The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
Riverside, contemporary, sophisticated
Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori Nakagyo-Ku (81-7) 5746-5555 www.ritzcarlton.com
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At a Glance
Spoiled travelers have a home in Kyoto at the Ritz-Carlton’s riverside property, which manages to encompass contemporary design with traditional Japanese elements, and achieves the distinctly Japanese balance of calm zen and lively buzz.
- The downtown, riverside location near Gion and some great shopping
- The serene private Japanese gardens of the Garden Terrace Suites
- The commitment to local artisans, including the 400 works of art from Kyoto artisans throughout the hotel
Review of the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
The Ritz-Carlton in central Kyoto, set along the banks of the Kamogawa River in the shadows of the Higashiyama Mountains, was intended to encompass the feel of a Japanese ryokan within a traditional hotel setting with modern accouterments. Architectural elements were borrowed from traditional Meiji homes, demonstrated in both the courtyards built into the footprint, and the engawa-like corridors built within every room to frame the view. Over 400 works of art are on display throughout common areas and rooms, all from artists with a connection to Kyoto. Textiles throughout the hotel are from a 12th-generation atelier known for creating Japan’s finest kimonos.
The hotel has achieved the delicate balance of feeling buzzy and alive within a calming, zen-retreat. The lobby dining area overlooking the river feels sleek, contemporary and richly Japanese, with heavy velvet fabrics paired with clean modern lines. Tea time goes into the evening as mothers and daughters, chic teens and elderly women in traditional kimonos fill the warm, residentially-designed space with energy.
The 134 rooms have either a view of the river, mountains or old clapboard row homes. They are a;; designed with a distinct Japanese aesthetic and feel like spacious cocoons with light wood and natural elements. River-view rooms provide a vantage point for sunrise viewing and people watching—including schoolchildren skipping along the riverbanks and cyclists traversing the banks. The garden terrace suites are best for those who prefer privacy, as the river-view is traded for a sublime private garden. Corner suites are also a favorite, featuring floor-to-ceiling windows. A handful of rooms have tatami mats instead of traditional beds, for guests interested in sampling the ryokan tradition without straying from the plush comforts of a modern five-star hotel.
The two main restaurants are perhaps the most flashy and contemporary options in town: Mizuki, a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant serving sushi, tempura, kaiseki cuisine and teppanyaki, and La Locanda, an Italian restaurant with an extensive wine cellar that is only matched by the impressive cheese selections. For a special occasion, book one of the exquisite private dining rooms at Locanda, such as Ebisugawa-tei Goten-no-ma, which is an early 20th-century construction that has been restored and refurbished so guests can enjoy Italian fare in an enchanting and traditional Japanese setting. The comfortable lobby lounge is popular all day, but never feels imposing. Guests attempting to cure jet lag find many solutions at the fitness center, which has a 65-foot indoor pool and ESPA spa.
Who Should Stay
Discerning visitors seeking ultra-luxurious accommodations in the center of Kyoto.
Indagare Plus Amenities
- USD100 hotel credit
- Complimentary Breakfast
- Upgraded Room Category on Availability at Check-In
- Late Check-Out on Availability
- Complimentary WiFi Internet Access