The Monterey hotel chain is known for its Old-World designs, but always with some connection to the city they're located in. In this case, Monterey Kyoto, occupying a former bank, centers on the Arts & Crafts style of Edinburgh because Kyoto and the Scottish capital are sister cities. Its dark and subdued lobby plays up its part with marbled flooring, bookcases, and European artwork, including two paintings by Renoir (at least, that's what I was told). Rooms, on the other hand, are remarkably bold, with striped wallpaper in navy blue or crimson red, all with an eye to the largely Japanese female travelers this chain attracts. Its top-floor spa with great views across the city is worth the entrance fee for its sauna and indoor-outdoor hot-spring baths utilizing thermal waters obtained by drilling more than 1,000m (3,300 feet) below ground. By paying an extra ¥1,575 fee, women also have access to the ladies-only Bedrock Bath, with hot stones that are thought to help draw out impurities when you lie on them.
Hotel Monterey Kyoto
604 Manjuya-cho, Karasuma Dori, Sanjo-sagaru, Nakagyo-ku
Our Rating Neighborhood On Karasuma Dori, South of Sanjo Dori Transportation Subway: Karasuma Oike (exit 6; 3 min.) Phone 075/251-7111 Prices ¥17,000–¥20,000 single, ¥25,000–¥48,000 double Units 327 Amenities 2 restaurants, bar, concierge, spa (¥1,725), free Wi-Fi Web site Hotel Monterey KyotoBook a Room Now