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TRAVEL | Where to Stay

THE 25 BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN KYOTO

Article | Anne

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CULTURAL KYOTO COMES TO LIFE ON OUR LIST OF THE BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN KYOTO

Kyoto is a beautiful city in Japan that is surrounded by calming hills in central Honshu. It is known as the education hubs of the country and has turned into a popular tourist destination. The city has managed to preserve the past as the only big city in Japan that escaped the devastation of World War II. Kyoto is known as the main residence for the emperor, making it the cultural center of the nation since over a thousand years.

You will have plenty to explore in terms of the art scene too with galleries, paintings, sculptures, and museums. There are so many architectural wonders in Kyoto that are centuries old that have been influenced heavily by Buddhism. There are 17 historical buildings that have been given the UNESCO World Heritage Site status.

If you do plan on going to Kyoto for a holiday, vacation, or a getaway, we have the best boutique hotels in Kyoto outlined for you. Any of the hotels below will be the perfect place to stay in.

1. KYOTO GRANBELL HOTEL

The Kyoto Granbell hotel is perfectly constructed in the traditional Japanese style with a modern flair to it. You can see the Gion style that inspired the hotel’s design and architecture. The best craftsmen were chosen to design the hotel rooms to bring the traditional Kyoto beauty to light. Any guest will love the hotel for the design; you can enjoy your surroundings with free WiFi and fresh coffee. Leisure travelers and businesspeople both find that the lounge is comfortable to relax or work in. All the rooms come with a flat-screen TV, air conditioner, sofa, refrigerator, and satellite channels. There is also a private bathroom with amenities like free toiletries, slippers, hairdryer, and bath.

The hotel also offers a huge breakfast buffet with Japanese and Western dishes like Obanzai and waffles. There is also a Bar Konjiki where you can kick back with fun drinks. The best part about the hotel is the public bath known as the Komorebi in the soothing Japanese garden outside. You can relax your muscles in the steamy, hot bath while taking in the fresh air. There is also a Maiko show that you can enjoy if you want to immerse yourself in the local culture.

You will find amazing tourist attractions around the hotel like the Yasaka Shrine, the Kiyomizu-dera Temple, Heian Jingu Shrine, and the Kyoto Aquarium. There are also bicycles offered on the property.

Kyoto Granbell Hotel

2. WUZ KAMOGAWA

Wuz Kamogawa is one of the best boutique hotels in Kyoto just by the entrance alone. You will be welcomed with the weeping cherry red trees that can put you into the vacation mode in a snap. The Wuz House hotel is a beautiful townhouse that has a great view of the Kamo River. The hotel has a great courtyard that highlight fresh plants and flowers. It can be a refreshing place to meditate. It has an authentic design with garden stones, paper doors, wooden structures, a beautiful entryway, and a partial wall.

The hotel is surrounded by countless temples and shrines in the area that you can explore for days. Since Kyoto has become such a hub for art, the Wuz House strives to collect and share it too. You will find that the poetic scenery of the city is inspiration for the hotel. The hotel is near the center of the city where you will find plenty to do.

Wuz Kamogawa

3. LA VIOLA

The La Viola hotel was created as the place for guests to enjoy Kyoto in its fullest. The hotel is inspired by the wonderful traditional culture of Kyoto around it. The guest rooms of the hotel are crafted with focused attention to every detail. The fancy, elegant furniture is highlighted by how the room is arranged. You can also relax in the lounge with light meals and sake that is open 24 hours. All the guests can even take advantage of the free ice cream and beer available; the perfect way to spend your vacation.

4. KYOTO SHIJO TAKAKURA HOTEL GRANDEREVERIE

The Kyoto Shijo Takakura Hotel is just one minute away from the Shijo Karasuma, which is one of the most popular economic and tourist centers. The district is not only great for sightseeing but for eating and shopping too. The Nishki Market is also close by where you can get a sense of the culinary and traditional culture. It offers hospitality and a fine space where you can also immerse yourself into luxury. The hotel is right in the heart of the city’s center where you can take advantage of everything it has to offer.

It is quite a small hotel, which ensures that the staff can offer focused customer service. There are only 16 rooms in the hotel where you can relax in the spacious environment as well as find comfort in the attention to detail. In the lobby, you will find Venetian mosaics on display with rich colors and traditional artwork by the famed Japanese artist from the Edo era, Itō Jakuchū.

All the guests are provided with a Leaf magazine that is the perfect guide to the city. It offers local eateries and seasonal tips that you will love exploring.

5. HOTEL KANRA KYOTO

The Kanra hotel comes from the letter known as Kan which means experience and Ra which stands for Kyoto. The hotel specializes in offering its guests an experience that embodies the complete experience of the Kyoto city. You will be able to immerse yourself in the hospitality, wisdom, and beauty of Japan through this hotel.

The Machiya style of the hotel offers an express modern design but with natural materials like iron, stone, and woods. The hotel also offers a ZEN environment in the SPA sanctuary with Asian naturopathy and remedies. The spa treatment by Kanra Spa will truly refresh you. They also have the Hanaroku restaurant that is known for the use of seasonal ingredients of Japan. You will feel truly alive after having pure sake from the breweries of Kyoto and the alleviated Wagyu beef dishes. They even have 150 different types of pizzas that are cooked in the built-in traditional 600oC kiln.

Hotel Kanra Kyoto

6. HOTEL MUME

The Mume hotel is inspired by the term ‘Prunus Mume’ that stands for the Japanese apricot called Ume. Mume has become a hotel that offers an enchanting getaway right next to the beautiful Shirakawa River. There are only seven rooms in the hotel with beautiful antique pieces of furniture that the owner spent quite a lot of effort purchasing from all over the globe. Even the Karakami paper used in the rooms has been bought from the famed four centuries old Karacho shop –it is the only shop that still makes genuine Kyoto paper.

7. THE GENERAL KYOTO

The General Kyoto is one of the best boutique hotels in Kyoto because it has 5 different buildings with their own style, features, and functionalities. They are known as the Yamatooji, Bukkoji Fuyacho, Takatsuji Fuyacho, Takatsuji Takatsuji, and Bukkoji Tominokoji. The hotel also features two fun bars where you can enjoy Japanese whiskey, cocktails, and sake. The General Kyoto hotel is imagined as a showpiece with the city around it as a stage.

The Tominokoji Dining area offers different kinds of cuisines with fresh ingredients that come from Kyoto. The team room is also collapsible as influenced by the generations of Japanese designers. It is made with Japanese paper and bamboo that folds close and open as an elegant and portable platform for tea ceremonies. A certified master will conduct the famed traditional tea ceremony.

The General Kyoto

8. MIRU KYOTO NISHIKI

The Miru Kyoto Nishiki hotel is known for its small surprises and simplicity. It is inspired by the richness around the local surroundings that comes from the Nishiki Market. It is quite close to the famous marketplace where you can experience the tradition and history of the city as well as great food.

The thoughtful designs and rich textures of all guest rooms come with a refreshing experience. The warm welcome to the rooms allows guests to experience a pleasant stay. There is plenty to see around the area and a lot to eat too. You will find amazing gems that offer a memorable time.

Miru Kyoto Nishiki

9. NOKU KYOTO

The Noku Kyoto offers the modern comfort of homes with 1,200 years of culture and ancient customs. You can experience artisanal tea, markets, festivals, shrines, castles, gardens, and a palace in the area around the hotel. the Noku Kyoto hotel allows you to feel, taste, see, and listen as an immersive experience of the cultural heritage of Kyoto. There are plenty of localized and unforgettable memories that you can create around the area.

The Noku Kyoto is created with beauty, quiet dreams, and comfort in mind. The rooms also have curated art that offers a beautiful perspective to the room. There is a large TV, free WiFi, bathroom amenities, mini bars, a coffee table, and more. They also offer an amazing breakfast that will prepare you for your day of exploring too! The Noku Care offers a refined, balance, and aromatic flavors with fresh ingredients.

Noku Kyoto

10. AMAN KYOTO

The Aman Kyoto hotel is based in a forest, which acts as a secret garden to the hotel. It is close to the 16 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the gold Kinkaku-ji Temple. It is secluded from the busy city life, which offers a tranquil experience for all the guests. The steamy onsen in the Aman Spa also heals the guests through the calming glades.

The Taka-An restaurant is a truly culinary homage to the famous artist called Honami Koetsu, who expressed his art through hospitality and food. The meals there are truly memorable in every way.

11. HOTEL VMG RESORT KYOTO

The VMG Resort Hotel in Kyoto offers a new charm to the city that will give you a unique perspective on surrounding area. This is known as the first decentralized boutique hotel of Japan. It is a high-end hotel that offers luxury and comfort to all guests.

The hotel is constructed on the bank of the Kamo River with tangible cultural buildings in the neighborhood. You can also explore the traditional buildings in the Todai area or explore the beautiful Heian Jingu Scenic Beauty Garden in the Okazaki area.

The dishes in the hotel’s restaurant are a mixture of traditional with French techniques. All the ingredients are derived from Kyoto and the meals are a fusion dish that you may have a hard time pinning down in a genre. The restaurant only permits 12 people at a time with the chef present some amazing meals to each guest. The dining area is designed with copper and brass tones with large windows where you can see the view of the forest and river.

The guest rooms are situated in a building that was once a cooking inn. These old houses are quite distinct in appearance and have a luxurious, contemporary design on the inside. You will find the soothing blue tones of Kiyo-yaki, which is the traditional pottery design of Kyoto around the hotel as an accent color.

12. BNA ALTER MUSEUM

Discover a highly imaginative hotel experience at the BnA Alter Museum in Kyoto. BnA is a creative collective of artists, free thinkers, and entrepreneurs looking to build toward a better future. The BnA Group is involved in creative art projects across Japan, including creating artistic spaces, connecting artists with buyers, and transforming entire neighborhoods into incredible street mural art galleries. Among their most marvelous creative endeavors are their “museum hotels”, which create a unique fusion between a contemporary hotel and an interactive art gallery. The BnA Alter Museum is this group’s third and most ambitious museum hotel to date: an original structure featuring 31 imaginative rooms designed by 15 different visionary artists under the collective eye of 9 art directors. The hotel design is stylish and sleek, and each room you step in feels almost like entering a different world. An important facet of the hotel is its Revenue Sharing System, which means that booking a room supports the artists whose works are featured there, not just the hotel staff. In addition to the spectacular design of the hotel rooms, BnA Alter Museum also features a trendy bar simply called “untitled”, a chic lounge area that regularly hosts new artistic exhibits, and a shop that sells curated artworks collected from their wide array of creative collaborators. The hotel also focuses on minimal environmental impact and sustainability, with eco-friendly hair and skincare products in the rooms, minimal disposable amenities, and of course, free Wi-Fi.

BnA Alter Museum

13. VILLA SANJO MUROMACHI KYOTO

The Villa Sanjo Muromachi hotel in Kyoto offers a relaxing environment where you can truly revitalize your inner energy. There is free WiFi throughout the hotel that is perfect for guests traveling for business. All the rooms have plush carpeting with heating/air conditioning, electric kettle, and a TV with satellite channels. The private bathrooms come with a bath tub, slippers, bath robes, free toiletries, and hairdryer. There are also concierge, city guide, and laundry services available to guests.

You can choose between a Western or Japanese breakfast each morning (or get a bit of both). You can choose to have the breakfast in the lounge or in your guest room. The hotel is near the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Nishiki Market, and Nijo Castle.

Villa Sanjo Muromachi Kyoto Hotel

14. MUNI KYOTO

The Muni hotel in Kyoto is close to the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. It has a beautiful garden where you can relax in the fresh air as well as a fitness center, spa facilities, private parking, and a restaurant. All the family rooms in the boutique hotel have a terrace where you can spend each morning with a hot cup of coffee. The rooms have a flat-screen TV, air conditioning, Egyptian cotton sheets, satellite channels, kettle, fridge, hairdryer, hot tub, and a desk. It also has a private bathroom with free toiletries and a bidet. You can also take advantage of free WiFi, which is perfect for people traveling for work.

The hotel also provides a continental breakfast to all guests. The Muni hotel in Kyoto is in the Arashiyama neighborhood near the riverwalk. The Kawaramachi and Nishiki Market are definitely worth it for a shopping spree and have plenty of amazing attractions like the Kyoto Railway Museum, Kyoto Racecourse, Toei Kyoto Studio Park, and Kyoto Aquarium.

Muni Kyoto

15. THE HIRAMATSU KYOTO

The Hiramatsu hotel in Kyoto was the first luxury hotel that opened in the city. It is built in the Muromachi-Dori district where you can find plenty of historic shops to explore. The district also has access to popular spots in the city. The hotel is built in a former merchant house and the culture and history etched into the architecture has been preserved. The house is designed by the world-famous architecture, Sotoji Nakamura, who is known for the exquisite level of workmanship.

It has two restaurants –one with Italian cuisine and one with Japanese. You have the option to choose between the authentic Kyoto Kaiseki style of Japanese breakfast or the Western breakfast with Italian dishes. The Kappo restaurant has Japanese cuisine that is crafted with fresh ingredients. You can enjoy the calming view of the serene Japanese garden from the restaurant too. While the Italian restaurant does have authentic dishes, it is set with Japanese furniture for ultimate comfort. There are 29 spacious guest rooms where you can relax easily. The design of the rooms reflects the traditional craftsmanship techniques of Kyoto.

16. HOTEL CANATA KYOTO

The Hotel Canata in Kyoto prides itself on giving the best experience of Kyoto: doing nothing at all. They believe that the stress of everyday life can be released if you allow yourself to unwind as the days pass by. The best way to relax is to open the windows to your room and bask in the amazing view of the Nishiyama Mountains and the Nijo Castle. Enjoy quiet conversations, music, or read in the comfortable space they have set up. This kind of quality time will allow you to revitalize yourself in way that you cannot in your daily life.

17. MOGANA KYOTO

The Mogana hotel in Kyoto sees a lot of tourists because it is built in the sightseeing hub of Japan. Guests often look for come here seeking some great experiences that they cannot find anywhere else. The hotel offers different tours to its guests that can take you on a special journey through the streets of Kyoto.

The Mogana hotel’s breakfast is made with ingredients that are grown locally in the Awajishima area. The Fukiyose style of the breakfast can be a heartening experience where the rich food sets you for a good day. The Yakuzen meal is a delicate and sensitive cuisine that is offered in the restaurant; it is known as the medicinal herbal cuisine since it considers the impact that seasons can have on the physical body. The gluten-free soba noodles and light meals like Ochazuke can be great for you.

MOGANA

18. NODE KYOTO

The Node hotel in Kyoto is built in the Shijo Karasuma neighborhood which incorporates art into its setting and design. There is a bar and café dining where you can kick back with great food and better drinks. The hotel has 25 guest rooms that have a simple appearance but use art to give the space harmony. Every furniture piece and ornament is designed to alleviate the sophisticated rooms.

The hotel offers free WiFi and air-conditioned rooms where you can relax. You can also take advantage of the continental breakfast before you leave to explore Kyoto for the day. You will find that it is quite close to popular tourist destinations like the Kyoto International Manga Museum, Sanjusangen-do Temple, Nijo Castle, and the TKP Garden City Kyoto.

19. KYOTO YURA HOTEL NIJO JO BETTEI M GALLERY

The Yura Nijo Jo Bettei M Gallery hotel is one of the best boutique hotels in Kyoto because it combines the luxury of the hotel with art. There are 25 rooms in the hotel that offer a high-quality of extraordinary service that will leave you feeling refreshed. It is designed by Design Studio, headed by the great Yukio Hashimoto, that have designed many commercial and hotel facilities around the world.

It is built on the opposite bank of Nijo Castle, right outside the outer moat. Nijo Castle has been there since the Shogun era, right before the start of modern Japan. You can feel the quiet of the cityscape around you in the hotel. All the guest rooms and the lobby face the calming Japanese garden where you can truly experience the four seasons.

The Singular Shinzo restaurant in the hotel offers delicious French food made with fresh Japanese ingredients. This brings a unique flavor to the dishes. The restaurant is headed by a Michelin Star Chef who has developed the Watama Yosai French courses with seasonal and fresh ingredients sourced from local Kyoto producers.

Kyoto Yura Hotel Nijo Jo Bettei M Gallery

20. SUIRAN

The Suiran hotel is set along the Hozu River, which offers an authentic Japanese experience for all guests staying. It is known as a Luxury Collection hotel that blends the much-needed modern convenience with a relaxing haven. The vibrant city around the hotel ensures that it is perfectly situated to offer amazing experience just in the neighborhood.

There are 39 rooms that include 6 specialty rooms that offer a special touch of Japanese tradition and culture. The hotel has a comfortable café and restaurant that has plenty of gourmet options. The Kyo Suiran Japanese restaurant combines innovative Japanese cuisine with a unique French presentation.

The hotel is built on the Hozu River that has breathtaking views unlike any other. You can enjoy the panoramic views from the natural, lush canopy of trees from indoors, the terrace, or even the thatched roof. There is also the Onsen hot springs bath where you can go for wellness and relaxation.

21. THE SCREEN

The Screen hotel is known for its unique take on hospitality. No two rooms are designed in the same way. They have 13 rooms, each with their own layout, design, and feel. They have a refined Bron Ronnery restaurant that uses the finest Kyoto ingredients to create amazing French cuisines.

There is also a stylish bar that offers an urban comfort with serenity by combining the ideas of tradition, modern art, and history. When you look up at the ceiling, you find the 13 colors of the Kotori pendant light filtering through that comes from the Japanese paper umbrellas.

It also has free WiFi connection in the lounge. There is also an exclusive lounge that offers alleviated luxury with fine wines, champagnes, light meals and hors d'oeuvre. You can even relax on the top terrace called the Sorayuka which gives you an amazing of Kyoto.

22. KIZASHI THE SUITE

The Kizashi the Suite hotel offers unparalleled hospitality where you will surely have plenty of memorable experiences. The hotel has been awarded four red Pavilions by Michelin Guide for two years in a row, which shows that the accommodations are utterly remarkable. You will be able to indulge in first-class cuisine in the Gion Japanese restaurant. It serves amazing continental breakfasts with delicious salads, breads, yogurts, coffee, fruits, and orange juice.

It is near amazing attractions like the Yasaka Shrine, Heian Jingu Shrine, Kiyomizu-dera Temple, and the Manga Museum. The suites are quite spacious with large bathrooms and plenty of amenities. The hotel has free internet and calming spa services too. You can relax in the hot tub and even call for massage treatments right into the room.

23. GRACE VILLA NIJO-JO CASTLE

The Grace Villa Nijo-jo Castle hotel has simple but comfortable rooms that you can just relax in. It offers a wonderful retreat unlike any other. The interior of the hotel uses soft lightening and Japanese paper to give a warm, comforting welcome. The designer, Eriko Horiki, combined different techniques to alleviate weariness from travelers. The rooms are perfect for a good night’s rest with bedding by IWATA that have developed innovative products based on extensive sleep science.

24. FAUCHON HOTEL KYOTO

The Fauchen Hotel in Kyoto is inspired by Auguste Fauchan who opened a gourmet food store in 1886 in Paris. The Fauchan brand has always been held in regard when it comes to their catering venues, cafes, restaurants, and retail boutiques all around the globe.

The Fauchan brand is recognized for their ongoing journey to make sure they are all innovating and coming up with new delicious, brilliant products. The Fauchon L’Hotel is the same way; it enables travelers and locals to make sure they find something to indulge in throughout the day. You will find that the restaurant at the hotel offers true French gastronomy that comes with its own Japanese twists. If you want an unforgettable food experience made with ingredients that are delivered fresh each day, you have to visit the Fauchon Hotel in Kyoto.

People from all over the world come to marvel at their delicate macarons and gem-like pastries. Enjoy their Macaron of the Day that is new every day. You will even be greeted into the hotel with a delicious pastry and soothing tea.

25. EPH KYOTO

The eph Hotel in Kyoto is inspired by the vibrant history, distinct culture, and intriguing world. It offers a mixture of history, tradition, and architecture inspired by the Kyoto cityscape. You will find that eph is a concept hotel based in the culture and style of the city. It is a space that encourages its guest to explore their curiosity. Every small detail of the hotel is thoughtful and exists for a reason.

It has a total of 9 rooms, making it easier for the staff to focus on your needs. Each room has a unique design and structure that is inspired by Japanese styles. They offer an original blend of coffee that has been curated by local Kyoto cafes as well as a breakfast and plenty of amenities. They offer free WiFi, ensuite bathrooms, refrigerator, TV, kettle, and bathroom amenities to all their guests. You can even get connecting rooms, washing machines, and a kitchen if you want.

You can also have their seasonal breakfast of Chinese, Wester, or Japanese dishes. You can start of your day with smoothies, soups, homemade granola, chicken bao buns, sweet sesame dough balls, crispy egg rolls, and more.

IN CONCLUSION

The best boutique hotels in Kyoto will be a sanctuary for your vacation, getaway, or business trip. They offer comfort with plenty of amenities to ensure convenience. Any of the hotels above will be the perfect way to explore the beautiful city of Kyoto.

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