Concierge.com's insider take:
This March 2006 addition to Kyoto's hotel scene raised the bar (and a few eyebrows) with its stunning public spaces and guest rooms fashioned by the trendy Tokyo-based firm SuperPotato. The 189-room hotel is a combination of contemporary design sensibilities—white oak, frosted glass, dramatic lighting—and traditional Japanese elements, such as freestanding soaking tubs, washi paper lampshades, and swatches of colorful kimono fabric hung on the walls. The lobby ceiling—a backlit grid whose patterns derives from ancient Japanese designs—is a knockout. You can expect the usual garnishes of a brand-new property: flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi in the lobby and broadband in the rooms (rarities here), plus the best-equipped health club in town. The location in Higashiyama—10 minutes by taxi from Kyoto Station and walking distance from several temples—is excellent as well.