Loved many of the things others mention here – the cozy/charming and yet modern rooms, the location in Gion, the breakfast, the happy hour for drinks, fresh flowers beautifully arranged in the common areas every day…
The service level is what distinguishes the Mume but I feel previous conversations about this here or elsewhere were incomplete. Yes the service level is off the charts but at first, I wasn’t too sure about this. We are independent travellers, pretty self-sufficient, and at first it all felt like too much: the staff are all super nice but beyond friendly, walking with you to the elevator, waiting for you when your elevator arrives, asking (politely but determinedly) about how you are, and how was your day today, and what are you doing tomorrow.
But one minor episode aside, they are all so nice, and their hearts are in the right place, and it works. The insistence on providing advice/assistance is actually a very good thing here – Kyoto is unusually confusing, even for Japan, and the staff really helped us plan our day better, and avoid mistakes. Example – not every Keihan train stops at Fushimi Inari, but despite having read extensively about that destination, it was only the Mume staff who highlighted this to us. (The minor episode - when I asked for directions to the drugstore, I got a series of persistent inquiries about whether everything was OK, and could they help, which was overkill – I really didn’t feel like discussing why I am going to the drugstore.)
So come, but be warned – this is much more like a high end B&B than a hotel, and you have to get into that headspace to really enjoy the Mume.
Tip: we had a minor earthquake while we were there (while it’s in the heart of Gion, the Mume looks like it was recently built, and certainly seemed fine in our little tremor). Anyone should really thumb through the first few pages of this before coming to Japan
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