Although Tokyo’s often first in mind when we dream of building a Japan itinerary, no Japanese city stirs travellers into a frenzy more than the former imperial capital of Kyoto.
Wander through the streets of Kyoto and you’re almost instantly bound to encounter a mystical Shinto shrine, ancient temple or mouthwatering meal that’ll place an impossibly large smile on your face.
And although you’ll see a lot with just one day in Kyoto, the city is better savoured at a leisurely pace. The top attractions in Kyoto are spread throughout the city, finding themselves in diverse neighbourhoods each flaunting their own unique vibes. As you could imagine, this makes choosing where to stay in Kyoto all the more difficult!
Not sure where to start looking for your Kyoto accommodations? Get your trip crackin’ with the complete guide to the best areas to stay in Kyoto and our top picks for the 15 best hotels in Kyoto at every budget…
Table of Contents
- Where to stay in Kyoto, Japan: A complete guide to the best areas & the best places to stay in Kyoto
- The 15 best hotels in Kyoto, Japan
- Summary: The best Kyoto hotels
Where to stay in Kyoto, Japan: A complete guide to the best areas & the best places to stay in Kyoto
Like most cities of its ilk, Kyoto is a collection of diverse neighbourhoods that each reveal a different face of the city. From the busy central wards to quieter ones on the fringe, choosing the best area to stay in Kyoto depends on what you’re determined to see and how far away from the big urban buzz you want to be.
For most, the best Kyoto neighbourhoods for travellers are those in and around the city centre. You’ll often find that the best places to stay in Kyoto ring around the four most central wards: Nakagyo, Higashiyama, Shimogyo, and Kamigyo.
Going a little further outside, however—to areas like Sakyo and Arashiyama—you’ll find a little more breathing room, and get to see a quieter side of Kyoto. This, of course, comes at the expense of being further away from the city centre and from many Kyoto’s star attractions.
Nonetheless, wherever you choose to stay in Kyoto you’re bound to discover a city that will hold your attention for the rest of your life. Here are our top recommendations for the best areas to stay in Kyoto…
The centre of Kyoto hinges around Nakagyo, the “central capital” ward. Nakagyo has long moved forward from its medieval trading roots and is today one of the busiest shopping and entertainment districts in Kyoto.
Anyone who’s serious about getting to know Kyoto will spend much time in Nakagyo. From the food stalls of Nishiki Market and the restaurants of Kawaramachi to the majesty of Nijo Castle and Nakagyo’s hidden temples, there’s plenty to see while calling this fascinating ward your temporary home in Kyoto.
Attractions in Nakagyo: Nijo Castle, Nishiki Market, Kawaramachi, Kyoto International Manga Museum, Museum of Kyoto, Kyoto Art Center
The best hotels in Nakagyo
Despite the central location, there’s a good range of value-laden budget accommodations in Nakagyo. The mid-range in Nakagyo is a little swollen in price with 2-stars sometimes even fetching prices that would nab you 3- and 4-star properties in other wards. Here’s a few of our top picks for best hotels in Nakagyo:
- Guest House Oumi: A unique budget ryokan that feels more like a home than a hotel. From the well-manicured garden to the interior design touches, there’s an unmistakable traditional Japanese vibe pushing through every inch of this awesome little guesthouse.
- Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto: A stylish 4-star hotel offering excellent value for Nakagyo’s mid-range. Besides the large modern rooms, the on-site restaurant, headed by award-winning chef Monsieur Ito, serves up Western food with a unique local twist.
- The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto: A 5-star luxury hotel that’s among the grandest in Kyoto. Stay in one of the garden terrace suites to whisk yourself away from the city into a zen-like state of pure relaxation.
If there’s any ward in Kyoto that will instantly capture your imagination, it’s Higashiyama. Clinging to the foothills of Kyoto’s eastern mountains, Higashiyama is the best place to snag a backwards glance at the charms of old Kyoto.
Even without its heavy-hitters like Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka Shrine, Higashiyama delights travellers with its traditional wooden buildings, set upon narrow hilly lanes that hide teashops, cafés, restaurants and homes.
Among all the wards of Kyoto, Higashiyama is the best place to simply get lost and discover the Japan you’ve always imagined. Staying in Higashiyama provides the perfect excuse to take it slow and let the surreal scene unfold before your eyes.
Attractions in Higashiyama: Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka Shrine, Maruyama Park, Shoren-in Temple, Chion-in Temple, Kennin-ji Temple, Gion District
The best hotels in Higashiyama
As one of the city’s premier sightseeing destinations, Higashiyama isn’t the most budget-friendly ward in Kyoto. The selection is, however, quite extensive, and it’s unlikely that you’ll be shut out if you choose to stay here. Get started on your search with one of these best hotels in Higashiyama:
- Imano Kyoto Kiyomizu Hostel: Located close to the majesty of Kiyomizu-dera, this budget-friendly hostel puts you in the midst of Higashiyama’s charms without busting the bank. Both private rooms (with and without private bathrooms) and dorm beds are on offer.
- Kyoto Granbell Hotel: A modern 4-star boutique hotel screaming with Japanese style, from its tatami-floored rooms to the rock garden in the pool area. Its prime location puts the best of Kyoto at your fingertips.
- Seikoro Ryokan: A traditional Japanese ryokan in the heart of the city. From kimono-wearing staff to the tatami-style rooms, watch the full classic Japan hospitality experience unfold before your eyes here.
- Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto: A brand-new 5-star luxury hotel that’s unlike any you’ve ever stayed in. Rooms fuse both modern and classic Japanese design to create an aesthetic wholly unique to Kyoto. The central pond and Shakusuien Japanese garden is simply breathtaking!
Although technically part of Higashiyama, Gion District deserves a special mention. Gion is Kyoto’s old entertainment area, famed for its geisha culture. The streets of Gion are among the most atmospheric in Kyoto, lined with wooden merchant houses now filled with shops, teahouses (ochaya) and restaurants.
Besides simply wandering around Gion, the area is one of the best places in Kyoto to try kaiseki ryori, Kyoto’s haute Japanese cuisine. It won’t come cheap, but chowing down in some of Kyoto’s best restaurants will be an experience your tastebuds will never forget.
And, of course, no visit to Gion is complete without dabbling in the geisha culture. It’s less likely than in the past that you’ll spot geisha wandering around the streets Gion. But if you have the wherewithal—and the yen!—Gion is the best place in Japan to take in the geisha experience. (Or opt for the cheaper and more accessible maiko experience!)
Attractions in Gion District: Gion Corner, Kenninji Temple, Gion Shirakawa, Hanami-koji Dori, Shijo Dori, Yasaka Shrine
The best hotels in Gion District
Given the area’s popularity, your accommodations budget won’t go far in Gion District. Although you’ll find better value elsewhere in the city—and even elsewhere in Higashiyama—there’s something to be said about staying in this special little corner of Kyoto. Here are a few of the top picks for best hotels in Gion District:
- Gion Maifukan: A traditional ryokan just steps away from Gion’s biggest attractions. Staff goes above and beyond to enjoy your stay is comfortable. Both Japanese- and western-style rooms are available.
- Hana-Touro Hotel Gion: You don’t get much closer to the action than in this 4-star gem that features traditional Japanese stylings. Rooms are spacious and fitted with terraces that peer upon the cityscape.
- Gion Hatanaka: A traditional Japanese ryokan experience amid the bustle of Gion District. Escape from the trappings of city life as you’re greeted by the zen-like garden before settling down in the inn’s large classic tatami-style Japanese rooms.
Although it may not possess the outward tourist swagger of Higashiyama or Nakagyo, Shimogyo is still one of the best areas to stay in Kyoto for travellers, if for no other reason than housing the city’s main transportation hub, Kyoto Station. The area stretches roughly between Kyoto Station in the south to Shijo-dori in the north along the Kamo River.
Besides being the perfect launching pad for your Kyoto day trips, Shimogyo is a great neighbourhood to eat, shop, and to put your finger on the pulse of the city. There’s even plenty of opportunity for both sightseeing and relaxation as Shimogyo is home to some of Kyoto’s most beautiful temples and gardens.
Attractions in Shimogyo: Nishi Hanganji Temple, Higashi Honganji Temple, Ryukoku Museum, Umekoji Park, Shōsei-en Garden, Kyoto Station
The best hotels in Shimogyo
With Kyoto Station at its fringe, Shimogyo has Kyoto’s highest concentration of hotels. While there’s no shortage at any budget, most accommodations in Shimogyo fall into the mid-range in both price and quality. What you’ll find here will generally offer better value than in nearby Higashiyama or Nakagyo. Here are a few of the best hotels in Shimogyo to start your search:
- Guesthouse Kyoto Compass: A budget guesthouse rich in classic Japanese style. Both tatami-style and dorm rooms with shared bathrooms are available.
- Luck You Kyoto: A beautifully-minimalist boutique guesthouse rocking out traditional Japanese-style rooms with futons and tatami. Unlike many ryokan, all rooms are equipped with private bathrooms.
- Daiwa Roynet Hotel Kyoto Ekimae: A brand-new 4-star hotel featuring richly-modern decor with an Asian twist. Kyoto Station is a short 4-minute walk away.
- Hotel Granvia Kyoto: Attached to Kyoto Station, this grand 5-star hotel is among some of the city’s sleekest luxury hotels that doubles its value with its convenient location. With nine on-site restaurants, an indoor pool, and spa with a steam room and hot tub, we wouldn’t blame you for spending as much time in the hotel as the city. (Okay, maybe at little.)
Set away from the major commercial buzz of Kyoto, Kamigyo is a quieter residential area situated north of the more historic Nakagyo Ward. Kamigyo has a deep connection to the history of Kyoto. It’s one of the city’s two original wards, and long played home to imperial rulers and nobles.
Although you’ll appreciate having more room to maneuver and think while staying in Kamigyo, the ward isn’t short on sightseeing either. Kyoto Imperial Palace, one of the city’s grandest monuments, calls Kamigyo home, as do a handful of beautiful temples and shrines.
Attractions in Kamigyo: Kyoto Imperial Palace, Kyoto Gyoen National Park, Kitano Tenmangu, Seimei Shrine, Nishijin Textile Centre
The best hotels in Kamigyo
Compared to other wards in the city, you won’t find as large of a selection of accommodations in Kamigyo. The slightly less central location though means that what’s offered can generally be had at prices slightly lower than normal for Kyoto. Here are a few of our picks for the best hotels in Kamigyo:
- Mosaic Machiya KSK: Set in a traditional Japanese wooden machiya (townhouse), this 2-star guesthouse oozes with classic appeal. The hotel’s area, Kamishichiken, is famed for its geisha and is like a smaller, cheaper, and quieter alternative to the more popular Gion District.
- Ryokan Tori: An authentic ryokan nestled in a quiet neighbourhood. Rooms are offered up in traditional Japanese-style with both shared and private bathrooms.
- Suzakukan Suzaku Crossing: Super comfortable apartment-style rooms with everything you need for a full self-catering stay in Kyoto. Located within walking distance of Nijo Castle, but the more adventurous might be inclined to rent one of the property’s electric bikes to get around even quicker.
- Kyoto Brighton Hotel: A delightful 5-star hotel that’s surprisingly budget-friendly for Kyoto. Room shun the usual small Japanese standard, showcasing large windows and luxurious bathtubs. The four on-site restaurants feature award-winning cuisine including Kyoto kaiseki (haute cuisine) at Hotaru.
It’s slightly further afield, but don’t discount Sakyo as one of the best neighbourhoods in Kyoto quite yet. Sakyo stretches north from the edge of Higashiyama and Gion to the hilly northern fringes of Kyoto. Within it you’ll find yourself face-to-face with some of Kyoto’s most coveted attractions.
Whether it’s gawking at the must-see temples of Ginkaku-ji or Nanzen-ji or contemplating life’s problems along the cherry-tree-lined Philosopher’s Walk, Sakyo is one of the best areas in Kyoto for travellers to attack their sightseeing itinerary with gusto.
Even outside of the heavy-hitters, Sakyo hides traditional teahouses, shops, and noodle joints that deliver the prospect of those bygone flavours of old Japan that brought you to Kyoto in the first place.
Attractions in Sakyo: Ginkaku-ji, Nanzen-ji, Philosopher’s Walk, Mount Hiei, Enryaku-ji
The best hotels in Sakyo
Like Kamigyo, Sakyo’s “fringe” status lowers the selection of available accommodations. Prices here though are more in line with what you’d expect closer to the centre of Kyoto. The quality, however, isn’t quite as good as elsewhere.
You’re likely to find a larger selection of better hotels, surprisingly, at the same or better prices in Higashiyama, Shimogyo, and Nakagyo. If you simply need to stay here, check out these picks for the best hotels in Sakyo:
- Ryokan Sawaya Honten: An elegant authentic Japanese ryokan in a quiet neighbourhood. Rooms are traditional Japanese-style with tatami floors and futons. A public onsen-style bath is available for use.
- Ryokan KANADE: A beautiful ryokan featuring bright and spacious rooms decked out in traditional Japanese style. The higher-end rooms feature a private Japanese stone garden to capture some zen moments amidst the stress of travelling.
- Ryokan Inn Yoshida-sanso: Occupying a former royal residence, this 5-star property is one of the most unique luxury hotels in Kyoto. The setting could hardly be more perfect, nestled in its own leafy corner of the city and pushing forward tremendous views of the city and surrounding mountains.
Located outside of the city centre in Ukyo Ward, Arashiyama is an area that most travellers either breeze through or never reach in the first place. It’s a shame. There’s a lot going on here, and if escaping the urban buzz of the big city is on your agenda, this might be the best area in Kyoto to do it.
About thirty minutes outside of the centre of Kyoto by public transportation, Arashiyama doesn’t curry much favour among travellers with its location. But it’s serenity just might.
Arashiyama is home to the famous Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, an otherworldly experience that’s unmissable while visiting Kyoto. Throw in a handful of beautiful temples and the cheeky monkeys at Kameyama-koen Park and it’s easy to see how staying in Arashiyama would add a little colour to your Kyoto trip.
Attractions in Arashiyama: Arashiyama Bamboo Grove, Tenryu-ji Temple, Kameyama-koen Park, Nison-in Temple, Jojako-ji Temple, Adashino-Nembutsu-ji Temple, Gio-ji Temple, Katsura Rikyu Imperial Villa, Tenzan-no-yu Onsen
The best hotels in Arashiyama
It’s a bit of a stretch from the city, so don’t be surprised to find there’s not much in the way of accommodations in Arashiyama. If you’d like the peace and quiet of getting a little out of the tourist bubble, try out one of these best hotels in Arashiyama for size:
- Guesthouse Kyoto Arashiyama: Two bus stops from the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, this budget guesthouse features private rooms with both private and shared bathrooms.
- Mulan Hostel: A brand-new hostel in the limited Arashiyama accommodations scene. Both private rooms and dorms are available, all featuring shared bathrooms.
- Arashiyama Benkei: An elegant ryokan uniquely set upon its own private hot spring. Some reservations include a delicious multi-course Kyoto kaiseki dinner.
The 15 best hotels in Kyoto, Japan
As Kyoto is Japan’s top sightseeing city, it shouldn’t be surprising that accommodations in Kyoto range between budget hotels and hostels to some of the most luxurious digs in the country. Of course, in a city this big, your search isn’t necessarily going to be easy!
In whatever price range you’re searching, keep in mind that Japan has a well-earned reputation for not being the most budget-friendly of destinations. Kyoto definitely follows suit.
Like other major Japanese cities, Kyoto hotels don’t come cheap. For a price that could, for example, snag you one of the best hotels in Seoul, you’ll be barely cracking the mid-range in Kyoto. That’s not to say good deals and excellent value can’t be found here.
To help you sort through the chaos, we’ve created this round-up of the 15 best hotels in Kyoto. We’ve broken down our recommendations into the 3 different travel budget categories. Whatever your budget, you’ll find the perfect room among these best places to stay in Kyoto…
Best budget hotels in Kyoto
Let’s face it: If you’re practicing extreme travel budgeting, Japan’s probably not the place for you. Much like sorting through the best places to stay in Tokyo, your accommodations budget will get stretched to the max in Kyoto. Even dorm rooms in hostels in Kyoto in high season can inch towards the triple digits!
In this category, expect to pay up to $120-150 per night for a single room. Here are a couple of the best budget hotels in Kyoto:
Kyoto Morris Hostel
Setting new standards in the hostel industry the Kyoto Morris Hostel in the centre of Kyoto City is brand new and spotlessly clean. This stylish and well-designed hostel is furnished with large, comfortable beds, each one curtained off for privacy. If sharing a room is not for you, there are also private rooms on offer.
Ready to get your morning started? Wake up to a sumptuous breakfast buffet at the Kyoto Morris Hostel, and be on your way. In the evening the breakfast area is transformed into a comfortable bar, where guests can share the day’s adventures with the friendly, English speaking staff.
Conveniently situated near shops and restaurants, the Kyoto Morris Hostel is a the perfect place to borrow a bicycle from your hosts and scoot around to make the best of your trip to the city.
Guest House Oumi
A little gem in Nakagyo, Guest House Oumi is full of little Japanese touches from bamboo gardens to bonsai trees and paper lanterns. Air-conditioned rooms lead out onto balconies, and you can save on costs because the facilities include a communal kitchen and a laundry.
Enjoy a tasty breakfast in your room before relaxing in the sunroom or the garden. For a more active holiday, rent a bike from your hosts and venture into the exciting streets of Kyoto.
Centrally located, Guest House Oumi is close to Nijo Station, and several tourist attractions including Kitano Tenmangu Shrine, the Manga Museum and Nijo Castle are within walking distance.
Enjoy bright and airy rooms that peer out onto the gardens at the affordable Bird Hostel. Your overnight stay includes a tasty breakfast. There’s even a limited dinner menu for guests.
Enjoy an authentic Japanese food party hosted by the hotel staff every week. For a lazy afternoon, sip Japanese coffee or grab a late drink in the popular coffee bar and get to know your fellow travellers.
From Bird Hostel, it’s easy to rent a bike and explore the area teeming with Japanese history, quaint shops and tasty restaurants. The magnificent Kyoto Imperial Palace is just steps away.
Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo
Enjoy the uniquely Japanese stylings of the modern and well-run Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo. Each of the hotel’s comfortable rooms sport private bathrooms and are equipped with a refrigerator, a kettle and a television.
Wake up at Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo to delicious Western or Asian breakfast buffets served daily in the breakfast room. If you would prefer not to purchase breakfast, the hotel offers complimentary sweet rolls and coffee to start your day.
The Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo sits in one of the most central locations in Kyoto. The hotel is located near several major bus and train routes and is alongside a busy shopping district containing loads of shops and Japanese restaurants. The concierge at the front desk will gladly help you to plan your day in Kyoto.
Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo
Modern and functional, the Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo offers Western-style accommodation in the heart of Japan’s former imperial capital. Grab a tasty and convenient meal at the restaurant and relax in the lounge bar before retiring to your comfortable room.
Start each day with a Japanese or a Western-style breakfast before borrowing a bicycle to explore your surroundings. To head a little further afoot, hop onto the Kyoto subway. The hotel is conveniently located just a stone’s throw away from Gojo Station.
The Vessel Hotel Campana Kyoto Gojo offers a complimentary drink service in the restaurant daily between 2 pm and 11 pm where you can quiz other guests on their Kyoto experiences. End your evening in the sauna or the traditional Japanese public bath and experience true relaxation Kyoto-style.
Best mid-range hotels in Kyoto
Spend a little more in Kyoto and you’re bound to find a whole new world of accommodations open up to you. The middle of the accommodations market is where Kyoto sees the lion’s share of its offerings. What you’ll get can be surprisingly good value if you sort through it enough.
Expect to pay between $150-$250 per night. Here are 5 of our top choices for the best mid-range hotels in Kyoto…
Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande
You’ll find a variety of rooms on offer at the Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande from luxury units with free movie channels and free access to the luxury lounge to ladies’ rooms with face steamers and massage cushions.
Enjoy a Western or Japanese breakfast at the start of the day and tuck into a wide range of Mediterranean cuisine at the on-site restaurant in the evening. From June to August, the Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande hosts a rooftop beer garden and Brazilian barbecue with once-a-week live entertainment.
And, for travellers, the location of Hotel Keihan Kyoto Grande doesn’t get much better. The hotel connects directly to Kyoto Station and is within walking distance of several shrines, temples, gardens and a popular Kyoto shopping area.
Kyoto Granbell Hotel
The stylish Kyoto Granbell Hotel swaggers with a blend of modern and traditional Japanese styles. The hotel’s plush décor features tatami floors and other Japanese elements scattered throughout. Rooms are light and airy and not too small.
The Western and Japanese breakfasts at Kyoto Granbell Hotel will have you coming back for more. The communal bath is a great way to end the day, followed by a meal in the restaurant and a sundowner in the bar. If you’d rather eat out, the hotel is located in Gion, just around the corner from some of the district’s best restaurants along Hanamikoji Dori.
Situated within minutes from Keihan Station and within walking distance of a number of tourist attractions, the Kyoto Granbell Hotel is the perfect place to launch your Kyoto adventures.
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto
Combining modern functionality with traditional Japanese décor, the rooms at Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto shun the usual tiny Japanese size standards to give you a little more breathing room. At this delightful 4-star hotel, you’re always assured a good night’s sleep. All the rooms are soundproofed to keep the sounds of the world at bay.
With its four on-site restaurants, Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto is perfect for foodies who want to stick close to home. Whether its Japanese BBQ beef at Itsushima, Italian pasta at Roccaccio, a breakfast buffet at Mokumoku or Chinese hotpot at XiaoFeiYang, there’s a dish to suit every taste here.
And the location of Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto gets top marks, too. Located next to a shopping centre, one of Kyoto’s busiest pedestrian roads and within walking distance of Gion District and Nishiki Market, this hotel is the perfect base for exploring Kyoto to its fullest.
Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto
The stylish Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto impresses with an unstated modern elegance that’s low on flashiness and high on comfort. The modern air-conditioned rooms are a tad larger than you might expect in most Japanese hotels.
Extras like carbonated spring bathtubs and in-house massages makes the Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto the perfect spot for relaxing after a busy day on the town. There’s even two on-site restaurants including Monsieur Ito, a restaurant run by an award-winning chef that served Western food sprinkled with local Kyoto flavours.
For those who want to enjoy all Kyoto offers, you can’t beat the location of the Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto. With two train stations within two blocks, you’ll be able to spread your wings and scoot around the entire city with ease. On foot, you’re within walking distance of the beautiful cherry-tree-lined Gion Shirakawa across the river and Kiyo-machi Dori, one of the best food streets in Kyoto.
Aoi Hotel Kyoto
Sip sake when you arrive at the brand-new Aoi Hotel Kyoto. The hotel is small, so the service is highly personalized. Staff here will always go out of their way to make you feel special.
If it’s space you’re looking for, the boutique Aoi Hotel Kyoto delivers. The modern and spacious suites feature balconies overlooking the river and en-suite bathrooms that boast both bathtubs and showers with electronic water systems and washlet toilets. The suites even come equipped with full kitchenettes to help you save costs by eating in.
Best of all, Aoi Hotel Kyoto is only a five minutes’ walk from the Kawaramachi station, and ten minutes from some of the city’s best shopping and entertainment areas. Even the charms of Gion and Higashiyama dwell just across the Kamo River from the hotel.
Best luxury hotels in Kyoto
With Kyoto’s popularity rising among travellers, it’s no surprise that the city hosts some of the country’s finest 5-star properties. Unlike in other cities like Tokyo, Kyoto’s luxury hotels steal less from modern gleaming skyscraper playbook and incorporate more traditional Japanese elements into the experience.
When you’re looking at the top 5-stars in the city, expect to pay at least $250 per night—and, oftentimes, much, much more! Here are our top picks for the best luxury hotels in Kyoto…
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
If you’re looking for pure, unadulterated luxury look no further than The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. Clinging to the banks of the Kamo River with splendid views of the mountains, this 5-star hotel was awarded Condé Nast’s Best Hotel in the Japan Traveller Readers’ Choice Awards 2017.
Just one kilometre from the city centre, the large suites at The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto are modelled on traditional Meiji era houses. Here tables are adorned with orchids and window sills with bonsai trees. Each room features large marble bathrooms with a rain shower and soaker tub. For a particularly unique stay, book yourself into one of the spectacular garden rooms that lead off into traditional Japanese Zen gardens.
At The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, you’ll never find yourself twiddling your thumbs. Learn Japanese floral design and origami or, if crafts aren’t quite your thing, relax with a massage in the spa, sweat out some sake in the gym or float aimlessly in the indoor pool. There’s even three top-notch on-site restaurants including the meticulously crafted kaiseki meals at Mizuki and the fresh Italian flavours of La Locanda.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
The beautiful Hyatt Regency Kyoto combines modern comfort with Japanese tradition. In its grounds, this 5-star luxury hotel features an 850-year-old garden was once part of Kyoto Imperial Palace.
Paper lanterns gently light the spacious rooms where framed kimono fabrics line the walls. After soaking in the tub in the large granite-laden bathrooms, head off to one of the three on-site restaurants to sample the fine French, Italian or Japanese cuisine.
Indulge yourself at the spa of the Hyatt Regency Kyoto which offers more treatments than any other hotel spa in Japan. Here you can enjoy aromatherapy, shiatsu massages, and acupuncture.
The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is conveniently situated next to the Sanjusangendo Temple, one of the best temples in Kyoto, and is right across the road from the Kyoto National Museum.
Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
In the temple district at the base of the Higashiyama mountains, the serene and stylish Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto offers light and spacious rooms with full wall windows that overlook gardens or lead onto balconies. The décor inside and out combines both modern style and traditional touches, embodying Japanese culture with bamboo forests and manicured gardens, tatami, and shoji screens.
Cross a glass bridge to an ancient 800-year-old pond garden where you can experience a Japanese tea ceremony. You can even enjoy the garden views while you eat local dishes at The Brasserie. Additional amenities at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto include massage services, steam rooms, saunas, and a swimming pool.
Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto
For the past four years the prestigious Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto has received three black pavilions from the Michelin Guides. The enormous rooms are stylishly furnished with luxury finishes and all the conveniences you expect in a top end hotel.
When staying at the Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto, take the chance to indulge in a spa or a massage in the beauty parlour. Or if you prefer to get moving, splash around a bit in the pool or workout in the fully-equipped gym.
End off the day at Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto with a pre-dinner cocktail in the cozy bar followed by a French, Japanese or Cantonese meal in one of the hotel’s five on-site restaurants.
The convenient Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto is located just three minutes from Shijo Station. Many of the city’s historical and cultural attractions lie within a short walking distance.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
The elegant and contemporary Hotel Granvia Kyoto boasts nine restaurants, three cozy cocktail lounges and an art gallery displaying over a thousand works of art. Located in Kyoto Station, this modern hotel is at the centre of Kyoto’s activity.
Experience the true taste of Japan in one of four on-site Japanese restaurants or feast your eyes onto the Kyoto cityscape while indulging your taste for French cuisine.
If you prefer to eat alone, private dining facilities offer both Western and Japanese cuisine. A modern lounge and cozy bar round off the offerings at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto.
Before retiring to the comfort of your stylish suite at the Hotel Granvia Kyoto stopover at the indoor pool, relax in the Jacuzzi or work out in the on-site fitness centre.
Summary: The best Kyoto hotels
Still scratching your head on your Kyoto accommodations? Here are a few of our final recommendations for the best hotels in Kyoto:
- Need a great budget hotel with a good location? The tastefully Japanese-inspired Hotel Gracery Kyoto Sanjo offers 4-star accommodations for 2-star prices in a central location that can hardly be beat.
- Craving a modern boutique hotel at a mid-range price? The beautiful Royal Park Hotel The Kyoto indulges its guests with large comfortable rooms and a spectacular on-site restaurants run by an award-winning local chef.
- Searching the pinnacle of Japanese luxury in Kyoto? There’s no better 5-star home away from home than the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, combining a stunning setting, luxurious amenities, and traditional Japanese design elements for an experience like none other in Kyoto.