HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is a traditional Japanese-style hotel that blends modern luxury with traditional tranquility. It has a spacious indoor-outdoor lobby design that opens up to a serene courtyard with a zen garden and a reflecting pool. HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is the perfect hotel for guests looking for a tranquil escape in the heart of Kyoto, Japan. It’s famously known for its Thermal Spring Spa which was awarded four stars in the spa category in Forbes Travel Guide 2023. A modern reimagining of the traditional Japanese tearoom, the 161 guest rooms and 22 suites feature carefully chosen natural materials elevated using artisanal skills. Some suites also include private onsen, hot springs, and baths.
A Zen Welcome
As I checked in at the lobby area, which offers a charming view of the garden, I was greeted with refreshing welcome tea.
The tranquility and storied history of the location are reflected in each of the guest rooms. I stayed in a Premier Garden Room with unparalleled views overlooking the garden. The spacious room includes a sofa lounger situated by the window where guests can take in the scenery, a large bathtub, a rain shower, and original bathroom amenities prepared by a Japanese master perfumer.
I highly recommend booking one of the (2) Onsen Suites — complete with an exclusive outdoor onsen bath using natural spring water sourced on-site, spacious separate living room and bedroom areas, as well as an indoor shower and soaking bathtub. However, if even more space is a top priority, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO boasts one of the largest suites in the city with its Presidential Suite.
Ready, Set, Relax
The THERMAL SPRING SPA facilities at HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO offer a peaceful retreat for relaxation, using natural spring water from an on-site source. The core concept of the spa is to provide an “Oasis of Serenity”, inviting guests to take a break from their daily routines and immerse themselves in the calming atmosphere of the spring water. Guests can indulge in deep relaxation while being cocooned in a space created through the interplay of time, sound, light, fragrance, and water. This harmonious blend of sensory experiences enriches all five senses, resulting in enhanced tranquility. By surrendering to this serene environment, you can expect to discover a new version of yourself- a calmer, refreshed version. An added luxury is the two private onsen thermal springs, where guests can order food service directly to the springs.
To allow guests to experience Japanese traditions firsthand, HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO provides a private Kyoto kimono experience in partnership with HOSOO, an exclusive early morning visit to Taizo-in temple, afternoon tea at the registered Important Cultural Asset (the former Shimogamo Villa of the Mitsui Family), the morning of zen at Myoshinji Temple complex, and more.
HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO also provides a variety of other cultural adventures for guests, such as calligraphy, flower arrangement classes, and other traditional arts.
With its rich food culture, Kyoto is a city famous for its culinary delights. At HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO, the Michelin-star culinary team goes above and beyond to deliver the ultimate gastronomic experiences to guests’ tables, selecting only the finest ingredients from around the world and across Japan, including the famed local Kyoto produce. The hotel boasts five distinct restaurants and bars, each with a unique menu and style: TOKI, FORNI, THE GARDEN BAR, and SHIKI-NO-MA, all of which offer stunning views of the beautifully curated garden. Diners can immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the seasons while indulging in the hotel’s exceptional cuisine. If you’re traveling with a large group, you have the option to rent a private dining room for unparalleled privacy.
SHIKI-NO-MA pays homage to its heritage. The faithful yet modern reconstruction of a section of the former Mitsui family residence is constructed entirely of Japanese cypress. SHIKI-NO-MA serves multiple functions, including hosting exclusive dining events and tea ceremony gatherings.
Rooted in History
HOTEL THE MITSUI KYOTO is located in the heart of Kyoto – adjacent to Nijo-jo Castle on the site of the Kyoto home of the Kitake, the executive branch of the famous Mitsui Family – a property the family maintained for over 250 years until World War 2. In 1603, the Tokugawa Shogunate constructed Nijo-jo Castle in order to safeguard the Imperial Court located in Kyoto.
There are a number of other relics that remain from the Mitsui residence to this day including the main gate dating back to 1703, landscape features, stone lanterns, and more. The development has breathed new life into the heritage and legacy of the site.
The hotel uses all local architects, interior designers, landscape designers, and artists for property updates. For centuries, the Japanese have been captivated by the incomparable beauty of nature and the four seasons. Their profound sense and appreciation of such beauty have served to bring the Japanese together as a people and culture. The hotel’s slogan “Embracing Japan’s Beauty”, reflects its mission to ensure that guests have a joyful stay by immersing them in the magnificence of Japan’s natural beauty, traditions, architecture, cuisine, and arts.
Ready to Book?
If your travel dates are flexible, I recommend visiting in May to see the gardens at a beautiful time of the year with fewer crowds.
Book your stay with Team O to enjoy exclusive perks including complimentary daily breakfast for 2 guests daily per room, early check-in and late checkout (subject to availability upon arrival), a room upgrade (subject to availability upon arrival), a 100 USD Amenity Credit that can be used towards dining, spa services, and hotel recreational activities, VIP status, and more!
We also recently reviewed the Hoshinoya Hotel in Tokyo if you are planning a multi-route trip!