Kyoto, also known as the “Imperial City,” is centered on the Honshu island of Japan and home to 2000 religious sanctuaries, mystical temples, colorful shrines, sprawling palaces and sacred pavilions. Contrary to the bustle and clamor of cultural centers like Tokyo, this metropolis narrates the region’s history through tranquil scenery and its omniscient natural serenity.
Settled on the peaceful bank of the Kamogawa River near the fringe of the Higashiyama Mountains is the regal Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Harmonized by breathtaking architecture that majestically overlooks the flowing water, the site is masterfully integrated into landscape of the mountain basin and nurtures an environment that is incredibly relaxing, rejuvenating, and awe-inspiring. At just over a year old, this resort has quickly and justly earned multiple prestigious industry awards.
Each room was meticulously designed to be enhanced by its own distinct set of charming elements such as coveted views into intimate light wells, quaint Japanese Gardens and panoramas positioned to indulge in the powerful waterfront. The fascinating facilities and impeccable amenities extended throughout the guest bathrooms and on-site spa are gorgeous. The contemporary aesthetic of the property is simple yet luxurious with a boldly stated pool, spacious gym, sensuous sauna and state-of-the-art steam room.
The property’s organic beauty is matched only by the impeccable hospitality permeated from the accommodating concierge throughout every member of the front office and staff. Their deeply-rooted values and genuine beliefs in personable service is at the heart of every action, as each staff member is specifically assigned to know your name. When walking to or from the elevator, I was formally greeted and escorted the entire length of the corridor with persistent and repeated inquiries to be sure I was satisfied with my stay and to see if there was anything I needed. These inquiries were so genuine and a testament to their unwavering commitment to top-tier hospitality.
Overall, the food in Japan is of the best quality no matter the style of cuisine you desire, however the Ritz-Carlton itself features a culinary gallery highlighted by impeccable French, Italian and traditional Japanese menus. In addition, the lounge located on the lobby level is a prized purveyor for an extravagant English Tea Time – a truly impressive experience and distinguished high-end service that communes global travelers as well as local enthusiasts.
While in Kyoto there is an overwhelming variety of choices for entertainment and sight-seeing as it is filled with monuments and prided by its history of commemoration, which is celebrated by revered Geisha experiences, traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, meditation in a local temples, bike-riding along the river banks, and browsing the renowned Geisha Town, which is unmistakable for its dwarf-sized buildings and outstanding kimono shopping. The city’s restaurants are phenomenal anywhere you go, especially to find Takoyaki or if you are seeking an elaborate KaiSeki dinner – a time-honored haute culinary tradition for over half century.
I recommend the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto for anyone planning to visit Japan. Kyoto is brimming with fantastic dining, means for recluse pampering as well as a wide range of activities and specialized itinerary suggestions for honeymooners, couples, families and groups. Preceded by the high-quality of service provided by the Ritz-Carlton brand, this destination can cater to any discerning traveler.