If there’s one thing that makes a short stay in a large city convenient, it’s having a centrally-located hotel base.
We chose a few nights at the visually-appealing Hotel Granvia Kyoto due to its key location—inside Kyoto’s main JR train station, where all the sexy, high-speed Shinkansen (bullet) trains pass through (alongside regional trains, busses and metro).
As soon as our train pulled in from Tokyo, we found the escalator headed to the main lobby for check-in. Staff are friendly and helpful, especially welcome after arriving in a busy train terminal in a new city.
A first for us in any hotel: swipe the room key inside the elevator and your floor is automatically registered. Then again, Japan’s been surprising us at every turn with its state-of-the-art tech.
Our 12th floor standard twin room came with a great city view, lots of bathroom amenities, free wifi, flatscreen TV, work desk, modern lighting fixtures and outlets, full bathroom and cozy corner with table and chairs to relax after days spent exploring the city’s numerous temples.
The room size is decent for Japanese standards with ample storage areas and a safe inside the closet.
While the lobby was busy during the day (the hotel was sold out during the week of our visit), our room was always quiet and felt like an oasis in an otherwise bustling city!
Booking a room on the top two floors include access to the Granvia Lounge with concierge and computer work station plus snacks, (non-alcoholic) drinks and a range of reading material with a view.
Traditional Japanese breakfast can be ordered at Ukihashi Restaurant, while Le Temps offers both Japanese and Western buffet options. Ristorante La Risata is yet another breakfast choice.
Within close range of the hotel are dozens of eateries (including two floors of ramen restaurants and a range of Japanese cuisine spots at all budget levels).
The Granvia boasts 535 rooms, numerous restaurants, an indoor pool, sauna, whirlpool and fitness center (1,080 yen per day – roughly CDN $14 – for guests 20 years of age and older), beauty salon, bridal shop, photo studio and florist.
We highly recommend a wind-down session in the massage chair near the reception desk following a few laps in the pool and a soak in the jacuzzi!
With a department store, museum, theater and underground shopping mall, the train terminal building resembles a small city. Just outside the building, the free, colourful Aqua Fantasy light and music spectacle competes with Toronto’s CN Tower look-alike Kyoto Tower at night.
Arrival (and departure) is a breeze with connections to Kansai International Airport and major destinations including Osaka, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagoya and Fukuoka.
We received a media rate with free breakfast and fitness center access for featuring on Vancouverscape. Opinions, as always, are our own.