The following is a small selection of hotels that KyoTours Japan often recommends to our guests. This list is meant to get you started as you search for hotels in Kyoto, and will provide some overview of what we think is important when choosing a hotel. All of these hotels are "western style, " but expect smaller rooms that what you're used to (it's Japan, after all).
KyoTours Japan suggests staying either near Kyoto Station, or in the area near Shijo and Sanjo on the east side of town near the river. Areas like Arashiyama and Uji make for wonderful overnight stays, but are a bit isolated and can be difficult when it comes to planning sightseeing throughout the city.
We have not stayed in these hotels personally, so our recommendations are based off of what we've seen of the hotel faculties, the hotel location, and online reviews as well as what our guests tell us about their stay. KyoTours Japan does not officially endorse any of the following hotels or receive any financial restitution for recommending their services.
For further questions about hotels in Kyoto, feel free to contact us.
APA Hotel Kyoto Ekimae
The budget APA Hotel chain is often found in many Japanese cities, always near the main station or city center. They operate four hotels in Kyoto. Rates are very reasonable, but rooms are small and amenities are few. Still, this is a comfortable option for budget travelers and those who plan on spending most of their time out of their hotel room anyway. Not advised for travelers with lots of luggage. Three of the hotels are walkable from Kyoto Station, while the Gion location is situated on the east side of the city in the historic district in a great nieghborhood for shopping and sightseeing.
Hotel Website (lists all four locations in Kyoto)
Gran MS Hotel Kyoto
Budget rates and small rooms, but excellent location in the Sanjo neighborhood. Fairly new hotel with a helpful front desk staff. One block from a subway station, and a five minute walk to Nishiki Market and Teramachi shopping street
Hotel MyStays Kyoto Shijo
Again, small rooms and few amenities, but excellent rates and often rooms available when the rest of the city is booked full. Restaurant downstairs features an enjoyable Japanese buffet breakfast for 1500 yen per person. Located a 5 minute walk west of a Shijo, a major subway station and shopping district.
Hotel Vista Premio Kyoto
Another solid choice that wins for both budget and location. Rooms are small but newly decorated and tasteful. Location is amazing, just off the Teramachi shopping street and a short walk across the river to Gion. Plenty to eat in this neighborhood, and the restaurant in the hotel basement specializes in local vegetable dishes. Superstitious travelers be warned: some rooms overlook a graveyard.
Mid Range Hotels
Dormy Inn Premium Kyoto Ekimae
Dormy Inn is my personal choice when I travel throughout Japan. Offering decent rates and excellent amentities, this is always the first hotel chain I search for. Rooms are large enough for luggage, and the environment is comfortable. The main draw to this chain is the excellent public baths located on the rooftop. The morning breakfast is great, and the FREE ramen noodles at night are delicious. Location across the street from Kyoto Station is the best you could ask for. Popular amongst Japanese travelers due to being featured on several TV shows recently, so book your room early.
Sakura Terrace: The Gallery
Two hotels located near each other on the south side of Kyoto Station. This pair offers a solid stay in a great location. The Gallery is the newer of the two hotels and features slightly smaller rooms, but trades it off for a location close to the station, more modern decor, and a public bath and gym. Both feature great breakfast options that are some of the best in Kyoto.
Royal Park Hotel: The Kyoto
A modern hotel in the heart of the Sanjo neighborhood that is becoming very popular with overseas guests. The restaurant has a solid breakfast and the rooms are not small. Most importantly, it's located just off Kiyamachi street, Kyoto's center for nightlife, dining, and drinking. Easy access to several train lines in the area. Classy bar in the lobby.
Kyoto Century Hotel
A solid reminder of Japan's economic tourism boom in the 1980s, but well maintained and modernized so as not to be too retro, the Century Hotel remains one of Kyoto's best-located hotels. Right next to Kyoto Station, which places you within reach of trains as well as dining and shopping.
Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Located literally on top of Kyoto Station, you can't get a better location for sightseeing that this. A multitude of fine dining options both in the hotel and in Kyoto Station. The Granvia chain is well known in Japan as a high end "western style" hotel, and sells out early year round. For travelers who want to use Kyoto as a base to travel by train to other cities nearby like Nara and Osaka, the Granvia is an excellent choice.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto
The Hyatt is one of the few exclusive western hotels in Kyoto and offers excellent rooms and facilities, but suffers due to a poor location. Expect to either walk to Kyoto Station (15 minutes) or take a taxi when you head out to sightsee. Features one of Kyoto's best Italian restaurants, and a geisha performance in the lobby most evenings. The sleek modern style of this hotel feels a little out place in Kyoto, but it's the most established western style luxury hotel in the city.
What can I say, it's the Ritz, it's great. The breakfast there is out of this world (but supremely overpriced), solid afternoon tea service, and the staff's knowledge and attention to detail are top notch. Location is fine, about a 5 minute walk to the nearest subway station, and 15 minutes to Gion and Shijo. Offers both ultramodern western and traditional Japanese style rooms. Bonus points for being along the river, and offering morning bike tours and other hands on activities for guests. Be warned that for all the rooms that offer beautiful river views, there are an equal amount of rooms on the other side of the building whose views are less than ideal. This seems to be the only common complaint from guests here.