The Luxe List 2014: Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto, Japan
Nestled beside the Kamogawa River, this beauty of an urban resort marks Kyoto’s first ultra-luxury lodgings. Modeled after a traditional ryokan inn, it has the feel of an ancient Japanese nobleman’s residence that has been magically transported to the 21st century, sided with four Japanese gardens overlooked by the 134 rooms and suites, some of which come in tatami style or with private moon decks. Interior designers Peter Remedios and Spin Studios paid homage to aesthetic principles like nagomi (harmony) and wabi-sabi, creating a spectacular lobby area and centering the building on a three-story waterfall tumbling down to the basement swimming pool. Even cuisine is approached with immense sense of place, with multicourse kaiseki dinners served on ware by contemporary artists and, in the Italian restaurant La Locanda, a private dining room fashioned from a reassembled historic townhouse.
Kamogawa Nijo-Ohashi Hotori; 81-75/746-5555; Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto; doubles from US$700