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Japan's ancient capital to get new top-end hotels

travel Updated: Nov 21, 2011 13:34 IST
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Japan's ancient capital of Kyoto is to benefit from the opening of two
high-end hotels in 2014, a demonstration of faith in a city that was
recently voted the best in Asia by readers of US magazine Conde Nast

Ritz-Carlton has confirmed the long-rumored plan for a hotel alongside the Kamogawa river, which is one of the most popular walking spots in the ancient city, particularly during the cherry blossom season in the spring.

Strict regulations on the construction of buildings within the metropolis -- which remains one of the few low-rise cities in Japan -- mean that the hotel will have a maximum of four floors above ground but a further three levels underground.

The hotel said the property will have 140 guest rooms, with standard guest rooms an average of 50 square meters, among the most generous of all luxury hotels in Japan.

The second international newcomer will be the Kyoto Four Seasons Hotel, which is to be built close to Sanjusangendo Temple, or the Hall of the Lotus King. The temple, to the east of the city, is famous for its 1,000 statues of armed Kannon deities.

Despite its popularity with both domestic and international travelers -- in good part due to its important position in Japanese history as well as its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to fully 20 percent of Japan's National Treasures -- Kyoto has been notoriously lacking in top-class accommodation options.

Rooms at the Ritz-Carlton, which is being built on the site of the demolished Hotel Fujita Kyoto, are expected to start at around Y50,0000 (€481) a night, while the Four Seasons, which already operates two properties in Tokyo, will reportedly begin at Y40,000 (€385).

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