Luxury Collection – The Mitsui Kyoto
The Hotel The Mitsui Kyoto, a luxurious selection of the Mitsui Group, opened its doors in October 2020. It is located directly opposite the magnificent Nijo Castle, and occupies the former residence of Sakon-no-sho Hachimanguji Hommiya, a notable figure in the late Edo period. The hotel boasts 161 exquisite rooms spread across four floors above ground and one below. Interestingly, the hotel entrance is not situated facing Nijo Castle, but instead tucked away in a charming little alleyway, accessible only upon arrival. The hotel is conveniently located within 200 meters from Nijo Castle Station. However, for those traveling from Kyoto Station without wanting to change trains, it is just a 750-meter stroll from Karasuma Oike Station. For those seeking a grand entrance, a taxi ride is highly recommended.
Review: Luxury Collection – The Mitsui Kyoto
Although the price may be steep, the impeccable quality of service offered at this grand hotel in Kyoto is truly unparalleled. From the moment you arrive, a staff member promptly attends to your luggage, which is a reasonable and expected gesture. As you enter the lobby, instead of registering at a front desk, a charming attendant dressed in a traditional kimono gracefully guides you to a comfortable seating area. Here, you are presented with a refreshing towel and a delectable assortment of tea and snacks. It is truly a rare and precious experience to stay at such a magnificent hotel in Kyoto.
After checking in, the reception staff will guide you to your room and ask if you have any questions before departing. Once they leave, it’s only natural to first set down all of your luggage and take out your camera to capture every detail of the room. Only after confirming that you’ve taken all the pictures you want can you begin to relax. The room features a separate bathroom and toilet, and the bathroom comes equipped with a bathtub. As for the toilet, the lid automatically lifts when you open the door, and it flushes and closes on its own after use. The room is also furnished with two sinks, a common feature in hotels of this caliber, which allows two people to use them simultaneously or for one person to use one and the other to use the other.
The room is equipped with complimentary tea leaves and elegant tea utensils for your use. The cabinet also contains an assortment of snacks and alcoholic beverages, which are itemized on a consumption list to make you aware of the associated costs. The refrigerator is stocked with an abundant selection of alcoholic beverages and non-alcoholic drinks, all of which require payment. It is important to note this, as I previously stayed at the Paradise City Art Hotel in South Korea, where the items in the refrigerator were complimentary.
Although the room does not offer a view of Nijo Castle, it still provides a pleasant garden view, which is still quite enjoyable. At least it’s not overlooking a small road on the other side, right? As for the possibility of an upgrade to a platinum level, it is uncertain. However, the room is located on the top floor, the fourth floor, which is a definite plus. The desk area comes with a small welcome gift, including some chocolates and snacks. Although there is no welcome card, as in the Ritz Carlton Tokyo, this is not a significant concern as the hotel’s services go beyond such small details.
The hotel’s basement features a hot spring spa and a gym that guests can utilize. Even during the pandemic, the facilities remain open, and according to a staff member, guests can access them by simply wearing the bathrobes provided in their rooms. However, as I did not enter these areas, I cannot provide any further insights into their condition. The gym is equipped with a few traditional machines, including a few treadmills and weight-training machines, and provides a small refrigerator and water dispenser. During my visit in the evening, there were no other individuals using the facility.
I’m sorry to say that I can’t provide much information regarding the hotel’s restaurant. Although I chose the breakfast package, I unfortunately missed the opportunity to try it out as I woke up at 10:45 am. What a waste! The restaurant is located near the courtyard, and I did notice many people enjoying afternoon tea on the day of my arrival. If I have the chance to visit again, I would definitely try the afternoon tea and dinner.
The hotel lobby also boasts a tea room where guests can book a session to experience Japanese tea ceremony and savor matcha. As someone who has experienced tea ceremony before, the process is not entirely unfamiliar to me. The staff are not too strict with those who are unfamiliar with tea ceremony, and they are always open to conversation. I even had a chance to ask about his master lineage, and he said he was trained under the “Mushakoji-Senke” school in Kyoto, and he was also curious about my experience with tea ceremony. In any case, having a tea room in a hotel that offers guests a chance to witness tea ceremony and taste tea is truly a rare and valuable opportunity, and I highly recommend it.
The above is a review of my experience at HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO. If your budget allows for it, I highly recommend giving it a try. In theory, you won’t regret it. Finally, I’ve included some additional photos that weren’t shared above. A reminder that currently, when entering Japan, it is necessary to apply for “Visit Japan Web” in order to expedite clearance, quarantine, and customs procedures. The Japanese address on VJW can be filled in with the hotel you’re staying at.