I recently visited Kyoto, Japan, and booked a stay at the ANA Crowne Plaza Hotel, Kyoto. I booked two rooms for my party, at the best flexible rate of 14,000 Japanese Yen (~$140 USD per night). This rate was on par with other area hotels at the time of my stay. As an IHG elite member, one of the rooms got upgraded to a deluxe room.
I was originally planning to stay at the Westin Miyako Kyoto, but changed my mind at the last minute. We were only in Kyoto for a night, so I wanted to stay somewhere that has more things to do around the hotel. I chose ANA Crown Plaza Kyoto for these reasons:
1. They offer a shuttle service from Kyoto Station. In fairness, the Westin does too. A shuttle service to the hotel was important to me because we were coming off the high speed trains — shinkansen — from Tokyo, and I want a hassle-free way of getting to the hotel. (Note: It’s easy to locate the shuttle service outside the Kyoto station. The service runs every 15 minutes, and it is incredibly convenient.)
2. The hotel is located right across from the UNESCO’s designated World Heritage site, Nijo Castle. It is also of walking distance to the Kyoto Imperial Palace; it’s just a little further of a hike.
When I first read through the hotel reviews, it was a very mixed bag. Some say they had a great stay in a great room, while others lamented on the dated rooms. Both reviews were right, actually. We got two rooms – one upgraded and one not, and the difference was night and day.
The AC didn’t work well in the standard room, and it didn’t have an in-room safe either. While the room was a comfortably sized room, the room felt stuffy. The fact that the AC did not work well in 90+ degree (Fahrenheit) weather didn’t help with the airflow, either.
In comparison, the upgraded deluxe room is more modern. It’s got an in-room safe and a control panel next to the bed that controls the window curtains and shade. The air conditioner worked great, too.
Check-in and Check out:
We got to the hotel before the official check-in time, and I was thankful that they allowed me to check-in early. Only one of the two rooms was ready, so we settled in one room first.
Throughout our stay, the staff at the hotel had been professional and efficient, whether it’s providing directions or exchanging foreign currency. Checkout is at noon, though a late checkout can be requested and granted through 2PM. Beyond that, the hotel directory has a stated policy that notes the percentage of the room rate that they will charge for late checkout. I only found out when I was looking into getting a late checkout, so I can visit the famous Shinto shrine called “Fushimi Inari Taisha” in the morning and come back to the hotel to get the rest of my things. That idea didn’t pan out logistically; it was far more convenient to use the public lockers at the Kyoto Station, instead.
Checkout went smoothly, although I was surprised the staff asked for all the room key cards back. I usually like to keep one or two if the card has the hotel’s unique name on it. In my experience, most hotels don’t mind it as it’s a way to promote the brand. This hotel wanted them back – maybe it’s a conservation or expense reduction effort? Security issue? I was a bit surprised, but I complied with the request and returned all of them.
Would I stay again?
My stay at the ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto was fine, though it had not made such an indelible impression on me that I would want to stay here over and over again. If I were to visit Kyoto again, I would try out another place.
That said, for those whose primary goal is to visit the Nijo Castle, this hotel is a great choice simply due to its proximity to the attraction. You can walk to some nearby markets and eatery places as well. However, I’d be sure to book a deluxe room rather than the standard room for a slightly more comfortable stay.
Have you stayed at ANA Crowne Plaza Kyoto? Did you have a similar or different experience there?