The Celestine Gion
Since opening in September 2017, The Celestine has quickly become one of the hottest luxury hotels in Kyoto. The boutique property can be found in an ideal spot within Gion – arguably the prime location within Japan’s ancient capital, famed for its historic cobbled streets and renowned geisha.
The Celestine’s minimalist design stays true to traditional Japanese style, with a subtle colour palette and clean-cut design. Delicate 'ikebana' flower arrangements and classical ceramics add splashes of colour in a delicate manner, meaning that the hotel succeeds in giving off a more contemporary feel. Other fresh and brighter twists are also combined into the exquisite interior, the most atmospheric of which is the well-manicured garden that stands proud within the heart of the hotel: not only does this piece of art welcome you as you enter the Zen lobby, but it also breathes a sense of nature into the hotel’s wrap-around corridors.
After a long day of sightseeing, retreat to your sleek room to relax in its tranquil and cosy atmosphere. The clean and minimalist rooms and suites are surprisingly spacious by Japanese standards and home to an array of modern amenities, from complimentary smart phones and speedy Wi-Fi to hi-tech tea and coffee facilities. Japanese yukata robes and special indoor slippers also add traditional touches, as do the luxurious Imabari towels in the bathrooms. Each room comes with a stylish en-suite, complete with THEMAE products.
Thanks to The Celestine’s central location, Kyoto’s fine dining scene is just a stone’s throw away, such as the renowned Pontocho alley. Or, if you wish to rest within the hotel during the evening, the property is home to Yasaka Endo, a Japanese restaurant that has recently grown in popularity among international and local visitors alike. While this on-site eatery speciailises in tempura, it also serves gourmet ‘kaiseki’ multi-course dinners. The hotel’s bar, Oumie, offers a chic atmosphere in which to unwind with the other well-heeled guests and treat yourself to a nightcap before bed.
One of the highlights of this hotel is its quintessential Onsen public bath, which is again styled in razor-sharp fashion. The oasis of calm provides an atmospheric spot to relax and rejuvenate after a busy day, and also offers the perfect introduction into Japan’s unique spa culture - so, we highly recommend having a soak in its hot steaming waters.
Just a ten minute drive away from Kyoto train station, The Celestine is a convenient and inviting hotel in which to stay while visiting Kyoto and admiring its many UNESCO sites. Some of the most striking sites in the Imperial city, such as Kiyomizu-dera Temple and Yasaka Shrine in the Higashiyama district, can be found nearby. We recommend this hotel as a good alternative to the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto, and believe it is especially well-suited to those looking to stay within the geisha quarter, as guests staying here often spot the elusive and striking ‘maiko’ and ‘geiko’ flitting along the surrounding traditional streets – these beautiful women really are a sight to behold.
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- Mr Richard Stoughton, Sri Lanka