Kanra is a boutique city hotel which embraces the traditional hospitality and spirit of Kyoto. In the open-plan lobby and restaurant, the combination of space and skilful lighting through 'cracks' in the ceiling design give a sense of standing in the leafy shade of a garden. The superior and deluxe rooms imitate the style of traditional Japanese machiya, with tatami mat seating areas alongside modern comforts such as king beds and deep soaking baths made out of aromatic Japanese cypress for the ultimate relaxation. The hotel grows its own herbs and vegetables, which are incorprated in the contemporary Japanese cuisine along with other locally sourced ingredients. Like many hotels in Japan, the exterior is non-descript but once inside it's a haven of thoughtful design and one of the most succesful combinations of Japanese with Western elements that we have seen.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.