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Park Hyatt Kyoto REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Park Hyatt Kyoto REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Nov 29, 19, 11:48 pm
  #406  
 
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
The suite must be small if the residence was cozy.
IIRC the 1BR Residential Suite at the FS is actually smaller than the non-residential 1BR Suite. I think the "Residential" tag just indicates that it has a full kitchen and washing machine.

At the FS, the rooms are narrow and along with the choice of furnishings leaves little room to walk around. The PH rooms look somewhat similar in terms of open space, but I'll wait to stay there to give a verdict.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 12:48 am
  #407  
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Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post
Of course, of the PH, RC, and FS, the FS has the least foot traffic in the immediate area (unless you count all the schoolgirls). The PH faces Ninenzaka, one of the most heavily pedestrian-traffiked areas in the city. Add to that the fact that the PH is actively working to attract non-guest clientele to the Bistro and the Afternoon Tea, and it is not surprising that the serenity of some of the public areas suffers.

Afternoon Tea at upscale hotels continues to be an incredibly popular trend in Japan (the HR has also started an Afternoon Tea), so I would expect the PH Living Room and lobby to be extremely busy on Sundays and holidays for the foreseeable future; hopefully a bit less on weekdays unless it catches on with the Asian instagramers. One problem that often occurs with hotels' afternoon tea is that when it is busy the customers waiting for an afternoon tea seating take up seating in the lobby, so there is no place for guests checking in to sit if they have to wait for their room.

We're checking in tomorrow for a 2-night stay and I'll report back on what the lobby situation is like on a Sunday afternoon.
Honestly, I think afternoon tea is a top 3 revenue driver at many hotels. Aman Tokyo is always solid booked and I suspect many others as well. The upstairs tea area should become a 2nd lobby check-in area and seating space. I have a feeling that the crowding won't abate and might be helped by doing in-room checkins.

Originally Posted by gengar View Post
IIRC the 1BR Residential Suite at the FS is actually smaller than the non-residential 1BR Suite. I think the "Residential" tag just indicates that it has a full kitchen and washing machine.

At the FS, the rooms are narrow and along with the choice of furnishings leaves little room to walk around. The PH rooms look somewhat similar in terms of open space, but I'll wait to stay there to give a verdict.
I think RC provided us with the most spacious rooms in Kyoto. They're well designed and not anything like a matchbox.

Last edited by Aventine; Nov 30, 19 at 3:54 am
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Old Nov 30, 19, 6:09 am
  #408  
 
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
I have a feeling that the crowding won't abate and might be helped by doing in-room checkins.
Indeed, if only the rooms were actually ready on time
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Old Nov 30, 19, 9:45 am
  #409  
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Originally Posted by invalyd View Post
Indeed, if only the rooms were actually ready on time
I'm betting this will become a resort to "help" with those pesky late checkouts.
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Old Nov 30, 19, 10:29 pm
  #410  
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
I'm betting this will become a resort to "help" with those pesky late checkouts.
Are there really that many people that want to spend their last day in Kyoto sitting in their hotel room until 4pm?
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Old Dec 1, 19, 12:16 am
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Just completed a points redemption. Upgraded as a Discoverist after checking in from the base room to a Garden Terrace room. I actually liked the base room better, as it seemed more spacious and was very private. No problem getting taxis from the PH, but none were available from Gion Shijo Station, so I walked. Fantastic dinners and service at Kyoyamoto and Yasaka.

Terrible service at the bar, Kohaku. We wanted to sit facing the window, but bartender refused to allow us to sit there. He said those seats required a reservation and pointed to the corner, telling us to sit there. There was no Reserved sign at the seats with the best view, nor did anyone sit there while we were there. Because of his rude service, we sat in the corner but didnt order any cocktails. We then left to go to dinner at Yasaka. When I mentioned this at check out, the front desk clerk didnt even acknowledge my comment. Just curious to find out if anyone else was told they needed reservations at the bar.

For now Ill stay with the RC, for the river view and impeccable service, but Id like to try the PH again once they get their act together.
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Old Dec 1, 19, 9:49 pm
  #412  
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Originally Posted by invalyd View Post
Few pics of Park Suite. Room wasn't ready till 530pm but they provided free drinks while we waited.






Definitely well appointed. The hard product is a far cry from the HR Kyoto. Given the relatively small point differential between the two hotels, it is a bargain, especially once the service issues get solved.
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Old Dec 1, 19, 10:43 pm
  #413  
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Originally Posted by Nagasaki Joe View Post
Definitely well appointed. The hard product is a far cry from the HR Kyoto. Given the relatively small point differential between the two hotels, it is a bargain, especially once the service issues get solved.
The PH is worth 30000 points but HR should have stayed at 20000. Definitely agree that this is an exceptional redemption.
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Old Dec 4, 19, 6:13 pm
  #414  
 
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Uber in Kyoto interfaces with MK Taxis, so this is an alternative for anyone worried about taxi drivers not knowing the location of PH Kyoto. Just be aware that it is not a pre-quoted service (the taxi will still run the meter, then the rider can either pay the driver directly or have the driver charge via Uber). This does have the bonus of being eligible for Uber Rewards now. However, one disadvantage from Kyoto Station is that the Uber-directed pickup point is across the street on the south side of the station, on Karasuma Dori opposite the Kyoto Avanti building. Here's a google maps pin of the approximate location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/3459'00.4"N+13545'35.0"E/ Also, expect to wait 5+ minutes for pickup.

Initial impression of PH Kyoto - hard product is stunning. I particularly like the use of a lot of natural wood which makes the decor feel more Japanese to me than, say, the FS. Unquestionably a better redemption than the HR, but we knew that already. Criticisms about the lack of public guest space on the property are valid, however.

Also, IMO the western breakfast in the bistro is just fine. While there isn't much variety and all hot food is order-only, the quality is very high (pastries are made in-house and were all very good - there's a pear tartlet in particular that is decadent) and guests are allowed to order multiple items off the hot food menu.

Location could be the determining factor for some. I'd walked nearby the hotel area on past visits to Kyoto but I didn't realize exactly how touristy the area around Hokan-ji is (to put it in perspective, there is a Donguri Republic maybe 100 feet from the hotel entrance). It was tough enough to navigate the street on a weekday afternoon - assume it will just be a zoo on weekends. That said, I think the location is pretty convenient; Yasaka Shrine is less than a 10-minute walk away so everything in that area is easy to access.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 1:22 am
  #415  
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Old Dec 5, 19, 2:47 am
  #416  
 
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We stayed 2 nights this past Sun and Mon. Had a very aggravating experience checking in, but I’ll leave the rant for a later post. Here is a summary of my general impressions.

First, the property is truly beautiful. The materials used are of exceptional quality, IMO easily exceeding either PH Tokyo or PH Vendome. Both the materials and design are quite similar to the Kyoto Geihinkan, the state guesthouse that is used to welcome foreign dignitaries. The gardens are also gorgeous.

The location has its plusses and minuses. Kiyomizu-dera, Yasaka-jinga, Yasaka-no-to, and Chion-in are all a short walk, and of course Kodai-ji is across the street. There are lots of other temples and shrines within walking distance. But on Sun afternoon Ninenzaka, the road in front of the hotel, was packed with people. On Tue afternoon there were mostly only Asian tourists, but still a relatively large amount of foot traffic that seemed likely due to the ample tour bus parking space at Kodai-ji.

There are some areas that do not seem that well designed. The lobby/Living Room arrangement seems strange. The lobby is too small, and everyone has to walk right through the middle of the living room to go between the lobby/entrance and the rooms. There are 2 small counters in the lobby, but I have no idea how they are differentiated, when we were there for check-in the staff at both counters were mostly helping guests with sending packages back home. Re the Afternoon Tea, we were in the lobby 1-2:30 pm on Sun and only about 20% of the tables in the Living Room were occupied, not impacting the lobby area at all. The same at 5 pm. At 4 pm on Tue the Living Room was about 50% occupied, but the lobby was quite full with guests waiting to check in. From what I saw, the Afternoon Tea did not impact the lobby area, and the long wait for check-in is primarily due to their inefficient check-in process.

The open-air passageways to get to floors 5-7 and to go to the Yasaka restaurant and the bar may seem nicely brisk right now, but I wonder how guests will like making the trip without a coat when the temperature is near freezing next month, or in the occasional snow flurries, or in windblown rain.

The Bath House is pretty much useless. There are robes and slippers in the lockers, but there is nowhere to go in them; maybe they think you can put them on and seat in the locker area. The 2 saunas are only large enough to hold 2 persons of average size, and even that would be a squeeze. I went into the steam sauna, but the temperature was so low it actually felt cold. The bath is not too bad, but the 2 washing stations are claustrophobically narrow and difficult to use. Each station has a body shower just on one wall, making it kind of a quarter-body shower.

As mentioned by others, the 5th floor Tea Room is a nice space, but there is no “tea”, just room-temp bottled water, so not sure what the name is supposed to mean. Also, it is not serviced well and there is no place for guests to place used bottles/glasses, so throughout the day most of the tables have half-empty bottles and a glass or 2 sitting on them.

We ended up with a Deluxe King room. The room is well appointed, again the finest-quality materials throughout. At 68 m2 there is certainly a lot of space, but it is not all that well utilized. The bed is very firm, which is sure to make some guests unhappy. The easy chairs at the table are fairly comfortable to sit in, but not that great for dining and probably even worse to try to work in. They refer to the sofa-like piece as a daybed but it would be much too short for an adult, and it is as hard as a tatami mat floor, with a very thin pad on it, so it feels more like a bench than anything else, and it really crowds up the space.

The bathroom is fairly nice, once again exceptional quality materials and a Dyson hair dryer. The bathtub is deep enough to soak in, but incredibly uncomfortable. Very spacious shower area, but absolutely no place to sit. Water pressure is exceptionally good. The bath amenities are one area where I think the PH Kyoto falls short vs PH Tokyo and PH Vendome. Just generic made-in-Malaysia Le Labo. I understand they also have a special Japanese brand in the suites. With all the emphasis on Japanese styling, I would think they should have Japan-made signature bath amenities in all the rooms.

There was an amenity of some Japanese snacks on the table in the room, but no card, not even a generic “With our compliments”, so we did not know what it was and had to call and ask.

We had 4 meals through room service. The service was impeccable, certainly as good as the PH Tokyo; laying out everything very nicely. Japanese breakfast on both mornings. I wanted to see if Kyoyamato was enough on the ball to vary it slightly for guests having it on consecutive days, but unfortunately it was exactly the same; this is going to disappoint some Japanese guests. The quality of Japanese breakfast was good, but I’m not so sure that it is actually better than that at PH Tokyo, except for the rice, which was exceptionally good, cooked in its own individual pot and kept warm. Dinner was from the casual Bistro menu; generous portions, very tasty, and very reasonably priced, but we wish they had something a bit more sophisticated, a bento from Kyoyamato would be nice.

Housekeeping and mini-bar service were so-so. Room was clean of course, but they forgot to refill the humidifier. We called down for some bath salts and when they brought them up they also handed me a bottle of Evian and asked me to put in the mini-bar. In the evening we called to get some extra hand towels, but they never came; 2 hours later evening housekeeping came by and we got the towels from them. Evening housekeeping is very strange; 2 staff go around the room lugging a giant bag of towels and a bunch of other things. They’re so loaded down they might as well give up and use a cart.

Last edited by OsakaWino; Dec 5, 19 at 4:06 am
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Old Dec 5, 19, 2:57 am
  #417  
 
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Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post
The bath amenities are one area where I think the PH Kyoto falls short vs PH Tokyo and PH Vendome. Just generic made-in-Malaysia. I understand they also have a special Japanese brand in the suites. With all the emphasis on Japanese styling, I would think they should have Japan-made signature bath amenities in all the rooms.
Didn't realize they differentiate the amenities - I'm not a fan of the practice, even if it is common. For anyone interested, the suites have the Le Labo bar soap common to PHs and then a exclusive product collaboration with edit(h) tokyo for the liquid products (also not a fan of exclusives either, although FS Kyoto does the same thing). [external link to collab page]

Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post
There was an amenity of some Japanese snacks on the table in the room, but no card, not even a generic “With our compliments”, so we did not know what it was and had to call and ask.
I did a double take on my welcome amenity as well, as I just assumed it was mochi. It was actually roasted black soybeans coated in various flavored powders from Uchiwaya, a confectioner just down the street. www.kyo-uchiwaya.com
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Old Dec 5, 19, 3:49 am
  #418  
 
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Aggravating check-in

This is a rant on my personal experience, which might be a one-off. It might not be that relevant to others, so feel free to skip it.

We were booked for 2 nights as a GoH. Arrived at 1 pm on Sun, expecting that the room would not yet be available, but looking to get the paperwork done and then go out until around 5 pm. Got out of the taxi and the doorman offers me an umbrella; have no idea why, since the weather was fine and we were headed into the hotel. He says they will take care our bag (I glance back at the taxi trunk to make sure it is empty) and escorts us to the lobby, where he says to take a seat and someone will be with us shortly.

We sit and wait. The lobby is not very busy, just one couple who seem to be waiting for their room and another than seem to have already checked-out. Staff at the 2 counters also do not seem too busy, mostly helping guests with packages their sending home.

After 20 minutes I realize that the doorman likely did not tell any of the front staff that we were waiting so no one is going to check us in! I go up to one of the counters, where there are 2 staff, one Asian and one Caucasian, not doing anything and I say I want to check in. The Asian staff looks at me and says, “I’m sorry, I don’t speak Japanese”. This really caught me off-guard; I read and write English everyday but often go months at a time without actually conversing in English. I was so nonplussed that I did not say anything for a moment and she immediately said she would get someone who speaks Japanese and rushed off. Well fine, I return to my seat and wait.

After a few minutes someone comes out and takes my name and goes for the paperwork. Comes back a few minutes later with the registration form. I sign it and give here my cc and she goes back to the counter. While we’re waiting I check Hyatt.com to see what room types are available, and see that although there is no suite, there is a Deluxe King. We wait more than 5 minutes for her to come back; it has now been about 40 min since we arrived.

She comes back and says our room is ready, and I ask her what room type it is. She says it is a King and I ask if there is no upgrade available. She says they could give us a Garden Terrace, but we would have to wait. I ask about the Deluxe King. She goes back to check and comes out to say no. I show her my phone showing that is available on Hyatt.com and she goes to check again. She comes back to say their system shows no availability and I stress that it can be booked on Hyatt.com. She checks again and says they are planning to do some “gardening work” outside the room so she cannot give it to me for both nights, but we could switch rooms if we want. I say if we are going to switch rooms, then how about switching between a suite, which is showing availability for one night, and the other room. She replies that she can’t give us the suite because I’m an Explorist. I explain that since this is a GoH booking, the upgrade should be the same as a Globalist. She appears clueless and I get exasperated and ask here to get a manager.

After 10 min a “Rooms Assistant Manage” comes out. We’ve now been here for 60 min. She apologizes for staff not realizing I was a Globalist and I say that I’m not, but the reservation is a GoH booking. She goes to check on that and comes back to say they have no record of that and asks if I have a printout of my confirmation. It is in my bag, which the doorman has. She asks what my bag looks like and tell her. In any case, I corresponded several times with a “Rooms Host” and clearly stated that it was GoH and he added my own WoH No., since it was not on the GoH booking. She goes back to her counter for a while and finally comes out and says they have confirmed with central reservations that it GoH.

So now I ask about the Deluxe King. I show her my phone showing that it available on Hyatt.com and she asks if I have refreshed it. I think that maybe they have taken it out while we are talking, but I refresh and it still shows up. She takes my phone and refreshes it herself and it still shows. She ask us to wait a bit and offers a beverage. Finally she comes out and says they can give us the Deluxe King but it will not be ready until 6 pm. I say fine, since we’re going out.

Total time taken for all this was 90 minutes. In hindsight I would not do it again, but once I got to fighting for the upgrade it was difficult to stop. I naively thought there might be some sort of apology for all this in the form of a half-bottle of champagne or at least a note from someone, but nothing at all.
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Last edited by OsakaWino; Dec 5, 19 at 3:51 pm
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Old Dec 5, 19, 3:54 am
  #419  
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Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post

We had 4 meals through room service. The service was impeccable, certainly as good as the PH Tokyo; laying out everything very nicely. Japanese breakfast on both mornings. I wanted to see if Kyoyamato was enough on the ball to vary it slightly for guests having it on consecutive days, but unfortunately it was exactly the same; this is going to disappoint some Japanese guests. The quality of Japanese breakfast was good, but Im not so sure that it is actually better than that at PH Tokyo, except for the rice, which was exceptionally good, cooked in its own individual pot and kept warm. Dinner was from the casual Bistro menu; generous portions, very tasty, and very reasonably priced, but we wish they had something a bit more sophisticated, a bento from Kyoyamato would be nice.

Housekeeping and mini-bar service were so-so. Room was clean of course, but they forgot to refill the humidifier. We called down for some bath salts and when they brought them up they also handed me a bottle of Evian and asked me to put in the mini-bar. In the evening we called to get some extra hand towels, but they never came; 2 hours later evening housekeeping came by and we got the towels from them. Evening housekeeping is very strange; 2 staff go around the room lugging a giant bag of towels and a bunch of other things. Theyre so loaded down they might as well give up and use a cart.
That's just awful and rude behavior. That attendant should be fired for doing that to a guest.
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Old Dec 5, 19, 4:39 pm
  #420  
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"they also handed me a bottle of Evian and asked me to put in the mini-bar. "

Hyatt needs a new brand that encompasses the hard product of a Park Hyatt and the soft product of a Hyatt Place.
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