Kyoto, Japan – February 7th, 2014 – Heralded as one of the most highly-anticipated openings of 2014 in one of the world’s most culturally-rich cities, The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. and Sekisui House, Ltd., one of Japan’s leading property developers, officially opened The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto today; the city’s first truly international luxury hotel and Japan’s first urban resort.
Located in the heart of a city famed for its Zen temples, palaces and gardens, the riverside resort brings the unsurpassed elegance and renowned service of The Ritz-Carlton to Kyoto, while honoring the cultural heritage of the city through design.
“We are honoured to open our fourth Ritz-Carlton in Japan, in the beautiful city of Kyoto. Our customers are always looking to explore evocative, new and inspiring destinations and have long expressed a desire for us to offer in this incredible location” said Herve Humler, president and chief operating officer of The Ritz-Carlton. “I believe this hotel offers a timeless window to Japan and complements perfectly 85 other Ritz-Carlton properties around the globe.”
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto is a peaceful sanctuary. It sits on the gentle banks of the Kamogawa River in Nijho Ohashi, close to Kyoto’s popular downtown areas including Gion and Kawaramachi-dori, the city’s retail and entertainment districts.
The hotel’s luxury guestrooms and suites offer full views of the river and the Higashiyama Mountains. The architects and designers have retained the character and aesthetic of a traditional Meiji house and courtyard into the architectural structure of the building. The interiors created by Peter Remedios and Spin Studios pay homage to the traditions of Japan, with patterned motifs created by local artisans and the incorporation of Zen rock gardens (karesansui) and water features, including a four-storey waterfall are aesthetically positioned in the heart of the hotel.
The Kamogawa Suite and its sister suites with their moon deck gardens (tsukimidai) and floor to ceiling windows offer luxurious accommodations with enviable panoramic views of the river and mountains, forming an unrivalled sanctuary of luxury refinement and service.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa, nestled at the foot of the waterfall, features seven intimate and inviting treatment rooms and offers signature services inspired by the rich culture of Japan and ESPA. These include a traditional Acupressure Massage using the dry Shiatsu techniques as well as the Ryokucha Serenity Ritual based on green tea leaves, Gyokuro, dried from the Sun for 20 days in Uji, southern Kyoto and famed for their restorative properties.
In a city famed for its culinary offerings, The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto adds new and distinctive fine-dining experiences against an elegant backdrop.
The Japanese restaurant, Mizuki, modeled around a dynamic landscape composed of stone garden, water fall and historical features, serves modern Japanese cuisine including a famed Kaiseki options alongside sushi, tempura and teppanyaki. The restaurant includes an outdoor terrace complete with fire pits for gourmet diners to enjoy the dynamic scenery during Sakura and Autumn seasons.
La Locanda, the Italian restaurant, pays homage to the hotel site’s history. Its private room, called Ebisugawatei, is a preserved historically-listed building while the restaurant also features its own walk-in charcuterie and l’affineur cheese cellar. The unrivalled wine list offers 250 varieties from Super Tuscans to Italian regional classics.
Meanwhile, Pierre Hermé Paris, creator of Haute Pâtisserie, will bring his popular creations and introduce an exclusive range of signature desserts to The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. The unique collaboration will showcase his work throughout the property including restaurants, meetings, weddings and banquets.
The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto also introduces extraordinary meetings, luxury weddings and special events spaces with four rooms, each named after a cherry blossom species – Takane Ballroom, Kocho, Shidare and Kanzan meeting rooms. The property will also feature a wedding showroom consulting for couples on their big day, showcasing the detailed finery and services that will transform the ordinary into the extraordinary.
Exceptionally rich in beauty, history, spirituality and culture, Kyoto draws 50 million visitors annually to experience the former capital of Japan and its 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The city and its environs is also home to almost a quarter of Japan’s national treasures. While many of these visitors are Japanese, there is real growth in the numbers of international visitors coming to the city, and Kyoto is now very much must-see destination for sophisticated global travelers who are attracted to the city for its quintessential Japanese experience.