Kyoto Brighton Hotel

Walking to Imadegawa to Kyoto Brighton Hotel

To my surprise, the pavements were uneven, not ideal for dragging suitcases; even though both of ours had four wheels. Waiting twenty minutes for the hotel's shuttle bus would probably have been a better idea.

The ten-minute walk did however give us sight of the walls and one gate of the old imperial palace.

The Kyoto Brighton Hotel was located in a series of back streets. Despite being six storeys, the hotel seems to be concealed by the surrounding two storey dwellings. Its only visible signpost from the neighbouring streets is a grey vertical board, announcing its name in only Japanese script. This was our first encounter with a principal that seems to pervade Japan; Almost everything seems to be very discreet and understated, as in the placement of the hotel, or very brash.

As we walked towards the Kyoto Brighton's entry, one of the pleasantly smiling bell-hops came running up greet us and to wheel our bags into their lobby. He even stood by the sensor on the automatic door to open it for us.

We had arrived at the hotel before the appointed check in time. The desk staff were inflexible with respect to checking in early, but were happy to store our belongings until the correct time.

Kyoto Brighton Hotel- General facilities

The early arrival before check-in gave us time to browse the hotel facilities.

Lobby

The lobby of the hotel is spacious with a large amount of soft seating. It has a café area, where kimono clad ladies serve and add to the air of elegance.

During our stay, there were several weddings at the Kyoto Brighton Hotel's own chapel so the lobby was regularly occupied by very well dressed guests.

Internet café

Just off the lobby is a small room, containing the Kyoto Brighton's Internet café, is open between 8am and 8pm each day. It consisted of three PCs sharing a broadband link. Keyboards and the operating system are in Japanese, so seem to confuse some of the hotel's foreign guests.

The computers are publicly accessible, with no requirement to sign in.

Wedding Wing

The Kyoto Brighton Hotel has a wing that is dedicated to weddings. The wing is carefully set apart from the rest of the hotel. It contains all the necessities of a modern marriage ceremony, including a chapel, hairdressing boutique, suit and wedding dress hire and a flower shop.

Guests, brides and grooms were regularly seen in the hotel lobby.

Swimming pool

Although the hotel's information tells you it has a swimming pool, the English information fails to mention that the pool is only open in the summer; despite our stay being during May in a heat wave, the swimming pool remained firmly closed.

Room

We had requested a non-smoking room with a double bed. The first room we were offered smelled very smoky, but it did not take long to be transferred to a better room, two doors down. The room was well equipped. As well as the standard shampoo, conditioner (called "Rinse" in Japan), soap and shower cap, and hairdryers (yes two of them), there were also toothbrushes, hairbrush, razor, clothes washing fluid and yokatas (dressing gowns). The only notable absence was an iron or trouser press.

The toilet seat in the bathroom is heated, with a choice of temperatures. The toilet also includes integrated bidet facilities.

We were surprised that the supplied coffee required payment on a par with mini-bar prices, but a trip to the local convenience shop solved this issue.

The bed was very firm by western standards as were the pillows, which came in "hard" and "very hard", but the room was very comfortable.

There were some building works in progress while we were there, but we heard nothing as the windows seemed soundproof; definitely a credit to their double-glazing.

Every day, the Kyoto Brighton Hotel provided the English language edition of the Asahi Shimbun.

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