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Kyoto Hotels

Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto

Why stay?

A historical treasure within Marriott’s Luxury Collection, this former 13th century Imperial estate—reborn in 2020 as a discreet ryokan inn—is situated along the jade-green Hozu river in the center of Arashiyama, a scenic area on Kyoto’s western outskirts beloved by Japan’s aristocracy as a rural escape since ancient times. It’s an astonishing private refuge in full view of the Arashiyama hills, whose slopes turn pink with cherry blossom at springtime and blaze in fiery reds and mellow shades of orange in the fall.

The neighborhood

Roughly a 30-minute taxi ride from the downtown area, Suiran is ideal if you’re seeking a more tranquil Kyoto experience. The ryokan stands beside the 14th-century Tenryu-ji Temple (of which it used to be a part) and is within walking distance to many of Arashiyama’s most famous sights, including the Togetsu-kyo bridge and the romantic Sagano Bamboo Grove.

A view of the gardens outside Kyo-Suiran restaurant at Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto.

The feel

From the sturdy Meiji-era wooden gate, a winding stone pathway leads to thatch-roofed Café Hassui, a former haven for 19th-century Japanese poets that still retains some of their original calligraphy. The adjoining terrace commands sweeping views of the Hozu river and the surrounding hills. At check-in, you are served fine Kyoto tea as you admire ikebana flower arrangements made at nearby Daikaku-ji temple. There’s an unquestionable sense of privacy (despite its close proximity to more than a few popular attractions) and the omotenashi hospitality provided here is exceptional.

Guest quarters

Suiran balances the traditional pared-back elegance of a classic ryokan with contemporary comforts. Cashmere quilts and fluffy pillows top custom-designed beds that feature Airweave mattresses, and Kyoto’s rich craft traditions are represented by Nishijin woven cushions, locally fired ceramics, and exquisite lacquer boxes. Seventeen of the 39 rooms and suites include an open-air rotenburo onsen bath made from aromatic Japanese cedar. Most first-floor accommodations have their own private garden, while the majority of those on the second or third floor come with a balcony facing the mountainside.

Food and drink

Gourmet meals at Kyo-Suiran, set in a summer villa dating back to 1899, combine the art of multicourse kaiseki cuisine with French cooking techniques. This is also where guests tuck into Japanese or Western breakfast sets each morning. Be sure to reserve your own private table at Teppanyaki Kanzan for premium-quality beef and seafood enjoyed with views of the estate’s garden. Café Hassui serves Japanese confectioneries alongside a free flow of 24 different teas, and its complimentary hourlong champagne reception (from 5:30 p.m.) also features a curated selection of local spirits, sake, and beers, all free to bring back to one’s private quarters.

An outdoor onsen bath is included in 17 of the 39 rooms and suites at Suiran.

Wellness factor

Spa experiences such as green tea scrubs, Shiatsu massages, and pampering facials can be arranged in the comfort of your room or inside two treatment suites facing an enclosed rock garden. The mineral-rich natural spring water that supplies the in-room onsen is piped in from Arashiyama Mountain across the river.

Family matters

Children may be welcome at the property, with the concierge team able to handle special requests from those traveling with infants, but otherwise there are no dedicated facilities or distinguishing features that make this a kid-friendly choice.

Sustainability cred

Suiran subscribes to Fair Trade practices and procures locally grown ingredients wherever possible; steps are being taken to replace single-use bath amenities. Energy-efficient LED bulbs and water-efficient showers have been installed throughout the property, which is partially powered by renewable energy.

What else?

For a memorable arrival experience that harks back to the Meiji period, Suiran’s complimentary rickshaw pick-up from Arashiyama Station is hard to beat. The hotel also offers a suit of private experiences from a champagne cruise aboard a traditional riverboat to rickshaw rides through the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove.

Reviewed by Bryan Eastlake
+81 75 872 0101
12 Susukinobaba-cho, Saga-Tenryuji, Ukyo Ward, Kyoto, Japan