There are plenty of sightseeing spots in Kyoto. Since you are likely to be walking a lot during the day, it is a good idea to spend some time at night enjoying a delicious meal and relaxing. Kyoto is home to a wide array of lodging facilities that range from luxury hotels to long-established ryokan. This time we are featuring some popular luxury hotels and ryokan that anybody would love to stay at.
Hoshinoya Kyoto, located in Arashiyama, which used to be home to the summer villas of the nobles during the Heian period, is a luxury hotel all of whose rooms offer a dynamic view of the rich nature of Arashiyama and the Oi River throughout the seasons. The hotel, also known as a “private residence by the riverside,” a name that matches it perfectly, uses a private pick-up boat to transport guests along the river. The hotel is built in a refurbished sukiya style house (a Japanese architectural style that started 200 years ago) that has been standing for about 100 years, and the gardens, including a floating one, have been arranged paying utmost attention to detail to recreate a getaway resort-like atmosphere. The hotel is also very popular among tourists for its unparalleled hospitality! All rooms are decorated differently in a Japanese modern sophisticated style, and they all offer guests the perfect space to forget about the hustle and bustle of daily life while listening to the water streaming outside. Make sure you try the hotel chef's innovative kaiseki ryori (a traditional course meal), which has been awarded Michelin stars, and which enjoys a reputation of being exquisite. This is a very well equipped hotel that offers you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a stay in your own way.
1. Hoshinoya Kyoto
The Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto is a top choice luxury hotel designed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts and located right next to Tenryuji Temple. The guest rooms harmoniously combine Japanese traditional aesthetics with a modern design, and the Japanese-style garden creates a relaxing and soothing space. All 39 rooms offer a magnificent view of the garden and of the other side of the Hozu River, and 18 of them are luxuriously equipped with private open air onsen baths using natural hot spring water. The alkalescence hot spring water is popular for being gentle on the skin and for being effective in recovering from exhaustion. The hotel also has a bamboo grove and a private open-air bath with a stone tub, so make sure to give it a try. We also recommend their kaiseki ryori meals in a traditional style with a French twist, and their afternoon tea with traditional Japanese desserts! This is the perfect hotel to unwind by yourself while enjoying the grand sight of Arashiyama.
2. Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto
The Hiiragiya Ryokan founded 200 years ago and overflowing with the charm of the ancient glory of Kyoto, is a historical ryokan located downtown Kyoto offering outstandingly dedicated hospitality. The ryokan has been awarded Michelin stars in the past, and it is famous for its high status as a hotel that visitors to Kyoto must definitely visit. The two-storied building, built in the sukiya style of architecture, is made of wood, and it evokes the nostalgic atmosphere of the end of the Edo period and the beginning of the Showa era. The main building has 21 rooms, while the annex houses 7 additional and very varied rooms, most of which offer access to the inner garden.
The meals, Kyoto-style kaiseki ryori using seasonal fish and vegetables in a way that brings out the skill of the chefs, not only taste delicious, but they also look beautiful — the meals are more than a worthy enough reason to stay here at least once! The hotel is not especially gaudy, but it certainly offers ultimate calmness in a traditional environment full of Japanese-style charm. Take your time to narrow down your plans when deciding whether to stay in the main building or the annex, depending on the purpose of your trip.
3. Hiiragiya Ryokan
KIZASHI THE SUITE, located in Gion, is a luxury hotel encompassing 8 suite rooms. The suites, all which offer an elegant Japanese modern atmosphere, offer exquisite comfort. The hotel is also characterized by being equipped with a Concierge Desk. All the rooms are equipped with either a spacious koyamaki (umbrella pine) bath with carbonated spring water or a big bath tub in which the guests can enjoy a relaxing jacuzzi. For your meal, you can have Kyoto kaiseki ryouri in your room prepared by either by Michelin rated restaurants (starting at 15,000 JPY (incl. tax) per person for dinner) or from a long-established restaurant founded 350 years ago – you will surely be impressed with the quality! You can also order traditional cultural performances from Gion such as Ozashiki asobi (starting at 150,000 JPY for 2 people), in which maiko, apprentice geisha, will join you for dinner and perform traditional Japanese dances for you. If you are interested, make sure to give this a try. The popular Yasaka Jinja is within walking distance from the hotel, and you may be able to spot some maiko on the Hanami Alley nearby.
4. KIZASHI THE SUITE
Because Kyoto is the city that receives the largest number of tourists in Japan, it is home to a wide array of lodging facilities, including luxury hotels and ryokan, all of which have their own unique characteristics. We hope that this article will be useful as a reference for you to find a hotel or ryokan in Kyoto that will contribute to a lovely stay in Japan!
*Please note that the information in this article is from the time of writing or publication and may differ from the latest information.