Monday, December 27, 2010

Porta' Eyes...Hotel of the year 2010—HOSHINOYA: Kyoto, JAPAN




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Experience Authentic Japan with Modern Comfort

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The Arashiyama neighborhood of Kyoto, full of bamboo groves and Zen temples, is the site of the city’s newest—and most exquisite—ryokan, or traditional inn. Hoshinoya Kyoto has 25 guest rooms along the banks of the Hozu River, each with Japanese futons, yellow cedar bathtubs, and delicate rice-paper screens. In the morning, you can have a Japanese breakfast delivered to your room—nabe hot pot served with tofu and local vegetables—and sit by the window, against a backdrop of maple and cherry trees.



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Built along the enigmatic and ever so ravishing River Ooigawa in Arashiyama, Hoshinoya Kyoto makes for a humble yet a classy retreat. The hotel houses 25 stylish rooms adorned with comfortable Tatami furnishings and modern settings maintaining a fine blend between Japanese tradition and modernity. Each room of the hotel gives a crystal clear view of Kyoto City. The balcony overlooking the temples and shrines adds a sense of tranquility to the stay.

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The hotel also makes arrangements for cultural visits and sightseeing to World Heritage Sites in Kyoto City. The library lounge of the Hoshinoya Kyoto shelves a range of books for literature lovers who can read about the culture and traditions of the place while sipping a premium wine. The water garden facing the library lounge is a major attraction of the hotel.

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The restaurant of the Hoshinoya Kyoto offers a range of French gastronomical delights influenced by Japanese flavours.

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Hoshinoya Kyoto is nestled among the mountains and rivers in beautiful Arashiyama region of Kyoto City, a traditional vacation area dating back to the Heian era (794-1185).

Upon boarding a boat from the famed Togetsukyo Bridge, among Arashiyama’s natural scenery with a fifteen-minute journey up the Oigawa River you arrive to the ryokan resort. It is said that these private waterfront residences once served as the personal dwelling and library of famed shipping merchant Ryoi Suminokura (1554-1614). Here you can take pleasure in the same ambiance of seclusion and the sophistication of Kyoto culture.
The resort inherited traditional Japanese architecture and offers a variety of opportunities to experience Japan like the self enlightenment through morning zen meditation in Buddhist temple, or Monko, a Japanese incense ceremony..

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The resorts has 25 spacious rooms mixed the traditional Japanese architecture with Kyoto”"s craftsmanship and contemporary touch. All guest rooms spread out along the riverside, providing a gorgeous view of the river and mountains with trees that change colors by season.!

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TWR hotel review: Hoshinoya, Kyoto, Japan


I find that Japan is not a place many people head to for their holidays, so this hotel review might seem a touch random, but on the off chance that you are ever passing by the old Japanese capital of Kyoto then try and stay at Hoshinoya.

When MAD booked this on the recommendation of Conde Nast's Traveller magazine, we had no idea it was such a famous hotel in Japan. It is an updated version ( in a good way) of the traditional ryokan guest house with more modern architecture and comfy beds.

The hotel is in a small suburb of old Kyoto, Arashiyama, from where you take a boat up the jade green Oigawa river to land at the very discrete hotel perched on the river bank. It is surrounded by maple trees, all glowing red and amber in the autumn sunshine. The service is quite spectacular, this being the forte of the Japanese, I doubt we'll ever get such sincere attention in a hotel anywhere else in the world.

There is little to do but admire the harmonious link between land, architecture and nature (we spot monkeys and tiny deer at the water's edge) and of course eat. The food is amazing, our Japanese style breakfast of salmon, local Kyoto vegetables (they're famous for quality) poached in miso broth and rice was the highlight of the holiday, despite how it sounds written down....

This is not a cheap place, but I bet it's one of the best hotel experiences you will ever have, and that from a girl who's travelled (5 star) quite a bit. Some pictures.....

The little walkway between the rooms (it's a very small place)....

...where even the maple leaves seem to fall in an artistic manner.

The view from our window, it was incredibly quiet too, nice after noisy Tokyo.

Arriving by boat.

The amazing colours of the trees

And breakfast, so much nicer than it sounds....

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Hoshinoya Kyoto is located in the gorgeous Arashiyama district, known for its many temples rich in lore, and for its breathtaking bamboo groves. Accessed by a beautiful boat ride down the Ooigawa river, entering the resort has a dramatic, romantic feel, rich with anticipation. The famously austere design in traditional ryokan has been updated just enough in each of the twenty-five rooms to offer subtle, elegant flourishes—for instance, a gorgeous couch made of the very bamboo the area is known for, and kimono patterns on the wall paper in the bedroom. All rooms have wi-fi, heated floors, and the staff has more than a few fluent English speakers. Clients who have enjoyed Banyan Tree or Aman properties in other parts of the world will likely rave about Hoshinoya---it achieves a similar, luxurious rendition of what is locally and culturally revered. Two more Hoshinoya resorts are in the building stages: one in Fuji, and one in Okinawa; they are slated to open in early 2012. To look into Hoshinoya Kyoto, check out kyoto.hoshinoya.com/en/
Hoshinoya Kyoto ryokan, Japan

Now that’s a room with a view ... the Hoshinoya Kyoto ryokan


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"This hybrid ryokan-hotel, a series of low buildings inspired by traditional Japanese houses, clings to the banks above the Hozugawa River in the temple-rich Arashiyama district, and is accessed by a lazy boat ride in a hinoki (Japanese cedar) vessel. Its 25 elegant rooms too are redolent of cedar, and although they don't have TVs, they do have heated wooden floors, hand-blocked wallpaper, shoji-inspired sliding glass doors and picture windows (all the better to lean out and watch the foxes, deer, and occasional monkey that prance through the forest), deep cedar soaking tubs, and lofty duvets that sigh when you flop down on them. From the iron lanterns that light the moss-traced stone walkways to the lashed bamboo fences, every detail has been well considered. In lieu of a bar, there's a library, refreshed throughout the day with complimentary snacks by the gracious staff (who speak excellent English). As in a traditional ryokan, there are some restrictions—the boat back to the docks runs only from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.—but Hoshinoya is a retreat not only from town but from modernity. At night, after you've eaten an excellent Japanese or French meal and changed into the provided lounging clothes (complete with raw-silk robes), you can sit in the Zen rock garden, look up at the star-smeared sky, and forget what century you're in." —2010 Hot List
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Which room to book: All have river views, but Nos. 118 and 119 hover right above the water and offer the most intimate sight lines of the flowering fruit trees on the opposite bank.

"If we change too much we lose the Japanese spirit. We need to adapt with-out losing what makes it so special!"

—Mr.Yoshiharu Hoshino
-Hoshino Resort Group owns









Property Description - Hoshinoya Kyoto

Please note, guests must be 13 years or above to check-in to this property. A dreamy river cruise up the beautiful Hozu-Gawa River from the famous Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama brings you to HOSHINOYA Kyoto. A delightful collection of traditional wood-framed buildings from 19th century that have been lovingly restored to create contemporary comfort in idyllic natural surroundings with 25 spacious rooms, a library lounge, a tatami drawing room and charming modern Japanese garden. This calming place is an ideal complement to the bustle of Kyoto. Watch the gentle flow of the river from your room or maisonette, then head to the library lounge with its soothing views of the modern Japanese garden and terrace. Everything here is focused on relaxation and appreciation of culture and nature. Arashiyama is particularly beautiful during spring and autumn, so head off and visit Golden Temple, one of Kyoto s 17 World Heritage Sites. Then walk through the nearby bamboo grove before taking a spectacular boat ride down Hozu-Gawa River. HOSHINOYA Kyoto is a Small Luxury Hotels of the World property.

Reservation Information - Hoshinoya Kyoto

Guarantee Policy: Guarantee: 04Aug2010 to 04Aug2015 - All reservations must be guaranteed by Credit Card.

Cancellation Policy: Cancel 14 Day Before Arrival. Cancellation penalty is %100.00 of one night's stay not including tax. Please note that other conditions may apply during high season as well as for special offers. See rate description.

Directions - Hoshinoya Kyoto
General Property Information - Hoshinoya Kyoto

Hotel Rating(s): Star Rating 5 star

Check In: 3:00 PM

Check Out: 12:00 PM

Currency:Japanese Yen

Floors: 2

Year Opened: 1900

Year Renovated: 2009

Area Attractions
Golden temple (Kinkaku Ji)

Tenryuji Zen Temple World Heritage Site

Togetuskyo Bridge

Bamboo Grove

Hongwan-ji Temple, World Heritage Site

Hozu-Gawa River Boat Ride

Kiyomizu-dera Temple, World Heritage

Koke-dera/Saiho-ji Temple, World Heritage

Nijo-jo Castle, World Heritage Site

Ninna-ji Temple, World Heritage Site

Ryoan-ji Temple, World Heritage Site

Sagano Romantic Train, Torokko Saga St.

About the Location

HOSHINOYA Kyoto is located in a river bank of Ooigawa river surrounded by lush nature, providing a conveniently located yet isolated settings. 15 minute boat ride Check-in is available at HOSHINOYA Boat Landing on the right bank of the famous Togetsukyo Bridge. From the Boat Landing, Kyoto city centre and many of 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites are within a 30 min taxi ride. The surrounding Arashiyama area is known by the Japanese for its magnificent seasonal views, cultural events, beautiful bamboo forest, and history rich temples and shrines. All are within walking distance but authentic rickshaw tour is also available to enjoy the area.

Property Amenities - Hoshinoya Kyoto

Air Conditioned

Bath Tub

Porters

Bidet

CD Player

Coffee Maker in Room

Concierge Desk

Hairdryers Available

High speed internet access

Internet Access

Wireless Internet Access

Lounge

Maid Service

Mini Bar

Multilingual

Multi-line Phone

No Smoking Rooms/Facilities

24 Hour Room Service

Safe Deposit Box

Safe

Sailing

Shops/Commercial Services

Shower

Smoke Detectors

Telephone

Wake-up Service

Room Information - Hoshinoya Kyoto
Mizu Single

Designed for single use of 33-36 square metres with river view. The room features a king size bed-style Futon, a writing desk, a bench sofa overlooking the river, and a private bathroom with Japanese cedar bathtub.

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Shizuku Room

Modern style - 42-60 square metres with river view. Features a bed room a king size bed-style Futon, a spread-out living area with bench sofa to enjoy the river view, and a private bathroom with Japanese cedar bathtub.

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Yama Room

67-93 square metres with river view. Choose from a traditional tatami room with an alcove to feature the elegance of Japanese Shitsurai seasonal decor, or a duplex with tatami room on the second floor. Features private bathroom with Japanese cedar bathtub

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Tsuki Premium Suite

69-122 square metres with river view in three unique room configurations. All Tuski rooms have traditional tatami room with specially crafted bench sofa, bedroom with either 2 twin or 1 king size bed-style Futon(s), and private bathroom with cedar bathtub

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Tani Room

54-75 square metres with river view featuring a tatami room, bed room with 2 twin bed-style Futons (or a king size bed-style Futon upon request subject to availability) and a private bathroom with Japanese cedar bathtub.

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Hotaru Room

46-53 square metres with river view. Features bedroom with either 2 twin or a king size bed-style Futons, living area with table and sofa, and private bathroom with Japanese cedar bathtub housed in classic Japanese architecture.

Other room type than std, dlx, ste, ... etc.

Restaurant Info
HOSHINOYA Kyoto Dining

Kyoto cuisine determined by which local ingredients are in season. Your choice of food, prepared in the manner of your choosing. For those less familiar with Japanese ingredients, our chef is happy to make recommendtions.


Additional Photos - Hoshinoya Kyoto

A dreamy river cruise up the beautiful Hozu-Gawa River from the famous Togetsukyo Bridge in Arashiyama brings you to Hoshinoya Kyoto. A delightful collection of traditional wood-framed buildings that have been lovingly restored to create contemporary comfort in idyllic natural surroundings with 25 spacious rooms, a library lounge, a tatami drawin groom and charming modern Japanese garden.

This calming place is an ideal complement to the bustle of Kyoto. Watch the gentle flow of the river from your room or maisonette, then head to the library lounge with its soothing views of the modern Japanese garden and terrace. Everything here is focused on relaxation and appreciation of nature.

Arashiyama is particularly beautiful during spring and autumn, so head off and visit Golden Temple, one of Kyoto’s 17 World Heritage Sites. Then walk through the nearby bamboo grove before taking a spectacular boat ride down Hozu-Gawa River.

Location

Arashiyama, on the western side of Kyoto, Japan.

Things to enjoy

Traditional architecture, contemporary design, riverside accommodation, tatami and western style rooms, stunning modern Japanese garden, fabulous views, library lounge, public tatami room.

Near Hoshinoya Kyoto

Golden Temple, 17 World Heritage sites, bamboo groves, Togetsukyo Bridge, Sagano romantic train ride, Hozu-Gawa river trip, rickshaw.

News for Hoshinoya Kyoto

  • 50 Best Romantic Getaways 2010 by Travel + Leisure Magazine Romance doesn’t always involve strolling a beach at sunset. Hoshinoya Kyoto has been featured as one of the 50 Best Romantic Getaways this year by Travel+Leisure staff.
  • Hot List Hotels 2010 by Condé Nast Traveler Magazine Hoshinoya Kyoto is the only hotel in Japan to be featured on this year's Hot List by Condé Nast Traveler.
  • Culture Experience - Morning Meditation For those who would like an authentic meditation experience.
  • SLH Club member benefits now available As a registered Club member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, you will be entitled to different benefits at different participating resorts and hotels.

Genrokuzancho 11-2, Arashiyama, Nishikyo-ku, Kyoto City. Japan

Download hotel brochure

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The nation's classic contemplative retreat, unchanged since the 17th century, faces a very modern-day dichotomy. Ryokans exist because of their traditional architecture, timeless service and formal etiquette but today's guests sometimes prefer room service and spas.





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Why it works
Be adaptable:
Exceeding expectations with new service keeps the ryokan concept fresh.


Keep it local:
Don't forget about the craftsman and help stimulate local labour.


Landscaping:
Inventive and well maintained grounds is always sure to delight.



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Challenge: Not lowering the Japanese quality threshold for casual western visitors.


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—RECENT PORTAGORIES

Catch up with previous 'Our Best Of' of The Hotel I Love Series

Hotel of the year 2009
27 December 2009

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Hotel of the year 2008
31 December 2008

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Hot and Covered New Modern Classic
PORTAGORIES STYLE REVIEW





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HOTEL OF THE YEAR SELECT BY
the portastylistic



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HOSHINOYA-Kyoto is a huge responsibility to reinvent a ryokan.

“Changes the way you think about life!”



the portastylistic





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