When I went to Kyoto the other day I did something I'd never done before...Sightseeing! To you it must sound weird, as you can see I write for Japan Airlines.com, a travel site, but as far as Kyoto is concerned, I'd never had an opportunity to do sightseeing there, or never had wandered or strolled around the city. I just finished my job, whatever it was, and went home. So, it was all new to me, visiting temples and shrines or other curious places. It really was a special occasion for me!
Therefore, to celebrate my debut as a tourist in Kyoto, I tried to find a hotel which is spacious, but not that expensive. When you travel in a big city like Tokyo, Osaka, or Kyoto, where it's highly commercialized and populated, it is really hard to find a spacious room at a reasonable price. Usually, a single room in a big city ranges from 13㎡ to 20㎡ in size; more spacious than that, you will find yourself paying an incredibly high price. If you can book a hotel room at 20㎡ for around 10,000 yen, you should consider yourself extremely lucky.
But to me, 20㎡ room is not good enough! I feel cramped in it. I live in the countryside and all the space around me is mine! I usually find myself the only person on a street, so I can't bear the thought of being stifled in a small room like a closet even when traveling (in fact, I'm a little bit claustrophobic…). So, a spacious room means a lot to me. This is a 'must-have' for me. Besides, space is IMPORTANT for an amateur tourist after a strenuous day's excursion, isn't it?
So guess what? I found a really spacious, good room at a reasonable price in the middle of Kyoto! Woohoo!
The hotel I booked in Kyoto this time was Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto. And I was glad I found this hotel. First, the rooms are all big, ranging from their standard single room (24㎡) to standard double (32㎡) / twin (36 - 48㎡) room (suite rooms are even larger of course). It’s surprising that they can have such spacious rooms in a relatively small building. I assume they limited the number of rooms to provide space for guests. Also, for its space, the rooms are not so expensive. A single room with 24㎡ starts from 10,000 yen/room, and the one I booked, which was the standard double room at 32㎡ costs 16,000 yen, which could've cost around 25,000 yen anywhere else.
But it's not only the space and reasonable price that surprised me. Their service is EXCELLENT! What struck me most was that whenever I came back to the hotel three or four (not just one! or none!) bellboys rushed to greet me saying, "Welcome back ma'am"! Even when I came back from a nearby convenience store to buy something like food or canned drinks, they came to me and said, "Welcome back ma'am. Shall I carry your bags?" Oh, wow! And they were not the only ones who were highly congenial. At the check-in counter or concierge desk, everyone was kind, polite, nice and helpful. I am accustomed to ultra-good hospitality in Japan, so you can guess how high the service level is in this hotel!
Hotel Nikko Princess Kyoto is a 3-minute-walk away from Shijo Station, a 5-minute-walk from Karasuma Station and a 5-minute drive from JR Kyoto Station - very convenient for anyone who'd like to explore the city. Plus, you can receive top-level hospitality in a country which is already renowned for its special hospitality (called omotenashi) at a very reasonable price! Oh, and I shouldn't forget the space! Highly recommended!