Kyoto Granbell Hotel is a 4-star hotel with friendly staff and excellent facilities in the Gion area of Kyoto. We stayed there for one night last weekend and found it to be very comfortable and reasonably priced. The hotel is in a very central location, and very convenient for Gion Shijo Station, but at the same time it is tucked away in a quiet area away from the busy shopping streets and crowds. This is a big, modern tourist hotel, but it pays its respects to traditional Kyoto style with a sophisticated design that incorporates both old and new elements. On the outside, the latticework and tiling is reminiscent of an old-fashioned machiya building, only on a much larger scale. Inside, soft lighting, antique furnishings, and traditional materials all help to create a relaxing space with an authentic atmosphere of old Kyoto.
Kyoto Granbell Hotel has 105 guest rooms over four floors. All guest rooms are non-smoking. Guest rooms come in Japanese or Western styles, the Japanese rooms being distinguished by their tatami mat floors and kimono-patterned headboards. There are six types of room altogether.
The Standard Double Room with a Tatami Floor is 17.6m2 with a 150cm bed.
The Superior Twin Room with a Tatami Floor is 23.3m2 with two 110cm beds.
The Standard Twin is 17.6m2 with two 110cm beds.
The Universal Twin is 23m2 with two 110cm beds. This room is located on the ground floor and is easily accessible by wheelchair users. It also looks out onto a small inner garden.
A Standard Double is 17.5m2 with a 150cm bed.
A Superior King is 17.7m2 with a 195cm bed and a sofa.
All rooms come with air conditioning, a mini-refrigerator, a safe for your valuables, a TV with English language channels, a writing desk, a hair dryer, an electric kettle, and coffee and tea making facilities. Complimentary bottles of water are also supplied. Private bathrooms have a bathtub and shower and are supplied with a full set of towels and complimentary amenities (shampoo, soap, toothbrushes etc).
We stayed in a Japanese-style Standard Double Room with a Tatami Floor, which was compact, but big enough for a short stay and the bed was very comfortable! The walls are apparently sound-proofed and I can attest that we slept very well here and we were not disturbed by any noises from adjoining rooms.
Breakfast is served in the ground floor restaurant between 7.00 and 11.00 am (with last entry at 10.30).
This is a fairly typical buffet breakfast with the usual mix of Japanese and Western items with eggs, fish, fruit, bread, and veggies. I enjoyed a mixed breakfast of miso soup and croissants with plenty of juice and coffee!
Services & Facilities
Kyoto Granbell Hotel has a 24-hour reception with friendly, helpful staff who will give you a warm welcome. Check-in time is from 15.00 and check-out is at the unusually generous time of 12.00. If you wish to leave your baggage at the reception desk before checking in or after checking out, that is no problem at all. Look out for the antique drawers stacked behind the reception desk – they are over 150 years old. Other services and facilities at this hotel are listed below:
If you need to exchange money, there is a money exchange machine by the ground floor restaurant. This machine can exchange currencies from the following countries: the US, the UK, the EU, Australia, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
- One of the big perks of staying at this hotel is the big communal bath in the basement. There are two baths separated by gender and each one looks out onto a Japanese garden. The bath is just perfect for taking a long relaxing soak after stomping about town all day checking out the sites. The communal bath is open between 6.00 and 10.00 and 15.00 and 1.00.
- Free coffee is available in the ground floor lounge and there is also a soft drinks vending machine and ice machine on the same floor.
- There is also a bar on the ground floor which is open between 18.00 and 3.00 am. Beer, whisky, wine, cocktails, and local sake varieties are all available here to drink at a counter stool or take to a nearby table.
- This hotel has a self-service laundry with coin-operated washing and drying machines in the basement.
- Bicycles are available to rent from the ground floor for 1,100 yen a day. These bicycles have baskets for your shopping and are a handy way to explore the neighborhood.
- Free Wi-Fi is available throughout the building.
- The following bank cards are all accepted at Kyoto Granbell: VISA, JCB, Mastercard, American Express, Diners Club, UnionPay, UC, DC, and NICOS.
Coronavirus Preventative Measures
This hotel adheres to all the common safety measures to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Guests have their temperature checked upon arrival, all staff and guests are required to wear masks inside the hotel, transparent screens are installed at the reception desk, hand sanitizers are available throughout the building, and guest rooms and common facilities are regularly disinfected.
Kyoto Granbell Hotel is located on the east side of Yamatooji-doori Street, just a short walk south of Shijo-doori Street. It is a 2-minute walk from Gion Shijo Station on the Keihan Main Line, 7 minutes from Yasaka Jinja Shrine, and just 4 minutes from Kenninji Temple. Here is a map showing its location.