Arguably the most luxurious hotel in the city, the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto adds its own level of contemporary sophistication to the traditional Kyoto ryokan. We have had the pleasure of staying at the hotel a number of times, and each time, we discovered something that made us love it more.
Our suite at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto was the definition of zen, complete with a bonsai-clad window seat that offered a stunning view of the Kamogawa river, and the Higashiyama mountains beyond. The hotel’s location is also perfect for a leisurely bike ride or a trip to the local shrine with a guide (ours was the charming Night Manager) from the hotel and of course, never far from this ancient city’s must-see sights.
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto’s gorgeously appointed pool and spa were very welcome facilities after a long day’s sightseeing, but we enjoyed returning to the hotel in general – a beautifully designed property, boasting 134 rooms, that yet has very much the feel of a boutique hotel. A team of on-point, international staff was always on hand to make our stay more comfortable – carefully treading the line between worldly hospitality and the classic, Japanese approach. While there may be some foreign, luxury touches – like the pop-up Ladurée macaron counter at the time of our visit – we’re pleased to say that the property firmly has a sense of place, often in the most beautiful and thought-through and Japanese way.
Kyoto-style fine-dining is all the rage now, and the hotel’s sublime Mizuki restaurant offered a finessed and theatrical treat (make sure to try the sashimi served on carved ice, in homage to the surrounding nature), but we found breakfast equally as delicious, delicately presented and bountiful.
Right on time
While you’re Out There
Time your visit to a matsuri festival, often held on the banks of the Kamogawa river, just outside the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. Buy yourself a beautiful yukata and head out in traditional Japanese dress. We did and it was a fab experience mingling with locals – young and old – who all still enjoy this ancient tradition. And trust us, no-one will bat an eyelid.