2010/04/21

KYO: Hyatt Regency Kyoto

Hyatt Regency Kyoto

It is one of the most favorite ones in Kyoto so that I have stayed several times. First, the service is comfortable, like many other luxury hotels. Usually in Japan, in my opinion, it seems better in service at foreign-affiliated hotels rather than domestic ones. The staffs are always friendly, and bring us a comfortable atmosphere. Please note that I do not think Hyatt Regency Kyoto is luxurious one compared to the ones in Tokyo because the facility would not be said 5 stars. However, at least, only this hotel has the same level of hospitality as the ones in Tokyo. So, when you choose a hotel in Kyoto, definitely, this is the right choice when you need a higher service. I do not want to attack the domestic-affiliated hotels, but honestly speaking, it is clear that the quality of service is very different.

Secondly, as my profile says, I love to have breakfasts in different occasions. At Hyatt Regency Kyoto, it is worth paying for breakfast. I usually take it at The Grill on the lobby floor. It is a buffet style, and there are not so many varieties. However, vegetables, cheese, breads, eggs, cereals and juices are all better than standard. It is sad to say that the level of breakfasts at hotels in Japan (except the luxury hotels in Tokyo) is not so high as you might expect, but among that, I can say I like the one in this hotel. Even the varieties are less, and the restaurant itself is small, it brings us a beautiful holiday morning, with fresh coffee.

The facilities are also good. I mean, it is comfortable even in a standard type room (Guest Room). When I say a negative point, the standard room only has 28sqm, so some people may feel it too small. Of course, there are some other types of rooms, but majority is this Guest Room.  Another negative point is, the view is not so good. However, please understand that it is a bit unsuitable to expect a nice view in Kyoto, since Kyoto is not a metropolitan city with high-buildings like Tokyo. Kyoto is a calmer city, surrounded by small mountains. The interior is light-filled, with a little bit taste of Japan. I recommend you to stop by a boutique on the lobby floor, to admire the beautiful crafts. Those are traditional items and have the taste of Japan, but it looks also modern and stylish. The selected items often vary.

The location of this hotel is not the best, some people say. On one hand, it is true that it takes around 20-mins to JR Kyoto Station on foot, and also it takes around 40-50mins to the city center on foot. It is easy to access to those areas by taxis, but I walk, daringly, since it is wonderful to walk the Kyoto city. Kyoto is set out neatly in a grid so that you won’t be lost if you know North, South, East, and West. It is one way of enjoying this city, because on the way, you may be able to see local cute cafes, hidden temples or shrines, variety stores, and so on. Also, if you walk, you will have better understanding of this city.  

If you stay in this hotel, it is also recommendable to walk to Sanjusangendo Hall, or Chishakuin Temple which are both within 5-minutes on foot. At Sanjusangendo Hall, it is possible to see thousands of Kannon statues, and those are spectacular. Chishakuin Temple is a large temple, with a bit of southeastern Asian taste, and you will be able to enjoy the great paintings on the sliding doors by Tohaku Hasegawa.

As a conclusion, I recommend this hotel as one of your choices and I am sure I will stay at this hotel some times in the future. However, if you would like to see other aspects of Japan, it is also recommended to stay in a ryokan (Japanese style inn). One more news is, The Ritz Carlton is under constructing in the city center, so it would be a hard situation for this hotel, unfortunately.

However, after The Ritz Carlton is open, I will compare again since “Seeing is believing.).