Aman Kyoto Review

Aman Kyoto Review

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This Aman Kyoto Review is from our Japan site inspection trip earlier in 2020. Also see our Aman Tokyo Review and Amanemu Review and all our posts tagged Aman Resorts.

Tree-Lined Path at Aman Kyoto
Tree-Lined Path at Aman Kyoto

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Aman Kyoto Location and Setting

Aman Kyoto opened its doors in November 2019, and is located in northern Kyoto, about an 18 minute walk from Kinkaku-ji, the Golden Temple. The resort is about a 30 minute drive from Kyoto Station with minimal traffic, but rush hour can add another 20 minutes or so to the journey.

The resort is set on 80 acres of land, most of it forested, with many maple and Japanese cedar trees. The previous owner was a collector of obi, the ornamental sashes used with Japanese kimonos, and had planned to build a museum on the site to display his collection. This plan was never realized, and instead, Aman Kyoto is the beneficiary of this peaceful site, with mossy stone lined paths.

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TravelSort Clients enjoy these perks:

  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for up to 2 in-room guests
  • $100 dining credit once per stay
  • Upgrade priority
  • Early check-in and late check-out subject to availability

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Aman Kyoto Rooms, Suites and Pavilions

Aman Kyoto was designed by the late Australian architect Kerry Hill, who also designed Aman Tokyo and Amanemu. All three embody a very minimalist Japanese aesthetic, with clean lines, simplicity, and windows that afford ample natural light.

Individual rooms, from the entry level Susuki to the Nara, Kaede and Hotaru rooms, are all 646 square feet (60 square meters) and identical in their furnishings; the only difference is their proximity to the Living Pavilion and view. The less expensive Susuki rooms are closer to the Living Pavilion, east-facing, and on the ground floor or upper floor, while Nara, Kaede and Hotaru rooms are further from the Living Pavilion and more private, with west-facing views over the gardens, and in the case of Kaede and Hotaru rooms that are on the upper floor, the mountains in the distance. Most of the rooms have king beds, and a few have two twin beds.

All rooms have tatami floors and both a Western seating area with sofa, table and chair, and a Japanese seating area.

Room, Aman Kyoto Review
King Bed and Seating Area, Aman Kyoto Review
Western Seating Area, Aman Kyoto Review
Western Seating Area, Aman Kyoto

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The bathroom has sliding wooden partitions that can remain closed or open the area above the double sinks to the bedroom and living area.

Bathroom with Partition Open to Bedroom and Living Area, Aman Kyoto Review
Bathroom with Partition Open to Bedroom and Living Area, Aman Kyoto
Bathroom Double Sinks, Aman Kyoto
Bathroom Double Sinks, Aman Kyoto

There's a glass enclosed rain shower, and the handsome wooden separate soaking tub is made of Hinoki, Japanese cypress.

Hinoki Japanese Bath, Aman Kyoto
Hinoki Japanese Bath, Aman Kyoto

Bath products are from the Aman Spa.

Aman Spa Bath Products, Aman Kyoto
Aman Spa Bath Products, Aman Kyoto

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In addition to soft bathrobes, cotton yukata robes and pajamas are provided for use during guests' stay.

Cotton Yukata and Pajamas, Aman Kyoto
Cotton Yukata and Pajamas, Aman Kyoto

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Here's our Aman Kyoto YouTube Video Review:

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Aman Spa, Aman Kyoto

The Aman Spa at Aman Kyoto is open from 10am-8:30pm for treatments, which in addition to facials and massages include shiatsu and acupuncture.

Aman Kyoto Spa
Treatment Room, Aman Spa, Aman Kyoto
Treatment Room, Aman Spa, Aman Kyoto

Even without a treatment, Aman Kyoto guests are welcome to enjoy the Japanese onsen (natural hot springs) which are available daily from 7am-10pm.

Unlike Amanemu, where the onsen facilities are outdoors and co-ed, such that bathing attire is used, at Aman Kyoto it's traditional and gender segregated, with separate men's and women's indoor and outdoor onsens.

As always, it's important to shower and cleanse oneself at the adjacent shower facilities before soaking, and for guests with long hair, to tie one's hair up so it doesn't touch the water while soaking.

Both the indoor onsen and outdoor onsen were hot, but relaxingly so–the perfect temperature to ease sore muscles. I preferred the outdoor onsen, although there was no one in either onsen during my visit.

Showers Next to Onsen, Aman Kyoto
Indoor Onsen, Aman Kyoto
Indoor Onsen, Aman Kyoto
Outdoor Onsen, Aman Kyoto
Outdoor Onsen, Aman Kyoto

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The Living Pavilion at Aman Kyoto

See our separate review of lunch at Aman Kyoto's main restaurant, The Living Pavilion. This is also where guests enjoy breakfast and dinner, unless they've made an advance request to dine in the privacy of their room or suite.

The Living Pavilion, Aman Kyoto

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The Verdict

Aman Kyoto is the ideal Kyoto base for those who want a peaceful retreat in Kyoto that is reminiscent of an upscale Japanese ryokan. You won't encounter many other guests, apart from when dining in the Living Pavilion. The forested grounds are conducive to walks and meditation, and the onsen is a highlight for a relaxing soak at the end of a busy day.

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