Kyoto Brighton Hotel
What We Love
- Free shuttle every 20 minutes to/from Karasumaoike Subway Station
- The Hotaru restaurant serves traditional Kyoto kaiseki (a menu of small Japanese dishes)
- Cool views from the rooftop pool and terrace
What To Know
- Bikes are available to rent
- WiFi is free
- Rooftop pool is open July to September
- It's a short walk to Kyoto's imperial palace
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
In west Kyoto-Gosho, close to the imperial palace, the Kyoto Brighton is a classy crash pad with a rooftop pool and terrace. Beyond the light-flooded atrium, glass elevators whisk guests up to the 182 spacious rooms, which all have clearly defined seating and sleeping areas. The decor is simple, with light woods and plum carpets and sofas, and all rooms feature nifty air purifiers and bathrooms with soaking tubs and rain showers. There are four restaurants to choose from, including Kakan, which specializes in Cantonese fare, and Hotaru, a top-notch eatery that serves Kyoto style kaiseki (a multicourse menu of small, artistically presented dishes). The lobby bar is also an all-day tea lounge that serves organic brews and bowls of traditional matcha green tea.
In the Area
Kyoto is one of the world’s greatest cultural destinations, and the sights begin just steps from the hotel. The imperial palace, residence of Japan’s royal family until 1868, is just down the road. Sanjusangendo Buddhist Temple dates from 1266 and is one of the world’s largest wooden structures; inside, 1,000 life-size statues of Kannon (the deity of mercy) flank a giant 1,000-armed Kannon. Visit Kawai Kanjiro House, the residence turned museum of an eccentric 20th-century ceramic artist. Kiyomizu Temple, with its famous balcony offering views of the city, is dramatically perched on the side of a hill. From here, it’s an atmospheric walk through the historical streets to Gion, the largest of Kyoto’s geisha districts.
How to Get There
To begin with the hotel staff were extremely helpful. We had a number of issues (eg figuring out how to use the local coin laundry) and the staff were extremely helpful even though the questions were a bit trivial and unrelated to the hotel. They were keen to make our experience as good as possible. The rooms themselves were very spacious and pleasant. The hotel was very clean and charming. One evening there was a full musical concerto being played live downstairs.
The food was also excellent and there were many dining options. Not so good for vegans/vegetarians however which was a continual problem on this trip. The other thing was that the breakfast was good but a bit overpriced. The other thing to keep in mind is that while the hotel was close to Kyoto Imperial Palace it was a bit away from the subway network. This would normally not be an issue but at this time of year it was burning hot and even making the 10-15 min walk to the subway was torture. This is of course not the fault of the hotel.
Overall the experience here was very good.
Very nice hotel, attentive and nice staff. Most spoke some or good English. Room was spacious and clean. Nespresso coffee maker and matcha tea set was a nice surprise! You can choose between set Japanese breakfast or western breakfast buffet. The latter was very good!
They provide discount coupons (1000 JPY) for dinner courses in hotel’s own restaurants. We tried the Feerie dinner menu couple of times, were not disappointed.
Location is somewhat problematic with kids, it’s a 900 m walk to the nearest bus stops or metro stations. There’s a lot of walking anyways when visiting the beautiful Kyoto sights, so you’d want to save every step to those attractions. Free shuttle helps, runs every 20 min to Karasuma Oike station.
Next time with kids I would stay closer to transportation, but as a couple I could choose Brighton again!
My wife and I stayed at this hotel for seven nights. We selected this hotel because it is close to Nijo Castle (about 20-minute walk from the hotel) and Kyoto Imperial Palace (two blocks away), and hotel's shuttle service (every 20 minutes) to Karasuma Oike Station where is the junction of the only two subways in Kyoto. From Karasuma Oike Station, one can easily goes to Kyoto downtown and Kyoto Station. Many buses are running on the major roads few blocks away from hotel, and carry us to major attractions (e.g., Kinkaku-ji, Ginkaku-ji, Heian Shrine, Gion, Kiyomizu-dera, etc.). If one were well prepared for orientation of Kyoto before visiting, one would feel that navigation is easy in Kyoto and it neighboring towns. In fact, the area of major Kyoto City is not big and public transportation is excellent!
We intentionally took Karasuma Line from Kyoto Station to Imedagawa Station in a rainy day, although someone has recommended us to take taxis (it is cheaper when compared with that in US). When we arrived at square at Hotel's front after about 12 minutes walk from Imedagawa, two stuffs ran out of rain with umbrellas and a luggage cart to welcome us. One of them took us to the front desk for check-in, one quickly gave us a warm towel, and then, took our luggage to our room and introduced amenities courteously. The other cat-and-dog raining day, we went to Himeji Castle, of course, we were soaked with rain. The hotel stuffs simultaneously gave us warm towels and called elevator for us. The hotel stuffs were very helpful to mark on the map for the best route to and the best eateries around our destinations. Every time we went out or back to the hotel, hotel stuffs always wish us a happy day or say some nice words, with deep bow and smile which are the courtesy and respect of Japanese professionals.
The room is divided into three parts: bedroom inside (with two comfortable full-sized beds); bath (isolated shower and tub) and toilet (fully automatized) rooms in the middle; and a kitchenette with a large table in the front of the room. All compartments are large and spotless clean. It is so quiet in the room even if the hotel has atrium lobby, bar and restaurants. The hotel provides bathrobes, mini fridge, safety box, Nespress coffee maker and water boiler, with bottle waters and variety of tea bags and coffee capsules. We enjoyed tea (which is a top-rated) in the morning before going out. There was a plate of fruits and snacks on the counter waiting for us to come back everyday.
My wife and I stayed at the Brighton for six nights. I have no other hotels in Japan to compare it to, but I thought it was a very good value -- we paid about $132 per night. The room was large and spotlessly clean, with a firm but comfortable king bed, a desk, and a small couch. Mini-bar, tea set (but no coffee maker), really nice bathroom. Not very much storage space for clothes if you're staying a week, but it was ok. The staff was unfailingly polite and professional. Overall, it reminded me of a (good) Hyatt or Westin. The Brighton caters to foreign tourists like us, which I appreciated. The hotel is very close to the Imperial Palace and Gardens but not within walking distance of any other attractions, and there aren't many restaurants within an easy walk. But it's not hard to get where you want to go --- the hotel has printouts in English directing you to top tourist sites (which the staff will go over with you if needed), and they run a shuttle every 20 min to a subway stop where the two lines intersect. You can also walk to a subway in 10 minutes, and there are bus stops even closer. (Public transportation in Kyoto is very efficient and not hard to navigate, by the way.) And taxis are not that expensive if you want to save time. Breakfast is expensive but really good.
It's a good hotel, spacious rooms and good service, special the concierge. The ocidental breakfast a little bit pricey considered the option offered. The hotel is not well located, it's not at the heart of the city and the metro station is far around 800 meters. Although, they provide transfer to the nearest station and it's easy to take a taxi, I would prefer to stay in a central location hotel.