Park Hyatt Kyoto


Modern Japanese luxury in a bustling part of town

Give me the lowdown: After its much-anticipated opening in the autumn of 2019, this property in the heart of Japan’s ancient capital got off to a slow start due to the pandemic. But that is now a thing of the past, as the hotel’s tasteful, contemporary Japanese design and enviable location make it an ideal place to relax and take a step away from Kyoto’s throngs of tourists.

Whats the vibe? While the hotel opens directly onto Ninenzaka – a popular pedestrian path lined with souvenir shops housed in old wooden buildings – the noise and activity outside melts away upon entering the lobby. Incorporating the works of local artists and artisans, the design throughout is inspired by traditional ryokans, or Japanese-style inns, and yet it has a distinctly contemporary feel.

The backstory: The Park Hyatt Kyoto shares land with a storied Japanese kaiseki restaurant, Kyoyamato, which has a history of over 140 years. The restaurant owned several traditional old buildings that had fallen into disrepair and yet were considered important assets of Kyoto’s history. The property developer restored these at the same time it built the hotel, which now benefits from abutting Kyoyamato’s stunning traditional garden, dotted with buildings including a 300-year-old teahouse.

The bedrooms: With only a few floors above ground level, the hotel nonetheless has maximised its location. Guests can choose between sweeping views over Kyoto’s tiled rooftops to Yasaka Pagoda, or a private, peaceful terrace bordering a manicured zen garden.

Eating and drinking: Kyoyamato works closely with the hotel to develop menus that draw on the city’s culinary history while mixing in modern twists. The 10-seat teppanyaki grill and Kohaku bar provide some of the best sunset views in all of Kyoto, both in a refined atmosphere. The food and cocktails would be great on their own, but the setting can’t be beaten.

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