After a wonderful stay at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo for our honeymoon, we made our way to our next stop: Kyoto. We spent three nights in Kyoto which was a good amount of time to explore the city and surrounding areas. Staying at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto was a great choice as it’s located on the Kamo River and is walking distance to Gion. The hotel was beautifully decorated and one of the my favorite stays so far. Here’s my review of the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.
Booking with Points
With the roll-out of Marriott Bonvoy came a devaluation of the highest tier properties. This hotel was available for 70,000 points per night when I booked it, but it has since increased to 85,000 points per night. Like with the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, it can be difficult to find award availability during busy times like cherry blossom season.
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is located on the Kamo River in a decent location. Kyoto is not like other cities where you walk out of the hotel and are in the heart of the action. You can easily walk about a mile to Pontocho Alley or Gion for dinner, but it’s easiest to take a cab to some of the major sightseeing areas like Higashiyama or Arashiyama. Once we arrived at Kyoto Station, we were able to get to the hotel easily by taking the subway and walking a few minutes.
Dining and Amenities
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto has two main restaurants, Mizuki and La Laconda. Mizuki is a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant offering a traditional Japanese dinner (kaiseki) as well as sushi, tempura, teppanyaki for lunch and dinner. La Laconda is an italian restaurant that is also open for lunch and dinner. There is also a lobby lounge and bar. Near the entrance of the hotel was the Pierre Hermé Paris Boutique which serves delicious looking macarons and pastries. If you wish to have breakfast at the hotel, they offer both Japanese and Western options. Downstairs from the main lobby was the fitness center and spa including an indoor pool.
While we didn’t dine at any of the restaurants, we were given a card for two welcomes drinks so we sat in the bar for a little bit.
Around the upper level of the lobby are the various bars and restaurants. When we checked in, we were escorted over to a lounge area and offered a cup of tea while we went through the check-in process. Everything went smoothly but we arrived in the morning and our room wasn’t ready yet.
There are 134 guest rooms and suites at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. We stayed in the lowest tier room called Deluxe and had a really terrible view. We kept the shade closed as a result. The nicer rooms have courtyard, zen garden, or river views.
The nice decor and zen vibe of the lobby was carried through to the elevator bays and the hallway.
Here’s the entrance to the room. The bathroom was off to the left and closet space to the right.
The room had two seating areas: one at the foot of the bed and one by the windows.
Next to the sofa at the foot of the bed was a piece of furniture with complimentary bottles of water.
There was also a Japanese tea set. While not super practical because there was a regular hot water heater near the Nespresso machine, it was a nice touch.
By the window was a dining area with a welcome gift of local fruit. Each room also comes with its own bonsai.
On the nightstand was a panel with controls for all of the lights and the curtains and blinds.
Back down the little hallway, you can see the bathroom on the right.
The sink area was small but beautifully designed.
There was even a TV within the mirror between the two sinks! I accidentally changed the channel to a real TV station and wasn’t able to get the pretty screensaver back so we kept the TV off the rest of our stay.
As usual with Ritz-Carlton hotels, the bathroom was stocked with any toiletry you could possibly need including a good assortment of Asprey products.
The shower and bathtub were my favorite part of the room. The shower is to the right with the wooden floor and the tub is to the left.
How pretty is the wall behind the bathtub? Design choices like this set the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto apart from other hotels.
And of course, there was a fancy TOTO toilet. It was separated from the rest of the bathroom by a door.
The room also had a complimentary coffee station and a very expensive mini bar.
The closet was spacious though I didn’t pack much!
Finally, I love that they included these in addition to traditional bathrobes.
We really enjoyed our stay at the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. While the room felt small after coming from the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo and the view was disappointing, I loved the traditional Japanese touches throughout. The shower and bath setup is probably one of my favorites in any hotel I’ve stayed in…it gives the Park Hyatt Milan a run for its money. The design details throughout the property are what make the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto so special. Factoring in the landscaping, this is one of the most beautiful properties we’ve stayed in so far.