Hoshinoya Kyoto - The Remote
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Why we love it?
Nestled deep within a remote forest on the fringes of Kyoto, in the middle of the Arashiyama area, this luxury ryokan-hotel is only accessed by private boat.
Designed by architect Rie Azuma, the renovated buildings dating back a century, optimise atmospheric Japanese architecture with a romantic modern take on traditional ryokan inn style.
25 secluded rooms are scattered across a string of stone pathways. Each uniquely designed with windows overlooking the river. Interiors are a perfect balance of the traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design with clean-lined wood, low beds raised off of tatami mat flooring, sliding screens and woodblock printed Kyoto wallpaper. Latticed lanterns and the cloud-like white duvets make this more sanctuary than a room.
Come night, seasonal herbs are provided to infuse your bath waters. Then dinner is a kaiseki Japanese banquet-style occasion, showing off the culinary flair of head chef Ichiro Kubota. Seasonal Japanese flavours are served across more than half a dozen courses, including the must-try charcoal grilled kingfish topped with rape flower seed sauce. For an after dinner retreat, games are provided alongside tea, sweets and cocktails in the Salon & Bar Kura.
Relaxation takes centre stage here, with welcoming introductory incense ceremonies. Enjoy morning stretching classes on yoga mats beneath the trees in the Hidden Garden.
The best way to arrive is on the quick train from central Kyoto to Arashiyama (famed for its bamboo forests) A private wooden Hoshinoya river boat will peacefully transport guests through the forest to the riverside hotel. Ideal for those looking to recharge after a few days of busy temple touring.
Pricing: Double rooms from 81,000 yen (£554).