I dreamed of visiting Hoshinoya in Kyoto back in January, but it’s actually been on my travel wish list for years.
Back in April that wish came true.
The more than 100 years old building is set on the Katsura River in Kyoto, and is only reachable by boat. The hotel has been restored but stays true to it’s original Japanese heritage, though with modern convenience in mind. As a traditional Japanese home, you leave shoes by the entrance, before walking the tatami mats on the floor. Sliding rice paper walls divide the rooms, and all furniture and even the windows are designed low, because you’re supposed to sit on the floors. They provide you with traditional Japanese yukatas (similar to a kimono in cotton), a pink that is only designed to wear inside your room and a grey to wear outside as well.
All rooms overlook the river, and depending on the season, your view will be cherry blossom pink or red and orange as a result of pretty fall leaves.
The main attraction of Hoshinoya is peacefulness. Besides the zen interior everywhere, you can have your most calm cup of tea on the floating tea terrace overlooking the river. To say this place is magical is an understatement!
Hoshinoya also offers a spa and Japanese incense classes or ikebana – traditional flower arrangements. If you’re feeling creative, you can even try your luck with the in-room calligraphy set.
The restaurant serves a traditional kaiseki meal, a lot of small Japanese dishes changing by the season. But the best food experience is when you wake up in the morning, and the staff transforms your room to a breakfast setting for champions. Hotpot is on the menu, a kind of clear soup where a rainbow of greens and tofu are dumped into. Japanese green tea, eggs and fish is the finishing touch to probably the healthiest breakfast you’ll ever have.
Hoshinoya Kyoto is like a dream come true … so what if I told you they’re set to open a spot in Bali as well?