During our trip to Japan, we stayed for five nights at Hotel Anteroom Kyoto. There were several reasons why I picked this Kyoto hotel: price, location, service and aesthetics. Here’s my Hotel Anteroom Kyoto review and a quick video of what you could expect if you decide to stay here.
The “TL:DR” Hotel Anteroom Kyoto Review:
Here’s the short version of the Hotel Anteroom Kyoto review. Scroll down for the full review.
- Staffs are fluent in English
- Guestrooms are big and clean, lots of natural light
- Free bottled water for guests
- Affordable breakfast cafe and bar
- A bit of a walk from JR Kyoto Station
- Not close to major sightseeing spots
Would I stay at Hotel Anteroom Kyoto again? Yes
Would I recommend Hotel Anteroom Kyoto? Yes
Hotel Anteroom Kyoto Review:
Our five-night stay at Hotel Anteroom Kyoto was from Friday to Tuesday in the first half of February. The average cost worked out to be ¥7,680 per night (tax incl.) or approximately $90 CAD*. Since we stayed during a national holiday weekend, this price was on the lower end when compared to other hotels. I found this to be pretty reasonable as Kyoto is a very popular tourist destination. There are definitely cheaper options such as hostels and Airbnb. However, I required luggage storage and forwarding which neither of these options can provide.
*note: I used 1 CAD to ¥80 for comparison. Price per night fluctuates depends on the season, the day(s) of the week and other such as special events or local holidays.
This is the first time we stayed at a hotel that’s not close to a JR train station. Most major JR stations are the central hub for other local transportation such buses and subways. And as tourists, the JR railway is the most common way of travelling to other major cities. So while it’s convenient, it also means the accommodation cost will be higher as most tourists would opt to stay near the station.
Both Google Map and Hotel Anteroom Kyoto’s website stated that the walk is about 15 minutes from JR Kyoto Station. It felt slightly longer on the first couple days because it was raining and we were dragging our large luggage. It’s a flat, straight road right to the hotel if you take the Hachijo East Exit (八条東口) from the JR Kyoto Station. So even though it’s a bit farther than we’d like, at least it’s an easy walk.
Another reason why I gave it a 3 out of 5 is that most of the major sightseeing locations are located to the north of JR Kyoto Station. So we’re adding another 15-20 minutes to the commute time when we go to places such as Nishiki Market.
Nearby Subway & Railway Stations
Hotel Anteroom Kyoto is within walking distance of the Kujo Subway Station (Karasuma Line) and Tobakaido Railway Station (Keihan Main Line). The Kujo Subway Station, about 5 minutes walk from the hotel, runs north and south of the JR Kyoto Station. It will connect you to the JR station and sights such as Nishiki Market, Nijo Castle and the Kyoto Imperial Palace.
The Tobakaido Railway Station is approximately 15 minutes walk from Hotel Anteroom Kyoto. The train on this railway can take you to Fushimi Inari Taisha, Kiyomizu-dera and Gion district. Note that some walking is required after you get off the train.
Tip: In some cases, taking the bus might be the cheapest and fastest way to get around Kyoto. So be sure to check Google Map to get direction on how to get to the location from your current destination.
Services & Amenities: 5/5
Luggage Storage and Forwarding
After Kyoto, we’ll be stopping at several places before staying in Tokyo for the final few days of our trip. To minimize the amount of luggage we need to carry from one stop to another, I asked the hotel to help me store the luggage after checkout and send them to our hotel in Tokyo. The staff at Hotel Anteroom Kyoto were extremely helpful with this. Note: only did they help me fill out the Japanese-only waybill, they even called my hotel in Tokyo to confirm my reservation and that they will be able to hold the luggage for me when it arrives.
From my experience, most hotels will do this, but it’s always a good idea to confirm with the hotel first. Be sure to ask both the sending and receiving hotels. Apparently, not all hotels will receive and store your luggage before you check in. In addition, the cost of sending the luggage depends on the size. The hotel staff will let you know the cost and will collect the payment from you.
Tip: If you need to send your luggage to another hotel or to the airport, ask the front desk staff to help you send your luggage via “Ta-Q-Bin”. Having your destination address and phone number ready will make this a smoother process.
Free Bottled Water
It was a surprise to find that Hotel Anteroom Kyoto provides free bottled water. I really appreciate this because I don’t need to spend money buying bottled water when we travel around the city. Sure a bottled water is only ¥100- ¥200 but not having to go look for a drink vending machine or convenience store when I’m thirsty is definitely a bonus. It’s also nice to have water handy when crunch your thirst in the middle of the night.
Breakfast at Anteroom Meals
The hotel has a breakfast cafe that only opens during breakfast. They offer healthy dishes using local ingredients. The cost is ¥1,000 and you get to choose from 2 mains and a dessert. The mains are usually between a breakfast sandwich or panini. Each patron also gets one green smoothie each. The smoothie is made in-house, as with most of the food they serve and is packed with 7 kinds of leafy greens, fruits and extra virgin olive oil. I never liked green smoothie but this one was so delicious! It’s not grassy at all and has just the right amount of sweetness.
The rest of the food is served buffet style. There is a salad bar and a yogurt station with a wide variety of salad add-ons, dressings, yogurt toppings, and jams. You can also have rice porridge and miso soup for a more Japanese style breakfast. At the drink counter, you can find a variety of tea, coffee, juices and milk. Their menu changes daily for the main and dessert so even if you stay for several nights, you can have a different breakfast each day. I highly recommend trying their breakfast if you stay at Hotel Anteroom Kyoto.
Drinks at Anteroom Bar
After a long day of sightseeing, why not relax at the bar just steps away from your hotel room? The Anteroom Bar has a great selection of whiskeys, liquors and beer. Drinks start at ¥500 and if you go during happy hour (between 8 -10pm), you can get free snacks!
Free & Paid Rental Bikes
The hotel website mentioned that they have free and paid rental bikes that you can use to tour around the city. While I didn’t take advantage of this, I felt this is quite convenient as the roads in Kyoto are mostly flat which makes it easy to get around by cycling.
Interior Aesthetics & Cleanliness: 5/5
If I can only pick one thing about Hotel Anteroom Kyoto to recommend, it’d be their guestrooms. Mr. Chau and I stayed in a semi-double room and it’s the largest hotel room we’ve stayed in from all our travels in Japan. The room is 15m2 and the bed size is 180cm x 200cm! In comparison, the majority of the hotels that I’ve stayed in have a room size of 11 to 13m2 and with beds that are between 110cm to 120cm. So a 180cm bed is like a king size bed!
Not only is the room consider quite big for the price that we paid for, it also has a big window that let in plenty of sunlight, a humidifier/air purifier, and a high-end blow dryer. I also loved the contemporary interior design.
Final Thought on Hotel Anteroom Kyoto
Both Mr. Chau and I agree that Hotel Anteroom Kyoto is the best hotel we’ve stayed at in all of our Japan trips (not taking into considerations of onsen ryokan). The big room, large bed and the many services and amenities available were well worth the price we paid for. While the location is a bit further than I’d like, it was not a big deal given how easy the walk is from the station to the hotel.
Overall, I’d give Hotel Anteroom Kyoto 4/5 stars and would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for accommodations in Kyoto.