Visiting Japan during cherry blossom season has always been high on my wish list. When my best friend suggested celebrating his 40th birthday (which is in April) in Japan, I knew we might have a chance to see the famous, yet unpredictable, blossoms during the same trip.

Research and booking

The Westin Miyako Kyoto is ranked #105 out of 477 hotels in Kyoto on Tripadvisor, which puts it within the top quarter of hotels in the city.

Due to ludicrous paid pricing during the cherry blossom season, The Suiran, Luxury Collection Hotel was already sold out, so we jumped on the last available redemption room for three nights at the Westin Kyoto using SPG points at the time.

The Wesin Kyoto is currently a Category 5 Marriott Bonvoy hotel, so you can book a base room for 35,000 points per night (or 30,000 for off-peak nights or 40,000 during peak when they are introduced).

Lobby & Check-in

We arrived in the evening and there was no wait to check-in due to five staff on duty.

Westin Miyako Kyoto checkin counters

The double-height lobby has a large water feature as the centrepiece.

Westin Miyako Kyoto lobby

The staff advised us that the hotel was fully booked during our stay, so a Platinum member suite upgrade wasn’t possible. They had a smoking room available (it’s still a thing in Japan) and were happy to show it to us. We took one step in, turned straight back around and declined. The smell of cigarette smoke in the room was intense!

Room

The room is showing its age and the styling is very dated. The bed was firm, however I prefer a firmer bed so had no complaints.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden view
Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden view bedroom side table

A full-length mirror is blocked by the work desk.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden View
Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden View room

A lounge chair is placed by the window.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden Room lounge chair

Our ‘Garden Room’ looked out over the trees.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden room view

An Illy capsule coffee machine is included.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden view room Illy coffee machine

Along with a kettle and complimentary bottles of water for Marriott Bonvoy members.

Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden View room kettle and water

There’s also a small refrigerator/mini bar with a few drinks.

Westin Miyako Kyoto minibar

Bathroom

The bathroom is also dated. It featured a shower over a bath.

Westin Kyoto Deluxe Garden view bathroom
Westin Kyoto Deluxe Garden view bathroom

Heavenly by Westin Spa Whit Tea Aloe toiletries are provided.

Westin Kyoto Deluxe Garden view bathroom toiletries

Restaurants

The Westin Kyoto is home to five restaurants and bars.

The AQUABLU Café Restaurant is the primary all-day dining restaurant and home to breakfast and dinner buffets and overlooks the lobby and reception area.

Aquablu Cafe Westin Miyako Kyoto

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum and above members receive complimentary breakfast.

Due to peak season with the hotel at capacity, AQUABLU filled early each morning and breakfast overflow guests were seated in the adjacent function hall. My partner quipped that it felt like, “a weird interracial wedding where no one spoke to anyone and the buffet was the centre of attention.”

Westin Miyako Kyoto function hall
Westin Miyako Kyoto function hall

The Club Lounge, which is available for guests staying on a Club Lounge level or Bonvoy Platinum and above members, was located on the top floor with views across Kyoto.

Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge view

Complimentary refreshments were available all day with Sake, Wine and Spirits available in the evening.

Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge drinks
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge drinks
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge drinks
Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge drinks

A plate of the day was also complimentary for each guest in the evening which featured four canapes.

Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge canapes

Facilities

The gym was complimentary to use for all guests.

Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge gym

Yet oddly, guests staying in the hotel had to pay to use the pool.

Westin Kyoto Miyako Club Lounge pool

There is a complimentary shuttle bus between the hotel and the Kyoto Shinkansen station.

Local Area

Despite the age of the hotel, you visit Kyoto for the history and the hotel is conveniently located right next to a subway station. You can pick up an all-day bus or subway pass for ¥600.

If you want to see the Arashiyama Bamboo Forest I highly recommend waking up early and visiting before 10am so you can see its beauty without the crowds:

Greg Stone at Arashiyama Bamboo Forest Kyoto

And you cannot miss a day trip out to Nara where you will meet deer who have learnt to bow to visitors in the hope you will reward them with a biscuit (which can be purchased in the park):

Greg Store in Nara with deer

Other Japan hotels reviews

Other Westin reviews

Summary

Overall, the hotel is in desperate need of renovation which has thankfully been underway since June 2018. The refreshed rooms look excellent however there is still a risk of receiving an older room whilst the hotel is a construction site.

The club lounge views, complimentary beverages and canapes were welcome after a long day exploring. But you’re spoilt for choice in Kyoto for amazing restaurants, so you shouldn’t fill up on too many snacks before dinner.

While you don’t visit Kyoto to stay in a hotel, the hotel is an acceptable place to rest your head, a good launching pad to see the city and will only improve once the renovations have been complete.

The Westin Miyako Kyoto Deluxe Garden View room overview was last modified: July 5th, 2019 by Greg Stone