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AU$280
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missajtravels
Sydney, Australia

Not great value for money

3.0 of 5 bubblesReviewed 12 Sept 2012via mobile
Everything about this hotel was good but it was just too expensive for what it was. The location was excellent being right near all the shrines. The service and room was great but I have got much better value for money elsewhere in Japan. We booked only a couple nights in advance so that could be a factor in relation to the price. Would recommend searching elsewhere for a better value hotel in a similar location.
Date of stay: September 2012
3.0 of 5 bubblesValue
5.0 of 5 bubblesRooms
5.0 of 5 bubblesLocation
5.0 of 5 bubblesCleanliness
5.0 of 5 bubblesService
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    Reviews (452)
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    Reviewed 12 August 2012

    I decided in a very last minute to visit Nikko for my summer vacation with my wife. When I searched the hotels in Nikko, the name of the hotel which has been known as one of the pioneer hotel in Japan came up, which was this hotel.

    It is a old hotel but you can feel the hotel's history, once you set in the entrance. The room was not that large, but maybe it was built for travelers from outside Japan in the old days, so the ceiling was higher than the average of the other Japanese hotels.
    Nikko Toshogu, which is the main thing that you come to see in Nikko, is very near and I walked up the hill to see the Yomeimon, Urn containing remains of Tokugawa Ieyasu, & theThree Wise Monkeys.

    We had a dinner in the main dining of the hotel which serves a fine French dishes. The serve the traditional style French dishes. I also enjoyed their "Curry Pie" which they sell in the bakery shop in the lobby.
    Maybe it was because we stayed during the weekdays but there were not much in the walking distance to see or buy souvenirs.
    There was a outdoor swimming pool but I didn't try.
    The hotel was old but the shower was very new and the water pressure was good. I avoid staying in old hotels because the shower is not good but it wasn't like that this time.

    Date of stay: August 2012
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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    Thank Michael M
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 1 November 2011

    Stayed here in 2010. A beautiful place. Just loved the place and all the stories they had in the hallways about the celebrities that have visited the place over the last 100 or more years. Not the most glamorous place, but really a gem.

    Date of stay: October 2011
    • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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    1  Thank Larry1968
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 17 September 2011

    We got a great room with a really good view of the mountains - other rooms are I suspect less impressive without a view. The hotel is quite quaint - not in a bad way. We didn't eat dinner there so can't comment on the restaurant. Breakfast is fairly limited - I would rather have had Japanese food than an omelette and toast, but that serves me right for not asking.

    Overall very comfy, yes it's a bit frayed at the edges, but if you want a taste of the golden age of travel with excellence service it's absolutely fine. Just get a room with a view!

    Room tip: The view is all - mountains preferably.
    Date of stay: September 2011
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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    1  Thank Heidbummer
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 6 January 2011

    I have to agree with the review by decca_mac, unfortunately we had the former experience.

    Travelling in Japan for 3 weeks we try to temper cheap hotels with a few special ones. The Kanaya was supposed to be a special one and in a way it was. The lobby is beautiful and you feel like you've stepped back in time to the hotel's heyday when the guest list read like a who's who from the Western and Japanese world. The hotel pays homage to some of these guests with displays of letters, photos and copies of pages from the registration book with the names of their esteemed guests. There is a also room full of glass cases displaying some of the hotel items used many years ago - it's a little like a museum.

    So for anyone interested in history and fusion architecture it is a truly wonderful example for the period. And the garden is equally as lovely.

    The staff are amazing and were always there to help, whether it's finding you an umbrella in the rain, or changing the pick up time for the car at the hire company, everything was done efficiently and with a smile. At the moment I have to say it's the staff that breathe life into the old girl.

    Now to the disappointing bit. The room we had was 2 floors above the lobby overlooking the car park (which was a surprisingly pleasant view). It was old, tired and in desperate need of renovation. And I don't mean it needs modernisation, but it really needs some sympathetic treatment with respect to it's history. There are certainly ways of restoring a grand hotel like this to make it less musty, worn and aged. I find it rather sad that it has been let go when it has some truly wonderful original features.

    The single beds were comfortable, but the covers were shabby. The furniture was old, but I suspect not from the period. Perhaps from a revamp mid last century. The fabric on the chairs was shiny from wear. And yes the old steam heating system was there. My husband started it up and the knocking noise it made was frightening, and took about 10 minutes to subside after he turned it off.

    The bathroom had been updated at some point, but not very well. No matter how authentic I cannot stand shower curtains - they feel cheap, not to mention unhygienic.

    We did not eat dinner in the restaurant as we considered it way too expensive, so went to the steakhouse as other reviewers have done. We were also very impressed with the hen of the woods mushrooms. A must try!

    As it was raining when we were there we did not feel like trying our luck in the town for breakfast, so paid the exorbitant hotel prices. The service was impeccable, it was lovely using the old silverware, and the food was good, however that did not stop us from thinking it was way overpriced.

    We also had the internet connected up in our room via the telephone outlet by a very kind and efficient staff member. But because of the particular set up required there were cables running everywhere. Not particularly safe as far as trip hazards are concerned but at least it worked.

    The old bar was small, cozy and wonderfully atmospheric, but a single drink each was all we could afford. And was all we had time for. The bar tender seems most preoccupied with the four guests at the bar, and I must say they were the only other guests in the room, and took at least 20 minutes or more to bring us the hotel's special cocktail and a beer.

    Surprisingly the souvenier shop had some very reasonably priced items, so it's worth a look if you want to take something special away with you.

    The Kanaya has the best location for seeing the temples, so is ideally situated for sightseeing at Nikko. If you arrive by train, I would guess it's a considerable walk. We took a taxi as the rain and our luggage were not a good combination.

    I really have a hard time rating this hotel because I want to love it, and I really do think it can be the grand old lady again, if only someone would put in the effort to do so. In which case I am forced to say, try this hotel based on the knowledge that if you pay a lot of money, you might get a half decent room, but then again, you might not.

    Date of stay: October 2010
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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    4  Thank hoppyT
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
    Reviewed 20 December 2010

    I have stayed at the Nikko Kanaya twice. Five years ago i stayed in a deluxe room in the annex and i loved the experience (especially because my father was paying for it). The hotel is incredibly well situated near the bridge and it has a lovely old school feeling to it. It was magicial! But . . . i recently booked the Nikko Kanaya again for my honeymoon. We booked a Standard B via email that noted that we were a couple on honeymoon but when we were shown the teensy tiny room it had two less-than-twin tiny beds (instead of a queen). Worse yet it smelled very bad and moldy as has been reported by others on this site (the heating in the main building is an VERY old steam system retroactively fitted into the rooms at the turn of the last century and i suspect it leaks badly in some rooms). Deeply disappointed with the room and unable to stand the smell, we paid dearly for an upgrade to a Standard A in the main building which had a Queen bed and smelled a bit better, but was in no way close to the deluxe room i had previously stayed in. For example, when we sat in the "stuffed" chairs they were so threadbare that we could feel the wood frames poking us.
    So if you have been wondering about the very different reviews on this site, the answer is it all depends on the room/building -- DONT bother staying at this hotel unless you are willing to splurge for the Deluxe room and INSIST on a room in one of the annexes -- the rooms in the main building are not up to the standard of the rest of the hotel and desperately need to be upgraded (both heating and furnishings). Book carefully and get it in writing from the managers by email that you will be in one of the annexes.
    Re the sites, they are wonderful and worth staying over to visit early in the morning. One night and a full day is all you need. Re food -- the steakhouse on the same property is wonderful and serves marvelous hen of the woods mushrooms in a variety of ways -- grilled, in soup, etc. Its a steakhouse that is a real score for vegetarians (or anyone that loves mushrooms!).

    Date of stay: November 2010
    • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
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    7  Thank decca_mac
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
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