispenser. I have to ask the bartender for water every evening.
One thing worth mentioning is that the management of the hostel has some defects. I had two reservations separately, and it took the guy at the reception about 20 mins to understand the situation. During the whole process he asked me a few times to pay the amount which I had paid already. It is not a big problem but the process is annoying.

I travelled to Kyoto in a busy season and almost all the hostels are full. That's why I booked Santiago Guesthouse. However, if you are planning your trip with other accommodation alternatives, try others. I know there are many better hostels in Kyoto.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank mangoeyes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2013

We've planned our trip to "cherry blossoms fully blooming" Kyoto at the last minute but we were absolutely lucky to find this cool guesthouse!
This brand new guesthouse is located in Higashiyama district. Kiyomizu-dera temple or Gion district are just walking distance (ca. 10 min. on foot).
The guesthouse has large rooms with high ceiling, providing clean and stylish basic facilities like hot shower, hair dryer, PC with internet, free Wi-Fi, map of Kyoto, luggage storage etc. (private safety box at the bed side is so small, though). And what I cannot forget to mention is the bar with pleasant atmosphere on the ground floor, it is the cafe during the day and is common space only for guests from 6 p.m. Staffs are friendly and helpful.
We really enjoyed our stay there and willing to come back :-) Thanks!!!

Room Tip: Window side beds might be noisy even at night since the hostel is facing the busy street. For female travellers, they can provide "female only dormitory room" if available.
  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank kuboiova
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 4, 2013

I wasn't sure what to expect from Santiago Guesthouse since there weren't many reviews when I booked. However, it turned out to be a very positive experience and is one of the better small hostels I've stayed at in Japan. It opened very recently, so the hostel and cafe's sleek and modern design was in its full glory during my stay. The beds were also in great condition, and were quite comfortable. I was pleased by all the small details: lots of headroom in the bunk beds, a small lockable sliding cabinet, and curtains for added privacy. The staff was extremely friendly and were always more than willing to help us with anything we needed. Being a small hostel, this kind of personal attention was very refreshing.

The cafe on the ground floor seemed to be on the same level. Although I didn't eat there, I did see some food being served and it all looked fantastic. The prices were very reasonable as well. Just across the intersection from the hostel is the street leading up to Kiyomizudera and as such, is in a great location. Walking to Gion or the station takes roughly 15-20 minutes and bus lines run up and down the street.

If I had to give some drawbacks from staying there, I'd say some of the facilities need a bit of improvement. With four rooms (I think) of 8 beds each and only four showers, there was a queue in the morning, which was a bit of a time waste. In addition, there are no laundry facilities so that may be a problem if you're planning on staying for a bit. In any case, depending on what time of year you go and the duration, you may not run into any of these problems.

Our stay at Santiago Guesthouse was a really pleasant surprise and is highly recommended.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 29, 2013

Excellent location near some prime sites in Kyoto, and more importantly close to transit that makes it easy to get everywhere else. This hostel just opened in March 2013 so everything is brand new. The english speaking staff is both friendly and helpfull. Beds are comfortable and have lights / power outlets / locking cabinets and privacy curtains. Free computers are available for guest use and the wi-fi is fast, and reaches throughout the building. The first floor has a cafe/bar with pretty good prices. Overall excellent value for money and a very comfortable place to base out of for a visit to Kyoto.

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Josh T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile
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Stayed: June 2018, traveled solo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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