Best luxury hotels in Kyoto

Ritz Carlton hotel buitenkantUnlike Tokyo, which is flooded with luxury hotels, Kyoto has a limited number of truly luxurious (international class) hotels. Fortunately, they are of high quality and very accustomed to hosting international guests. Check out the list below.

  • Hyatt Regency Kyoto
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    Hyatt Regency Kyoto offers excellent, spacious rooms, great on-site restaurants, attentive and polished service in a convenient location. It is a top choice for a relaxing stay in Kyoto and comes highly recommended.
  • Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
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    The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto undoubtedly boasts the best location of any hotel, right on the Kamo River and just a stone’s throw from the city center. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, many with stunning views of the river and Higashiyama mountain. This hotel is an excellent choice.
  • Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
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    The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto boasts a prime location in Southern Higashiyama, a beautiful building, lovely grounds, and fantastic rooms. It offers a peaceful retreat in a bustling city.
  • Kyoto Hotel Okura
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    The Kyoto Hotel Okura is a good hotel with very reasonable prices in one of the best locations in the city center (it is directly connected to the Kyotoshiyakusho-mae subway station in the middle of downtown). Highly recommended.
  • Hotel Granvia Kyoto
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    The Hotel Granvia Kyoto is an excellent hotel located directly above Kyoto Station, making it one of the most convenient hotels in the city for public transportation and taxis. The rooms are spacious and well-maintained, and there are numerous restaurants within a few minutes’ walk from the lobby. Highly recommended.
  • Westin Miyako Kyoto Hotel
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    An excellent hotel in a great location close to the metro and the main attractions of Higashiyama.
  • Kyoto Brighton Hotel
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    The Kyoto Brighton Hotel is a reasonably priced luxury hotel located not far from the Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace). The hotel is often overlooked, but it deserves more attention for its excellent restaurant, spacious rooms, and attentive staff.
  • Suiran
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    If you’re looking to completely get away and be surrounded by a calming natural setting, the Suiran is a great choice. It overlooks the Hozu-gawa River in Arashiyama and is a short walk from the famous Tenryu-ji Temple, the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest, and the sublime Okochi-Sanso Villa.



Luxury hotels in Japan are very similar to luxury hotels in the Western world. The main difference worth mentioning is that gyms and pools are less common in Japan, and where hotels do have them, they are usually small and may cost an extra fee to use. Perhaps this will change in the future. Apart from that, luxury hotels have everything that their Western counterparts have, including excellent rooms, outstanding on-site restaurants, and the only thing that should make foreign hoteliers jealous: that world-renowned Japanese service!

Ryokan – Kyoto’s luxury traditional accommodation

If you’re visiting Kyoto, the heart of traditional Japan, you really should try to spend a night in a good Ryokan (traditional Japanese inn). Whenever my friends, family, or clients visit Japan, I usually recommend they spend their first night in a great Ryokan and then move on to a hotel like one of the ones listed above. Check out my page on Ryokan and the best Ryokan in Kyoto for more information.

Learn more about Ryokan in Kyoto:

Best High-End Ryokan in Kyoto

Best mid-range Ryokan in Kyoto

Best budget Ryokan in Kyoto