After writing about temples in Kyoto I figured I should at the very least recommend somewhere decent to stay.
This was my second time staying at the Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa. I stayed there two years ago, and remember it being a nice basic but not particularly memorable place to stay. I choose to return because it fell into my price range for last minute accommodation. I was pleasantly surprised with what I found- what ever changed in the past two years has made it one of the best hotels I’ve stayed-in in Japan.
This hotel is situated in the heart of the Downtown Kyoto district. It is located on Kawaramachi Street which is the main road for shopping and eating. There are an overwhelming amount of places to eat and drink in the surrounding area. It’s a one/two block walk to the riverside. A two-minute walk to the local train station or to the bus stop, making it a greatly accessible part of the city. There are also convenience stores located nearby for water, ATM, etc.
I stayed in a double room which was much more luxurious than I remember. The bed was covered with beautiful linen and was very comfortable to sleep in (note: a little bit firmer than standard). The room was a great size, with space to unpack, which was a great relief after spending weeks living in shoebox hotels. There was a little seating area, as well as a large desk and huge TV with only one English channel- BBC world news.
The bathrooms are spacious by Japanese standards and very clean. Featuring a shower over small bathtub, basin and Japanese high-tech toilet.
There is Free Wi-Fi in the rooms and lobby. The only criticism I would have was that there was no in room safe.
The hotel is designed in a square format with the elevators in the centre. Rooms on the outer square face towards the street and have windows with views. The rooms on the inner all have frosted glass windows. I’m not exactly sure what they look out over as I could never see out of the window.
The hotel has a sleek lobby with plenty of space to sit and relax. The bar was cigar salon style with large comfy leather couches to enjoy the 4-7pm happy hour. There is also a souvenir shop in the lobby. I enjoyed a pancake breakfast in the restaurant and was pleased with the food. Fresh and delicious. The first time I stayed here I ate breakfast at the restaurant every morning and was always content with the range of Japanese and Western options. I also sampled the dinner buffet one night. I hilariously remember that I went quite early to dinner, and they were only just setting items and had not placed label cards out. Unassumingly I enjoyed what I believed to be mushroom noodles, only to notice the label card later states ‘snails with noodles’.
You can rent a bike from the lobby- Y1300 for a day, which makes it a great economical way to explore Kyoto. The city is reasonably flat, making a bike an ideal way to explore the river banks and the inner city districts.
From my initial visit I had not intended to return, however after this recent visit I would happily stay at the Kyoto Royal Hotel & Spa again and highly recommend it to others.
Disclaimer- in the spirit of honest travel blogging there are some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you do decide to make a booking using these links, I will receive a small commission – but that comes at NO extra cost to you. I only make recommendations that I have personally experienced and would suggest to my very closest friends!