Hotel The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto Japan


Steeped in history and honed by luxury, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto expresses the culture of its city in a language of thoughtful details. This begins at arrival, when a kimono-clad Lady guides you to your guest room for check-in over traditional Japanese tea. It continues with the 409 pieces of modern Japanese artwork on display throughout the hotel, and with the signature cuisine and cultural experiences on offer. This Kyoto resort also features:

  • 134 modern guest rooms and suites
  • Stunning garden and river views
  • Complimentary high-speed Internet access
  • A 24-hour fitness center and indoor pool
  • Acclaimed Japanese and Western cuisine
  • Private and signature dining experiences
  • A luxury spa with indigenous treatments
  • Signature, customized green-tea scent
  • A wide range of cultural activities


Service and Facilities

The staff-to-guest ratio is surprisingly high, even for a luxury hotel in a city famed for hospitality. It was evident on arrival when staff whisked me straight past the check-in desk and into my room — a trick they picked up from the city’s top ryokan — then brewed a green tea while I signed my disclaimers. Later, when I forgot my room number, the first person I asked had it memorised.

The spa treatments are suitably soporific, as is the moodily lit lap pool with waterfall backdrop that’s so tranquil it’s tempting to skip the water and head straight to the loungers. Locally themed activities include sake seminars, sushi workshops and a fun morning cycling tour of the city.

  •  Parking
  •  Restaurant
  •  Room service
  •  Bar
  •  Laundry
  •  Pool
  •  Sauna
  •  Spa
  •  Wi-Fi
  •  Fitness centre



The rooms are stylish, modern and dressed in bright fabrics and light oak. A Bonsai tree by the window, Shigaraki pottery basins, cushions by local weaving artisans Hosoo, and cherry blossom cut-outs on the bathroom wall all remind you that you’re in the ancient capital. There’s quite a difference though, in price and view, between the rooms facing east to the river and mountains, and the ones looking west to nothing of note.

Food and Drink

If you’re not impressed by egg yolk tempura, you won’t be impressed by anything. That’s the pièce de résistance at the excellent, Michelin-starred Tempura Mizuki. Pierre Hermé has a shop in the hotel, and his creations pop up everywhere from the minibar to the tempura restaurant, but the best place to stuff your face with macarons is in the Lobby Lounge with a decadent afternoon tea set.

The bar looks like a design afterthought, but the hotel is next door to K6, one of the city’s most celebrated cocktail and whisky bars.

Value for Money

Double rooms from 86,940 Japanese Yen (£594), year-round. Breakfast is excluded and costs from 5,589 Japanese Yen (£38). Free Wi-Fi.

There are some interconnecting rooms and unlimited free ice-cream for children under 12.


In a city as compact and bewitching as Kyoto, any setting is a good one, but the Ritz-Carlton has picked a spectacular spot. The photogenic Kamogawa River runs alongside and the Higashiyama mountains provide a beautiful backdrop. Rent one of the hotel’s electric bicycles (4,000 Japenese Yen/£27 per day) and you’re five minutes from the must-see Nanzenji temple complex, the old Imperial Palace, and the geisha districts of Pontocho and Gion.


Kamogawa Nijo-ohashi Hotori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0902, Japan.

00 81 75 746 5555