Hot List All-Stars 2012


Kyoto, Japan

Although it’s easy to like a place—or to talk yourself into liking it—infatuation is a different matter entirely: You feel it instantly, and for the time you’re actually on the property, you float about in a state of besotted dreaminess. This was certainly the case for me in 2010 when I visited Hoshinoya, where even the journey to the property—via a fragrant cedar vessel that plies the river bisecting the tree-edged Arashiyama district of northwest Kyoto—is a sort of seduction. Once at the hotel, which is a series of traditional-inspired houses clinging to a mountainside, you change into a raw-silk robe and spend the rest of the time sipping tea and watching the bank across the river for playful foxes. My memory of my time there is proof of how a hotel can, as much as a museum or park or temple, provide one with some of travel’s most transcendent moments.—H., Hot List reviewer since 2005

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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