One of the most iconic hotels in the city of Kyoto. It combines the rich culture of Japan with modern luxury without losing the touch of the city. With room rates starting (yes starting) at $750-$1400 depending on the season, it is one if the most expensive Ritz Carlton hotels in the world. The question with rates like these is always “is it worth it?”
Ritz Carlton Kyoto is situated right alongside the Kamo River. It is about a 15 minute walk to the Imperial Palace North or 15 minutes to the iconic Pontocho Alley if you go South. A very central location without being in the middle of busy tourism or a busy street. With on one side unobstructed views of the Kamogawa River and the mountains behind them. Views you don’t often get in city hotels.
While space is often something you do not get in Japanese hotels, Ritz Carlton Kyoto made sure that every guests has plenty of it. Deluxe rooms are 50 square meters to start with and suites can go up to 212 square meters. The designs is a mixture between original authentic designs, fused with all the modern facilities and materials. It feels less traditional than what you would expect from a Ryokan (traditional Japanese guesthouse) but more authentic than most modern hotels in the city. If you still wish to experience a Ryokan style room, you could. Ritz Carlton Kyoto offers a Tatami Suite that is, in style, more traditional and includes futon beds and a traditional dinning set.
The Ritz Carlton Kyoto is known for unforgettable experiences that they offer to their guests. Dress up in a Kimono to walk the streets of Kyoto, learn how to wield a Samurai Sword from a true master or learn how to arrange your own miniature Zen Garden. When participating in these activities or experiences you are guaranteed the best the city has to offer. One of our personal favorites is the Kimono experience. You will be able to pick from a wide range of Kimonos laid out for you and someone will dress you from head to toe. For ladies the experience includes makeup, a hear do and a handbag to match the outfit. You will feel like a true Princess ones everything is done. With the outfits on you are free to walk the streets of Kyoto. You don’t have to feel weird walking around in costume as it is considered formal wear and you will see many people wearing a Kimono. If anything, you will get compliments left and right, even from locals as they will recognize that you are not wearing a cheap tourists Kimono.
Food and Beverage
Food is an important part of Japanese culture and Ritz Carlton Kyoto needed to make sure that their F&B outlets lives up to that standard. One of the highlights is a private dinning experience in the 100 year building that has been placed inside of the Italian restaurant La Locanda. The experience feels very authentic, however, it offers Italian cuisine. It would have been a home run if it would offer a Japanese style Omakase or Kaiseki. Those are available in the Japanese restaurant Mizuki.
Mizuki offers 4 cuisine styles. Sushi, Kaiseki, Tepan and Tempura. Each with their on menu and seating. Although the seating is separated, the room is shared, effectively making it one big restaurant with 4 different kitchens. The Tempura bar has been awarded a Michelin star. Although the food is of high standard, we are missing an essential part of Japanese dinning. Often Japanese restaurants are small and offer seating for just a handful of people creating an intimate feel. We feel that this is missing from Mizuki.
The bar, situated at the entrance of La Locanda. A must try is their Smoked Old Fahioned, which is smoked in front of you in a glass bowl.
To answer the question, is it worth the rate? This property targets a group of people first of all that can afford these kind of rates. In all honesty, if you are not capable of these rates, this is probably not your pick or something you would save up to. The differences Ritz Carlton makes are subtle and best appreciated if you are one among the seasoned luxury travelers. Part of the price finds its origin in its location, being in the hearth of Kyoto. If you wish to learn more about the hotel or make a booking for your next trip to Kyoto, you can find the best available rates here.
You can also contact the Ritz Carlton Kyoto directly here:
Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori, Nakagyo-ku
Kyoto, 604-0902 Japan
+81 75 746 5555