The Westin Miyako Kyoto boasts a full century of rich heritage, seen in its beautiful landscaping and gardens. The Miyako Hotel opened in 1900 with the expansion of a small spa. It quickly became the largest hotel in Japan, and famous cultural figures like Albert Einstein, Ana Pavlova, Frank Lloyd Wright, and Charles Lindbergh were counted among its guests.
In 1933, landscape architect Jihei Ogawa—known for his work at the Heian Shrine—created the Aoi-den Garden. Following World War II, the hotel briefly served as lodging for Allied officers, and was visited by Dwight Eisenhower and Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller. In 1952, the hotel reopened for business and welcomed Eleanor Roosevelt, Indira Gandhi, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor, among others.
The Japanese-style Kasui-en Guesthouse was built in 1959 by renowned architect Togo Murano, who integrated subtle modern materials and details in this signature structure. In 1968, Nobel Prize winner Yasunari Kawabata stayed in the guesthouse and wrote a scroll about the beauty of the Higashiyama Mountains. In 1970, the hotel accommodated 168,000 guests for the World's Fair and Exposition in Osaka. In 1997, former Vice President Al Gore stayed here during the Kyoto Conference on Global Climate Change.
Starwood Hotels & Resorts initiated major renovations at the start of the new millennium—following the renewal of all the banquet halls in the late 1980s—and the Miyako Hotel became The Westin Miyako Kyoto in April 2002. Guest rooms in the resort were renovated in 2005—and the long-held traditions of exceptional accommodations and impeccable service carries on.