Kyoto is chockablock with luxury hotels and “minimalist” ryokans charging $300 to $1,200 USD a night. That’s fine and good if you’ve got cash to burn, but that ain’t us, babe. For our ¥¥¥, we’re headed to Hotel Anteroom Kyoto. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood, it’s a 5- to 10-minute walk to the nearest subway station and from there, just one stop to Kyoto Station (hub for all JR trains).
The five-year-old property has a sprawling gallery on the first floor, a cocktail and beer bar at night, free laundry, free bicycles, free welcome drinks, and spacious rooms boasting loads of natural light, deep soaking tubs, quality toiletries, cloud-like beds, and the kind of hand-carved wood furniture you’ll contemplate stealing in the middle of the night. WiFi is fast and reliable. The breakfast nook is where you feast on a small but daily-changing buffet of soups, Japanese salads, yoghurt with jam, and made-to-order pita wraps. Our only WTF? gripes are the painful 10 a.m. check-out time and the rather useless reception desk. (Language barrier, perhaps?)
Standard single rooms start at $35 USD; a lovely twin double with breakfast costs around $125. Ask for a higher floor for a sweeping views of the Kyoto cityscape.
7 Higashikujo Aketacho, Minami Ward, Kyoto, Japan; +81-75-681-5656.