First up, a secret garden in an ancient forest: that’s the setting for the Aman Kyoto, the group’s third Japanese property. Minimalist ryokan-style pavilions house 26 luxury guest rooms alongside two restaurants. But we’ll see you in the mineral-rich waters of the Aman Spa’s natural outdoor onsen.
Zen-seekers could not hope to find a more serene spot; the moss-clad pathways, bucolic surrounds and bubbling springs feel totally isolated – yet are just a stone’s throw from Kyoto’s 17 Unesco World Heritage sites.
From meditation with monks to flower arranging and tea with geisha, there’s loads to do – if you can bear to leave the onsen.
When one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands meets Asia’s top city for art and culture – a certain kind of magic was bound to occur. Perched on a hillside overlooking the historic Higashiyama district, Park Hyatt Kyoto offers elegant guest rooms suffused with handcrafted furniture, original artworks and ornate tamo wood. There’s artisanal spirits behind the bar, culinary acrobatics at the teppan grill and locally harvested green tea oil in the spa.
Rubbing shoulders with the ancient Kodaiji and Kiyomizu temples, the hotel is ideally placed for cultural exploration.
Previously, the only way to get into a super-exclusive, super-luxe ryotei restaurant was by invitation. No longer: Kyoyamato, a family-run ryotei set in a nearby garden, welcomes guests from the hotel to devour the seasonally inspired kaiseki cuisine that’s made it famous for the past 142 years.
Cathay Pacific flies to Osaka, from where trains run frequently to Kyoto