Booking a trip to Japan during sakura season is both a wonderful and terrible thing; sure, the trees and splendid and the whole country is in a festive mood, but it can be hard to find a place to stay and reserve a seat on the train.
Fortunately, I was able to stay at Hotel Granvia for one night. This oasis of tranquility, in the heart of Kyoto, was a welcome shelter from the hustle if only for a few hours of blissful sleep. It was my first brush with Japanese hospitality and it couldn’t have been more positive.
The hotel is connected to the Kyoto JR Station, making it easy to either take the train (fast or local) to get out the city (perhaps to the Fushimi Inari Shrine?) or to hop on the subway to another area of Kyoto. The vast complex also features plenty of boutiques, restaurants and a bus terminal for easy access to Tokyo’s most famous attractions, like the Gion district and the Golden Temple.
There are also plenty of worthy sights within walking distance, like the glorious Toji bouddhist temple, for example. I also had excellent ramen at nearby Kyoto Raken on Hachijo-dori, as well as iconic okonomiyaki on Shichijo-dori, as per the hotel’s concierge recommendation.
Hotel rooms in Japan are notoriously small but that was not the case at Granvia. My room was spacious and airy, and featured a large bed, a seating area, ample storage and a modern bathroom. It felt very deluxe! And that view from my room was absolutely charming – southern Kyoto sure looks beautiful from the Granvia’s eight floor.
I really liked the amenity kit, which was very complete. It might seem like a superfluous thing to many, but to me, it just goes to show that sometimes small details can make a big difference and how Granvia genuinely cares about the wellbeing and comfort of its guests.
Japanese hospitality doesn’t disappoint, ever. Japanese take the comfort and happiness of their guests very seriously, and the Granvia Kyoto is no exception. From the quick and efficient checkin to the helpful concierge, everything was irreproachable.
The hotel itself is a striking architectural masterpiece, with an iconic outdoor glass structure that my photos simply couldn’t do justice to (the photo below is courtesy of the hotel). Thanks to its massive size, the hotel can accommodate plenty of rooms (535 to be exact), as well as a gym, an indoor pool and even an art gallery (which showcases over 1000 stunning pieces of museum-quality art that blend modern and traditional Japanese art). Of course, there are also plenty of restaurants/bars, the ideal setting for travellers fighting jetlag or those needing a stylish refreshment.
I had an exceptional experience at Hotel Granvia Kyoto and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this hotel to anyone.