OK, so I am continually surprised by user comments on hotels. Mine will vary from most others.
I have been to Kyoto maybe 100 times. I come here eight times a year on business. I would only choose this hotel as a last resort which I did this week because cherry blossom week is a zoo in Kyoto.
The price is fair and the staff are fine. But, this is far from "excellent location", "superb", "great rooms" etc. The rooms and the hotel are super dated. It's just been a long time since anything was done to spruce anything up. The carpet is so dirty that I am definitely wearing the requisite Japanese disposable slippers which I often ignore in Japan. There is a strange odor- its just old.
The location is so so. Frankly I think that the folks that rated location this excellent just don't know Kyoto. Yes it is near a subway stop, but that doesn't make the location premium, it means you are 10 mins (including one transfer) away from a premium location after going down like 6 levels of stairway to get to the super deep Kyoto metro system (don't forget you'll need to come up too). Choose a different location and you can avoid the subway most the time. Anything near the river, Gion area, is far more scenic, walk-able, etc. This hotel is on Karasuma-dori which is super busy, not near any of the charming neighborhoods and sort of an office building kind of a place. Restaurants? Not really. Yes there is a Starbucks downstairs. But, that is neither a restaurant nor what one should be coming to Kyoto for.
The bed is the most basic Japanese bed barely to a western standard. Hard, cheap mattress, tiny pillow. So, unlike another traveler, this sort of bed does not welcome me after 24 hours in planes, trains, and automobiles. I want a nice pillow and a reasonably built bed. These are barely usable.
Sorry about the grousing, but a little perspective is in order here. Kyoto Hotel Okura, Kyoto Royal and the new Royal Park Hotel, are all better choices. Trust me, I have done this a few times. They are likely couple bucks more (or yen in this case) but all offer bargain rates depending on the time of year. Shop around online. The Kyoto Karasuma is a room and a toilet, little more.
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- Also Known As:
- Karasuma Hotel Kyoto
- Kyoto Karasuma Hotel