The hotel is a charming spot on Mt. Hiei with nice, quiet views of the country side. It's a good retreat from the city, but I give it only 3/5 stars mainly because I beleive they can offer greater value provided the price they charge. Here is my assessment:
PROS: Nicely appointed rooms, and very nice staff. I was very impressed that when I missed my appointment for pick up by the hotel shuttle, the hotel reimbursed my Y4500 taxi fare to the hotel. That was very generous and unexpected. The rooms are very quiet and the hotel has charm of a mountain retreat. Likely a very good spot for banquets, weddings, or other special events.
CONS: The hotel is far away from everything, requiring you to take a shuttle at fixed times. The shuttle needs to be reserved 24 hours in advance, which is fairly inconvenient for a travellor who's looking to take a break from schedules. However, I think a significant issue is that the hotel has no food or dinner service. We arrived into Kyoto from the Tokyo SHinkansen around 9, and headed straight to the hotel expecting to eat a light dinner before bed. However, upon arrival, the hotel lacked any food outside a vending machine. Even fruit or ramen was unavailable, let alone anything close to a proper meal. Again, for a hotel of this cost, I would expect better options. Further, the breakfast did not offer much selection, and I was disappointed the eggs ran out without replenishment during the breakfast. Staff did not serve anything - even water - it was all self service. Finally, I wish they had options for beds larger than twin.
One final compliment is that the staff in general are very nice and accommodating (I wanted to check out one day early, and was able to do so without any problem).. However, I do believe the price is too high for the level of service.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Close to the summit of Kyoto's sacred mountain, this auberge welcomes with splendid views of Japan's largest lake Biwa, and creative French cuisine that integrates time-honored local ways of preparing the harvest of Shiga's fresh waters and fertile plains. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- l Hotel De Hiei