Hyatt Regency Kyoto

644-2 Sanjusangendo-mawari, Kyoto, 605-0941

The Hyatt group may need to re-think the branding of this hotel, as it's a Hyatt Regency by name, but Park Hyatt in appearance, thanks to incredible styling from world famous Tokyo design firm, Super Potato (who did the Seoul and Shanghai Park Hyatts, among others).

Rooms here certainly are on par with (and resemble) the Park Hyatt, with simple unadorned beds and minimalist but elegant furnishing. Flashes of color from real kimono fabrics and other traditional Japanese patterns, however, give the room a unique Kyoto character.

Standard rooms start at 28sqm, which in the hotel business is roughly the perfect size (not too big and not too small). The only difference between the Standard and Deluxe categories (which start at 33sqm) is the inclusion of a sofa bed or reading chair and ottoman. The Deluxe Corner Kings feature a living room area, making it feel suite-like. Bathrooms overall are spacious and well-designed, with plenty of mirrors (including a vanity and shower mirror), and Japanese-style washlet toilets.

The hotel is in close proximity to a number of Kyoto's 2,000 temples and shrines, and it's an easy 15min bus ride to Gion Corner or Kyoto Station. A 5min walk to the north is the Kyoto National Museum and the Rengeoin Sanjusangendo, an iconic Buddhist temple known for its 1,001 life-sized wooden statues of the goddess Kannon, is literally across the street.

Quite an impacful entrance

Minimalist elegance (shown is the Deluxe category)

Some rooms have more Japanese accents than others (here is the Rex Suite)

Your dining options are fairly typical of a hotel of this calibre (a casual Italian restaurant, high-end Japanese and an all-day dining grill-style restaurant). They are all very good for hotel restaurants, but don’t expect value pricing or mind-blowing meals.

If pressed, we'd say the Hyatt Regency is Kyoto's most affordable luxury 5-star hotel, though during busy periods (fall and spring), even rates here become astronomical. The Ritz Carlton, Kyoto's newest ultra high-end hotel, is indeed much more luxurious--but at probably twice or three times the price!

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