The Park Hyatt Kyoto opened in late 2019, and ever since it has been on our bucket list of luxury hotels to visit. We actually had it booked for March of 2020, so you know how went… BUT we finally were able to spend 7 nights there on our recent trip to Japan! This place is an absolute dream, and by far the most luxurious hotel we’ve ever stayed at. (And I thought the Park Hyatt Tokyo couldn’t be beat.) Today I’m writing about our experience so you know what to expect if you have an upcoming visit planned!
The hotel is nestled in the Higashiyama district of Kyoto where you’ll find historic streets lined with traditional Japanese restaurants and shops. It’s also close to several temples such as Todai-ji and has gorgeous views of the Yasaka Pagoda, especially at night! Its location is also close to several bus stops which can easily get you to the main train station in 15 minutes or less.
The Check-In Process
When our taxi pulled into the front drive, we were welcomed by the staff who grabbed our suitcases and hand luggage to be transferred to our room after check-in. They walked us along the path inside the main doors which is lined with a beautiful Japanese-style garden. We were guided to a small table where a staff member walked us through the details of our stay. Our room was not ready at our time of arrival, so we were treated to a welcome glass of champagne while we waited. It was a good opportunity to take in the beauty of the hotel and celebrate being there after our 2-year-long wait!
There are 70 rooms at the Park Hyatt Kyoto, and 9 of them are suites. We booked our stay with award points from Hyatt’s loyalty program thanks to R’s travel hacking prowess. We also used a suite upgrade on our stay as well. This got us into a Park Suite for this particular hotel, but each Hyatt is different. Our suite was on the 4th floor and featured separate living and bedroom areas, as well as a walk-in closet, gallery tub and shower, dual vanities, and access to our own private outdoor garden. It was stunning. After dreaming about the stay for well over 2 years, I can truly say it is not over-hyped.
We took advantage of several dining options available at the Park Hyatt Kyoto. The first was their casual dining option, the Kyoto Bistro. We ate here almost every morning for breakfast, as it was complementary as one of our perks for having status with the Hyatt loyalty program. There were several options for both western and traditional Japanese fare, and all of it was delicious. I was really impressed with their dinner menu, however. We ended up there after taking a peek at their pre fixe dinner menu, which featured wagyu steak as the main entrée. I loved every single course, including the steak, but the Caesar salad is something R and I still talk about to this day. It was DELICIOUS, unique, and topped with strips of bacon.
Another dinner experience that I personally would skip Yasaka, the teppanyaki-style restaurant on the top floor of the hotel. I thought the food was insanely overpriced for what we got, and I was disappointed that they did not utilize the grill to cook most of our food as the description implied. I would instead pay a visit to the Kohaku bar next door, as it features the same incredible views of the city. The drinks are inspired, beautiful, and delicious. Plus, it’s also much more intimate, perfect for a nightcap after dinner!
Guests staying in suites are offered a complimentary champagne hour each evening in the lobby from 5-6 pm. We took advantage of this just about every day before we went back to our room to get ready for dinner. The hotel lobby is really cozy with a few fireplaces scattered throughout the massive room. It is a lovely chance to relax after a long day of exploring Kyoto or meet some fellow travelers!
R really enjoyed using the spa facilities as well. They feature steam and dry saunas as well as hot and cold plunge pools. These amenities are available in both private sections for men and women. There is also a fitness center just down the hall if you’re feeling extra ambitious.
Overall, our stay was delightful. I would 100% recommend staying at the Park Hyatt Kyoto if you get the chance. We will definitely be back if the opportunity presents itself. You can book directly through their website here. We had high expectations, and I’d say this is one of the few places that met every single one. It’s an absolute treat, and such a special hotel experience.