Throughout our time in Kyoto, we determined to take a look at three totally different resorts — the Ritz-Carlton, the Park Hyatt, and the 4 Seasons — all of that are considered among the many finest resorts within the metropolis. All of those resorts are nice, although they provide surprisingly totally different experiences, every with their execs and cons. On this publish I’ll be reviewing the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.
The 134-room Ritz-Carlton Kyoto opened in 2014, and it was the primary “true” worldwide luxurious resort to open in Kyoto, although within the meantime there’s a lot competitors.
There’s rather a lot to love in regards to the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto — it has the very best service we skilled in Kyoto, it has a lovely pool and spa, I like the situation, and it has nice elite recognition (Platinum members and above obtain free breakfast, regardless that that’s not required per the Bonvoy breakfast coverage).
Nevertheless, I’ve to say that I preferred each the Park Hyatt and 4 Seasons extra, every for various causes. The Ritz-Carlton doesn’t have the beautiful design, intimate really feel, and views of the Park Hyatt, and it doesn’t have the beautiful out of doors area and degree of amenities of the 4 Seasons.
That’s to not say this isn’t a terrific resort, and that we didn’t get pleasure from our keep right here. Fairly on the contrary, we had an superior keep, and for those who’re a Marriott Bonvoy loyalist, by all means e book a keep right here, particularly with factors.
Nevertheless it’s additionally not shocking that as the luxurious market in Kyoto has develop into far more aggressive, the Ritz-Carlton isn’t fairly as outstanding anymore, provided that it has been open for almost a decade, with out a main renovation.
Anyway, let’s get into the evaluation…
Reserving the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
I redeemed Marriott Bonvoy factors for our keep on the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto. Marriott Bonvoy has dynamic award pricing, so the price of a keep varies by night time. For our nights, the speed was 100,000 factors per night time. I worth Marriott Bonvoy factors at 0.7 cents every, that means that I worth the nightly factors requirement at $700.
What labored out nice in addition to is that I had a free night time certificates by means of the Marriott Bonvoy Sensible® American Specific® Card (evaluation) legitimate at a resort costing as much as 85,000 factors. You’ll be able to high that off with as much as 15,000 additional factors, in order that labored out completely, as I redeemed a free night time certificates plus 115,000 factors for our two night time keep.
As some extent of comparability, money charges on the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto have been over $2,000 per night time for a base room. Pricing was just about the identical in any respect three properties we stayed at. After all the pricing doesn’t mirror the expertise you’re getting at these resorts, however somewhat simply displays the quantity of luxurious demand for Kyoto in the meanwhile, so resorts can get away with charging that.
Should you’re gong to e book a money keep on the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, I’d advocate reserving by means of the Marriott STARS program, so you possibly can obtain additional perks, like complimentary breakfast, a room improve topic to availability, a resort credit score, and extra. Since STARS is Marriott’s personal proprietary program, these upgrades are prioritized over these by means of Amex Wonderful Resorts & Resorts, Virtuoso, and many others.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto location
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto is positioned on the banks of the Kamogawa River, and has a reasonably central location inside Kyoto. The resort is strolling distance to lots of Kyoto’s hottest points of interest. Whereas the Park Hyatt is in a way more well-known location, I additionally like the situation of the Ritz-Carlton, because it’s a way more serene space. It was additionally good to have the ability to stroll alongside the river.
As you possibly can see above, the resort is kind of slender however lengthy, so you possibly can finest see the resort from the river. In the meantime when arriving on the resort by highway, you could possibly simply stroll previous the resort with out even recognizing it, because it’s not that huge.
So far as attending to Kyoto goes, probably the most handy main worldwide airport is Kansai Osaka Airport (KIX). Instantly from the airport you possibly can take the Haruka Specific prepare to Kyoto, which takes round 75 minutes. From there, the resort is round a 10-15 minute taxi journey away.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto foyer & check-in
Let me first speak in regards to the foyer space, earlier than I share our check-in expertise, which was maybe probably the most seamless check-in expertise I’ve ever had at any resort.
You’ll be able to enter the foyer of the resort by means of the driveway, or in any other case there’s a protracted walkway with some water options on either side that leads indoors. Sadly that is the extent of the out of doors amenities at this resort, which I didn’t love.
Upon coming into the resort, there was the desk with bellmen simply inside the doorway, together with some seating.
You may assume that this doesn’t lead anyplace, however as you stroll towards the top of the room, there’s an ribbed black door on the very finish that routinely opens, main into the remainder of the resort.
There’s a bonsai tree simply inside the doorway to the primary a part of the foyer.
There’s then an atrium spanning a number of flooring, with the resort’s eating places being one degree down, and assembly rooms being two ranges down.
On one aspect of the atrium was reception, the concierge desk, and a sitting space.
On the opposite aspect of the atrium was the foyer lounge, which I’ll cowl in additional element in a bit.
The foyer is little doubt elegant, however there’s one thing about it that makes it really feel extra like an expensive conventional metropolis resort with a big convention facility, somewhat than one thing that essentially displays what you’d count on from a vacation spot like Kyoto. Perhaps that’s simply me, although.
Now, the great thing about our arrival was that we might skip all the conventional check-in expertise. As we exited our taxi we have been greeted by Thain (who was fascinating — he’s South African, however grew up in Saudi Arabia, and I might’ve listened to his tales all day). He requested for our names, after which escorted us inside.
We walked towards reception, although in actuality we actually simply walked previous reception as Thain grabbed the keys to our room, and escorted us to our room, the place all check-in formalities have been taken care of.
Happily that degree of service didn’t find yourself being a one-off, however somewhat mirrored the service tradition of the resort.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto visitor room
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto spans from degree B2 (basement degree two) to degree 5, and our room was positioned on the fourth ground. Particularly, we have been assigned room 427, which was a king courtyard room. This was precisely the room that we had booked — there have been no upgrades obtainable, because the resort was offered out, which is honest sufficient.
Regardless of this not being Kyoto’s latest luxurious property, the design continues to be fairly, and is lush whereas integrating some Japanese design touches.
The deluxe rooms listed here are 50 sq. meters (538 sq. ft), so that they’re a terrific measurement for normal rooms. The room featured a protracted entryway with the lavatory to the proper, and the primary a part of the room straight forward.
The principle a part of the room consisted of a king measurement mattress and a desk with two chairs.
The mattress was extraordinarily comfy, and had a bench on the foot of it.
I’m not an enormous TV watcher, however if you’re, be warned that the TV isn’t angled effectively for the mattress, since there’s no technique to flip it.
The sitting space had a desk with two chairs, together with some cute decorations.
We have been supplied a few welcome facilities, together with packaged inexperienced tea waffles and a few grapes.
Again alongside the doorway hallway was the minibar setup, which included a Nespresso espresso machine, and quite a lot of drinks and snacks for buy.
There was additionally a closet space on this area.
The toilet could possibly be accessed both from the bed room or from the hallway. There was a sliding door that could possibly be prolonged on this space, to separate the lavatory from the bed room.
The toilet was massive, and had double sinks, plus a compound with a walk-in bathe and bathtub.
The walk-in bathe had each a rainforest and handheld bathe head. There was additionally a soaking tub.
Toiletries have been in reusable container from Diptyque, which I like.
There was additionally a partitioned off space with a correct Japanese rest room.
Whereas I’m positive some rooms on the resort have nice views, sadly our view wasn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about, because it simply confronted some close by buildings (a few of which have been charming, and a few of which weren’t).
I discovered the room to be spacious and comfy, although it was undoubtedly my least favourite of the design kinds of the three properties we stayed at.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto spa, pool, & gymnasium
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto has a big spa advanced on degree B2, which is open to resort visitors. If you arrive on degree B2, you first need to stroll down a protracted hallway to entry it.
Resort visitors have limitless entry to the spa’s wellness space, open every day from 6:30AM till 10PM. This features a huge indoor pool, together with fairly a little bit of seating.
The pool space additionally has a sauna and steam room.
What I discovered unusual is that whereas the resort invested in a powerful pool space, there was no onsen or whirlpool of any kind. The 4 Seasons Kyoto was the one one of many three properties to have a pool and an onsen.
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto’s gymnasium can also be positioned within the spa space, and will be accessed 24/7. Whereas the gymnasium is fairly dense when it comes to the quantity of apparatus on this area, it was wonderful, with each cardio and weight gear, in addition to free weights.
Additionally, that is probably the primary resort I’ve ever stayed at that has free protein bars that you would be able to simply seize. Nicely achieved, Ritz-Carlton Kyoto!
We didn’t get any spa therapies throughout our keep, however the spa has seven remedy rooms, and you could find the spa menu right here.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto La Locanda Restaurant
La Locanda Restaurant is the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto’s Italian restaurant, and it’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although it’s closed on Mondays. That is ordinarily the place the Western breakfast is served.
The resort additionally has Mizuki Restaurant, its Michelin star Japanese restaurant. It’s open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, although it’s closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. That is ordinarily the place the Japanese breakfast is served.
Our first morning we determined to have the Western breakfast, served at La Locanda. As you enter the restaurant, there’s the bar space and lounge, after which additional into the restaurant are the tables.
There was already a menu on the desk, so we had a have a look at it.
We have been additionally supplied heat towels and a few vitality shot drinks.
Whereas I discovered service on the Ritz-Carlton to be wonderful for probably the most half, service at breakfast confused me. Inside two minutes of sitting down, three totally different workers got here by to ask if we have been able to order, with no further introduction or clarification of the breakfast idea.
It will have been good if somebody defined how precisely breakfast works, because it wasn’t clear to me (and I’m not precisely a resort breakfast rookie). For instance, there was meals stationed all through the restaurant, nevertheless it didn’t look like a buffet, however somewhat was the place the servers would seize the meals that they dropped at tables. After asking, it was finally defined to us that we might simply order as a lot off the menu as we needed.
To drink, I ordered a cappuccino and a inexperienced juice, each of which have been wonderful (although I used to be skeptical once I first ordered the cappuccino primarily based on the looks).
To eat, we ordered some contemporary fruit, in addition to some yogurt and granola.
Am I the one one which finds this presentation to be a bit bizarre?
Then we break up the french toast and an omelet for our mains, each of which have been scrumptious.
Whereas we didn’t indulge, there was additionally a show with some croissants, which I assume visitors can both seize, or perhaps the workers serve them to you.
I discovered the Western breakfast at this resort to be a weak level of the expertise, because it was considerably worse than on the Park Hyatt or 4 Seasons, which had extra logical buffet ideas, with the choice of including a la carte dishes.
We didn’t have lunch or dinner at La Locanda, however for those who’re seeking to combine issues up from Japanese meals, this could possibly be a terrific choice.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto Mizuki Restaurant
Mizuki Restaurant is the Ritz-Carlton’s different major restaurant, and it even has a Michelin star. It’s fairly the numerous restaurant setup, because it affords kaiseki, tempura, sushi, and teppan choices. I might have cherished to eat right here, besides this restaurant is closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and go determine, these are the times we stayed on the resort.
Ordinarily, the Japanese breakfast could be served at this restaurant (because it’s catered from right here), however as a result of days we have been visiting, it was as a substitute served at La Locanda. Not like on the Park Hyatt, the Ritz-Carlton doesn’t have an additional charge for the Japanese breakfast (appropriately). You do need to let the resort know the day earlier than for those who plan to have the Japanese breakfast, although.
You’ll find the Japanese breakfast menu beneath.
The Japanese breakfast was wonderful, and began with some tea and simmered tofu.
Then the bento field got here with the remainder of the meal, which included a Japanese omelet, simmered beef and greens, Japanese pickles, miso soup, contemporary fruit, rice, and extra.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto Foyer Lounge
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto additionally has the Foyer Lounge, open every day from 11AM till 6PM. That is hottest for afternoon tea (you could find the menu right here), however you may as well come right here for a drink. This space has quite a lot of tables and sofas, in addition to a number of out of doors tables.
We got here right here one night for a pre-dinner drink, and I ordered a grimy martini. I wasn’t anticipating it to truly be made effectively (because it’s not likely a factor in Japan), however to my shock, it was excellent.
Ritz-Carlton Kyoto service
Service on the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto was pleasant, and was even higher than on the different two properties we stayed at. Except for the bizarre service at breakfast that I highlighted above, service was in any other case excellent.
It simply appeared like workers on the Ritz-Carlton had a degree of consideration to element that wasn’t as constant on the different resorts. I talked above about how good our check-in expertise was, and that very same degree of service continued all through a lot of the keep.
To present an instance of how over-the-top service was, typically the resort would have two workers members positioned on the elevators to easily maintain the doorways for folks, after which bow because the elevator doorways closed. Gosh, I positive do love Japan.
The concierge workers on the Ritz-Carlton have been additionally up to the mark, and responded to emails very quickly, with nice suggestions.
Very similar to on the Park Hyatt and 4 Seasons, workers have been a mixture of locals and foreigners. There was even a workers member from Florida, which I wasn’t anticipating.
The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto was the town’s first true worldwide luxurious resort, and continues to be wonderful. The resort has excellent service, a central location, stable eating, and goes above and past for elites. Should you’re a Marriott loyalist and are on the lookout for a terrific resort in Kyoto, you possibly can’t go flawed with this property.
That being mentioned, I don’t suppose the Ritz-Carlton is Kyoto’s best choice, and it was my least most popular of the three resorts we visited. I want the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto had some out of doors area to get pleasure from, and I additionally want there have been some type of onsen setup, somewhat than only a pool. Moreover, whereas the resort’s design is fairly, it’s undoubtedly not as leading edge as the town’s newer luxurious properties.
What’s your tackle the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto?