Nikken Sekkei Ltd, the architects of the Ritz Carlton Kyoto did a fantastic job in creating a hotel with “human measures”, (it’s only 4 stories high) giving it a small, yet spacious and friendly atmosphere fully embedded in Japanese style. This property, built in 2014, is one of the latest treasures of the Ritz Carlton and of those I stayed in, the most beautiful, overlooking the Kamo-gawa river and the Higashiyama mountains. Eye for incredibly sophisticated details, exquisite art, smart use of natural materials (light wood) with metal finishings, lucid lighting which gives the hotel more the feel of a luxury Spa then of a hotel. No large columns yet refining spaces for reception and a concierge desk, it all fits together as an architectural masterpiece. Definitively a new chapter in modern luxury hotel design. Corridors in hotels are usually rather depressing tunnels that make you almost run to your room so as not to have to spend too long there. In this case, the use of light wood, carpentry and an attractive wooden design of each hotel door give it a profusion of calmness and refinement and rhythm. The hotel has some of the finest restaurants in Kyoto. Especially the Chef of the Japanese restaurant Mizuki, Mr. Saito, stands out. He prepared for us the most wonderful sushi experience ever. Simon, the night manager, was so considerate to extend his night shift into the morning to be our bicycle tour guide.
The room we stayed in was a deluxe room facing the river. A “super king size” bed so big and luxurious. A room where the designers played with all the tools in the box (alcove, surround lights, color, materials etc) to make it an exceptionally luxurious space. On top of all that: ask for your own Apple TV and you can enjoy your own streaming video and movies. A Bluetooth sound box allows you to play your own music. Extra large white towels, a coffee machine and all amenities you need makes this an absolute topper on the hotel market.