We arrived at Kansai International Airport (KIX) at about 7:30PM. We immediately went to the JR office to buy a prepaid subway card with 1,500 Yen credit and 500 deposit and one-way trip to Kyoto for 3,000 Yen ($28~). The train ride took a little over an hour and we caught a a 6 minute taxi ride to the hotel.
Hyatt Regency Kyoto Review
We arrived at our hotel at about 8:30PM and were escorted to the front desk without us even touching our bags. My initial thought was that the hotel would be quite traditional, but it actually is quite modern inside. We were personally escorted to our room with our bags and shown our standard King Room. As this is Japan, service is excellent and workers do not accept tips. It’s awesome to use hotel points (18k per night) in Japan because all taxes and gratuities are included!
I did email the concierge telling them it was my wife’s birthday a few days before. When the staff member left the room, she remembered to tell my wife happy birthday, which she found was very surprising. The hotel offered me to buy a cake or complimetary half bottle of wine. I accepted the half bottle of wine and it came with small cookies.
The room decor is hard to explain, it’s traditional with a modern touch. The hotel room felt a bit like the Park Hyatt we experienced in Paris, but with a Japanese flair. The bathroom featured a separate deep soak tub and a shower right next with a stool. The concept here is to take a shower first while sitting on the stool and then jump into the bathtub, similar to a private hot spring. It’s quite relaxing to take a nice bath after travelling and walking for hours in Taipei.
Perhaps my only complaint is the location of the hotel. It is close to the bus stop to access sites and about a 10 minute walk to the Kyoto subway (which isn’t as extensive as Tokyo). There are very few restaurants in the immediate area and you’d have to walk a good 8-10 minutes to find some restaurant choices. We had been eating Asian food for the past week, so we decided to try the hotel’s Italian Trattoria Sette. Part of the reason was because we were tired to go out, but the main reason is because of the unlimited 3,000 Yen off ($28~) coupon you get at the hotel restaurants.
Trattoria Sette Review
Trattoria Sette is one of the three main restaurants in the hotel. The restaurant is located upstairs and is quite nice and classy. Entrees were about $15-$25, which isn’t too bad if you compare to US. You do have to pay a 10% service charge, but no tip or tax on top of that.
We ordered a calamari appetizer to start off our meal. For entrees, I selected the mushroom risotto and my wife picked the seafood pasta. We were served complimentary bread to start and our calamari appetizer came shortly after.
The starters were good, but then things started to go downhill. It was literally 45 minutes until our entrees came out. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to be a stereotypical rude American. My mushroom risotto was just risotto with mushroom sauce. It wasn’t bad, but wasn’t that great. On the other hand, my wife’s seafood pasta was great and we enjoyed that together.
Our bill came out to be 6,000 yen including taxes and 10% service fee before the 3,000 yen coupon. So for about $30 all-in we had a nice dinner in a nice setting. I would say that was quite a steal. I probably should have ordered the pizza instead, and if the service wasn’t so slow I would be more likely to recommend the restaurant. However, if you are sick of Japanese food and want a good alternative, this is a good choice.
I would recommend the Hyatt Regency Kyoto for a first comer to Kyoto. The service is great (minus the restaurant) and you are well taken care of. The concierge is helpful in recommending places to eat and where to go. The rooms are nicely renovated with traditional Japanese elements. The hotel is definitely a great deal for 18,000 Hyatt points (now 20,000 Hyatt points) because this hotel is probably in the same class at a Park Hyatt.