JAPAN Inspiration Gallery 11 Japan
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Hoshinoya Kyoto

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Hoshinoya Kyoto is one of Ampersand's Top 10 Luxury Ryokans.

Reached in style by riverboat in the scenic hillside area of Arashiyama just west of Kyoto, this is one of Japan’s leading hideaway retreats.

The Hoshinoya team have successfully accomplished a tricky juxtaposition of traditional interior design and elegant modernised features, such as bed-style futons and fully en suite bathrooms. With the help of architect Rie Azuma’s vision and skill, the 25 renovated rooms are beautifully designed in an eye-catching yet minimalist aesthetic. ‘Tatami’ straw mats form the floors, woodblock-prints decorate the wallpapers, and sliding paper screen doors glide open to reveal a private veranda with river and forest views. These delicate elements combine together to create a strong sense of place.

Multi-course ‘kaiseki’ cuisine is prepared under the expert eye of Ichiro Kubota, who gained renown as head chef of Uma in London and was awarded a Michelin star. His creations are not only fresh and seasonal but are also beautifully presented and sure to be memorable.

A stay here will envelope you into the Japanese aesthetic and hopefully inspire you to try your hand at cultural experiences, should you wish to embrace it to its full effect. Guests here can take ‘ikebana’ flower arrangement classes with a master, join a morning meditation session to start the day in a spiritual way or dress up in traditional kimono. Another way to enjoy this hotel is to simply sit outside in its hidden garden and immerse yourself in the calm, zen atmosphere with scenic views. In summer, watching cormorant fishing from the river terrace over dinner is an experience that only the Hoshinoya can provide, at once luxurious and uniquely Japanese.

In terms of location, Arashiyama is a short distance away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre but still has plenty of iconic cultural sites close by - from the Sagano Bamboo Grove to Tenryu-ji Temple. The cobbled streets of Gion and the dining alley of Pontocho, where one may catch a glimpse of a geisha if they are lucky, are a taxi ride away so those staying here can still enjoy the best parts of Kyoto as well as its UNESCO World Heritage sites while keeping away from the crowds. Hoshinoya Kyoto is truly a serene environment in which to stay and embrace traditional Japan with the added extra of luxury hotel comforts.

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Client Testimonials

I had a very lovely time and was looked after splendidly. My first visit to India could not have been better, save for being longer! But I shall return at some point and I shall look to you to make the arrangements.
- Matthew Nicklin, North India
We had a wonderful holiday - everything was perfect. Thank you for helping us to make a thoughtful plan to enjoy and make most out of our trip. The places we visited, the guides, the transportation and driver, the hotels selected... Everything was great!
- Jaime Benitez, South India
I thought the Ampersand team was outstanding. We couldn’t have hoped for anything more.
- Mr Geoffrey Johnson, India
Ampersand’s preparation, attention to detail and interaction before and during our trip show exactly why good travel agents have a role in today’s internet booking age. They were a delight to deal with!
- Mr David Wallace, North India
Ampersand provided a bespoke and flexible holiday, tailored to my every whim. Their highly professional staff had only one goal which was to arrange an exceptional holiday and some unforgettable experiences in India. I have no hesitation in fully recommending them and they will be the first company I approach in the future - 10/10
- Anonymous, India
Everything you did for us whilst we were away was hugely appreciated, and Ampersand has been exemplary in every way. I'll always recommend you!
- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka
I would recommend Ampersand without any hesitation!!! The best travel agent that I’ve ever had. Everything – from the individual care and attention in planning the trip, through to the efficiency of the agents on the ground in India – was handled brilliantly. An absolutely first-class service all round!
- Matthew Annable, Rajasthan, India
Without question, you put together the best trip I have ever taken. We were shown around like visiting dignitaries, the hotels were fantastic and the itinerary was just right. Everybody I know will hear about how amazing Ampersand is!
- Leslie Siben, India
Difficult to articulate just how good the service from you and your team really was. We know you will continue to do well and hope we have the chance to seek your assistance again before long.
- Mr & Mrs Manson, North India
So many highlights to choose from! The hotels were amazing but Maya Villa was a highlight… I loved just hanging out in the hammock reading my book and watching the peacocks chase the cows!
- Krista Weir, Sri Lanka

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