Easily the most luxurious hotel in the city, the Ritz Carlton Kyoto adds its own level of contemporary sophistication to the traditional Kyoto ryokan. Our suite 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.

The beautifully designed property boasts 134 rooms but has very much the feel of a boutique hotel. The team of on-point, international staff was always on hand to make our stay more comfortable. Kyoto-style fine-dining is all the rage now, and the hotel’s sublime Mizuki restaurant offered a finessed treat, but we found breakfast equally as delicious and delicately presented. The hotel pool and spa was a very welcome amenity after a long day’s sightseeing.


Photography courtesy of Ritz-Carlton