For anyone nervous about visiting Japan because of the language, fear not as this hotel will make you feel so welcome and at home in luxury surroundings. The hotel itself is well placed on a beautifully quiet street for a great night's sleep but right in the centre of tourist attractions like the Imperial Palace and gardens, the Nishijin Textile Centre (both walkable) and only a 3 minute walk to a major bus route (Bus 12) to lots of the temples and gardens such as the Golden Pavilion, Daitokuji and the Nijo Castle or into the city centre to the bustling Gion area if you want to spot Geisha and authentic Japanese haute cuisine restaurants. It is so near to everything that we actually got taxis some evenings and only paid $15 NZ dollars to Gion if we felt too lazy to get a bus although the buses are really cheap and very frequent (about 2 NZ dollars per trip whatever the distance or you can get a one or two day bus pass for about 5 NZ dollars a day and you can get on and off all day long for 24 hours. You just ask in English on the bus and they even give you a bus map in English).
The hotel is beautiful with a restful atrium full of plants and a water feature surrounding a lounge that serves drinks, non-alcoholic or alcoholic and delicious, authentic French patisserie that we sampled after a day of temple and garden visiting to rest our weary feet. We ate quite a few evenings in the hotel restaurants, mainly the buffet restaurant. The set course menu is amazing value if you are hungry and includes a massive (and I mean massive) range of European and Japanese starters and amuse bouche. The standard is very high and we are incredibly fussy and picky about our food. The chefs prepare all the food that day and it is stunningly presented in glass cabinets that are chilled and on hot plates that keep food piping hot and fresh. Absolutely nothing was tired or dried out as we have experienced with other buffets in other hotels. The other courses were to a high fine dining standard. I ate a lamb rump perfectly cooked to my liking (pink in the middle and tender) wrapped in Parma ham and dressed with a lush flavoursome herb and wine jus and crispy tender vegetables. My partner had steak one night and fish the other and both were fresh, tender and just cooked maintaining their moisture and flavour, gorgeous with interesting and inventive east meets west, fusion sauces. To finish all this off you just have to try the huge selection of truffles, fancies and petit fours (especially the home made Macarons). You don't have to eat all of this if you are not as hungry and any part of the menu can be eaten a la carte.
If you want authentic Japanese food there is a separate Teppanyaki restaurant serving among many other things, the famous Wagyu beef which is something you have to try (even though it is pricey) as it is an exceptional experience for anyone who likes meat. There is also a Chinese restaurant serving fun and tasty dishes to suit anyone's tastes. Breakfast is just as luxurious, with a large buffet of hot and cold dishes, including light, fluffy pancakes and syrup, crispy bacon, tiny hot salmon bites rolled in panko crumbs which I particularly enjoyed, eggs done in 4 different ways, all kinds of fruits, mousses, flavoured gels (this is not as weird as it sounds, the gels are flavoured with things like grapefruit or melon and are absolutely delicious first thing in the morning) and then of course just about every type of croissant, brioche, breads, cakes and pastry that even the fussiest child would eat. We did see a lot of children and they all were tucking in and enjoying the food. They were also well behaved, quiet and non-obtrusive, both Japanese and Western.
The rooms are cleaned to perfection and there is a good selection of teas (including Japanese Green teas if you like them), coffees and a mini bar with snacks and well known alcoholic and soft drinks. We are extremely fussy about bathrooms and there wasn't a speck of dirt or dust and the room was polished and cleaned as if we were the first people to ever use it. The sheets were always crisp, white and fresh smelling and there is a large range of white fluffy towels each day and readily stocked shelves with shower gels, shampoos and hair conditioners. We used the laundry service which is cheap and our clothes were beautifully washed and pressed. The hair drier in the room is powerful and quiet. We used the room safe (instructions in English) which is great but never felt worried about security at any time.
Overall, the facilities and services provided were exceptional but the over riding positive has to be the staff. We can honestly say we have never experienced such polite, respectful, helpful staff that speak English, work very hard to make you feel welcome by saying "good bye" and "welcome back" every time we went through the door. The staff are genuine and ask you about your day without being pushy or invasive and when asked a question are so gracious and polite finding just the information you need without fuss or attitude in an efficient speedy way. An example of this was we asked the delightful concierge to help us book some tickets to the Miyako Odori (Geisha Cherry Blossom theatre show) as we speak no Japanese and in 10 minutes she had negotiated the best seats in the house at a great price and booked a tea ceremony for my partner's birthday which made it a wonderful celebration. Everyone smiled and bowed (which is a wonderful experience) and waved and you are made to feel like you are a member of the family.
Saying good bye was difficult for us as we had such a happy stay for a week and when people are so lovely it is quite a tug to leave, but we will be back for my birthday as we know the standard will be high and we commented consistently that you can actually learn to rely on this standard which waxes and wains in other places. Thank you Kyoto Brighton Hotel, you deserve the praise.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Award Winning HotelLocated at heart of Kyoto with newly renovated Atrium lobby and bar. The hotel has won 4 Black Pavilion on Michelin's guide in 2012 and is located near Nijo Castle, Nishi-jin and other must see tour spots. Facilities and servicesFree shuttle bus to Karasumaoike is available. Also there are 6 restaurants/bars offering cuisines from traditional Japanese to contemporary Western with chef from International Culinary Olympics Japan team. Spacious Guest roomsRenovated in 2010, all rooms include hotel's original brand Dream Journey Bed, large size bathtub and a cotton waffle bathrobes with night shirts. Flat-screen TV is viewable from both the bed and dining area. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
- TripAdvisor is proud to partner with Booking.com, Agoda, Expedia, JAPANiCAN, Ebookers, Priceline, Rakuten, Odigeo, Ctrip TA, TripOnline SA, Fastbooking, Hotels.com, Evoline ltd, HotelQuickly and Cancelon so you can book your Kyoto Brighton Hotel reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.