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hawaiiantraveler Oct 21st, 2005 06:45 PM

Hotel Granvia Kyoto
Has any of you stayed at this hotel and what are your opinions of this hotel? We were planning to stay at the Okura hotel but have read some amazing reports about this hotel on other web sites. We will be in Kyoto in mid March and any suggestions are welcomed.

DonTopaz Oct 22nd, 2005 05:01 AM

I've stayed at the Okura and know the Granvia's location.

I am sure that the Granvia is a very comfortable hotel, but I would never stay there unless I am in Kyoto only overnight and had to catch an early train. The Granvia is at the rail station, in a totally undistinguished and uninteresting part of town. You'd need to take the subway or a taxi to get to any of the places you'd want to be/see in Kyoto.

The Okura on the other hand is both a very comfortable hotel <i>and</i> is in a terrific location. The Okura is a 2-minute walk from the pedestrian-only Ponto-cho (a lovely street) and the Teramachi-dori, and it's also a short walk to Gion and all that has to offer.

For my money, the Okura is the best-located hotel in Kyoto.

laurieco Oct 22nd, 2005 05:34 AM

I've stayed at the Granvia and loved it. The rooms are very nice and large (at least ours was). It's a five star hotel and good value. Rizzuto is correct that it is over the rail station but we didn't see that as a problem, in fact, we considered it a convenience. We took the JR in and out of Kyoto so since the hotel is above it, we didn't have to drag luggage around. It's also right at the bus terminal so getting around Kyoto is very convenient as well. Most sights are a short bus ride away and the buses are very easy to use. We never took a taxi in Kyoto and the only train we took was the JR, in and out of Kyoto. While there aren't any sights right around the hotel, the area is fine--it's safe and not at all seedy, it's actually quite nice, not what you would expect around a train or bus station. I would stay there again.

I don't know the hotel Rizzuto mentions but I'm sure that is a good choice as well. Compare prices and look at web sites and then decide which one is best for you.

emd Oct 22nd, 2005 06:11 AM

hawaii, as you know I am planning on staying at the Okura also, but am looking closely at Granvia. What kind of rates are you getting at Granvia? The rates there for April are much higher than Okura. Does Granvia have any kind of hotel program like Okura? I didn't see one on their website but if you find out something let me know. I like the late 3 pm checkout at Okura that you get w/the hotel club membership. I am finding that several of the nicer hotels in Kyoto have a free hotel club deal that gets you perks.

mrwunrfl Oct 22nd, 2005 09:38 AM

I am sure that I have seen discounted rates for the Granvia, so definitely shop around. It is a JR hotel, so there is probably a discount for JR Pass holders.

mrwunrfl Oct 22nd, 2005 09:53 AM

I suppose you saw the 20,000 yen JR Pass holder rate for a twin at the Granvia. I went to the Granvia's Japanese page and put the URL into to translate it. There is an 18000 rate for two persons in standard twin 30 sqm.

lcuy Oct 22nd, 2005 12:12 PM

I have to put in a vote for the Okura's location. While the area around the train station is not bad in any way, it is just not nearly as interesting as the area over by the Teramachi dori. The station area feels like any other city.

I will go out on a limb here and sugest that Kyoto is a city well worth springing for a Ryokan, or at least going for a place with Japanese style rooms in the downtown/Teramachi area. to me, nothing beats an evening of walking around the Gion alleys, then taking in the bright lights of the Teramachi, then heading into a traditional room. In a ryokan, you would have had dinner in your room, but even without that, nothing is better than soaking in the furo, then sleeping on the futon with the faint smell of the tatami in the room!

(Does it sound like I need a trip to Japan, fast?)

alibi13 Oct 22nd, 2005 04:40 PM

What Ryokan would you suggest in Kyoto? Right now my wife and are scheduled to spend 4 nights in Kyoto at the Granvia, but maybe we will spend one night at a Ryokan. They all seem soo expensive, but we just go for the splurge as you only whistle once.

lcuy Oct 23rd, 2005 03:58 AM

They are expensive, but really worth the cost, especially if you like Japanese food. I like Sumiya.

Great location, friendly staff and fabulous kaiseki meals. The new rooms have cedar baths and ac and heating, but no private garden. In mild weather seasons, the garden rooms are great. You will be totally pampered.

hawaiiantraveler Oct 24th, 2005 10:03 AM

Thanks everyone....I have waffled and made reservations for both hotels for now and will cancel one before we go :)

I got a rate of 30030 yen per nite at the Granvia for an upgraded deluxe w/view by calling them directly. The cheapest room they had available at our time was 27000 y. If you have a JR pass (which we don't) the rate was I think 25% off. I know the Okura has all those perks and the location but we are coming in by train and leaving via the limosine bus service so I wanted to be nearer the source...don't know though I still might take the Okura.

Does the Sumiya have a website? How much was it approx? I think Linda would love it.
I've read where the Kyoto Station itself is a tourist site where a mall and restaurants this true?
domo arrigato
Thanks again for all the info

laurieco Oct 24th, 2005 12:19 PM

HT, yes, that's true. Whether or not to call it tourist sight is another story but it's quite nice, with lots of restaurants and shops and major dept store, Itsean I think. I liked staying there, it didn't bother us to take buses to the major sights.

emd Oct 24th, 2005 12:48 PM

hawaii, be sure you post back on all of this when you get back. You will be getting back just before we leave. I just made the Okura reservations today so we can compare notes when I get back if you end up at Granvia.

lcuy Oct 24th, 2005 01:21 PM

Sumiya doesn't seem to have their own web site, but this one shows it:

We booked by having our Japanese friend call direct, and the rates were about 270 per person per night. Again sounds very pricey, but the dinner and breakfast would be about 150 per person alone!

We stayed there for Milt's 50th birthday. It was just the perfect inn and location.

email or call me if you want more details. Ksuke has my number if you don't.

KimJapan Oct 24th, 2005 02:52 PM

Sumiya does have a website, just in Japanese. You can certainly have a look at the pictures without reading Japanese, though.

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