The Palace Side Hotel is a no-frills, clean mid-range hotel with very competitive pricing and surprisingly good location. Compared to similarly-priced basic business hotel chains like Toyoko Inns or Super Hotels, rooms are larger, services are more wide-ranging, and staffs in general speak better English.
The hotel is located literally across the street from Kyoto Gosho (Imperial Palace Park). This by itself is no particular merit, since the surrounding area has few other attractions and is devoid of significant nightlife or shopping. That’s why the majority of hotels are in the Downtown (Shijo-Kawaramachi), Southern Higashiyama (Gion), and Kyoto Station area. But people don’t go to Kyoto for nightlife; they go there for history and culture. And for those who go to bed early and start the day early to fully enjoy the temples and shrines, the hotel offers a surprisingly good location as a base camp. This is because, in addition to the nearby (5 to 7 minutes walking, depending on your gait) subway Marutamachi station, the Karasuma-Marutamachi intersection has four bus lines that lead to pretty much all the attractions.
For instance, bus #202 goes to Southern Higashiyama (Kiyomizu-dera and Gion). Bus #204 serves both Northern Higashiyama (Ginkaku-ji and Heian-jingu) as well as Kinkaku-ji area. Bus #93 leads straight to Arashiyama, and #10 stops at Sanjo Keihan station, the jumping-off point for Ohara and Hiei-zan to the North, and for Fushimi and Uji to the South. Of course you can take the subway for a short ride to Kyoto Station area or Nijo-jo.
The Karasuma-Marutamachi intersection also is a good place for stocking up on water and quick-bites. A few convenience stores, among them a Circle-K on the Southwestern corner, as well as a market is there (though the market closes relatively early). There is also a McDonald’s, right next to the Circle-K, for quick breakfasts.
The hotel itself is clean, quiet, and well-maintained, with a competent 24-hour staff. Every staff member we met had sufficient command of English, and one of them was a native speaker, willing to dish out travel advice. The facility and amenity are on the more basic side; this is not a luxury resort. Rooms are spacious for a Japanese city hotel, though bathroom is quite small. We found that it is actually less expensive to make reservations directly through their website (http://www.palacesidehotel.co.jp/english_site/), perhaps because they operate on a very simple pricing scheme. Especially for longer stays, this hotel becomes a truly attractive bargain.
In summary, the Palace Side Hotel is an ideal choice for budget-conscious avid sightseers, with a helpful staff and good connection with public transportation system. It is geographically centrally located in historic Kyoto, and thus reduces the average time spent on the move to and from the sights, though Kyoto Station does have more extensive bus and train networks. We do recommend this hotel.
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- Also Known As:
- Palace Side Kyoto
- Hotel Palace Side