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Kyoto Hot Spring Hatoya Zuihokaku Hotel, Japan

Kyoto, Japan

by Benjamin Coren | December 2015

A good-quality city hotel where ‘old meets new’. Sleep in traditional Japanese surroundings, with a comfortable Western-style bed as opposed to a futon. As a wellness destination the Onsen is great to revive after exploring the city. I left Kyoto feeling fresh and completely rejuvenated.

THE BACKGROUND: The centrally located hotel is a five-minute walk from Kyoto station in the heart of the old capital. The hotel has its own natural hot spring, known as an Onsen, with views across the city.

THE LOCATION: The hotel’s close proximity to Kyoto station offers good access from all over Japan and its domestic and international airports. Several local attractions are within walking distance, and local buses and trains can take you further afield.

THE ROOM: The hotel offers twin- rooms and double-rooms. I stayed in a twin room with tatami – a type of mat used as a flooring material. The straw-floor tatami space has low chairs and a small table to take tea and features an enclave with traditional paper on the wall. There are special rooms onsite with a private room available. The comfortable room served as a good hub to explore Kyoto.

KEY FACILITIES: The hotel has its own hot spring (Onsen) on the top floor with panoramas of the city. The natural hot spring comes up from 910 metres below ground. There are two facilities, one indoors and one which is semi-open air. The hotel offers free wifi throughout, air conditioning, toiletries and use of a cotton kimono for Onsen. To use the Onsen there is a bathing tax of around 80 pence pp, per night.

THE RESTAURANTS/BARS: Options include Tea room Eijyuan, designed under the supervision of Urasenke, Tea Ceremony Organisation. Restaurant Eijyuan offers guests the chance to sample traditional Kyoto cuisine. The hotel’s one bar is called the ‘Annie Hall’ (not sure if Woody Allen has ever stayed here!) A ‘traditional style’ banquet hall seats 70.

THE RATES: Rates are charged per person. A standard twin room is priced at approximately £64 and a special room with a private onsen is around £202. Details: A: Shimogyo-ku, Kyoto, 600-8234, Japan. T: +81-75-361-1231. W: Kyoto-hatoya.co.jp

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