Thursday, June 2, 2011

Hotel review: Hyatt Regency Kyoto

The Hyatt Regency Kyoto is about 5-7 minutes away from Kyoto train station, but there are buses that can transport you there and drop you off right at the hotel.

Here was our first glimpse of the Hyatt in Kyoto. There were bamboo and trees right outside the hotel

Since we decided to explore Kyoto all day Sunday 5/22, we were definitely ready for some R&R back at our hotel. Since we had already checked in when we first arrived in Kyoto, we went to the front desk and instead of giving us our hotel key, the Hyatt associate walked us up to our room (which was a nice touch). Our luggage had already been delivered to our room, so we followed her and she was so sweet. The staff at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto spoke both English and Japanese well (huge plus for Darin).

Here is the lobby. (You can't see it in the picture, but there is a beautiful cascading staircase to the left)

She guided us to our room- the hallway was dimly lit and peaceful

When she opened the door for us, we were stunned by the beauty in our room

The room was very Japanese-esque- the simple and clean lines, bamboo woodwork, demure colors, and very Zen-like- ven the light fixtures were Japanese-esque

The bathroom is located to your right after you walk into the room

After you pass the bathroom, our bed was on our right

To your left was the desk, TV, etc

The room, especially to Japanese standards, was very large. I was so glad we didn't need to put our bags on the floor.

Darin and I started opening drawers and we saw a plate, fork, and 2 tea cups

The Japanese love their tea, so I was happy to have a hot water heater (with fresh water already included) with some Japanese tea

The mini-fridge was stocked with cola, beer, and wine (and Heineken?)

We wished we had brought an HDMI cable so we could have watched our movies on my laptop on the LCD TV... it also had a DVD player too

Don't you hate it when you forget to turn off room lights in your hotel when you've already lied down in bed? No worries here- the main lights in the room are all within arm's reach by your nightstand

We even had a mini balcony outside our window- here was our view

We had a handwritten note from the manager of this Hyatt (and yes, I checked to see it was a replica, but it was actually inked by the manager himself- nice touch)

Our favorite part of this room (next to the size and calming feel to it) was the bathroom. The sink area was beautiful

... and we loved the sliding bamboo doors to the bathroom

... but the BEST part of the bathroom was the shower area. Here is the door...

When you walk in, it was huge. There was a deep bathtub to your right

... and a huge shower area to your left

There was also a teak bench/stool in the shower. Having a bench/stool is very common in Japanese baths. Japanese baths usually consist of 2 parts:
1. You turn on the shower, clean your body with soap, and wash your hair
2. Once you have cleaned yourself and rinsed completely down, you then enter the bath and soak. The bath water is only for clean bodies- not a place for you to soak and then clean your body. Thus, many Japanese have stools in their bathrooms to sit on so you can sit and relax while you clean your body with soap and wash your hair. The bench was also super helpful for shaving legs too.

I usually don't like taking baths because they aren't deep enough. By the time you slide into your tub, you need to usually bend your knees so your body can be covered with the warm water.
Japanese take their baths seriously- their baths are super deep, so you can just sit up straight in the bathtub and the water still hits you around your neck, and you can still extend your legs

We noticed that our bed had (2) yukatas on it. Yukatas are Japanese garments made of cotton. These are usually popular at festivals (for both men and women and children), and it is frequently worn after bathing in Japanese inns and hotels. I personally love yukatas- they are soft, comfortable, and easy to wear.

A bad picture, but here is a close-up of the yukatas

To get into the Japanese spirit, Darin tried it on for his first time

Here we are both wearing our yukatas after our shower

So, the bathroom wasn't the only great part. We loved that the room had a bidet. We love love bidets! I know I have already sung the praises of bidet toilets, I just need to do another shout-out to them. The warmed toilet seat couldn't be beat. I know it was warm outside, yet it still... felt so nice! Our tushes loved us.
This toilet was also pretty automatic.

As usual, it had a "strong flush" and "light flush" depending on "what" was needed to flush down

Here is the butt spray

A light butt spray (LEFT) and the bidet (stream of water) (RIGHT)

Other notable benefits about the Hyatt Regency Kyoto:
- We didn't lift a finger when we arrived this morning- there were 2-3 Hyatt employees outside the hotel at all times carrying bags and guiding guests into the front check-in. Our bags were kind of heavy, and it was a bit humorous to have 2 (much smaller and shorter) Japanese men carry our bags into the hotel. They insisted in carrying all of our luggage
- The level of service was outstanding. People were waiting on us hand and feet
- Location: The location is the only downfall to this Hyatt. It would have been difficult to walk from the Kyoto station to this hotel, especially if you were carrying luggage. Luckily, the bus stop is right by the hotel, but when there is so much sightseeing to do, I hate to have to wait for buses and make sure I'm on time for the bus to come. The plus side is that the hotel is only a 5-7 minute bus ride away to the Kyoto station and cost us ¥220pp. We were constantly at Kyoto station and will look into the Kyoto Hotel Granvia next time since it is attached to the station
- Bus: There were 2 buses that stopped at the hotel bus stop (called Higashiyama Nanajo)- Bus # 206 and #208. You get on the bus right in front of the Hyatt, and the bus will drop you off across the street from the Hyatt
- When we came home the next night after a long day of sightseeing, there was fresh hot water completely full and waiting for me (I drank an entire teapot of water one morning since I was a bit sick and had a stuffy nose/throat from allergies)

We stayed here for 2 nights, and we were really sad to say good-bye. We instantly felt at "home" every time we returned back here after dinner or mid-afternoon breaks. As we were checking out and leaving the hotel to go to Hiroshima, it was raining, and the front serviceman noticed I didn't have an umbrella (the bus stop was right in front of the hotel so I didn't care), and he ran (literally, ran) inside and provided me a complimentary umbrella for me to take with me. Now that is what I call service.


jacqui + erik said...

wow so cool!!! we actually inquired this hotel about staying here for while we're in kyoto (i thought the bed headboards were SO COOL and pretty!), but then we decided to stay somewhere with a high rooftop view of the kyoto obon mountain fires since we will be there on the 16th for obon :) but this place looks amazing!!!

KikiBelle said...

triple wow again! that bathroom is awesome!