The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto opened in February 2014 as the first international luxury hotel brand in Kyoto as a ryokan style resort with contemporary touches. Blending the centuries-old traditions and rich culture of Japan's ancient capital with modern luxury, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto brings to life the cultural heart of Japan.
While encompassing the city's rich history in Zen temples and peaceful gardens, the opulent resort offers unlimited activities for guests of all ages, a blissful spa, and exquisite multi-course kaiseki cuisine. Overlooking the Kamogawa river, in a prime location favoured by Japanese noblemen since the 17th century, the property offers sublime views of the river and the Higashiyama mountain range, and easy access to the vibrant downtown districts of Gion, Pontocho and Kawaramachi.
Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori, Nakagyo-ku, Kyoto 604-0902 Japan
TELEPHONE: +81 75 746 5555
"[Luxury is] collecting experiences in new, beautiful places while having every detail taken care of. And of course, ending the day in my Frette sheets!"
We had the exclusive opportunity to sit down with Yuji Tanaka, General Manager at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto.
What was the design inspiration for The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto?
Kyoto, and the many Machiya (Japanese townhomes) often found here were the main source of inspiration for the design of the resort. With interiors designed by Peter Remedios Design Studio and restaurants designed by Design Studio SPIN, The resort’s overall design concept is based on five key words and feelings: Utage (Festive), Seido (serenity and movement), Miyabi (elegance), Hana (splendid) and Nagomi (harmony). The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto makes use of a design that is in harmony with the historical neighborhood’s environment, while achieving a fusion of traditional and contemporary Japanese style sought to retain the character and aesthetic of a traditional Meiji house and courtyard into the architectural structure of the building to reflect the ancient culture of the city.
What is unique about your property?
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto integrates the feel of a ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn, with a modern, luxury resort. Since Kyoto is a city where artisans practice craft skills passed down in an unbroken line for centuries, the resort created a series of carefully selected activities for guests. From immersing oneself in the art of samurai and kimono, to mastering the craft of sushi and origami, the offerings at The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto are perfect for any type of traveler eager to soak up true Japanese culture.
What was important about having Frette in your property?
Many of our guests are traveling to Kyoto from far away, so Kyoto is unbelievably foreign and exotic to them. Providing comfort when they’re so far from home is one of our top priorities, and Frette sheets makes that possible.
How does the Frette product add to the design of the hotel?
The beds in our guestrooms all have a very simple, elegant aesthetic, and all the sheets are white. As they are, of course, Frette sheets, they make that simple design feel and look luxurious.
What are the most important decorative elements in your home?
The layout of my living room is the most important decorative element in my home. I love entertaining guests, so it’s important to me to have a space where my friends and family can gather and stay a while.
What are your three most important elements when designing a bedroom/room?
Color, texture, and organization.
What does it feel like to wrap yourself in Frette?
Frette sheets are soft, comforting, and always make me feel as if I’m relaxing in my home away from home.
How do you define luxury?
To me, luxury is many things. It’s collecting experiences in new, beautiful places while having every detail taken care of. And of course, ending the day in my Frette sheets!
If you only have 72 hours in Kyoto what would you recommend doing or seeing?
We have a Pierre Hermé here at The Ritz-Carlton, and it’s a must-visit. Although Pierre Hermé is French, his first pastry shop was in Japan. His flavors are totally wild, but always delicious and gorgeous! After that, I would suggest soaking in our history as much as possible through its many beautiful shrines in Kyoto such as Kamigamo-Jinja Shrine, which is one of the oldest shrines in Kyoto, dating back to the 7th century and predating the establishment of Heian-kyo (Kyoto). I’d also recommend making time for Museum of Kyoto and Gekkekian Okura Sake Museum.
What's your favorite restaurant in Kyoto?
Kyoto has so many amazing restaurants that it’s hard for me to pick just one! If I have to chose, I would say Tempura Mikuzi here at The Ritz-Carlton. It might just be the best Tempura in all of Japan!
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