The Lobby Bar. Royal Park Hotel THE Kyoto.
Yes that is the actual name of the hotel ‘Royal Park Hotel THE Kyoto‘. I can rarely remember the full name for this reason – it looks like an error does it not? I always feel compelled to switch the words around in my head and drop the capitals.. but that might just be me.
Let me assure you the hotel, and its bar, is indeed worth remembering AND you’d also be best to remember that it isn’t The Royal Hotel and Spa which is in fact situated around the corner on Kawaramachi Street. Apparently the two hotels are commonly mistaken for one another – the good thing is that if you get out of the taxi with your luggage at the wrong place – it’s only a few minutes of dragging your suitcase!
I was reviewing a handful of hotels for an article I was writing for Delicious Magazine a couple of years ago and whilst staying here I took myself down to check out the bar. As you do. And proceeded to order myself a seriously good G&T.
I like the bar – it is a little oasis in the midst of a very busy part of town. Well busy for Kyoto, it ain’t Tokyo or Osaka. And there is a fabulous giant photo on the wall of a mown grass field with a boy playing with his football – and I believe it was taken in Australia (don’t ask me why -either someone told me or I read it somewhere or… I made it up) which makes the place feel a little familiar – and that isn’t a bad thing in a bar. Or is it?
The hotel is slap bang in the heart of town – on Sanjo Street very close to the Kawaramachi/Sanjo intersection and a very convenient base. The rooms are rather compact – as is common in Japan – but elegant and comfortable. The beds are particularly snuggly. Put two people with suitcases and a need for hanging room in the same room and things can get a little squeasy. But when you are this close to shops, restaurants, cafes and sightseeing you might easily overlook all that.
Which brings me back to the bar – let it be a little extra space for you to relax in during your stay. Or make it a retreat from the street, especially in the summer heat when you need to rest your feet and yes I was aware I was rhyming as I typed. And no I am not going to change it. It is so bad it’s kinda good.