The most famous of Kyoto's traditional inns, Tawaraya has been host to dignitaries, presidents, and royalty. Notable guests have included Marlon Brando, Alfred Hitchcock, and Steven Spielberg. Founded more than 300 years ago and currently run by the 11th generation of the Okazaki family, the hotel is known not only for its hospitality, but also for the sumptuous but subdued decor, impeccable service, and splendid gardens. Every room is unique, furnished with superb antiques
from the family collection. Private baths are made from fragrant cedar. Other amenities include a library, an elegant gift shop, and a superb kaiseki ryori restaurant. Reservations are accepted up to a year in advance.
Fuyacho-Aneyakoji-agaru, Nakahakusan-cho, Kyōto, 604-8094, Japan
Sep 7, 2005
This is a magical place, understandably one of the greatest hotels in the world. My partner and I stayed here for two nights, having dinner and breakfasts in the room, cared for by our own personal hostess -- if only real life could be so perfect! The traditional architecture and gardens are what we all think of in Japan. The shabu-shabu dinner was fun, beautifully served, eight courses. The Japanese breakfast was more than I eat all day, but a wonderful
experience. The Western breakfast was superb. The approximate cost for two adults, for two nights, with the extras of meals, was US $1,000 per night. And worth every dollar! I'd heard about this, and amazingly, we saw no other guests while we were there, though the hotel was full. The staff has a sixth sense, anticpating your moves and quietly taking care of things. This was a perfect experience. A week here would be psychically equivalent to a month's retreat somewhere else. All other hotels and spas need to learn lessons here. The beauty, not just physical beauty, but emotional beauty and dignity of the place is most memorable. And when the taxi took us away, our hostess and two others, stood in the street until we reached the corner, and as we made our turn, they all took a long, low bow. The first time I have ever cried leaving a hotel. Everyone should be so fortunate to stay here at least once in their lives.
Feb 18, 2003
After hearing about this hotel for years, we were disappointed. The atmosphere is certainly special but the room had a lot of nicks and scratches on the furniture and walls. The gardens are beautiful. There was a hair in our dinner...they apologized but it still ruined the experience. Its worth experiencing but did not stand up to our expectataions.