Flying all the way to Japan without stopping in Kyoto is like buying a chocolate chip cookie and picking out all the chocolate chips: you’re missing out. Kyoto offers so much to explore, with vast temples, gorgeous foliage, the late Steve Jobs favorite sushi restaurant and so much more. For a brief stay in the stunning city, we chose the Hyatt Regency– and it was very nice.
On what felt like the edge of town, the Hyatt Regency sits tucked atop a hill, near enough to everything desirable and secluded enough to feel a sense of comfort in a foreign land. After a truly pleasant ride on the bullet train, we arrived for check in. Only one of our rooms was ready, but we were early- deal with it. Ample staff were on hand to help disperse with bags, welcome guests and open doors, which is always a nice opening note.
The rooms aren’t large, but they’re extremely charming and warm in ambiance. Gorgeous design elements and touches indigenous to Japan make this hotel feel like something far more authentic than any old Hyatt. Bedside plugs, intuitive room controls, fast internet and the far too exciting automatic toilets, typically found in Japan made the room as much function as fashion. A perfect set up for business and leisure travelers alike. Kyoto is all about getting out and taking in the wonderment- but this is a fantastic place to return at the end of the day.
Food. On a rainy day, it’s tough to pass up a two floor elevator ride to lunch. The Hyatt Regency offers not one, nor two- but three restaurants worth visiting- suiting all appetites, albeit a bit on the pricey side, even by hotel standards. On the lowest level, you’ll find an authentic, Japanese set menu offering, while on the ground floor you’ll find a varied “market grill” style all day and night restaurant. But it’s the mezzanine Italian restaurant which impressed the most. Al dente pasta, excellent service, well selected wine, an open kitchen and a nice ambiance overlooking the peaceful hotel gardens make this a worthy stop- even in a city of exceptional food.
With rooms running roughly $330 and up, 20,000 points or 10,000 points + about $150 in cash, the hotel is in the high median for luxurious Kyoto offerings. At those rates, it’s far from “cheap” but there’s definitely value to be had- when considering excellent location, adaptive concierge and plethora of in house options, not to mention the convenience of hotel loyalty, which many frequent travelers prefer. Basically, we’d gladly stay here again- though our ears are open to similar options, especially in a city ripe with excellent- if not very expensive hotels.