Rated 5 out of 5 by LandedSPG Kyoto Protocol got it right!
It's true, this hotel is benefitting from a cleaner environment. It's right beside mountains and forests minutes away from Kyoto Station! I have stayed here over 20 nights in the past 2 years and I have never ever had one single problem with anything.
Suite upgrades for Plats? Yes? Fantastic Platinum lounge with great appetizers and a full self serve bar? Yes! One of the best Westin breakfast buffets with Japanese and Western food? Yes! Shuttle service? Yes (although only 'till 8pm) Electric bikes to rent? Yes (only 3,000Y for the day - totally worth it) Near various Shrines and Castles? Yes! Decent rates? God YES! (except in October when every night essentially triples) Best of all, lots of great authentic souvenir shopping near by.
All other aspects of this hotel truly exceed its Category 4 ranking.
October 28, 2011
Rated 3 out of 5 by JimFo Very Disappointed in room quality and location
Just arrived at this hotel in Kyoto. The hotel is very nice however was surprised that the hotel room I have was what they call a junior suite, but really two separate rooms put together. I heard about the great views here, but our view looks out at a courtyard with only views of the other guests stuck in the oldest part of the hotel but on the other side.
I am not sure how they call this a 5 star hotel, I don't see it. I am a platinum member and lifetime gold member so i don't often get a lousy room but I know it when I get one. Very disappointed to say the least especially after being on the road to Tokyo, Seoul, Hong Kong and then back here for a quiet weekend before heading home to NY. I spoke with the front desk staff and they couldn't help, will speak with the manager tomorrow.
I would recommend another hotel unless you are guaranteed a room with a view -- I can guarantee you wouldn't want the room we have.
April 26, 2012
Rated 2 out of 5 by Aaron75 Disappointing Stay
We stayed at this hotel in Sept for three nights. We had a total of three rooms, of which one was upgraded to a Junior Suite.
All the furniture and fittings in the three bedrooms, including the suite, were old. Only the toilets look new and the shower facilities were updated.
If you are seeking to just do sightseeing, the location of the hotel is near to quite a number of temples and sightseeing spots. However, the hotel is not that near to the Gion or Kyoto Station.
The hotel does provide a free Shuttle Service which leaves every half an hour for Gion and Kyoto Station. However, the capacity is only 25, and many times we could not get onto the shuttle service and had to either wait half an hour for the next one, or take a cab. I think the frequency and the capacity should be increased.
In addition, you can only board the shuttle service at the hotel or Kyoto Station and they do not allow you to board in other locations such as Gion. Thus you have to find your own transport back to the hotel.
Compared to other Starwood hotels, I feel that the Westin Miyako is not as comfortable or convenient.
October 1, 2013
Rated 2 out of 5 by Takada Staff just not SPG level
To begin, I would say that my family loves SPG hotels and as a Platinum member, we've used them world wide, including Japan; we love Kyoto and have been traveling there for more than a decade; and everyone in our family is fluent in both Japanese and English.
This said, our recent stay in Kyoto was the worst we've ever experienced in an SPG property, though the facilities and amenities and locale are great. It boils down to service, which was, to be honest, shocking for a seasoned business and leisure traveler in Japan like us.
Several things not necessarily in order of importance:
* The Club Lounge. During the evening of our stay, my wife felt that she was ignored by the staff, which has never been our experience at club lounges before. She was not spoken to, not offered refreshment, not acknowledged, while the other guests were.
* In the afternoon before checkout we went to the Club Lounge and sat down to enjoy some snacks. after 5 minutes a staff member appeared and when they came over to our table I expect they would welcome us as we were the only people in the lounge. But instead the woman curtly informed us (in Japanese) that we would have to move to another table -the one right next to where we were sitting (which was not reserved). When I protested, she relented and then didn't speak to us for the next 40 minutes we were there, including when we spilled a little bit of water...which we were left to clean up on our own. It was a very curious and uncomfortable episode which truly marred our quite family time looking at the beautiful Kyoto scene
* Upon check-in and check out, I was never acknowledged as a platinum member...and the staff seemed very nonchalant about the fact that our requested Suite Night Award and platinum upgrade could not be met.
* We requested more than a week prior to arrival a crib. The hotel contacted us to ask the age of the child and we said it was for a 1 month old infant. When we arrived the crib they gave us was for a toddler...a big deal since the bed rested about a meter from the top of the crib and my wife couldn't pick the baby up from the bottom of the crib. When we called service to ask about fixes or switches, they said they would be up to our room with a solution but called back minutes later to tell us no one was coming and that all the cribs for infants were taken. If we had known we would not be provided an infant crib, we would have brought our travel crib. But no.
* Service during the delicious breakfast buffet was almost non-existent and we had to take to busing our own tables.
* We got to use the pool for free (yes they charge non-platinum members a fee to use the pool facilities), but only after I had to explain (in Japanese) to the pool attendant our platinum status.
* The smoking area is in the middle of the dining/exercise floor guarded by a cloth curtain and nothing more. So you get a gasp of second hand smoke every time you go to or from the exercise area or the restaurants. Not pleasant, unless you are a smoker...maybe not even then
* They charge guests for in-hotel parking using the "Times" parking scheme and one night set us back approximately 1000 yen, though we were paying guests. There was no apology for this, just an explanation that as a guest I got about 500 yen off. Additionally, when we first arrived, the parking lot was full and so we followed 3 different successive directors instructions and arrived where we were supposed to be, only to be chased off by a security guard while unpacking. This process continued until a car had driven off from the standard parking lot and we were able to park. To reiterate, we found it shocking that we were charged for parking (it couldn't even be rolled into our room fee - you need cold hard cash to feed the machine) at a SPG 5 property as a platinum member. No validation, nothing.
* I'm not normally picky about this but the complementary water in the room that they say is from Fuji tasted like bad chlorinated tap water. This is a shame as Japan has some of the best spring water in the world.
* Finally, though I FULLY acknowledge that Japanese staff in a Japanese hotel in Japan have a right to speak Japanese as a default, I found the level of English (the international default language) to be shockingly bad, comparing the Kyoto location to other Japanese SPG properties in Yokohama and Tokyo in which we have stayed. We had no problems with a language barrier, but I would be very hesitant to send English-only friends to this property. Kyoto is one of the top tourist destinations in the world on par with Athens, Cairo, and Rome. They should work hard to up their English customer service skills.
We had been planning to return to Kyoto in the spring, but it is likely we will visit another SPG property in Japan instead.
October 8, 2013
Rated 5 out of 5 by traveltime2020 Great service, great food, rooms a bit aged
Stayed here for 5 nights in February on a vacation trip with my wife. After staying here in 2007 and facing a few problems, I was not sure if we should go back here, but are now very glad we did.
The service quality at this hotel is great. Everybody is very forthcoming and attentive. When we pulled up with the taxi, there were three other taxis just unloading in front of us. We did barely make it out of the taxi and to the trunk for our backs and someone from the hotel was there to help. Check-In was very fast, additional questions have competently been answered, and we were accompanied to our room. A quick explanation of AC and lights in the room would have been helpful, but this is minor details. When needing an umbrella from the front desk everybody is quickly there to help, when you return they even come forward from behind the desk to make sure you have a shorter way to return the umbrella. When needing a taxi to a specific locaiton the bellman was very helpful in working with the taxi driver to find the correct location and help him get us there. Perfect.
We were upgraded to a junior suite on the 10th floor. Conveniently on the same floor as the lounge. There was a decent view from the suite over parts of Kyoto. The size was very nice for a junior suite, bedroom and sitting / work area separated by some kind of glass wall. Very nice. The furniture and the decor definitely are, well, not the newest. But everything is clean and in good working condition. So overall the room is very nice. The bed is rather hard, not the heavenly bed I am used too from other Westin properties. But the comfort of sleep was still decent. Everything is very clean, after all this is Japan.
What can I say, great bordering on perfect.
We tried the japanese set breakfast they are offering in their chinese restaurant in the morning. It was amazing. We love Japanese breakfast, so we try it thruout Japan. This as definitely a standout breakfast. Food choice, quality, attention in preparation, everything is great. This sets the mark for me for Japanese breakfasts.
We also tried two restaurants in the evening and room service. The rom service was quick and food quality was very good. Extra requests were kindly fulfilled. For a quick bite absolutely recommendable. The blue cafe offered a buffet in the evening. The food choices are plenty, including freshly prepared sushi and a great roastbeef. The pistachio mouse was amazing as well. Including the 10% discount that we got with a voucher we received at checkin I would say this is a steal at 4500JPY / person.
The japanese restaurant offers a kaiseki style dinner as well. We tried it with two different menus for my wife and me. The food was quality was great, but I found the atmosphere could have been a bit nicer. Also, the coordination of courses between the two different menus could have been better. Still a nice experience. So please take this more as ideas for improvement than criticism.
Bottom line: a great experience, much better than 8 years ago, and now we definitely intend to stay here again when we come back to Kyoto.
March 7, 2015
Rated 3 out of 5 by Derek1980 Great hotel but Exec privileges need to be enhanced
Great hotel, with obvious traces of age. Nice amenities in their suites (Bvlgari). And definitely good amenities.
But sadly, their Executive Lounge is really pathetic. One of the worse lounges i have been to in a long time. Consist of apparently 8-10 small tables tucked in a corner after a staircase, with no check-in/out facilities. Limited Wifi due to location i presume.
Hotel has a good complimentary shuttle, runs every 30mins between hotel and Kyoto station with stops near their "city". But the downside is, you can't hop back on the bus once you're down with your shopping or sightseeing. You have to find your own way back due to "security reasons".
Overall, Kyoto is a nice place to visit and its the ONLY SPG hotel in the vicinity.
March 14, 2014
Rated 3 out of 5 by DavidML01 Great Location Mediocre Hotel
We just returned from 43 nights in Asia at 9 Starwood hotels. All except this one were excellent to superb.
At this hotel we were upgraded to a suite, which was depressingly old-fashioned and without a city view. We chose to down-grade to a renovated room with a great view. This room was fine. The club floor is the worst I have ever seen at any Starwood property offering a club floor. The breakfast buffet didn't compare with that offered by any of the other hotels. This was also the only hotel on the trip where the dining room staff seemed not to care about the customers.
As an investor in a hotel myself, I know what budget pressures an owner can place on an operator, and I suspect Starwood is not the owner here. I paid more per night for mediocrity at the Miyako Kyoto than I did for a truly superior stay at the St. Regis Osaka, which is only 15 minutes away from Kyoto by train.
So aside from an incredible location which I am sure is the reason the hotel survives, the Westin Miyako Kyoto is a real loser and does not do Starwood's reputation any good.
December 10, 2013
Rated 3 out of 5 by Bruin83 spg member room
they did not provide me with the spg member preferred rooms. instead rather clumsy room.
other than that, it was o.k.
also, had to ask to bring the bathrobes. did not have them inside the room. not Westin style!
October 21, 2013