The Westin Miyako Kyoto
Travel Blogs from Kyoto
... on through crowded street lined by wooden buildings with traditional window coverings. I bumped into Toby, an English guy I had met at my hostel, who was chuffed at having seen two geishas in a rickshaw further down the road. They were long gone but I did stumble upon a quiet side street with beautiful old-style buildings and without another soul to be seen.
I finished up at Kiyomizu-dera with its famous pagoda set against the Kyoto skyline and a fantastic view over ...
... Aside from shrines, the temple has lots of orange shaped arches. As you go further along they become a long corridor and a path thru the tunnel of arches. As you walk in they are plain orange. On your return you see inscriptions on the reverse. Definalty a must see sight of Kyoto.
I didnt know how long this path went as it started to branch out. I had checked out with my bag so was draging it on wheels with me. I asked some tourists how long it was and ...
... a slightly more roundabout route that still went to our first planned stop: Nijo Castle.
This was the first truly cold day we’ve had, it was in the mid to upper 30’s for most of the day with a biting wind(but at least no rain!). I came prepared, and I wore my thermal underwear, two layers of long sleeves under my coat, gloves, scarf, and knit hat. I felt pretty warm as long as I kept moving, except for my face.
Nijo castle was built by ...
How has this hotel rated in the past?
- Shuttle bus service
- Swimming pool
- Room service
- Free High-Speed Internet
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Historical Traveler Reviews The Westin Miyako Kyoto
Reservations System is rubbish
Just a warning that the online reservation system does not really work - especially if you request a discount of some sort. So we booked using the 0800 number which was patched through to the Res. Centre in Ireland. There they were very efficient and helpful. HOWEVER be warned that you then need to go to the Westin web site to check the actual reservation details using your confirmation code. We found that all sorts of info. was missng or wrong incl. our name, address, and special requests / remarks - and also the credit card no. was missing. They did get our email address correct - very important that!! But then all of our attempts to change the details online failed because when we clicked on Confirm Changes the system suddenly became unavailable. After many attempts at this I finally called the Res. Centre again and they manually corrected the info. Checking the record online again proved that the details had been corrected - we quickly printed a hard copy as proof. But then the next day the record reverted back to the original one that had all the wrong details. Again the system crashed when we tried to correct the details online. This meant calling the Res. Centre yet again and asking them to correct the record manually - for the second time. All of this has been reported by email and fax to Westin HQ who have deigned to bother to reply.
Like many Westin's you need to get an upgraded room to be really comfortable. The first room we had with a queen bed was very nice but small. We went to a King the next day and that was much better. We spent three days here in November and enjoyed both the hotel and Kyoto. This is as good a Westin as I have stayed at. Perhaps they have rooms that aren't refurbished, but that wasn't our experience. One suggestion. You can't find restaruants that serve an American Breakfasts. Be sure to get breakfast included in your rate. The conceige level buffet is very good and worth the money for the upgrade. Cabs here are relatively inexpensive so getting around is very easy. And they do have a shuttle to take you into the heart of town. As with most Japanese hotels, staff is flawless.
Great location in Kyoto
Just returned from 9 great nights at the Westin Miyako having stayed elsewhere on previous trips to Kyoto. This is the best hotel in Kyoto of the three we've tried. Thanks to a previous review we found out that not all rooms are renovated so we upgraded from the base room to the renovated room. Unfortunately the local staff would not honor our Starwood Gold free upgrade even though a room was available--so we had to pay for the upgrade. The room was beautiful with a small but chic bathroom and great furnishings. The beds were too hard as they always are in Japan, but better than most. We were able to get a non-smoking room--a rarity in Japan--without any vestige of cigarette odor. Also, the room was impeccably clean. The lobby is gorgeous. Some other common areas have not been renovated--this was a disappointment and we hope, by our next stay, the hotel will be fully renovated. The pool is long and perfect for laps. Restaurants in the hotel are plentiful, expensive and good. The chocolate truffles in the lobby tea restaurant were memorable. The best part about this hotel is its location on the side of a hill in eastern Kyoto--close to many temples and the Path of Philosophy. We were able to walk almost everywhere including museums, Gion and the downtown area of Sanjo and Shijo. If you aren't into walking, the hotel has a free shuttle bus to several areas and is next to a subway stop. For great views of the city, eat breakfast at the hotel's Grand View restaurant.
Loved this hotel!! Stay in the Kasui-en!
I can't say enough good things about Kyoto or this hotel! We stayed in the Japanese-style rooms (the kasui-en) and just loved every minute. The Westin does everything well and even sleeping on the floor was paradise - big, comfy down mats and pillows. Women in kimono bring you green tea that stays hot overnight! In the morning, we could hear the drums and the music from the temples far off in the distance. It was a magical place. They have 8 or so restaurants - something for everyone. They have a bird watching trail that includes a stop at a small shinto shrine right on the property. Be sure to take the full day Kyoto tour - you'll be tired but it's worth every minute. Enjoy!
A delightful stay in Kyoto
Before I write about my experiences at the Westingthere is something you should know- all of the opinions you are reading here are correct. It seems that the Westin really is (as another submitter put it) two hotels in one. From what I could see out my window of the older part, it really is more like a middle of the road, old hotel. Be very clear about what type of room you reserve so you are not surprised when you get there. They have different levels (superior, deluxe, executive, etc.) and you can preview the room and bed types on the Miyako website. Many rooms at the lower levels do not have Heavenly Beds.
I used Starwood points to upgrade to the Executive Level so my review reflects that. My experience at the Westin was extremely positive. From the moment we arrived, the experience was luxiurious. The very contemporary lobby is fully staffed with friendly employees waiting to assit you in any way possible and they eagerly carry your bags. The room was furnished in a very contemporary style and while not huge was perfectly fine for the two of us. The bed was a heavenly bed and the bathroom was stocked with lots of ammenities. The floor we were on (11) had a sitting area and complimentary breakfast, cocktails, and coffee were served on 10. Everyone provided gracious service and went out of their way to assist us with anything we needed. My only regret was that we had a Queen sized bed instead of a King. We enjoyed the Westin so much we changed out itinerary to allow us to come back at the end of our trip.
For all customers, Westin offers the ability to check in at the Kyoto train station. The office is near the shinkansen and they will take your bags and deliver them to the hotel for you. A shuttle bus runs to the hotel every half hour between approximately 9 and 6.
Just a really nice hotel
My wife and I stayed at the Westin Miyako Hotel in Kyoto as part of a C package with Sunrise Tours, which included tickets on the Hikari train from Odawara to Kyoto and back to Tokyo. So I don't really know what it cost to stay here, but we had a very nice, large double room looking out onto the mountains.
This was the one time in Japan when we got two single beds instead of a queen/king. But these were the trademark Westin Heavenly beds, which were extremely comfortable after long days traveling and sight seeing. No complaints on this side.
Decor was remarkable in that it seemed a little bit dated, although to what era was difficult for us to say since this was Japan. There was definitely a lot of marble in the bathroom with hi-tek toilet/bidet, hair dryer, and the usual toiletries, as well as slippers and robes. There was also enough room for a small couch, coffee table, large bureau, desk, and good-sized closet.
Security was the typical key card lock with card holder inside the door to keep the lights and AC powered up - helps you remember to take your key. Morning newspaper appeared daily in a small nylon sack. Lights and AC were controlled by the bedside.
We had a traditional Japanese breakfast in the hotel once, which was very good, consisting of ochazuke - you pour tea over rice and sesame seeds and wasabe to taste - with Japanese pickles, miso soup, as well as a nice piece of salmon and a cold slice of tamago - a type of egg cake. However, there are many restaurant options at the Westin with views that were very appealing if we only had the time. There's a nice pool and fitness area as well as a very nice gift shop - maybe too helpful if you ask me.
Staff was English speaking, very courteous and helpful in all respects. The hotel has a very convenient shuttle bus to downtown and the train station, as well as an office at the station.
We found Kyoto to be a very walkable city and never took the subway. We did take a cab once from the hotel to get to the Gion Corner theater, which has a Japanese cultural show that includes the geisha arts. However, we're not sure the cabbie really understood where we wanted to go, dropping us several blocks from the theater itself. But the Gion neighborhood is very safe and walkable at night.
Overall, we had a very good experience at the Westin Miyako Hotel and would go back again.
Shoulders above the competition!
Great location in the midst of NE kyoto, where many of the most important sights are located. Gorgeous views, impeccible service, beautiful suites, great concierge lounge, the Westin 'heavenly beds', reasonable prices, and starpoints to boot! Who could ask for anything more? Even the room service menu was excellent and reasonable!! Far exceeds any other western-style hotel in Kyoto!
A great hotel in a great city
Knowing Kyoto and knowing hotels, I recommend the Miyako without hesitation. (Not to be confused with the "New Miyako" outside Kyoto Station, which may be a fine place itself.)
A typical room is in dimensions equivalent to two average Japanese apartments! The beds are large and comfortable. If you need a crib or extra bed in the room, the space doesn't end up cramped. No matter which floor you're on, a lovely view is guaranteed thanks to the building's elevation. What I especially enjoy about this place is the water-temperature controls in the shower - heaven!!!
Kyotophiles could hardly ask for a better base of operations. In a city chock-full of beautiful and historical sites, it's close by a number of them and right outside a subway station for those farther away. Art galleries, the Kyoto Handicraft Center, and other shopping can be found in close proximity. A free and frequent shuttle bus carries you to the edge of the central (Shijo) shopping district and on to Kyoto Station. If need be you can even store luggage or purchases at the hotel's satellite office in the station.
The staff, although "English-challenged" at times, is exemplary. Employees sprint to meet arriving cars and taxis at the sheltered front entrance. All housekeeping, restaurant, and desk workers are cheerful and eager to assist. The mark of customer-service excellence is "rising to the occasion." When a typhoon caused flights out of Kansai Airport to be cancelled, the Miyako crew didn't miss a beat. Revised plane tickets, and tickets for the train to the airport, were ours in short order. We were even able to stay in the same rooms for the extra night.
If there's a down side to the Miyako, it's the sky-high cost of meals. (Of course, to some extent this is to be expected in hotels anywhere.) The dinner buffet is delicious, though. There are several inexpensive hole-in-the-wall restaurants right down the street, and "if you must" a McDonald's is not far away too.
We stayed at the Miyako in August 2003. The service was excellent and the food (while expensive) was fantastic (especially the Teppanyaki one). We arrived in Kyoto to discover that we had left a digital camera on the train. The hotel staff called the railroad for us and found the camera -- which had been turned in to the railraod -- and arranged for it to be delivered to our next hotel (in Hakone). They spent hours on this task, helping us out, tremendously. Our room was clearly one of the remodeled ones, with a balcony, although the view was obstructed a bit.
This place is really 2 hotels in one
We stayed at the Westin Miyako in April of 2003. The web site is pretty tantalizing... "Heavenly Bed", pictures of gorgeous rooms, ...
What they don't tell you is that only *some* rooms have the heavenly bed and that half of the hotel looks like a run down Howard Johnson...
If we had known we would get such a crummy room we would have stayed in town closer to the action. The Westin is a bus ride or taxi ride to most anywhere you want to go.
Breakfast in the hotel was also amazingly expensive. Making tokyo hotels look affordable. If you stay here make sure you are *promised* the heavenly bed and get the breakfast in your room rate. That way you will likely get a refurbished room that might actually look something like the pictures on their web site.