Before we continue with this hotel review, let me preface by saying that these photos really don’t do the hotel aesthetics justice. Park Hyatt Kyoto is absolutely beautiful in its simplicity and integrity. Everything has such high quality and you can tell there was so much thought put into all the details from materials used and guest usability in general.
We were in Kyoto for three days, and for all those days, we stayed in this newly opened Park Hyatt Kyoto. Prior to this, I had only stayed at one other Park Hyatt hotel, the highest tier in the Hyatt hotel groups, and that was the Aviara Resort in San Diego which, honestly, was a letdown for me.
Park Hyatt Kyoto blew me out of the water. Let me tell you why.
The hotel is nestled in a historic street called Ninenzaka, a place where old Kyoto still remains with its traditional buildings. The street is beautiful, and you’ll be able to find various vendors and restaurants as you walk up the narrow street. The hotel is also within walking distance to two temples – Kodaiji Temple and Kiyomizu-dera Temple, as well as to Gion, the geisha district.
Compared to the recently reviewed Grand Hyatt Tokyo, Park Hyatt Kyoto is small. With only 61 guest rooms as well as 9 executive suites, the hotel feels intimate and the service followed suit. We didn’t have to wait long before being attended to, and the personnel were always very helpful.
Upon check-in, we had to wait a bit while our room was still being fixed, so they sat us down and served us freshly brewed tea. Ah, what a nice way to wind down from our train ride from Nagoya.
The Room – Ninenzaka House
The hotel rooms are held in a separate building than the lobby and, if I remember correctly, the gym. The path leading to our room was honestly exquisite. Park Hyatt Kyoto merges tradition and contemporary so well, hiding technology in a way that does not disrupt the understated beauty of simplicity that lines the walls of the hotel.
Upon entrance, the scent of tamo wood wafted around the room, and the fragrance was so nice and inviting. We were also gifted with Japanese muscat grapes, which I’ve never had, displayed on the dining table and oh my – they are good.
I believe our 730 sq. ft room is considered the standard, and yet, we are given a stellar ceiling to floor window view of the street of Ninenzaka and Hokan-ji temple, as well as the garden below. With the autumn foliage in full bloom, it was a sight we thoroughly enjoyed watching.
The bathroom was decked out in gorgeous black marble, both as the vanity table and the walls surrounding the rain shower and soaking tub. We were provided with plush robes, sandals, and a set of high-quality bathroom amenities like Le Labo products and Dyson hair dryer. Needless to say, I felt thoroughly taken care of.
This might be the section where Park Hyatt Kyoto falls short. There is no pool, and the spa is very small (maybe one or two rooms), but there is a wellness center with a gym, sauna and a hot / cold plunge tubs. The gym is, like everything else, set in a beautiful room filled with paneled shoji paper.
Alongside that, there is a room deemed as the library, a quiet front room that guests pass through to get to their hotel rooms. It’s filled with books and resources about Japan and Kyoto, and generally a good place to get some work done.
There is also another quiet hangout place, the tea room, in the main building.
There are five eating spaces in Park Hyatt Kyoto, one of them being the tea house I mentioned previously. These restaurants range from classic Japanese teppanyaki, a Kaiseki restaurant, bistro and bar.
For our first breakfast, we opted for a traditional Japanese breakfast served in the lobby lounge area. The setup was marvelous, and although I can’t remember what each dish was, I can tell you I thoroughly enjoyed the food and the experience. The traditional breakfast does have a quantity limit, so if you’re interested, be sure to make reservations ahead of time.
For our second and third breakfast, we went to the Kyoto Bistro, which served the typical Hyatt breakfast buffet filled with western food like pancakes and cereal. Everything was well done, of course.
The Final Say
What else can I say that I haven’t tried to put into words thus far? This hotel is beautiful. Plain and simple. It is not grand in the traditional sense of grand, but everything was planned so well.
When we walked around anywhere on the hotel grounds, there was just a sense of peace and tranquility that I don’t think I’ve ever felt in any other hotel thus far. We will definitely be staying at Park Hyatt Kyoto during our future trips to the city.