Located in the heart of Kyoto’s mesmerizing and ancient Gion district, Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion is a new property that opened under Mitsui Fudosan Hotel Management Group. The Kyoto property is spanking new, having opened only in September 2017 – one month prior to my stay. I discovered this property during my collaboration trip with Hotels.com.
If sightseeing is your main objective in Kyoto, the hotel is well-positioned with its location squarely within the old town and within walking distance to several temples including Kennin-ji just opposite it. The hotel is also within walking distance (around 15 to 20 minutes) to some of Kyoto’s newer areas such as Shijo-dori and Nishiki Market.
Entering Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion for the first time, I was taken aback by the stunning aesthetic and zen ambiance. For a midrange hotel (prices can go as low as US$130 during the low season), the look certainly evokes that of something much pricier. The lobby is at the basement, as is the spa and the restaurant where breakfast is served.
My room for this particular stay was the Celestine Twin, a relatively spacious affair at around 30 square meters. Like the public areas, the room carried a relaxing, zen feel as well. Beige dominates the room shade, creating a natural feel that comes full circle with the indoor gardens permeating the property. A staff member showed me to my room and advised me to leave my shoes at the mini-foyer and to slip in to the fluffy slippers. I obliged.
The room layout was highly functional, with a semi-open sink that is separated from the rest of the room by the mirror. A minibar stands across with a decent array of miniature bottles of alcohol as well as Japanese beverages. I particularly loved the teal tea set in the room – great for holding the Jing branded tea that is provided in-room. For those with a different inclination to caffeine, a Nespresso machine is also provided by the minibar for guests to whip up an espresso or two.
I was given a corner room which allowed for a marvelous view overlooking old Kyoto. The windows on two corners allowed for plenty of light to penetrate the room.
I love how both fluffy and firm pillows are provided on the bed for guests to choose. Light switches are set on either side for easy controlling while in bed. There are also power outlets to allow for effortless charging of devices at the bedside.
The room is actually spacious enough to hold a small seating area by the window. Replete with two lounge chairs and a small table, this is also your best bet to get work done. It is quite evident that the room is constructed with the leisure traveler in mind but if you have to use your laptop during your trip, you can always head down to the lounge/bar area.
The toilet and bath are in separate enclosures near the sink. This utility area can be further sealed from the sleeping quarters through a sliding wooden door. The toilet features a bidet which is the norm in Japan while the bath comes with a shower and tub (not placed together) which is preferable. Toiletries come from Themae, a French brand.
I mentioned about the lounge previously and I found this to be a pleasant surprise at Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion. In the first floor, there is a space by the entrance that goes as a bar at night and a lounge for guests in the daytime. This is where guests can truly work, with a proper desk and all. Like the main lobby, the lounge also has a glass window at the far end with views of a small garden. Refreshments are provided in the day including tea, coffee, juices and light snacks.
For those looking to pamper themselves a little, the hotel also houses an attractive-looking spa. Again, the interiors include a glass window that looks out to a small garden – visible from the spa area. This creates a soothing zen feel especially when one is having a hot soak.
My stay did not come with breakfast but a quick check revealed that it costs around 3,200 Yen per person. I headed out instead to grab a quick bite nearby. It was raining then and the hotel thoughtfully has a number of umbrellas by the entryway for guests to borrow during such situations.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay in Hotel The Celestine Kyoto Gion. The zen feel permeating the property is definitely in keeping with the overall theme of the city of Kyoto, or at least how it appears to be for travelers. For those looking for a relaxing stay without breaking the bank, this is a wonderful and compelling choice.
The Celestine Kyoto Gion
572 Komatsucho, Higashiyama-ku, Kyoto, 605-0933, Japan
Reservations: CLICK HERE
You can also check for further discounts with hotel bookings HERE.