This is one of Kyoto's oldest hotels, with a history dating back to 1888. You can't tell that by looking at it, however, as it underwent a complete reconstruction in 1994 that turned it into a 17-story hotel. In a nod to its earlier life, the hotel designed its lobby after the original 1920s ballroom, but rooms, which wrap around a central atrium, are thoroughly modern. The city's tallest building, it offers stunning views from top-floor restaurants and from more expensive rooms on upper floors, with panoramas of the Kamo River and the hills of Higashiyama rising beyond the city. In addition to restaurants located inside the hotel, there are two others managed by the hotel that are worth the journey: Awata Sanso, located in a traditional Japanese house and offering kaiseki, and The Garden Okazaki, a French restaurant with a garden and free shuttle service from the hotel. Okura has a satellite office in Kyoto Station, where you can drop off luggage for delivery to the hotel (¥300 per bag), but there's also free shuttle service to the hotel. Unfortunately, its fitness facility is a members' club, so access is limited and it's off limits to those younger than 18. Note, too, that the cheapest double is actually a single room with a semi-double-size bed (bigger than a twin bed but not quite full-size), but it's an option for people who want to stay in this great central location for a cheaper price.