Disclaimer: Top 10 Lists are created keeping in mind only my opinion. Rest assured that IH Aviation and Travel is not biased whatsoever.
Kyoto, a former capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. Kyoto is considered the cultural capital of Japan and a major tourist destination. The city, just a few kilometres away from Osaka, is famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. Kyoto receives a lot of tourists during the autumn and spring season. In the past few years, most of the luxury hospitality brands, like Aman, Four Seasons and Ritz-Carlton, have entered Kyoto’s hospitality market. Let’s take a look at the Top 10 5 star Hotels in Kyoto, Japan.
10. Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery
Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery is situated in the centre of Kyoto, 300 metres from Nijo Castle. Kyoto International Manga Museum is less than 1 kilometres from the hotel while Kyoto Imperial Palace is 1.8 kilometres from the property. The nearest airport is Itami Airport, 38 kilometres from the hotel. Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei MGallery features 25 guest rooms with castle or bamboo views. Some guest rooms also feature a balcony. Singular, the hotel’s restaurant, is inspired by “Japan’s sense of beauty” and “Rich culinary tradition in Kyoto” and serves French cuisine. There is also a bar present at the hotel.
9. Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto
Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto is situated right along the gentle streams of Katsura River and boasting a beautiful Japanese garden. The symbolic Togetsukyo Bridge is located a 5-minute walk away, while the renowned Arashiyama Bamboo Grove can be found within a 10-minute walking distance. The hotel features just 39 guest rooms and suites that offer either a garden or mountain view. A fusion of Japanese kaiseki (traditional multi-course) meal and French cuisine are served for breakfast, lunch and dinner at the on-site restaurant, Kyo Suiran. Tea and coffee can be enjoyed at Cafe Hassui, between 11:00 and 17:00. Guests can relax at the spa, purchase souvenirs at the gift shop, or soak in the private open-air bath with an advance reservation.
8. The Westin Miyako Kyoto
With a commanding position overlooking the city of Kyoto, the Westin Miyako is ideally located between the Northern and Southern Higashiyama sightseeing districts. Keage subway station is a 3-minute walk away and Gion district can be reached in 5-minutes by taxi. The Westin offers a free shuttle service to downtown Kyoto. The hotel features 266 elegant guest rooms and suites that offer either Heian-Kyo view or a garden view. RAQOU offers various dishes from around the world. Dominique Bouchet Kyoto Le RESTAURANT offers delectable French cuisine prepared by celebrated chef Dominique Bouchet while Dominique Bouchet Kyoto Le Teppanyaki serves French-infused teppanyaki course. Connected to the entrance hall, the Tea Lounge “MAYFAIR” offers a wide selection of teas. BAR ROKUZA serves cocktails. Recreational amenities at the hotel include an indoor swimming pool and a 24/7 WestinWORKOUT Fitness Studio. Guests can pamper themselves by indulging in the on-site spa called “Le Jardin Sothys”. Services include facials and body treatments. A variety of treatment therapies are provided, including aromatherapy.
Website: The Westin Miyako Hotel
7. THE HOTEL MITSUI KYOTO, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa
HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO, a Luxury Collection Hotel & Spa is located near Nijō Castle. The nearest airport is Itami Airport which is 38 kilometres from the hotel. The hotel consists of 161 guest rooms and suites that offer city view, garden view or Nijo-jo Castle view. FORNI serves some of the finest Italian dishes and freshest ingredients in downtown Kyoto while TOKI offers teppanyaki dishes that are a fusion of French and Japanese. The Garden Bar serves Afternoon Tea and cocktails. サーマルスプリング SPA has 4 treatment rooms. Services include sports massages and body treatments. The spa is equipped with a spa tub.
6. Hyatt Regency, Kyoto
Located in the heart of Higashiyama, Kyoto, Hyatt Regency Kyoto is 5-minute walk away from Shichijo Station. From Kyoto Station, an express train can take guests to Kansai International Airport in 75 minutes. All of the 187 guest rooms and suites offer a step into the timeless background of Kyoto’s design creating an atmosphere of authentic and distinctive Kyoto. The Grill features French grill dishes, while Touzan serves Japanese cuisine and Trattoria Sette offers Italian food. The Hyatt has a bar, a pastry shop and room service. RIRAKU Spa and Fitness provides true wellness and relaxation in the heart of Kyoto. Spa treatments, based on both Eastern and Western traditions, are results-oriented and sensually pampering, incorporating Shiatsu, acupuncture, moxibustion and aromatherapy. There’s also a fitness centre with full range of the latest exercise equipment, such as cardiovascular, isotonic machines and free weights present at the hotel. Hyatt Regency Kyoto offers a complimentary one-way taxi ride from JR Kyoto Station.
Website: Hyatt Regency, Kyoto
5. The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is situated right along the Kamogawa River, offering iconic Kyoto views. Kyoto Shiyakushomae Subway Station is just a 3-minute walk away, while Nijo-jo Castle, one of the World Heritage Sites, is a 3-minute subway ride from the hotel. Each of the 134 guest rooms and suites feature traditional Kyoto aesthetics and sophisticated elegance. La Locanda restaurant serves colourful Italian dishes featuring select ingredients from all over the world. Delicately prepared Japanese kaiseki multi-course meals and sushi can be savoured at Mizuki restaurant. Pierre Hermé Paris offers delicious French sweets including macaroons. The Ritz-Carlton Spa has 7 treatment rooms, including rooms for couples. Services include deep-tissue massages, hot stone massages, Swedish massages and facials. A variety of treatment therapies are provided, including aromatherapy. The spa is equipped with a sauna and a steam room. There is also an indoor swimming pool and a 24-hour gym present at the hotel.
Website: The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
4. Park Hyatt, Kyoto
Park Hyatt Kyoto is located close to Kodai-ji Temple surrounded by Higashiyama landscape. The hotel is easy to access from either the JR Kyoto station via local bus, Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan line, or Kawaramachi Station on the Hankyu line. Designed as a luxury guesthouse, Park Hyatt Kyoto features just 70 guest rooms, including 9 suites which are both thoughtful and tranquil, offering a quiet retreat from the bustling Higashiyama streets. Yasaka, Park Hyatt Tokyo’s signature restaurant, serves a distinctly new type of teppanyaki cuisine showcasing various French-inspired cooking techniques. KYOYAMATO offers authentic, seasonally-inspired kaiseki cuisine that dates back to 1877, during Japan’s Meiji Era while KYOTO BISTRO features international and Japanese comfort food crafted à la minute in a lively, open kitchen with locally-sourced and organic ingredients. The Living Room is the heart and hearth of Park Hyatt Kyoto’s luxury guesthouse where guests can enjoy the hotel’s original five course Afternoon Tea menu served with carefully selected tea pairing and snacks. Kohaku is an intimate and refined bar adjacent to Yasaka offers cocktails and spirits. The Spa and Fitness Centre at Park Hyatt Kyoto offer an exclusive and sophisticated wellness experience. Featuring a private treatment suite with an adjoining relaxation lounge and inspired by the deeply spiritual culture of Kyoto, in house guests are treated to a range of authentic therapies and traditional Japanese rituals to de-stress the mind and relax the body.
Website: Park Hyatt, Kyoto
3. Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is located in Higashiyama, a neighbourhood in Kyoto, and is in the city centre. Kyoto Station is a 7-minute drive away while Kansai International Airport is a 75-minute train ride away. The hotel features 177 beautifully designed guest rooms and suites. While overlooking the pond garden, guests can enjoy dishes prepared using Kyoto’s local ingredients at The Brasserie. The Lounge serves pastries, coffees and teas. Sushi Wakon, which has received a Michelin star for four consecutive years, offers an intimate and interactive experience while Fuju serves expertly crafted local sweets and matcha tea and Kyoto sake or premium Champagne in the evening. Built some 800 years ago at the foot of a mountain in the scenic Higashiyama temple district, the 10,000-square-metre (100,000-square-foot), circuit-style ikeniwa, or pond garden, is a haven of quiet dignity – and one of the few remaining gardens created at the end of the Heian Period, the peak of Imperial Japan. The Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto has 7 treatment rooms. Services include massages and body treatments. The spa is equipped with a sauna. Public bath/onsen services include an indoor public bath and a yukata (Japanese robe). These services feature separate men’s and women’s areas. There is also a 24-hour fitness centre with a variety of equipment and machines.
Website: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
2. ROKU KYOTO, LXR Hotels and Resorts
Situated beneath the breathtaking panorama of the majestic Takagamine mountains in northern Kyoto, ROKU KYOTO is nestled within the 28.6-acre Shozan Resort Kyoto, a luxury enclave home to some of Kyoto’s most notable and idyllic Japanese gardens, historic architecture and authentic tea houses. The 114 thoughtfully designed guest rooms, infusing both traditional Kyoto design and modern Japanese aesthetic in calming earthy tones, offer a peaceful sanctuary that depicts the beauty and simplicity of Japanese materials and craftsmanship. The French restaurant TENJIN, named after the Tenjin River, welcomes guests to embark on a unique epicurean journey and indulge in French-style dishes made from the finest locally sourced seasonal ingredients. Guests can sip on signature cocktails made with local ingredients or enjoy an elegant seasonal afternoon tea at the Bar. Guests can lounge at the “Engawa”, where they can relax to the sounds of the Tenjin River gently flowing by the indoor patio. THE ROKU SPA offers a selection of spa therapies and treatments that celebrate Japan’s healing traditions, offering an oasis of tranquility and calm. To reconnect with nature and revitalize their mind, body and spirit, guests can relax in the hotel’s exclusive natural onsen pool which is open throughout the year, workout in the 24-hour fitness room, or practice yoga or meditate on the tranquil lawn whilst soaking in the fresh air of Takagamine.
Website: ROKU KYOTO, LXR Hotels and Resorts
1. Aman Kyoto
Set in a secret garden at the heart of a forest, Aman Kyoto rests a stone’s throw from Kyoto’s golden Kinkaku-ji Temple and 16 other Unesco World Heritage Sites. The hotel, situated in 32 hectares of dense forests, is around 30 minutes by car from Kyoto station. A total of 26 suites are housed in six pavilions scattered throughout the gardens. A modern take on traditional Japanese ryokan inns, the guestrooms are spacious, natural and minimal. The Living Pavilion restaurant complements its beautiful natural setting, with Kyoto cuisine reflecting the seasons with its constantly changing menu. There are over 20 different types of tea available at the Living Pavilion by Aman. Also available at the restaurant are traditional Japanese and Western confectionaries, as well as ingenious sweets crafted from Western ingredients to look
like Japanese delicacies and freshly prepared matcha. At Taka-an, chefs serve up the subtle flavours of traditional Japanese washoku cuisine. Aman Kyoto shares its forested slopes with nearby Unesco-protected ‘Golden Temple’.
Website: Aman Kyoto
Featured image by Aman Kyoto
If you think that I have missed any of the hotels present in Kyoto that you think should be included in the list, let me know in the comments section below.