Edited by: Chris Dong
& Stella Shon
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You may see the title of this review and think “Hyatt Place? Yawn.” Let me tell you that this is no ordinary Hyatt Place. Instead, the Hyatt Place Kyoto has suites, multiple room types (across 239 total rooms and 6 floors), and a serene vibe. Then, there’s the incredible breakfast.
My wife and I recently spent 2 nights at this unique property that is hands-down the nicest Hyatt Place that I’ve ever seen. It’s got great access to public transit and won’t break the bank (either your normal bank or your bank of World of Hyatt points) like other properties in the area. It’s also accessible with Category 1-4 free night awards, which is a huge plus in a region full of high-category properties.
The hotel was nearly sold out during our stay, but that didn’t diminish the experience. Here’s a look at our 2 nights at the Hyatt Place Kyoto and why I’d love to go back.
The Hyatt Place Kyoto is located directly above the Marutamachi subway station, part of the Karasuma metro line. It’s a quick 4 stops from the Kyoto central station, which you can reach by train from all over Japan.
In fact, you can enter the hotel without going outside (great if it’s raining!) by going out exit 6 of the Marutamachi station. However, if you don’t want to mount 3 flights of stairs, use exit 7 across the street to find an elevator.
The Hyatt Place Kyoto is just 2 blocks from the Kyoto Gyoen National Garden which surrounds the former imperial palace and 10 blocks from Nijo Castle. Other tourist sites around Kyoto are easily reached with the subway, bus, and train lines, and taxis pass the hotel’s entrance frequently.
We paid 12,000 points per night for 2 nights in the last week of June 2023. The Hyatt Place Kyoto recently moved down from World of Hyatt Category 4 to Category 3, so I canceled our previous reservation (at 15,000 points nightly) and rebooked at this cheaper price.
Depending on Hyatt’s peak and off-peak calendar, you’ll pay as few as 9,000 or as many as 15,000 points per night here. You also can book this property with Category 1-4 free night awards, which you might have from holding The World of Hyatt Credit Card or Hyatt Brand Explorer.
While that price may sound like a lot for a Hyatt Place, consider the nightly cash rates during our stay: $250. This provided a 2.1-cents-per-point redemption value. That’s well above the average value of Hyatt points.
After passing through this exterior waiting area, we found a crowd of people in the lobby when we arrived.
Despite this, check-in was quick. The 2 employees at the desk efficiently figured out who needed help and who was just waiting around. That put us third in line, despite finding 20-something people in the lobby on our arrival.
When it was our turn, we received a warm greeting. We gave our passports and a credit card for the security deposit (we’d paid for the stay with points, as mentioned).
The friendly employee explained the breakfast times and location, where to find our room, and that we had received an upgrade. “Even though we don’t technically have an upgrades program,” he said, the hotel was near capacity, and they’d moved us to a 1 King Garden View room — a step up from the 1 King room we’d booked.
The employee also explained that all of the maps and toiletries on the nearby counter were free. They were available around the clock, and we could help ourselves.
He also pointed out the 2 coffee stations in the lobby. These also were free and were available 24/7. Our check-in concluded with a friendly goodbye and an indication of where to find the elevators to our room. It was efficient, friendly, and didn’t leave out anything important.
Every Hyatt Place location should include free breakfast, free Wi-Fi, and an inexpensive stay (compared to other options in the area). The Hyatt Place Kyoto had those and much more.
There were coffee stations on both sides of the lobby. Available at all hours, you could make a cup using the single-serving pods.
After making your coffee, grab a seat at one of the multiple seating areas around the lobby or hang out at the tables in the breakfast nook.
Common to most Hyatt Place locations, there was a microwave near the elevators. This is great if you want to save money by picking up items at the many nearby convenience stores, rather than dining at a restaurant.
While on the small side, there was a fitness center. It had 2 treadmills, an elliptical, and a rowing machine.
There were free weights and a weight machine along the other wall. A station near the door had drinking water, a sink, and towels.
Immediately next to the gym, a laundry room had all-in-one washer/dryer units. It was popular, as I saw people waiting in line for the laundry twice during our 2-night stay.
The machines were coin-operated, and you could get change at the front desk.
Wi-Fi was reliable throughout the property, and speeds were good. We watched YouTube without problems and got average download speeds of 30Mbps throughout our stay.
During check-in, the desk agent told us that items on the counters near reception were free. These included maps and tourist information, as well as activity books for kids.
Other items included body towels (made of a loofah-type material) and individual-sized toiletries.
It was interesting that this was the only way to get lotion in the room, despite most hotels having some type of bottle of hand lotion (of varying sizes) in guest rooms.
While exploring the property on our final night, I followed a sign for “The Annex” that led past the breakfast nook and out the back door. Across a small alleyway, there’s actually a second building with additional guest rooms. This extra building is the Annex.
If you stay here, watch for cars when crossing between this building and the main property.
Numerous hotels lock the front door at night, and you’ll need your room key to get in. What sets the Hyatt Place Kyoto apart is that there’s a call button with a camera in case you forgot your key.
A pair of elevators was next to the fitness center and laundry, behind the “freebies” area of the lobby.
Buttons were obvious and included braille. You needed to tap your room key to go to guest floors, and the button for your assigned floor lit up automatically.
The elevators were spacious and worked efficiently. There was some seating in the elevator waiting area on the ground floor but no seating near the elevators on the guest floors.
We stayed in room 250, located on the second floor (1 floor above the lobby).
It’s essentially the same as a standard room with 1 king bed, but it has views of a small garden.
Unfortunately, the windows to the garden are locked.
The room had an L shape, bending around the bathroom to move from the door to the bed.
The king-sized bed was comfortable, and the sheets were light and smooth.
The pillows weren’t great but provided a medium level of support. Each side of the bed had a nightstand (with one containing a clock and TV remote).
There was a round lamp above a set of switches to control the lights.
There was no “master” switch, unfortunately, so getting the lights we wanted off/on took some guesswork.
The panel also had USB charging ports and a 2-prong power outlet (no adapter needed). Across from the bed, there was a TV and a small counter.
The counter had a phone and notepad/pen in a drawer beneath.
The outlets near the phone were 3-prong style, plus more USB charging points.
Between the bed and the TV, there was a small sitting area.
This had a 2-person sofa and a table. While the sofa looks like it could contain a fold-out bed, it didn’t. Near the entry, there were several drawers and a safe.
The safe was big enough for passports and a small laptop, but not much else.
The drawers held shoe-cleaning supplies, laundry information, and Japanese-style robes.
Next to the drawers, there was an empty (but functioning) minifridge.
And a nearby drawer held glasses, cups, and tea supplies.
We found 2 pairs of slippers on the counter near the door.
This is also where we found our complimentary bottled water (a perk for World of Hyatt members).
Above these, there were multiple hangers on a bar (but no closet).
And 2 coat hooks were located near the door.
The touch-screen thermostat was intuitive, and controlling the temperature in the room was easy.
A wooden sliding door led to the bathroom. While not large, the bathroom’s layout maximized space.
The toilet was bidet-style with seat-warming and spray controls.
A wall-to-wall mirror sat behind the sink, and there was ample counter space to spread out your toiletries.
We also found drinking glasses on a shelf above the sink. Shelves under the sink held a hair dryer, folding mirror, and towels.
In a drawer under the sink, we found spare toothbrushes.
The shower cabin at the far end of the bathroom looked small at first, but it never felt cramped inside.
There were towel hooks next to the clear glass door, plus a bar on the door could hold towels. The shower had a rainfall shower head and pump bottles of body wash, shampoo, and conditioner from Ella Baché.
My wife loved this conditioner so much she’s looking to buy some when we get home. She has really thick hair and loved how soft her hair felt after using it.
I’ve never seen this at a hotel before, and I loved it. You can request a light refresh, full cleaning, or just new towels using these magnets.
There’s also a magnet for “do not disturb,” and all 4 stick to the door easily — without falling off when you open or close the door repeatedly. These tell housekeeping what you need that day.
Daily breakfast was included for all guests. It’s served in the restaurant area adjacent to the lobby, down 3 steps or a ramp. Foods were labeled with allergen signs and the name of the dish in English and Japanese.
On top of the traditional fare you would expect at a Hyatt Place, the Kyoto location had much more. Let’s start out with a little photo tour of the buffet. There were fruits and cold cuts.
The hotel had a range of fresh vegetables.
There was miso soup with a variety of toppings.
Of course, juice, coffee, and tea were on offer.
Multiple hot dishes rotated daily.
And there was even a full salad bar.
There was even a sign with expected wait times for various hours of breakfast each day.
After checking in and giving our room number, a host placed an “occupied” sign on the table.
When we left, we simply flipped it to “please clean up” to let the staff know we were done and not coming back.
Between the reception desk and breakfast area, there was a small market. Here, you could buy numerous cold drinks, like tea, beer, or soda.
There was a variety of bento boxes, prepacked meals, and cup noodles.
As an economy brand, you won’t receive “white glove” service or concierge treatment at the Hyatt Place Kyoto, but that doesn’t mean service was unfriendly or lacking. Here are some examples from our stay to highlight the quality service we received.
The check-in agent smiled repeatedly and called us by our names, and he provided clear, concise, efficient information about the hotel to ensure we heard everything we needed to know (including how to find our room) while he worked to disperse the growing line in the lobby. He also explained our room upgrade to let us know this isn’t something we should expect as a “given,” but he let us know we received an upgrade due to my Globalist status.
During breakfast, the employees handled large crowds efficiently without being rude. On our first morning, the check-in agent was full of smiles while explaining how the breakfast and table signs worked, and other employees routinely passed our table to remove dirty dishes, say hello, and ask if we needed anything.
During checkout, the employees asked about our stay and whether we needed assistance with our onward journey. They also indicated which exit to use for the subway, so we could find the elevator and not need to lug our suitcase down multiple flights of stairs.
However, the best service came after we had left the property. My wife left several items in the bathroom, and we called the property to ask if they could send them to our next hotel in another city. The hotel had already cataloged the items in their lost and found inventory, along with my name and room number. They asked what hotel we were going to and the name on that reservation, declining my offer of the hotel’s information and promising to coordinate directly with the hotel to get our belongings back to us. They also declined my insistence on paying for the shipping. “This is part of our customer service,” was their response.
2 days later, the items arrived at our hotel 250 miles away — as promised and at no cost to us.
The Hyatt Place Kyoto is not your average Hyatt Place, nor is it your average “budget hotel.” Instead, it has great stylistic elements, quality service, and an outstanding breakfast. The hotel’s numerous features set it apart from other locations within the Hyatt Place brand, and it’s an excellent option for stays in Kyoto — a city known for expensive points hotels. If you’re looking for a good bed, good service, and not willing to shell out for luxury properties near Japan’s ancient capital, this is a great choice for redeeming your World of Hyatt points or free night awards.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The Hyatt Place Kyoto has 239 rooms in total. There are 9 room types, including suites.
It’s not possible to use suite upgrade awards at this property, and there are no club rooms (meaning you can’t use these awards, either). However, you may receive upgrades at check-in, based on availability. This isn’t guaranteed since Hyatt Place properties don’t participate in upgrade benefits.
The layout, design, room features, and multiple room types make this property different from most Hyatt Place properties. Its breakfast also includes more than just continental fare, such as hot dishes, make-your-own sushi, and more.
You cannot use suite upgrade or club upgrade awards at Hyatt Place properties. You may receive an upgrade to a nicer room at check-in, based on availability, but this isn’t guaranteed.
This is a Category 3 property, meaning you need 12,000 points per night for a standard room during standard pricing. You’ll pay 9,000 points during off-peak pricing and 15,000 points during peak pricing.
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Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.
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