luxury hotels in Kyoto

Dazzling luxury hotels in Kyoto, Japan

Travel journal

If you’re looking to discover ancient Japanese traditions and architecture, and you want to eat incredibly well while you’re doing it, Kyoto is where you go.

First settled in the 7th century Kyoto was the capital city of Japan for more than a thousand years, and it’s now home to an incredible array of cultural landmarks, shrines, tea houses and temples – more than 3,000. Plus, a thriving food scene. It also boasts some of the best hotels in Japan. We’ve chosen a selection of the most dazzling luxury hotels in Kyoto to inspire your travels below.

Founded in 711 – 80 years before Kyoto became the capital of Japan – Fushimi Inari Shrine is one of the most revered shrines in the city, and one of the most photographed (just take a look at #fushimiinari on Instagram). Famous for its thousands of vermillion torii gates which line a network of trails leading into the wooded forest of the sacred Mount Inari, (Inari is the Shinto god of rice, agriculture, and general prosperity) it’s a must-see for most visitors.

Another of Kyoto’s top things to do is to see the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove or Bamboo Forest. The naturally sprawling tall bamboo trees cover 16 kilometres with several pathways for tourists to navigate their way among the greenery. It’s a pretty incredible and surreal sight and makes for really spectacular photographs (#arashiyamabambooforest).

Recognised as the birthplace of kaiseki, a traditional and exquisite multi-course meal, and home to more Michelin stars than almost any other city in the world (only Paris and Tokyo have more) a Kyoto culinary tour is also a must.

Michelin-starred Mizuki at the Ritz-Carlton hotel serves one of the best traditional kaiseki meals in the city, ‘We serve kaiseki cuisine cooked based on the traditional Japanese cuisine of “Gomi, Goshiki, Goho” in a beautiful bowl. Not only is it delicious to eat, but it also makes your dining experience special with a new era of Japanese cuisine that you can enjoy with your eyes, innovative and artistic presentations, and memorable hospitality.’

Another restaurant widely-acclaimed for its kaiseki is Hyotei, which started out as a tea room more than 400 years ago and now has three Michelin stars, and Kichisen, another Michelin-starred restaurant located near the Shimogamo Shrine.

To see, and sample, so many outstanding sights and tastes you’ll need a fine base to call home while you’re in the city. Thankfully this is another area Kyoto is blessed. It has a variety of outstanding hotels, many considered not just the best luxury hotels in Kyoto – but the best luxury hotels in Japan. Just take a look at the list below.

Have you been to Kyoto? Where did you stay? If you had the trip of a lifetime let us know so we can add your hotel to the list of the best luxury hotels in Kyoto below. Tell us about your experiences and let’s raise the profile of the places that are truly unforgettable. Contact us and let us know.

And if you’d love to explore more of Asia, take a look at these Southeast Asia luxury resorts too.

Wild Bay Co is as much a celebration of the people who make these incredible experiences possible, as it is a celebration of the luxury resorts and hotels themselves. If you’ve stayed somewhere outstanding that deserves recognition for its exceptional attention to detail as well as its stunning setting then contact us and let us know.

In a secret garden at the heart of a forest.

Aman Kyoto

Nestled in the verdant foothills of the symbolic mountain of Hidari Daimonji, Aman Kyoto is a place of untold beauty in the north of Kyoto. #AmanKyoto

Embracing a minimalist ryokan aesthetic

Set in a secret garden at the heart of a forest, Aman Kyoto rests a stone’s throw from Kyoto’s golden Kinkaku-ji Temple and 16 other Unesco World Heritage Sites. The resort is nonetheless a secluded world apart, with light-filled suites and pavilions set in tranquil glades and steaming onsen offering healing in the Aman Spa.

Aman Kyoto’s Rooms and Pavilions are a contemporary homage to the traditional Japanese Ryokan inn, strikingly minimalist in their geometry, and serving as a window onto their spectacular natural settings. Interiors are spacious and light-filled, allowing each space to exist and breathe with the landscape and historic forested gardens that surround, instilling a sense of calm. 

One of the most spectacular luxury hotels in Kyoto, and Japan.

A sanctuary of peaceful luxury on the banks of the Kamo River. 

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto

The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. Escape to a sanctuary of peaceful luxury on the banks of the Kamo River.

Luxury in Kyoto

Built on a site favored by Japanese nobility since the 17th century, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto continues a legacy of quiet luxury.

Against the picturesque backdrop of the Kamo River, guests may relax with a spa ritual inspired by Japan’s wellness traditions, meet within one of five event spaces or indulge in internationally inspired cuisine.

Gion, which offers the region’s finest shopping and entertainment, is within walking distance of the hotel.

A modern garden sanctuary draped in history.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

Four Seasons Kyoto offers 5-star luxury accommodations set in the scenic Higashiyama district of temples.

Beguiling Kyoto

Sunlight peeks through the tall, slender stems of bamboo that lead you to this intimate hideaway in Kyoto’s temple district. At its heart is the 800-year-old Shakusui-en, a pond garden that firmly grounds this contemporary Hotel in tradition, artistry and natural beauty.

Come morning, watch the sun illuminate the landscape outside your room’s floor-to-ceiling windows – cherry blossoms in spring, rich greenery in summer, vibrant red foliage in fall and snow-kissed mountain peaks in winter. Truly one of the most dazzling luxury hotels in Kyoto.

Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto is set at the foot of a mountain in the scenic Higashiyama temple district, putting you just 10 minutes from bustling downtown Kyoto, with many of the city’s most scenic sites just a short walk away.

The harmony between the natural environment, scenery and history is what brings joy to our guests.

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is a prestigious 5 star hotel in the heart of Kyoto.

Embracing Japan’s beauty

Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto is located in the heart of Kyoto – adjacent to Nijo-jo Castle on the site of the Kyoto home of the Kitake, the executive branch of the Mitsui Family –a property the family maintained for over 250 years.

Tranquility and a modern reimagining of the traditional Japanese tearoom, the 161 guest rooms feature carefully chosen natural materials elevated using artisanal skills.

Thanks to its storied history and bountiful natural setting, Kyoto has a rich food culture. At Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, the culinary team selects the finest ingredients from around the world and across Japan, starting with famed local Kyoto produce, to deliver the ultimate gastronomy experiences to your table. 

The spaces at Park Hyatt Kyoto are inspired by the seasons and the senses.

Park Hyatt Kyoto

Park Hyatt Kyoto. A luxury guesthouse located in the heart of Kyoto Higashiyama.

A one of a kind Kyoto experience

Explore the unique stories of a luxury hillside guesthouse in the heart of Higashiyama, Kyoto. The close collaboration and partnership with Kyoyamato, a family-run restaurant which has persisted for six generations, and the central location set between some of the city’s most iconic sites, provides guests with a one of a kind Kyoto experience.

Park Hyatt Kyoto combines the distinctive culture of Japan’s ancient capital of high art and soul with the elegance of the Park Hyatt brand. In harmony with iconic landmarks and temples, spiritual gardens and nature’s four seasons, Park Hyatt Kyoto’s hillside retreat is an architectural gem, offering a unique blend of modern and heritage hospitality, and making it one of the best luxury hotels in Kyoto.

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