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Kyoto hotels

An essential part of the Kyoto experience is a stay in a traditional inn or ryokan, including a tatami-matted room, impeccable service from maids in kimonos, a soak in a deep wooden tub, and an elaborate meal. It's important to note, though, that these inns don't have amenities such as Internet access—or, for that matter, beds (instead, there are futons). You're almost always required to vacate your room during the day, which is a drag when the weather is miserable or you're jet-lagged. Baths may be shared, and most ryokans still require you to take, or at least pay for, both breakfast and dinner (usually kaiseki—a multicourse meal of small, traditional dishes, artfully presented).

If you're feeling a little tatami-shy, you can dip your toe into the experience at the Hoshinoya, a ryokan-hotel hybrid accessible only by boat that combines Western-style amenities with the service and traditions of a ryokan. Or, you can rent a machiya, a traditional town house restored with modern comforts. At the other end of the spectrum is the Hyatt Regency, a hypercontemporary Western hotel that pays homage to Japanese artistic traditions. Most Western travelers choose to sample both sides of Kyoto, with a few nights at a Western-style hotel followed by a night or two in more traditional ryokan or machiya lodgings.

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The Westin Miyako Hotel, Kyoto

Long considered the Western hotel in Kyoto, this rambling property, which opened on the slopes of Higashiyama (Eastern Mountain) in 1890, has only gotten better...more

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Editors' Pick
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Tawaraya, Kyoto

If you've heard rumors of Tawaraya, you've heard that it's a favorite of heads of state, movie stars, and obsessive Japanophiles. You may have also heard that...more

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Editors' Pick
Shiraume, Kyoto

Though less rarefied and far less expensive than Tawaraya, Shiraume ryokan ("White Plum Inn") is poised on a picturesque canal along one of the most beautifully...more

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Editors' Pick
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Kinmata Ryokan, Kyoto

This inn, now in business for more than 200 years, is worth experiencing—if you're lucky enough to get a room. There are seven, but owner Haruji Ukai is...more

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Editors' Pick
Iori Machiya Rental, Kyoto

Though Kyoto's famous temples and shrines are under government protection, the city's traditional houses, or machiya, are rapidly being destroyed. Enter Iori....more

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Editors' Pick
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Hyatt Regency Kyoto, Kyoto

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...more

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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Kanra, Kyoto

Plopped like a spaceship (albeit one owned by aliens with superlative taste) amid undistinguished houses, this 29-room hotel is a serene oasis in a city that,...more

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Editors' Pick
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Hotel Granvia Kyoto, Kyoto

If you've only got a night or two in Kyoto, there's nothing as convenient as the 535-room Western-style Granvia, which sits, literally, on top of Kyoto Station,...more

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Editors' Pick
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Hoshinoya Kyoto, Kyoto

"This hybrid ryokan-hotel, a series of low buildings inspired by traditional Japanese houses, clings to the banks above the Hozugawa River in the temple-rich...more

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Editors' Pick
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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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