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Ritz Carlton Kyoto, Japan [Master Thread]

Ritz Carlton Kyoto, Japan [Master Thread]

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Old Aug 12, 17, 7:49 am
  #76  
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Originally Posted by musicscrip View Post
Is it impossible to book 7 nights with points at this property for end of March? Not sure what's peak and what's NOT peak in Japan.

Please help!

Thanks
http://www.insidekyoto.com/when-do-c...bloom-in-kyoto

"When Is Cherry Blossom Season In Kyoto?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked is “When Is Cherry Blossom Season In Kyoto?” The answer is: from the last week of March through to the middle of April. Organising a trip to see them at the best time requires careful planning."

More details in article.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 13, 17, 6:00 am
  #77  
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Originally Posted by musicscrip View Post
Did you original book your room using POINTS and then got upgraded?

Is it impossible to book 7 nights with points at this property for end of March? Not sure what's peak and what's NOT peak in Japan.

Please help!

Thanks
It starts blooming at different times in Kyoto and people just want to be there anyway. End of March to middle of April should be considered peak sakura times.
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Old Sep 12, 17, 1:20 am
  #78  
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Oh dear, my first interaction with the concierge is not filling me with confidence at all.

I gave specific dates, times and number of people for reservations at:
• Nakahigashi
• Wa Yamamamura (Nara)

The response I received:

"As the name of the restaurants that you have provided are fairly common in Japan, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to provide a link, website or phone number for the restaurants as to avoid misunderstandings."


I've never been asked this by any hotel concierge ever. These are world famous restaurants which any concierge in Kyoto should be intimately familiar with.

I asked for okonomiyaki and horumonyaki recommendations and received the former, whilst the latter was completely ignored.


Finally, I asked if there were any temples in Kyoto that require advance reservations and was told:

"Please be noted that temples do not take reservations and please feel free to visit them at anytime (some temples close after a certain time while some are always open)."

This is patently false. Last time I was in Kyoto I visited Kokedera (a Unesco world heritage site) and was required to write to the temple weeks in advance.


Obviously this is a new staff member but shouldn't somebody be checking their work before information gets sent out to guests?
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Old Sep 12, 17, 1:43 am
  #79  
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Sounds like you got an inexperienced concierge who definitely needs to revise their service standards and search abilities. Guests shouldn't have to do their legwork for them.

I'm also shocked that their chief concierge is not a member of les clefs d'or either (tried to find you someone senior and more competent). Surprising for one of the lead Kyoto hotels not to have a member of that club.

Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
Oh dear, my first interaction with the concierge is not filling me with confidence at all.

I gave specific dates, times and number of people for reservations at:
• Nakahigashi
• Wa Yamamamura (Nara)

The response I received:

"As the name of the restaurants that you have provided are fairly common in Japan, it would be highly appreciated if you are able to provide a link, website or phone number for the restaurants as to avoid misunderstandings."


I've never been asked this by any hotel concierge ever. These are world famous restaurants which any concierge in Kyoto should be intimately familiar with.

I asked for okonomiyaki and horumonyaki recommendations and received the former, whilst the latter was completely ignored.


Finally, I asked if there were any temples in Kyoto that require advance reservations and was told:

"Please be noted that temples do not take reservations and please feel free to visit them at anytime (some temples close after a certain time while some are always open)."

This is patently false. Last time I was in Kyoto I visited Kokedera (a Unesco world heritage site) and was required to write to the temple weeks in advance.


Obviously this is a new staff member but shouldn't somebody be checking their work before information gets sent out to guests?
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Old Sep 12, 17, 6:58 am
  #80  
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Originally Posted by Aventine View Post
Sounds like you got an inexperienced concierge who definitely needs to revise their service standards and search abilities. Guests shouldn't have to do their legwork for them.

I'm also shocked that their chief concierge is not a member of les clefs d'or either (tried to find you someone senior and more competent). Surprising for one of the lead Kyoto hotels not to have a member of that club.
Thanks for looking into this for me Aventine, that's very kind of you.
I'm just as surprised as you are although I imagine the head concierge will be a member of some equivalent Japanese body.

I got a reply back stating:
In regards to visiting the Saihoji-temple (Kokedera), it is actually not a reservation but a visitation permission granted by the temple.
My mistake then, I should evidently have asked whether there were any temples that required a reservation OR visitation permission...

Apparently my choice of restaurant is also questionable:

Just for your information, horumonyaki restaurants are very casual and it is not a very elegant and glamorous experience.
I can't help but think there is a bit of a language barrier here as I've never actually had openly rude or confrontational service in Japan before.

Still, I've revised my expectations of this hotel down slightly after this interaction.
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Old Sep 12, 17, 7:24 am
  #81  
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Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
Thanks for looking into this for me Aventine, that's very kind of you.
I'm just as surprised as you are although I imagine the head concierge will be a member of some equivalent Japanese body.

I got a reply back stating:
In regards to visiting the Saihoji-temple (Kokedera), it is actually not a reservation but a visitation permission granted by the temple.
My mistake then, I should evidently have asked whether there were any temples that required a reservation OR visitation permission...

Apparently my choice of restaurant is also questionable:

Just for your information, horumonyaki restaurants are very casual and it is not a very elegant and glamorous experience.
I can't help but think there is a bit of a language barrier here as I've never actually had openly rude or confrontational service in Japan before.

Still, I've revised my expectations of this hotel down slightly after this interaction.
Permission by a slip is a reservation by any other name.


I'd feel insulted if they told me the horumon grilled intestines restaurant isn't elegant or glamorous. It's like not like they have to go eat there. How dare they say that to a guest making a request? I think they think they're saving you from a "disgusting" experience that you might later blame on them but it sounds like you know what you want and their personal distain shouldn't play a part in fulfilling your wishes.

When you speak to the GM or senior management, tell them that a stranger from a famous frequent flyer forum did something for you that their concierge thought was unelegant, unrefined and refused to do. Then you had a great meal at said restaurant.

ホルモン千葉 - Horumon Chiba
075-352-6162

It's cash only but cheap and you'll get your fill of horumon. I always do. An easy 10-15 min walk down the river on the same side as the hotel.

recommended dishes:
yakisoba
5 kinds horumon mixed platter
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Old Sep 12, 17, 8:28 am
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Thanks Aventine!
In the concierge's defence that is one of the restaurants they pulled from Tabelog for me, after some prodding.

Far better to get a proper recommendation though. I've got a real hunger for some sweetbreads, lungs and larynxes I'll be sure to report back.
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Old Sep 12, 17, 8:34 am
  #83  
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Is there a list of must-see temples and restaurants in Kyoto...and perhaps a list of less-visited but surprisingly wonderful temples and restaurants to also consider? We will have a total of 7 nights in town (5 at Suiran and 2 at the RC) in May 2018.

We are major foodies. And we also love exploring temples and beautiful grounds/gardens. Thanks for any recommendations!

Last edited by bhrubin; Sep 12, 17 at 9:59 am
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Old Sep 12, 17, 9:06 am
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I've personally just worked my way through all the 3 and 2 dot places on this list over the last decade:

http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e2158.html


Personal favourites:

Kiyomizudera
Ginkakuji
Kinkakuji
Nanzenji
Philosopher's Path (there are multiple temples along the way, also "Monk" restaurant)
Arashiyama bamboo grove
Kokedera (the one you have to book in advance)
Fushimi Inari

I wouldn't miss side trips to Nara or Himeji either.
(Nara also has an incredibly reasonably priced *** michelin restaurant, which I'll be trying on my next trip)
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Old Sep 12, 17, 9:58 am
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@bhrubin

Let me just add on:

Tofuku-ji - fall, spring foliage
Konzo-ji - fall foliage and very, very off the beaten path (good driver required)
Shoji-ji - fall, spring foliage and another quiet, off the beaten path temple (car required)
Kifune-ji - alongside a stream, peaceful little shrine. Enjoy the tranquility of it all.
Ujigami - fall foliage and the oldest shrine still standing in Japan. "Primitive" looking in contrast to the more decadent Kyoto temples. I like how natural they let it be rather than prim and sculpted like Kyoto ones.
Nishiki Market - fresh everything and a good look at a traditional Japanese market (somewhat close to RC)

Go very early for the popular Kyoto ones that Jermyn mentioned. The sheer numbers of Chinese tourists take all of them over. It's become such a problem with crowding, selfie sticks and loutish behavior.
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Old Sep 14, 17, 5:41 pm
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Originally Posted by Jermyn View Post
Thanks for looking into this for me Aventine, that's very kind of you.
I'm just as surprised as you are although I imagine the head concierge will be a member of some equivalent Japanese body.

I got a reply back stating:
In regards to visiting the Saihoji-temple (Kokedera), it is actually not a reservation but a visitation permission granted by the temple.
My mistake then, I should evidently have asked whether there were any temples that required a reservation OR visitation permission...

Apparently my choice of restaurant is also questionable:

Just for your information, horumonyaki restaurants are very casual and it is not a very elegant and glamorous experience.
I can't help but think there is a bit of a language barrier here as I've never actually had openly rude or confrontational service in Japan before.

Still, I've revised my expectations of this hotel down slightly after this interaction.
I do love FT sometimes. I'll be cancelling my stay based on this. It is utterly disgraceful to treat a guest in this manner. The concierge are ambassadors for their property and brand. Even more so in a country as customer-oriented as Japan. Hope they manage to pull their fingers out where you're concerned, though.
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Old Sep 14, 17, 7:50 pm
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Originally Posted by Phaze View Post
I do love FT sometimes. I'll be cancelling my stay based on this. It is utterly disgraceful to treat a guest in this manner. The concierge are ambassadors for their property and brand. Even more so in a country as customer-oriented as Japan. Hope they manage to pull their fingers out where you're concerned, though.
Definitely at this price level too, this concierge should just do their job and avoid caustic remarks. This property has always had up and down service.
In contrast, Hyatt Regency's concierge is wonderful. They'll give many recommendations and gladly do what you ask and beyond.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 3:27 am
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Originally Posted by Phaze View Post
I do love FT sometimes. I'll be cancelling my stay based on this. It is utterly disgraceful to treat a guest in this manner. The concierge are ambassadors for their property and brand. Even more so in a country as customer-oriented as Japan. Hope they manage to pull their fingers out where you're concerned, though.
My subsequent follow ups with the concierge team have been very swift and proactive, the original junior concierge has not been further involved. I will report back in November and hope to learn that this staff member was an aberration on an otherwise excellent hotel.

A totally understandable decision on your part though, especially given the proliferation of high end non-ryokan options in Kyoto.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 6:03 pm
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Not able to find any availability the week of Nov18th, weeks before and after have lots of availability. Guessing there is something special going down in Kyoto during that week or lots of Americans vacationing for thanksgiving. Anybody has any pointers on what to do in such cases? Ritz Tokyo seems to be available, but already been to Tokyo and was looking forward to Kyoto this Fall.
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Old Sep 19, 17, 6:05 pm
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Originally Posted by krdvg View Post
Not able to find any availability the week of Nov18th, weeks before and after have lots of availability. Guessing there is something special going down in Kyoto during that week or lots of Americans vacationing for thanksgiving. Anybody has any pointers on what to do in such cases? Ritz Tokyo seems to be available, but already been to Tokyo and was looking forward to Kyoto this Fall.
Try Suiran, the Luxury Collection property on the west side of Kyoto. It's right next to the famous bamboo forest.
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