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  • Writer's pictureFaye Bradley

Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto – Review


A hotel review of Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto. All images courtesy of CSP Times.

Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto entrance
Image courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

Stepping out onto the tranquil banks of Kyoto's Hozugawa River at sunset in the Arashiyama district, I discovered the perfect moment for exploration. With the crowds melted away, I could finally immerse myself fully in the beauty around me.

I find myself settled at Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Kyoto – an intimate retreat occupying a prime location that once served as the private summerhouse of 19th-century industrialist Shōzō Kawasaki.

Image courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times

Within easy walking distance from Suiran are Arashiyama's myriad treasures – whether it's the enchanting bamboo forest, serene Hogon-in temple, iconic Togetsu-kyo bridge, or the cultural gems housed within the Fukuda Art Museum Saga Arashiyama.

Images courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

The hotel's name, Suiran, cleverly intertwines two Chinese characters: "sui," evoking the jade green hues of the region's verdant hills and sparkling waters – a motif reflected throughout the property's design palette.

Images courtesy of Faye Bradley | CSP Times

Upon checking in during the late afternoon, I discovered a serene atmosphere despite the closed shops and quiet street stalls. It was a tranquil moment, accompanied by the soothing sounds of the river and the sight of kayakers concluding their journeys and preparing to return home.

Steeped in History

Suiran's rich history spans centuries of cultural significance. From Emperor Uda's Heian-era boating fetes in 898 to the Kameya-ma-dono villa in the 13th century, and later as part of the Tenryu-ji temple complex, its location has been a centre for elegant social gatherings. Baron Kawasaki's Enmeikaku villa in 1899 and the Hasshoken house in 1910 further enriched its legacy, now preserved as the hotel's signature restaurant and café, honoring a tradition of refined hospitality and architectural heritage.

Images courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

Plush accommodation

Suiran boasts an intimate collection of 39 guest rooms, ranging from 38 square metres to 94 square metres. Seventeen of these rooms offer open-air onsen baths filled with natural Arashiyama spring water, including the Yuzunoha guest room where we stayed, featuring a serene garden view on the ground floor. An hour's soak in these baths works wonders for both mind and body.

Rooms at Suiran blend the traditional aesthetics of a Japanese ryokan, featuring tatami mat flooring and black lacquer furniture. Bathroom amenities are provided by Byredo. Upstairs rooms with balconies offer picturesque views overlooking the hotel and its serene gardens.

For guests who haven't opted for a room with a private onsen, there are two private onsens, Raku and An, available for booking.

Image courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

Heritage Dining

Suiran offers two unique dining venues on-site. Café Hassui, a charming waterside spot overlooking the Hozu River and Arashiyama Hills, beckons guests with a daily 5pm happy hour featuring bubbly, wines, and select drinks. Housed in a century-old building originally crafted for 19th-century poets, the café preserves their original collection of calligraphic poems, offering a glimpse into its storied past that continues to resonate today.

Images courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

Our dining experience at Restaurant Kyo-Suiran was truly delightful. Specialising in washoku cuisine, which artfully combines ingredients in diverse states of preparation – from raw and fermented to steamed and fried – this establishment imbues French culinary techniques into traditional Japanese fare. Originally Baron Shozo Kawasaki's villa built in 1899, Kyo-Suiran seamlessly blends Meiji Era architecture with modern lighting and seating, creating a captivating ambiance steeped in history and innovation.

Image courtesy of Suiran, a Luxury Collection, Kyoto

For a more intimate dining experience, Teppanyaki Kansan offers live demonstrations highlighting the finest beef and fresh seafood, elevating the culinary journey with its interactive presentation.

Immersed in Nature

While Suiran may lack a gym or sprawling swimming pool, it's not about those amenities here. Instead, the hotel encourages guests to reconnect with nature, offering a serene home away from home experience. For rejuvenation, guests can indulge in room spa treatments such as Japanese oil therapies for deep sleep and muscle release, as well as acupressure sessions. Facial treatments including anti-ageing, collagen, and moisture therapies are also available, ensuring a comprehensive wellness experience.

Staying at Suiran is a true step back in time, thanks to its preserved heritage buildings and natural surroundings that evoke a sense of history. For those seeking to experience Arashiyama away from the crowds, this is the perfect retreat.

Location: 翠嵐 ラグジュアリーコレクションホテル 京都 / Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto, 12 Susukinobaba-Cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo-Ku, Kyoto, Japan | Phone: +81 75-872-0101 | Instagram: @suirankyoto | Facebook: Suiran Kyoto


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