The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto
What We Love
- The tranquil setting beside the Kamo River
- Six dining options covering the full range of Japanese cuisine
- Stocking up on macarons and chocolates at the Pierre Hermé Paris patisserie
- The fitness center can provide workout gear — some free, some for a rental fee
- The art collection is inspired by The Tale of Genji, a classic 11th-century Japanese novel, and includes 409 works by 80 artists
What To Know
- Pets are not allowed
- The spa menu draws on many Japanese wellness rituals; try the Ryokucha Serenity Ritual, inspired by the property’s signature Green Tea Scent, a sensory journey incorporating green tea leaves from Kyoto along with aromatic oils
- Children under 16 aren't allowed in the spa unsupervised
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
This 134-room urban hideaway capitalizes on the world’s newfound love affair with Kyoto. The interiors, by Remedios Studio, are studies in Japanese serenity and attention to detail, based on five principles: utage (festivity), seido (serenity and movement), miyabi (elegance), hana (splendor) and nagomi (harmony). Expect futon-style beds, sliding screen doors, a muted palette and windows that frame either a tranquil Japanese garden or vistas of the Kamo River and the Higashiyama Mountains. The building itself is based on the traditional Meiji house and courtyard, with Zen gardens and a dramatic three-story waterfall at the heart of the property. The art collection, meanwhile, is inspired by The Tale of Genji, a classic 11th-century Japanese novel, and includes 409 works by 80 artists, many from Kyoto. The sense of place is also strong in the six restaurants, each of which offers a particular Japanese culinary style, from sushi to teppanyaki. The spa, which uses products from U.K. brand Espa, also takes its cues from ancient Japanese traditions. Try the Ryokucha Serenity Ritual, inspired by the property’s signature Green Tea Scent, a sensory journey incorporating green tea leaves from Kyoto along with aromatic oils.
In the Area
To best soak up the city’s spirit, hit up some of Kyoto’s temples, starting with Kiyomizu-dera, on Otowa Mountain. One of the city’s most popular landmarks, the temple was first built in 798, although what you’ll see there today is reconstructions from the 17th century. Don’t miss the beautiful ritual that is a tea ceremony: Camellia is one of the city’s best places for it, and it’s set on the Ninen-zaka steps, between Kiyomizu Temple and Gion, the famous geisha district. Another essential Kyoto experience is the noodle crawl. There’s something for every kind of noodle obsessive: Omen for the thick white noodles it’s named after, Santouka for ramen, and Kanei for soba. If you hanker to see what life is like as a Buddhist monk—at least tastebud-wise—opt instead for shojin ryori (Buddhist vegetarian cuisine) at Shigetsu, set in the beautiful Tenryu-ji gardens.
How to Get There
And the Ritz Carlton recovered perfectly! I booked a king bed but when we arrived it was doubles. We were horribly disappointed as we stayed at a traditional ryokan for several nights before and were really looking forward to a ultra comfortable western bed. They had overbooked, and what we booked wasn’t available. Raymond, who checked us in, said he would see what he could do, and upgraded us. It made our 4 day stay just perfect. The hotel is gorgeous, the staff is wonderful, no language barriers, the pool is luxurious, and the Japanese food and the bar are superb. The artwork is curated on every floor and the location cannot be beat. We enjoyed walking around the neighborhood in the evenings. Would highly recommend RC Kyoto
I usually only write negative reviews to warn people off but this is an exception and deservedly so.
The reception we received on arrival was impressive. I arrived with my so adult sons and we had reserved a three bed room. We have been together for some time and we asked whether they could offer a second room. The answer was no problem However they also offered the possibility of the Ritz Carlton suite (room 430). After a little price negotiation with Pedro who is a legend and a credit to this place we entered what is effectively the nicest Presidential suite you will find anywhere.
The service we have received over the last three days from every single member of staff has been 5 star, the food and drinks spot on. The location and concierge service could not be better
Really recommend this place- well done- very impressed
Very much enjoyed our stay at this well located
hotel. Staff is excellent; friendly and helpful.
Poor lighting over the couch was addressed
quickly by installing an additional floor lamp.
Comments about a very poor dinner in the
"Italian" restaurant received an apology note
and some fruit. The recognition was very
much appreciated. Breakfast was excellent.
When the GM upgrades the Italian restaurant,
this Ritz can be rated as excellent..