The brand’s first Asian property is the latest upscale hotel opening for the onetime imperial capital.
Temple-filled Kyoto has witnessed a flurry of luxury hotel openings in the last couple of years, and the latest arrival looks as alluring as any. Situated in the foothills of the Takagamine mountains in northern Kyoto, Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts is the ninth addition to Hilton’s LXR Hotels & Resorts brand, a collection of properties synonymous with boutique luxury and immersive local experiences. Also marking the brand’s debut in Asia, the hotel is part of the leafy Shozan Resort Kyoto, an 11-hectare enclave of Japanese gardens, teahouses, and historical buildings that makes an ideal base for exploring the city and its surrounds.
Here are five things to know about Roku Kyoto:
1. The hotel taps into a rich artistic heritage.
The grounds on which Roku Kyoto was built once hosted an artists’ colony founded during the Edo period by Honami Koetsu, one of the most eminent calligraphers and craftsmen of 17th-century Japan. It was here that the classical Rinpa school of Japanese painting was born. The hotel’s effortlessly elegant design pays homage to that past through exquisite lacquerware, bamboo art pieces, ceramic artifacts, and ethereal karakami (block-printed paper).
2. Guests can soak in thermal waters.
Though all 114 rooms and suites here celebrate the beauty and simplicity of Japanese materials and craftsmanship, the Garden Deluxe rooms stand out for their private onsen baths, while Poolside Deluxe rooms provide direct access to the resort’s hot spring–fed outdoor pool.
3. Locally accented French cuisine is on the menu.
Named for the river that flows gently past the property, Tenjin restaurant welcomes guests to indulge in French-style dishes made with premium local ingredients. Standouts on the à la carte and prix fixe menus include Challandaise duck with spicy honey and purple carrot, scallop-shiso vichyssoise, and scampi with autumn mushrooms and béarnaise. At the bar, guests can sip on expertly crafted cocktails or enjoy a seasonal afternoon tea; there’s also an outdoor terrace where they can relax to the sounds of the Tenjin River.
4. The spa celebrates Japan’s healing traditions.
Inspired by the stalks of bamboo that grow in Kyoto’s forests, the design of the Roku Spa combines Japanese Zen culture with natural elements. This is also echoed in the selection of therapies on offer, which range from warm stone massages to exfoliating body scrubs to treatments that use an original blend of aromatherapy oils infused with the essence of kitayama sugi, a Japanese cedar tree native to the northern Kyoto area.
5. The concierge team can prepare bespoke itineraries for the discerning explorer.
Guests can look forward to a variety of activities and services that showcase Kyoto’s cultural riches. Experiences include priest-guided temple pilgrimages, learning about kintsugi (the Japanese technique of mending broken ceramics with gold), and even trying one’s hand at washi papermaking using water from the Tenjin River, a practice that goes back as far as the ninth century. Other nearby attractions include the serene rock garden of Ryoan-ji and the recently restored Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion), whose top two floors are completely covered in gold leaf.
Roku Kyoto, LXR Hotels & Resorts, 44-1 Kinugasa Kagamiishicho, Kita Ward, Kyoto, Japan; doubles from ¥120,000 (about US$1,091), including breakfast; hilton.com