“Set amongst one of Japans’ most beautiful locations, Arashiyama. The Suiran Kyoto has gracefully set the benchmark for what can only be described as a relaxation paradise”
Part of Starwood’s The Luxury Collection, The Suiran Kyoto (click here) has effortlessly blended cultural traditions of old Kyoto with modern day comforts. The Suiran was the perfect place to unwind, restore and take in the breathtaking surroundings of Arashiyama Mountains.
To get to Kyoto, we took the Shinkasen (the three hour bullet train from Tokyo to Kyoto, which was definitely a highlight of my trip!) From the train it’s a brisk 2 minute walk to the hotels collection point (Suiran offers a complimentary taxi service from the station). The drive from the station to the hotel took approximately 30 minutes, which seemed to go quite quickly.
The Surian Kyoto is the last block of buildings along the Hozu River. It has uninterrupted views of the river and backs on to the Kameyama-koen Park.
As the car slowly drove down the length of the river and pulled up gently to the entrance, I noticed that the facade somewhat depicted a ryokan (traditional Japanese bnb). This traditional style entrance was in fact part of an original building that dates back to the Meji-Era (1868-1912).
As we walked through the gated entrance, it was as if we were stepping back in time and into a pristinely kept beautiful zen like garden
Walking through to reception, we were greeted by Yoshiko, who gave us a great run down of what to do, where to eat and how to avoid the crowded popular spots. Check in was extremely quick and swift and before we knew it we were headed off to our rooms.
There are 39 rooms at the Suiran, we were in the “Yunzunoha” Deluxe Room. At first glance, I was pretty underwhelmed with the room but in saying that once I began to look around and notice just how the room ‘worked’ I started to appreciate it a bit more.
It was a traditional Japanese room mixed with some modern day comforts. With ‘Tatami’ mat flooring, low chair set (actually incredibly good to work at for your posture!) and to top it all off, we had our very own open air bath with natural hot spring water from the Arashiyama Onsen.
Having this open-air bath was quite an experience. It was quite a bit of a shock to the body with the change of temperatures. In fact, when I lived in Japan when I was younger, I would often go to the local onsen to help with my skin irritations, reduce body soreness and it helped with my blood circulation.
Food & Beverage
Suiran Kyoto has two dining options: Restaurant Kyo or Cafe Hassui.
Restaurant Kyo was originally erected in 1899 as Baron Shozo Kawasaki’s summer house. Depicting true Meiji Era architecture, Kyo has been restored and rejuvinated with contemporary lighting and seating, floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the tranquil garden area and onto the Arashiyama hills.
Dining options allow you to choose from traditional Teppanyaki dishes or more western infused meals. We ate here for dinner one night, the meal was extremely satisfying and the sushi was some of the best sushi I have ever had.
Breakfast was also served at Kyo, however, in a complete contrast to the meal the night before, we felt as if the menu lacked and wasn’t anything special.
Cafe Hassui is absolutely stunning, set right upon the Hozu River. We had afternoon drinks here after our action packed day exploring. The cafe is housed in a 100 year old building that was actually built for 19th century poets. I can also happily report that there are still a few original pieces of artwork and calligraphic poems. The front verandah of Hassui is in my opinion the epitome of relaxation, listening to the whisper of the river below and taking in the surrounding beauty (it would have been slightly a little bit more amazing if the cherry blossoms were in full bloom, but hey, who’s complaining!)
Pool & Gym
The Suiran doesn’t actually have either a pool or gym, however what it lacks in guest services it more than makes up in their spa treatments. The Suiran offers private spa experiences in either your room or the spa rooms, with treatments such as jade stone facials, green tea scrubs and collagen masks.
- Tranquil landscape
- Traditional rooms
- Private hot spring
- no pool or gym (take advantage of the many surrounding walks if cardio is on the top of your list)
The Surian Kyoto was just what I had hoped for. It doesn’t have all the modern bells and whistles of an International hotel if that’s what you need. Nevertheless for those who are after tranquility, great views and authentic Japanese charm, The Surian is exactly where you want to be.
12 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-ku, Kyoto
+81 75 872 0101