Hotel Avanshell Kyoto
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Historical Traveler Reviews Cornerstone Inn Washington
Great value for money and family-friendly
We were in Japan for 2 weeks earlier this month and spent 5 days in Kyoto. We stayed at the Holiday Inn - it is no doubt, as other reviewers here said, kind of far from the train station. By taxi or hotel shuttle, you can reach the hotel in 20 mins. though. With a bit of planning, you can actually leave early in the morning using the shuttle and return at night likewise. The earliest shuttle leaves at 8 a.m. and the next one 9:20 a.m. The last shuttle from the Kyoto station (to the hotel) leaves at close to 9 p.m. We were able to make use of the shuttle service daily except when we first arrived cause we didn't have the shuttle schedule with us then. The taxi ride costed us some 2,000 yen.
We are a family of 4 and were given a room with two big beds which made a good night's sleep possible. This is especially important after a long day of walking around temples and shrines in Kyoto.
The room itself however is small, there is not much space left in the room for the two big beds take up all the "room", literally. Everything in this hotel works though, and like all other Holiday Inns in the world, you get all you need for your stay - tooth brushes, bathrobes, tea/coffee-making facilities. There is little noise when you get up to your room. There is also free Internet access in a spacious room on the lobby floor (3rd floor).
We paid an unbelievable 10,000 yen per night for the room It is one of the few hotels in Japan and Kyoto that is willing to accommodate a couple and two kids in a room. I booked using my Priority Club membership but I think it will do the same for non-members.
The staff there are pretty courteous and speak enough English to entertain general tourist questions.
If this Hotel is a little far from the city centre, it more than makes up for it with the amenities available in the mall/complex where the hotel is located. There is a mall with great restaurants at decent prices, a big department store, a huge supermarket that offers local delicacies, a 100 yen store, Starbucks, bakeries and an electronics store. Since the room rate doesn't come with breakfast (BF is available but chargeable), we had a nice one at an open-air cafe in the mall.
The hotel also offers laundry service - 200 yen for washing and 100 yen for drying. It's very helpful when you are travelling with kids.
I almost forgot to mention that the hotel is actually very near to some of Kyoto's most famous tourist attractions - the Philosophers' Walk and a couple of temples. You can reach either one of them by bus or taxi (600 to 1,000 yen). If you are a group of 3 to 4 persons, I suggest that you take the taxi from the hotel to these spots. A bus ride costs 200 yen each way, you see?
In conclusion, we had a very pleasant stay at the Holiday Inn Kyoto. We like Kyoto in the winter - despite the fact that it was mid-December by the time we got there, we still managed to catch a glimpse of the autumn foliage, it was beautiful. We plan to visit Kyoto again in the spring and will definitely return to the Holiday Inn.
By the way, I highly recommend the Japanese restaurant at the street level of the mail that serves excellent sushi, sashimi and maki rolls. When you see locals queueing up for a table, you know it's good, right! During the weekend, we had to wait for nearly an hour for the table (luckily, you can just leave your name and return to your hotel room whle waiting). The 4 of us had sushi, sashimi and even some Snow crab for a reasonable price of 4,500 yen! It's a must try if you like raw fish...
Save your money! Stay out of downtown Kyoto. The reason one goes to Kyoto is because of the temples and shrines. These for the most part are not located in down town Kyoto. They are much closer to the Holiday Inn, much within walking distance. Better yet rent one of the bikes they have available and see as much of Kyoto as you like, which is what we did. Kyoto is buy far the best city we visted in Japan. I can't see wasting money on a more expensive hotel in down town Kyoto. I would rather spend my money on things to remember my trip by and eating out. The hotel is clean with comfortable beds and a free internet room to keep in touch with the ones not fortunate enough to come along. Make sure to visit the Gion district to get a sense of old Japan
Good deal but far away
We booked this hotel because it was inexpensive. Previous reviews have mentioned that this hotel is far away from the city center which is absolutely true. It takes approximately 30min to get to the center of Kyoto by city bus (which was our method of transportation although the hotel did offer a free shuttle several times a day). It was okay though because we were out sightseeing pretty much all day and thus did not make more than one trip back and forth per day. The bathroom in the rooms was really tiny and kind of had a weird smell (kind of like rubber? ). Otherwise the rooms were very nice and comfortable. The buffet breakfast from the hotel is subpar and there are plently of better things to eat around Kyoto. All and all would recommend for the price (we paid around $80 US per night).
Good for family
Our two families, one of three, and one of four stayed in the Holiday Inn in Kyoto in January. The rooms were standard western hotel rooms: I had requested non smoking rooms in my internet booking, and was given rooms on the non smoking 9th floor.
We found the hotel shuttle to the Kyoto station very useful- just be aware it leaves across the road from the station, not right outside as the other hotel buses do. Look for the MK taxis office and the shuttle stop is right outside. The shuttle will drop you off along the way to the station for sightseeing days.
The room rate was very good: including a trundle bed, it was around $100 per night. The sushi restaurant on the ground floor was excellent and shouldn't be missed.
Best value in Kyoto
Easily the best value in Kyoto. Don't let the location (far from Kyoto station which is in the south of the city) bother you. Kyoto station is only really of value if you are traveling a long distance (Shinkansen). Other train stations in central Kyoto are more easily reached from the hotel.
Although in a residential neighborhood, the hotel is convenientaly located to many of Kyoto's shrines and temples. Two bus routes, the 204 and 206 run right by the hotel and will take you to many of the attractions.
Hotel was clean and rooms are par for the course in Japan. The hotel is right next to the Canart shopping center with a food court in the basement. Also, a number of restaurants on the ground floor of the hotel, including a great bakery, a pasta restaurant (the two are connected), and a conveyor belt sushi place. Also, there is a beer garden on the roof of the hotel (summer) with all you can eat Yakiniku and drinks for 3,000 yen.
Would highly recommend the hotel. Do not believe that there is any real reason to stay in downtown Kyoto anyway. For all of the money you save on the hotel, put it towards a few extra cab rides, dinnners, etc.
Great Value for the price
This hotel was our first experience with hotels in Japan. It is quite a distance from Kyoto Station (20-30 min by the hotel shuttle) or 30-60 min by city bus. We found the hotel a good fit for our needs. We stayed for 5 nights and the hotel is closer to some sightseeing areas from the station. Once we got familiar with some bus routes, it was easier than expected to get around. The hotel is only a 3 block walk from a main bus line (which is nothing once you've been walking around Kyoto for days).
The rooms were well equipped for us. All amenities were there, including a bath sponge and several items not usually in hotel rooms in the US. There was free highspeed connection (wired network) in the rooms and a internet terminal in the lobby. There were 3 restaurants on the first 2 floors of the building was located in. There were of average/good quality and not expensive. There was also a food court in the department store next door. We never were at the hotel at a time where we could try that.
Problems were that the hotel shuttle tended to fill up some mornings so we made sure to get there early. There was no where to get coffee besides the hotel buffet breakfast (which offered a selection of American and Asian breakfast items). Not being breakfast people, we tended to just want to wait until lunch.
As someone else mentioned, the hotel laundry consists of 2 stacked washer/dryer units. It took us several hours to do 2 persons laundry from the 5 days. Not to mention if someone else staying there wanted to use a machine.
There seemed to be a large percentage of foreign tourists there (non-Japanese). We found this to be comforting after being in such a foreign land all day.
The staff was always helpful with any request. They loaned us umbrellas so we could go walking around on the day when our umbrellas were already packed in our suitcases. Our rooms were always made up on time. Even after leaving the bathroom towels soaked our room was good as new that evening (Japanese thing about drains in the floor to catch water from around shower and American tendency to use bathmat just didn't mix well) :)
If spending several days in Kyoto, I would suggest this hotel. Espically given it's price compared to other locations. I'm not sure it would be the best place if you only have 1 or 2 days.
A little out of the way but okay
First, let me say that this hotel is older. Not in bad shape just expect a comfort inn level not a Holiday Inn level. It is connected to a shopping mall with a grocery store in the basement level and a food court with various japanese style restaurants. Although there is a McDonalds here, don't expect the same type of menu. The hotel restaurant doesn't open until 7 am and the starbucks connected in the mall doesn't open until 9 am. Be forewarned that they are not early risers in Japan. The hotel itself has elevators that sound like godzilla when you ride in them but they got you there. There is a laundry on the 5th floor but note - it is a stackable that is very very small, only a few things will fit in them at once. You can obtain an all day bus pass from the front desk and they can arrange airport pickup for you too. We took a van/taxi to Kansai Airport from here for only $30 per person. They even have Dominoes Pizza that will deliver to your room which is a good thing after a week trying to eat their food. This hotel was conveninetly located to two bus stops which made for a very easy time to get around to sightsee. There is a tremendous amount to do in Kyoto. Plan on at least two days here. The front desk staff did speak a limited amount of English - enough to get by and were friendly when asked a question. Overall, I would probably stay here again for the location and price.
Just returned from Japan spent 6 nights in the Holiday Inn Kyoto
Splendid value booked from Holiday Inn sight approx 9,300 yen a night.
Exeptionally keen friendly staff, they will keep your bags while you go off to another area and your bags will be in your new room on your return.
Best thing is they have washers and dryers and Iron on the 5th floor. 200 Yen to wash any time day or night. It may look a little out of the way but with the shuttle and the excellent local buses and trains it is a wonderful base. Very peaceful after the clamour of Kyoto Station. The shuttle runs exactly on time two morning ones leave the hotel at 8 am and 9:20 for Kyoto station. Day passes for the buses can be purchased at the front desk.
Japan is super easy to get around with a train pass the best value ever.
Friendly staff, some english spoken, next to a great mall
Rooms: While the building looks a little apalling from outside, it's got decent, if small, western-style rooms with 2 beds. Basic HI class, with no problems. Also bigger, superior rooms available. They seemed to be in better condition also.
Views: Ask for nice mountain views.
Shuttle bus: The shuttle bus to/from JR Kyoto train station is a great added value. It takes approx 20-25 minutes and runs approx 6-7 times a day. It is on a first-come - first-serve basis and offers a great link to the trains.
Location: we liked it, although removed from the sights, it's next to the riverbank and has full access to a a mall. There is also a nice video game store close by (Japan is famous for it's videogames).
Taxi: It costs only about $10 for short rides, but price will add up fast. You can walk around the hotel a little, and in about 10 minutes you'll find shops etc. As if the mall inside the hotel isn't enough. :)
English-spoken: a little, the check-in personnel know some, but there is brochures and signs etc. in english. The old gentlemen who drove the shuttle bus can't speak a word of english, but is never late and tells often jokes (in japanese).
Staff morale need improving
We have stayed at this Holiday Inn twice, once a few years ago, when it was very convenient, and again in Feb. 04 when various problems showed up.
That said, the room itself, thoiugh small by Western standards, was impeccable and maintained beautifully by the chambermaids.
However, in spite of having a substantial number of guests, the shuttle bus to the city was not operating, making travel prolonged unless you wanted to pay for a cab. Neither was the coffee shop or restaurant open, and there was no room service (although there was a Domino's Pizza card in our room !
Staff seemed to be demoralised by the new bustling shopping centre built in what used to be the Hoilday Inn basement, complete with excellent eateries - but a little bit of advertising such as a sign at the bottom of the escalator would have brought people up to their coffee shop.
The lobby area had become a bit bleak and not quite as spotless as it should be, though the introductioin of a free stand-up computer spot for collecting email was a great idea.
We found the shopping centre a positive advantage - we bought sushi and sandwiches from the supermarket, wine at the liquor outlet, and raided the 100 Yen Shop for souvenirs and gifts. (Think $2.00 shop, but it was actually about AU$1.40 when we were there.
This hotel really didn't come up to Holiday Inn's usual standards any more (except for the linen etc). They need to rethink their market, and make the proximity to the shopping mall an advantage.
They also need to keep that shuttle bus running whenever the hotel has reasonable occupancy. Starting it off after winter on March 1st doesn't help a hotelful of late February guests.
They are situated close to the International Conference Centre and the University, not the tourist attractions; and because of this theyare still one of the more affordable Western style hotels in the city.
TripAdvisor Reviews Cornerstone Inn Washington
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