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Reviewed 24 June 2010

This was our first hotel we stayed in Tokyo on a 2 week trip to Japan

- Stay 6 nights
- Large rooms
- Location excellent, part of the train station
- Near plenty of food and shops
- Very easy to get to all attractions
- Staff were excellent
- highly recommend

  • Stayed: June 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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2  Thank JDR5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2010

Location is by far the most convenient of any hotel in Kyoto. This place is integrated into the second largest train station in Japan. You can get to anywhere in the city or the country steps outside the hotel. The hotel itself is an architectural masterpiece. It's awesome just to look at from the street and from inside the train station. The rooms are spacious and the bathrooms are spectacular. BUT a good hotel is only as good as the concierge. This is where I can't say enough. We wanted to have a nice dinner at a restaurant across town that required reservations. If your reading this then you must know that making reservations in Japan requires that you speak japanese. Since I don't I enlisted the help of the hotel concierge. The two women at the desk double teamed me and secured a private dining room at the already overbooked restaurant. Since there were five of us they then secured a taxi that would handle the five. When it was time for dinner they informed me to meet at the desk and they would hail the cab for us. This is where it gets more unbelievable. Not only did they recognize us before we got to the desk but they practically jumped over it to escort us down the escalator to a private drive where they had a taxi pulled off to the side waiting for us. WOW by the way don't even waste your time trying to tip. They DON'T TAKE TIPS!!!! Additionally the bell hops literally trip over themselves to help you with bags or whatever. This place has service number one on their minds. Four Seasons and the Ritz would benefit from a day of training here, Kudos to the management!

Stayed: June 2010, travelled with family
1  Thank exptravelor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 June 2010

We stayed for 4 nights and can highly recommend staying here, both for the quaility of the hotel and the convenient train station location which is perfect for subway access to the rest of Kyoto and for a relatively easy transfer on your arrival from the bullet train (this being Japan, the station is a huge labyrinth of a place including a large mall and the hotel is not that easy to navigate to on arrival). We walked to all of the Kyoto sights from this hotel location and only used the subway on return legs and in the evening.

We had toyed with the idea of staying in the Gion area, as advised by another couple who had stayed in Kyoto, but on reflection I think the Granvia was the best location. Unless I'm mistaken, I didn't think the evening/dining options and nightlife in Kyoto was that abundent or great (unless the pokey/quick Japanese restaurant is your thing) so you can just focus on exploring the numerous sightseeing and daytrip options and relax in the evening. At night the dining options around the station are limited (the station mall closes around 9pm) so you will either have to get Japanese take-out earlier (as the Japanese do from the shopping mall stalls) or get the subway to other areas. There is a McDonalds, a late night Starbucks, and a convenience store within a couple of minutes of the hotel if you get desperate. The cost of formal dining in the hotel is astronomical as is the bar (the restaurants and bars at the Granvia appear to be the preserve of wealthy Japanese only).

The actual hotel itself is very good and appears to be very popular with the Japanese (there were alot of Japanese wedding parties at the hotel while we were there). You will feel a bit smug/pleased with yourself as you head up the elevator to the hotel from the main station concourse. I was grateful for the free internet LAN access from our room as we planned the rest of our trip and checked out train times. We had no issues with train noise and I just don't think any muffled train sound could wake you following a day's walking/sightseeing. The irony is that you are most likely to be woken by fellow guests heading out along the communal corridor in the morning as the front doors to the rooms appear to be quite lightweight and are not sufficiently soundproofed. However, even this is not such a bad thing as there is plenty of reason to get up early in Kyoto and go sightseeing.

Overall, a no-brainer so I wouldn't waste any more time searching for Kyoto hotels.

Stayed: May 2010, travelled as a couple
2  Thank nnicolaou2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 June 2010

Excellent location, terrific staff. As the others have written, Hotel Granvia is located at the Kyoto train station, the transportation hub for Kyoto. Easy access to buses, trains, and taxis to anywhere you need to go. Rooms were very spacious, and the bathroom includes a deep tub, full vanity, and fancy toilet that does just about anything except drives. I was worried about the noise from the station and requested a high floor. They put us on the 12th floor (top floor) and only 2x did I hear the train station music, but it didn't disturb me. Although my travel companion snored like a truck driver, so I couldn't hear anything else...

The concierges and all of the staff were excellent, arranging theater tickets for us prior to our stay, without any hassle or making us fax copies of our credit card (as required by the Hyatt). They leave at 8pm so be sure to check with them early for dinner, etc. Two internet terminals are available for 100 yen ($1.10 USD) for 10 minutes and available 24/7. We had to change our dates due to travel schedules, and the Hotel Granvia accommodated our early check-out graciously and without any hassle.

**Most ATM's don't take non-Japanese ATM cards. However, the Japanese Post Office provides ATM's that work with non-Japanese ATM cards. In Kyoto it's located next to the train station and is open 24/7. The Citibank works with American ATM cards, as well as 7-Elevens in Kyoto.

Get a bus map from the concierge. There's a grid on the back of the map that tells you which bus to take to/from tourist sights--very convenient. Buy a 1-day bus pass directly outside of the train station at the "Bus Center". It's 500 yen per day ($5.50 USD) for unlimited bus travel within Kyoto and definitely worth the cost. The subway wasn't as convenient for going to downtown Kyoto at night. You have to change lines after 2-3 stops. The subway near the Hyatt is more convenient if you'll spend most of your time downtown. However, we spent most time seeing temples and going to Gion, so the bus was perfect. For meals, there's a Mr. Donut on the 2nd floor of the train station, just off the escalators. There's also a convenience store on the 2nd floor on the opposite side of the hotel, near the tracks. There are good restaurants on the 11th floor, on the opposite end of the train station from the hotel. You can take an elevator (ask the concierge for a map), which is easier than the long escalators esp. if it's raining. Great Italian restaurant if you want a break from Japanese food, called "The Kitchen Salvatore Cuomo". It has a sleek interior with great views of the city & Kyoto Tower, and we were the only non-Japanese diners in the restaurant. It was 1500 yen for a super-thin-but-tasty pizza.

We found a great Izakiya (small Japanese bars) alley near the train station, after walking around the block where the Kyoto Tower's located. These small bars hold up to 8 people at a counter, with your back touching the sliding doors. Very atmopsheric! Ours was at the end of the little alley and we had a great time with our Japanese counterparts who warmly welcomed us. Many of the izakayas were cooking yakitori and it smelled great for an evening dinner. Sorry but I can't remember the name but will try to post later.

Also check out the Hyatt for another hotel option. It's more expensive but I was able to negotiate a discount through my job. We liked the rooms and it's near a bus line to Gion (gee-on). The large shower is beautiful but not completely private--there's a frosted window to the bed area which could turn your shower into an embarrassing display in front of your traveling companion. I showered with the light off... You can ask for them to put up a privacy liner over the window for full privacy.

The only thing I would try on my return is one night at a traditional ryokan/Japanese Inn with dinner, etc..

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled with friends
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3  Thank FlyingFast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 June 2010

The Granvia is located in the huge futuristic Kyoto railway station. Rooms are large, comfortable, attractive, and remarkably inexpensive for what you get. Some have city views, but the normally less desirable railway station views are also quite nice - you get to watch Shinkansens roll through the station all day long. Rooms are very quiet and comfortable. Free, good high speed Internet.

Hotel restaurants are very expensive, but on the far side of the railway station at the top of the long escalators (11th floor) there is a large array of very good food - both Japanese and western.

The location at the railway / subway station and walking distance from some of the Kyoto shrines is very good.

My only complaint was the $3 coffee in the rooms.

  • Stayed: May 2010, travelled on business
    • Value
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Thank CohenTheBarbarian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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