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Travelers looking for high-end accommodations in Kyoto now have a new Starwood option: Suiran, the company’s first Luxury Collection Hotel in Japan.
The 39-guestroom property opened on April 15 in the Arashiyama district on the western edge of Kyoto, and according to the hotel’s general manager, Hiroshi Komoto, the stunning natural surroundings are a major attraction.
“The hotel is linked with nature, and travelers can enjoy scenery that has gone unchanged for more than 1,000 years,” Komoto told TravelAge West. “And Japan’s four seasons bring a range of different colors, such as the bright leaves of the sakura tree [in spring], red maple trees [in fall] and snow-white mountains [in winter]. The hotel is also within walking distance from main sightseeing attractions such as the Tenryu-ji Temple.”
Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel Kyoto, actually sits on the grounds of the Tenryu-ji Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hotel occupies a spot made famous by the iconic Hotel Rantei, a traditional “ryokan” (inn) where the Japanese government once hosted world diplomats and honored guests.
“The hotel carries the atmosphere of a Japanese ryokan; however, the guestrooms are equipped with beds, showers and sofas, offering modern comfort to our guests,” Komoto said. “Open-air baths with natural ‘onsen’ [hot springs] water add value to some of our guestrooms.”
Guests can get a feel for local customs by donning a traditional “yukata” (casual kimono) furnished in each guestroom. The hotel is also home to its own collection of Japanese gardens and approximately 150-year-old pine trees. The property sits near the Hozu River and is only short walk from other historic attractions such as the famous Bamboo Grove and the picturesque Togetsu Bridge.
Housing a collection of private treatment rooms, outfitted with traditional outdoor baths and offering guests a range of Japanese-style treatments, Suiran also features a top-notch restaurant, Kyo-Suiran. The restaurant is located in a restored traditional structure dating back to 1899.
“Kyo-Suiran offers authentic Japanese Washoku cuisine,” Komoto said. “And all the dishes you see are art pieces.”