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Best Luxury hotel in Kyoto

Best Luxury hotel in Kyoto

Old May 9, 2024, 4:16 am
  #121  
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Originally Posted by Nizar
Hi guys,

Turns out my wife is keen to check out Japan. It would be our first time there and we would have to take the kids this time

So I take a look at Aman Kyoto and rates for their 2 bedders are around 2.1-2.3m JPY a night. Seems a bit outta control ?

Dates are in the end of Sept to early Oct range. Aman Tokyo best suite tops out at a much more reasonable 550k a night over the same/similar dates.

Is it normal for Aman Kyoto to command 4x the rates of Aman Tokyo ? I suppose its all dynamic ? Kyoto much lower room count ? Maybe Taylor swift just happens to be performing there across those dates or there's some other event going on ?

In any case, 2m+ JPY a night puts it way out of budget. I am now looking at alternative two bedders in Kyoto and would welcome any suggestions please.

Thank you
Hi Nizar,

I really don't think Aman Kyoto is a great location for first time visitors to Kyoto. Assuming you're looking to explore Kyoto on foot as much as you can.
I think Park Hyatt Kyoto would be a much better fit. Aman Kyoto would also be more challenging with children in terms of things to do onsite (esp since most guests there spend a lot of time on site ... otherwise, you wouldn't stay there).

I would say another reason for the price difference between Aman Tokyo and Aman Kyoto's top suite is that the Aman Suite at Aman Tokyo (we stayed back in Jan/Feb) is a very nice suite but not anything that resembles a normal Presidential Suite. It's also priced well for that reason.
The Janu Suite (presidential suite) at Janu Tokyo is ~USD 20K++/night. Aman Tokyo is actually very children friendly in just about every aspect, our little guy loved it. The ONLY challenge for you guys might be that Aman Tokyo does not have true connecting rooms, yet. I think they are working on that but not sure it'll be ready by Oct.
Janu could make more sense for you. Janu's location might be more fun with children as well. Teamlab Borderless is actually located within the same building. Won't even have to step outside

I'm sure you all will LOVE Japan!
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Old May 9, 2024, 9:38 am
  #122  
 
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Some feedback on FS Kyoto, where we stayed for 8 days last summer:
  • The room
    • We booked in one of the terrace garden-view rooms. We were put in the very last one (at the edge) meaning we had quite a bad view of the garden / pond which was a bit disappointing.
    • Apart from that, the room was really amazing. Big living space (despite not being a suite), big shower + bath, valet box, and the terrace is amazing
  • F&B
    • Breakfast
      • Food was amazing. The buffet menu is super varied with a mix of japanese and western options. The "A la carte" menu items are great. We didn't get bored of the breakfast over our 8 night stay
      • Pro-tip (when it's warm): You can go sit outside on the terrace and have your breakfast there, with a great view on the pond. We were the only ones there because it was quite hot (August), which made it a great experience
      • Service: Was mostly okay, although a bit slow sometimes (also because we were sat outside)
    • Other meals:
      • We had room service once and was okay (but overpriced, of course, it's FS). Didn't try the other restaurants as we ate in town
  • Other
    • The only thing that tarnished a bit the experience for me was the overall "service", more specifically from the Concierge. I have stayed at countless FS properties and I am used to receive an answer relatively quickly on the chat in the FS app. Not in Kyoto. We asked for recommendations for a sushi restaurant (in Japan, should be easy enough right?) and received an answer 5 hours later (despite my follow-ups) after 9pm. And the answer was something along the line of "We don't know which ones are open but try to go in this area" (I would have thought a concierge could even do a booking?). It happened again another evening before our departure. As I said it's a bit odd from a hotel of this calibre.
    • But overall it was a great stay!
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Old May 9, 2024, 8:54 pm
  #123  
 
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I just got back from Kyoto. I stayed with Park Hyatt Kyoto and Aman Kyoto.

I visited FS Kyoto, and the new Six Senses.

Depending on what one is looking for out of their kyoto stay will truly inform their accommodation selection, as will the season. Whether you're looking for a traditional Ryokan or luxe Ryokan-inspired inspired hotel with all the bells, whistles - there are many options and many more coming i.e. Capella, Rosewood, WA.

To me, Kyoto is easily a multiple hotel stay destination. I enjoyed staying at two properties, due to their unique locations and experiences. Park Hyatt Kyoto's historic location allowed me to wake up and be right in the heart of the Higashiyama district, as well as a short walk away from Gion which I loved. This limited taxi-ing and made the experience more charming for me. Higashiyama gets very touristy by late morning, afternoon so being able to wake up early, have 6:30AM breakfast and walk out the door into the Ninenzaka road is a luxury in itself. Whereas Aman Kyoto is placed outside of the main parts of Kyoto, tucked away in an expansive garden that took 20 years of designing/ pioneering before it became Aman via Kerry Hill / AZ - theres no where else quite like it in Kyoto. Although some developments have started to build near by. Kerry Hill's architecture is art in it's self so if you love Kerry Hill or architecture in general, you'll appreciate it like I did. For those into health & wellness, Aman's onsen funnels mineralized water from a nearby spring, making it very a place for healing. This property is most stunning in the fall as it's filled with japanese maple leaves, which turn bright red in November/December.

Being said, I'll share some bits on my Park Hyatt Kyoto experience on this trip, as it blew me away as a highlight of my time in Kyoto. It's unique location right in the heart of the Higashiyama district is special and it's service level were truly beyond the competition! Always present, generous, intuitive and communicative via WA, email, etc. I venture to say, it had the edge over Aman, service wise.

Hard product/ design is stunning, comfortable and uber stylish, I am a fan of Tony Chi and his work. Park Hyatt in Japan, generally speaking is in a level of it's own. The property feels like a resort with it's private garden and lovely spa facilities, a vibrant small city hotel with it's jazzy lobby (must try the acclaimed PH afternoon tea!) and daily performances i.e. Koto, Jazz, etc.

I asked to see the other categories, and I felt every room and suite at PH Kyoto is stunning, and realized I'd be happy in most. However, we stayed in the Ninenzaka House as it had a front row view of Yasaka Pagoda, and I can honestly rate that as one of my favorite suites in Japan. Surreal.

The only drawback was the main restaurant as the concept is open to the public. As Kyoto is a city with great Japanese restaurants - this wasn't an issue for us. In fact, PH's Yasaka Teppanyaki restaurant was phenomenal and one of the best I've ever had. French/Japanese fusion style... perfection.

Last edited by luxefarer; May 9, 2024 at 9:19 pm
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Old May 9, 2024, 11:32 pm
  #124  
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I went to the new Six Senses Kyoto slightly before Children's Day and Golden Week. It's a complete new build hotel in the slightly sunken courtyard style that seems to be popular these days in Kyoto.

The property itself was A LOT of wood, farely high quality finishes and created with the Heian period in mind. Service was pretty much a let down and not anything approaching Luxury Forum standards. Orders missed during breakfast and a mildly aloof check-in. Maybe using higher end booking channels than the IHG app may yield more attention from senior management? The property had been open for approximately a week but no GM was visible for the duration of our stay. The local Kyoto sweets welcome amenity had a generic "Welcome Guest" card attached to it.

The buffet was your standard hot and cold sections with an emphasis on local Kyoto grown produce.
Japanese breakfast was probably the worst ultra luxury breakfast I've ever had in Kyoto. Maybe in luxury Japan as well. Not that delicious or luxurious compared to Aman, RC, PH and others. It looked barely above something from a local Japanese chain hotel.






This was a Deluxe King room upgraded one category from the ground floor Classic King room. Not sure if this came from IHG status or the property simply not wanting first timers to be in their worst rooms.




Pool was disappointing compared to the actual size of the spa and paid wellness rooms.

There's a big emphasis on outdoor dining spaces and it was nice in the cool/warmish Kyoto spring.


This property is a far cry from being the best Luxury Hotel in Kyoto and is only in this forum because of its luxury pricing. It feels like an eco-friendly hotel masquerading as a luxury property.

Last edited by Aventine; May 9, 2024 at 11:57 pm
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Old May 10, 2024, 5:14 am
  #125  
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Originally Posted by Aventine
I went to the new Six Senses Kyoto slightly before Children's Day and Golden Week. It's a complete new build hotel in the slightly sunken courtyard style that seems to be popular these days in Kyoto.
Thanks for taking one for the team.
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Old May 10, 2024, 8:12 am
  #126  
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Originally Posted by Nagasaki Joe
Thanks for taking one for the team.
It's a fine property but lacking refinement at the 153000++ JPY/night level.
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Old May 10, 2024, 9:05 am
  #127  
 
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Originally Posted by luxefarer
I just got back from Kyoto. I stayed with Park Hyatt Kyoto and Aman Kyoto.

I visited FS Kyoto, and the new Six Senses.

Depending on what one is looking for out of their kyoto stay will truly inform their accommodation selection, as will the season. Whether you're looking for a traditional Ryokan or luxe Ryokan-inspired inspired hotel with all the bells, whistles - there are many options and many more coming i.e. Capella, Rosewood, WA.

To me, Kyoto is easily a multiple hotel stay destination. I enjoyed staying at two properties, due to their unique locations and experiences. Park Hyatt Kyoto's historic location allowed me to wake up and be right in the heart of the Higashiyama district, as well as a short walk away from Gion which I loved. This limited taxi-ing and made the experience more charming for me. Higashiyama gets very touristy by late morning, afternoon so being able to wake up early, have 6:30AM breakfast and walk out the door into the Ninenzaka road is a luxury in itself. Whereas Aman Kyoto is placed outside of the main parts of Kyoto, tucked away in an expansive garden that took 20 years of designing/ pioneering before it became Aman via Kerry Hill / AZ - theres no where else quite like it in Kyoto. Although some developments have started to build near by. Kerry Hill's architecture is art in it's self so if you love Kerry Hill or architecture in general, you'll appreciate it like I did. For those into health & wellness, Aman's onsen funnels mineralized water from a nearby spring, making it very a place for healing. This property is most stunning in the fall as it's filled with japanese maple leaves, which turn bright red in November/December.

Being said, I'll share some bits on my Park Hyatt Kyoto experience on this trip, as it blew me away as a highlight of my time in Kyoto. It's unique location right in the heart of the Higashiyama district is special and it's service level were truly beyond the competition! Always present, generous, intuitive and communicative via WA, email, etc. I venture to say, it had the edge over Aman, service wise.

Hard product/ design is stunning, comfortable and uber stylish, I am a fan of Tony Chi and his work. Park Hyatt in Japan, generally speaking is in a level of it's own. The property feels like a resort with it's private garden and lovely spa facilities, a vibrant small city hotel with it's jazzy lobby (must try the acclaimed PH afternoon tea!) and daily performances i.e. Koto, Jazz, etc.

I asked to see the other categories, and I felt every room and suite at PH Kyoto is stunning, and realized I'd be happy in most. However, we stayed in the Ninenzaka House as it had a front row view of Yasaka Pagoda, and I can honestly rate that as one of my favorite suites in Japan. Surreal.

The only drawback was the main restaurant as the concept is open to the public. As Kyoto is a city with great Japanese restaurants - this wasn't an issue for us. In fact, PH's Yasaka Teppanyaki restaurant was phenomenal and one of the best I've ever had. French/Japanese fusion style... perfection.
Great review, thank you! reading this and it makes me pissed about Park Hyatts, I know theres a Japan angle in terms of baseline service quality levels but its unbelievably inconsistent across properties. There are certainly different tiers of FS for example but the baseline is much higher ie lows arent as low as PH
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Old May 10, 2024, 3:12 pm
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Aventine
It's a fine property but lacking refinement at the 153000++ JPY/night level.
Having said that, its only been open for a few weeks and theyll take abit of time to refine their service
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Old May 10, 2024, 7:10 pm
  #129  
 
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Originally Posted by BESVISOR
Hi Nizar,

I really don't think Aman Kyoto is a great location for first time visitors to Kyoto. Assuming you're looking to explore Kyoto on foot as much as you can.
I think Park Hyatt Kyoto would be a much better fit. Aman Kyoto would also be more challenging with children in terms of things to do onsite (esp since most guests there spend a lot of time on site ... otherwise, you wouldn't stay there).

I would say another reason for the price difference between Aman Tokyo and Aman Kyoto's top suite is that the Aman Suite at Aman Tokyo (we stayed back in Jan/Feb) is a very nice suite but not anything that resembles a normal Presidential Suite. It's also priced well for that reason.
The Janu Suite (presidential suite) at Janu Tokyo is ~USD 20K++/night. Aman Tokyo is actually very children friendly in just about every aspect, our little guy loved it. The ONLY challenge for you guys might be that Aman Tokyo does not have true connecting rooms, yet. I think they are working on that but not sure it'll be ready by Oct.
Janu could make more sense for you. Janu's location might be more fun with children as well. Teamlab Borderless is actually located within the same building. Won't even have to step outside

I'm sure you all will LOVE Japan!
Thanks for the comprehensive reply and for sharing your thoughts Hao !

We will be in touch if I go ahead with this.

Cheers
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Old May 10, 2024, 7:35 pm
  #130  
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Originally Posted by Nizar
Hi guys,

Turns out my wife is keen to check out Japan. It would be our first time there and we would have to take the kids this time

Is it normal for Aman Kyoto to command 4x the rates of Aman Tokyo ? I suppose its all dynamic ? Kyoto much lower room count ? Maybe Taylor swift just happens to be performing there across those dates or there's some other event going on ?

In any case, 2m+ JPY a night puts it way out of budget. I am now looking at alternative two bedders in Kyoto and would welcome any suggestions please.

Thank you
Six Senses has a small kids club in their free activities area.
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Old May 11, 2024, 3:30 am
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Originally Posted by Aventine
Six Senses has a small kids club in their free activities area.
Thanks, great to know
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Old May 11, 2024, 5:33 am
  #132  
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Originally Posted by Nizar
Hi guys,

Turns out my wife is keen to check out Japan. It would be our first time there and we would have to take the kids this time

So I take a look at Aman Kyoto and rates for their 2 bedders are around 2.1-2.3m JPY a night. Seems a bit outta control ?

Dates are in the end of Sept to early Oct range. Aman Tokyo best suite tops out at a much more reasonable 550k a night over the same/similar dates.

Is it normal for Aman Kyoto to command 4x the rates of Aman Tokyo ? I suppose its all dynamic ? Kyoto much lower room count ? Maybe Taylor swift just happens to be performing there across those dates or there's some other event going on ?

In any case, 2m+ JPY a night puts it way out of budget. I am now looking at alternative two bedders in Kyoto and would welcome any suggestions please.

Thank you
Without commenting on the Aman Kyoto rate (other than to say it's crazy), in general, luxury hotels in Kyoto seem to be used to charging more than their counterparts in Tokyo. Not hugely more, maybe 20-30% above equivalent Tokyo hotels. Even then, not year round.

Unlike Aman "middle of nowhere" hotels, Aman will be unable to offer anything in Kyoto that you couldn't obtain on your own. Skip it.

P.S. If your kids are say 6+, they and you may really enjoy taking a day trip to the "Ninja house" attraction, something few foreign tourists ever reach.
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Old May 11, 2024, 7:08 am
  #133  
 
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Originally Posted by reigndrop
Great review, thank you! reading this and it makes me pissed about Park Hyatts, I know there’s a Japan angle in terms of baseline service quality levels but it’s unbelievably inconsistent across properties. There are certainly different tiers of FS for example but the baseline is much higher ie lows aren’t as low as PH
Agreed. Park Hyatt and Ritz Carlton set the bar very high in Kyoto. Ritz Carlton is on the river, and has planted their own cherry blossoms (over 600) - the view for Sakura here is unbeatable. This is why I’ve learned not to make generalizations on hotel brands as markets and even ownership can make all the difference.

Side note, I highly encourage adding The Ritz Carlton Nikkō (2 hours from Tokyo) to Japan itineraries, a highlight for those looking for a mix of culture, wellness and nature I.e waterfalls, shrines, temples, onsen… just stunning. RC Nikkō product is just beautiful and service is superior.
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Last edited by luxefarer; May 11, 2024 at 6:22 pm
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Old May 11, 2024, 2:25 pm
  #134  
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Originally Posted by luxefarer
Side note, I highly encourage adding The Ritz Carlton Nikkō (2 hours from Tokyo) to Japan itineraries, a highlight for those who looking for a mix of culture, wellness and nature I.e waterfalls, shrines, temples, onsen just stunning. RC Nikkō product is just beautiful and service is superior.
In Tokyo currently and I have to admit it has never occurred to me to do anything other than a long day trip to visit Nikko. Can't go this trip but your information about the RC is something I will keep in mind for my next visit. The Nikko area is definitely all you claim it to be. For those not familiar with the area, among many other things, you will see the original version of the "see no evil..." monkeys:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_wise_monkeys
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Old May 14, 2024, 7:46 am
  #135  
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Six Senses Kyoto boatload of pics - IHG forum

[MENTION=295018]Raynyan[/MENTION] was gracious enough to post extensive, extensive property photos. Worth a look for anyone considering going to Six Senses Kyoto in the future.
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