The Miyako opened in 1890 but has gone through many changes since Douglas Fairbanks, Queen Elizabeth II, and many other well-known travelers stayed here (the present hotel dates from 1992). What I like most about the Miyako is its hilltop setting, sprawling over more than 6.4 hectares (16 acres) and boasting a Japanese garden and a wild-bird sanctuary (and even a bird-watching trail). It also has a satellite office at Kyoto Station, where you can drop off luggage for delivery to the hotel (¥300 per bag) while you go off sightseeing, but there's also a free shuttle bus that can take you directly to the hotel. For families, there's a playroom equipped with a slide and toys for young children, plus both indoor and outdoor pools. A city zoo, Heian Shrine, and Nanzenji Temple are within walking distance. A variety of Western-style rooms are available, with the least expensive occupying the oldest wing and the best on the fifth floor with huge terraces overlooking the valley. For a ryokan experience, the Kasui-en annex, built in 1959 next to the hotel, offers 20 Japanese-style rooms complete with cypress baths and views of the garden. In any case, this is one of Japan's best-known hotels; you can't go wrong staying here.
The Westin Miyako
1 Awadaguchi Kacho-cho, Keage Sanjo, Higashiyama-ku
Our Rating Neighborhood On Sanjo Dori, west of Keage Station Transportation Subway: Keage (2 min.); free shuttle every 30 min. from Kyoto Station's Hachijo exit (8:15am–8:15pm) Phone 075/771-7111 Prices ¥33,000–¥59,000 single or double, from ¥65,600 Executive Club floor, ¥53,000 double in Kasui-en Units 499 Amenities 5 restaurants, bar, lounge, babysitting, concierge, executive-level rooms, gym (¥500, free for executive level guests), 20m (66-ft.) indoor pool and shallow outdoor pool (¥500 for either), room service, sauna, free shuttle bus service to and from Kyoto Station, sun decks (available also for viewing full moon), wild-bird sanctuary and bird-watching trail, jogging trail, free Wi-Fi Web site The Westin MiyakoBook a Room Now
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.