Where to Book Your Stay in Kyoto, Japan, for a Local Experience

Ace Hotel Kyoto has excellent amenities, including two restaurants and a coffee shop
Ace Hotel Kyoto has excellent amenities, including two restaurants and a coffee shop | Courtesy of Ace Hotel Kyoto / Expedia

This timeless city and cultural capital in Japan is home to age-old ‘ryokan’ or traditional Japanese inns and upscale hotels with ‘onsen’ or hot springs.

Old-world Kyoto has a fantastic selection of places to stay, from local hostels that specialise in daily events and cultural classes to history-rich ryokan with tatami-mat floors and luxury hotels that cater to business and pleasure travellers. Every traveller is catered for in the cultural capital of Japan; it’s where classic art and architecture meet modern design and convenience. When you’re not visiting some of the 2,000 Buddhist temples and Shinto shrines dotting the city, here are the best places to stay in Kyoto – bookable on Culture Trip.

1. The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo


The bar and dining area at the Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo features luxurious detailing and unique light features
Courtesy of The Royal Park Hotel Kyoto Sanjo / Expedia

Near the edge of the Kamo River, which passes through the heart of Kyoto, the Royal Park Hotel is a spacious and modern retreat providing a comfortable place to stay. It has a wide selection of room choices that cater to every guest – from standard double rooms to corner deluxe suites. Amenities include Monsieur Itoh, the on-site restaurant that serves up classic Western dishes.

2. Ryokan Motonago


A tranquil garden area at Ryokan Motonago leading into a minimalist room with tatami mats
Courtesy of Ryokan Motonago / Expedia

Feeding off the traditional Edo vibe and aesthetics of the old capital of Japan, Motonago is an authentic ryokan in the Higashiyama District that takes you back in time through its design. This interior incorporates shoji screens, tatami mats, minimalist use of space and Japanese wood-built baths. This place to stay in Kyoto also offers quality multi-course kaiseki cuisine that skips through sashimi, tempura and grilled fish.

3. The Westin Miyako Kyoto


Traditional Japanese buildings dotting the grounds at the Westin Miyako Kyoto, with greenery and rock landscaping
Courtesy of The Westin Miyako Kyoto / Expedia

The Westin Miyako Kyoto is a modern hotel in every sense. As it’s a part of the Marriott group, a certain level of quality and comfort is guaranteed. The hotel has a fitness centre and a pool to be enjoyed to your heart’s content. However, the biggest highlight is the on-site spa, which promotes health and wellness through traditional Japanese massage and aromatherapy treatments. The Westin also has outstanding French cuisine if you’re craving a palate cleanser after indulging in all that Japan has to offer.

4. Hotel Granvia Kyoto


A large, minimal-chic room with big windows, a bed and a sofa at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Courtesy of Hotel Granvia Kyoto / Expedia

This grand and elegant place to stay in Kyoto caters to guests of every kind and can host events and meetings large and small. As a guest, you’ll have access to an indoor pool and a comfortable lounge area, along with your pick of several dining options, including Japanese and European cuisines. There’s also a private dining area available.

5. Karasuma Kyoto Hotel


A soothing cream-and-oat-coloured suite at Karasuma Kyoto Hotel, with a separate living area with a TV
Courtesy of Karasuma Kyoto Hotel / Expedia

The Karasuma Kyoto Hotel prioritises comfort and good food over everything else. There’s an on-site restaurant serving Chinese cuisine, and after dinner, there’s a beautifully lit and decorated bar perfect for a nightcap. The hotel also has a range of options for meetings and events if you’re in Kyoto for a business trip or a party.

6. Ace Hotel Kyoto


A modern and hip lounge in Ace Hotel Kyoto, with unique wicker seating, blue chairs and a sofa in a copper nook
Courtesy of Ace Hotel Kyoto / Expedia

The Ace Hotel is an excellent place to stay in Kyoto. The rooms here are decorated in a modern style with a spectrum of colours and shapes brightening every space. To make every stay unique, the hotel hosts frequent, fun events, from happy hour to taco Tuesdays. And, if you’ve chosen Kyoto as your wedding destination, Ace can cater to that as well.

7. Ryokan Sumiya Kiho-an


A room at Ryokan Sumiya Kiho-an, with a table, chairs, red walls and tatami mats
Courtesy of Ryokan Sumiya Kiho-an / Expedia

Ryokan Sumiya Kiho-an offers a true Japanese hotel experience, through its aesthetics and design and its on-site onsen facilities. Designed from the ground up as an authentic Japanese ryokan, this place to stay in Kyoto is characterised by shoji screens, tatami mats and wood panelling. However, the baths, surrounded by a natural backdrop of rocks and trees, are the biggest draws.

8. Zen Kyoto Apartment Hotel

Serviced Apartment

A room at Zen Kyoto Apartment Hotel, with two double beds, a large sofa, and a raised tatami platform with a low dining table
Courtesy of Zen Kyoto Apartment Hotel / Expedia

Standing out in a busy crowd of unique hostels and luxury guesthouses, Zen Kyoto Apartment Hotel sets itself apart by providing a true home-from-home experience. Each fully equipped and spacious apartment-style room has a lounge area, a TV and a traditional Japanese dining area. The hotel wants you to find complete comfort in its homespun atmosphere.

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