Kyoto is renowned for its beauty, tranquillity and hospitality. From within the calm of natural settings on the outskirts of the city to the buzz of downtown, all these luxury hotels do their bit to uphold the city’s impeccable reputation.
Kyoto hotels don’t come more central than the Hotel Granvia, located as it is inside the city’s main train station. The building’s striking architectural style encases guests in elegance, and certain rooms – which ranges from singles to suites – offer direct views of the Kyoto Tower. The hotel offers halal food in one of its eight restaurants, Ukihashi.
Aoi Hotel, in central Kyoto, is a great choice for any kind of traveller, but it’s especially suited to families. Though luxurious, it’s reasonably priced and includes extras such as kitchenettes, refrigerators and on-site laundry. In the rooms, guests are greeted by traditional Japanese screen prints and lovely river views.
Another hotel near to Kyoto Station and with gorgeous views of the Kyoto Tower, Hotel Kanra gives guests easy access to all the best parts of the city. The decor perfectly encapsulates the spirit of the city: minimalist design that’s both sleek and welcoming. There’s also a shop where you can purchase Japanese pottery and witness artful repairs carried out using ancient techniques.
Welcoming guests with a lush bamboo grove straight out of a painting, the Hyatt Regency Kyoto entwines traditional Japanese beauty into every aspect of your stay. A maiko (apprentice geisha) performs a traditional dance for guests every evening; rooms feature Japanese wooden bathtubs and sliding screen doors. A spa, fitness centre and six restaurants round out the hotel’s offering.
Surian, in scenic Arashiyama, combines the tranquillity of a natural Japanese setting with the modern conveniences Marriott hotels are known for. The Meiji Era-inspired building houses a gourmet restaurant and an onsen, and wide windows open onto traditional Japanese gardens and the picturesque Hozu River. Free train station pick-up, a full-service spa and concierge services are also included.
The Ritz-Carlton is perched right on the scenic Kamo River, the jewel of Kyoto. Many of the luxury rooms and suites feature gorgeous views and private zen gardens. Curated activity programs offer guests personalised hiking, meditation and culinary experiences. A spa, indoor pool, four restaurants and a day care are all on the premises.
The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto transforms your stay into a full-on cultural experience. In the quaint historic district of Higashiyama, this intimate hideaway transports guests to a bygone time. The 800-year-old garden, which the complex is built around, was mentioned in an epic poem called The Tale of Heike that dates back to the 12th century. Experience tea ceremonies, Michelin-star sushi, ancient healing spa treatments, all without leaving the grounds.