I had stayed at the Granvia in Kyoto in 2004. So when I decided to return to Kyoto this fall, I booked a room at the Granvia again. I stayed two nights at the very end of October.
I arrived via Shinkansen train from Odawara. Even though I had been there before it is still a big train station and a tad confusing. Some one actually figured out that I looked a bit lost and directed me to the proper escalator. TIP - as you come up from the train levels, head for the MAIN Entrance/Exit to Kyoto station. As you head toward the doors of the main entrance there's an escalator on your right just before you would leave the building. It goes up the one level to the hotel. Conversely, if you coming to the station after a day of sightseeing, enter through the main entrance and immediately look for the escalator to your left
The lobby is fairly big. Someone staff will immediately help you with your luggage and direct you to check in. The check in process was done very easily and the staff all speak English.
You go to your room and your luggage will be sent up shortly. However as soon as I entered the room, I saw twin beds and I had requested a bigger bed queen or king. I called the front desk.
In less than 5 minutes, a bellman arrived at my room with my luggage and the key to a different room on a different floor. This one had the queen bed.
The rooms are very well appointed . TIP: ask for a room with North view so you will be able to see a grand view of Kyoto. The South view rooms overlook the train tracks below.
The room had a big bed, lots of closet space, an expresso coffee maker, a mini-bar which I didn't use. The Coffee is complimentary. The bathroom was very nice with a full compliment of toiletry articles including razor, hair brush, combs, tooth brush. There's lots of towels, the room is well lighted, and bigger than most bathrooms in Japanese hotels.
There was a living room area with a small sofa and two chairs, plus a flat panel TV. All in all the room is spacious. very comfortable, beautifully decorated and spotlessly clean. They provide you with a daily newspaper as well.
I had the Buffet breakfast which is in a bustling restaurant on lobby level. It was excellent and the coffee was superb.
When I had been in Kyoto before I had gone to see the Ginkaku-ji Temple and the Path of Philosophy also known as the Philosopher's Walk. I had taken a taxi to to the temple, and it ran me over $20 US. This time I consulted with the Concierge and he gave me a map, and explained which bus to take.
The buses are directly in front of the Kyoto station. In fact the bus to this temple is almost the first one after you exit the station. TIP: In Kyoto you enter the bus in the rear and you pay when you exit at the front of the bus. I think since this Temple is a must see , this bus is usually going to be crowded. They run fairly often and the Ginkaku-ji is the last stop, so don't be afraid to step aside and let others cram their way on. And I think the bus fair is quite small - either just over two hundred yen or just under. BY taking the bus I saved nearly twenty dollars that I had spent on cab fare in 2004. You should have some 100 yen coins at the ready rather than ask the driver to change a larger bill.
Kyoto also has a subway train system as well but I didn't use them.
I dined both of my night in the Gion District. From the hotel it is a hefty walk of close to a half hour. The charm of the Gion district is the shopping, many choices for dinner, and the likelihood of seeing younger Geisha trainees called Mako's walking to work in their ornate Geisha costumes.
Summary: If you're visiting Japan then you should visit Kyoto. And if you go to Kyoto by train then the Granvia is the perfect hotel.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Beautiful 15-story hotel atop Kyoto Station - Broadband connection in all guest and banquet rooms - Easy access to Kansai Airport. ... more less
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