Kyoto is renowned for its peaceful gardens, Shinto shrines, and dynamic, design-oriented architecture (both traditional and modern). The Japanese city has long attracted creatives—everyone from David Bowie to Steve Jobs—seeking a culturally rich destination in which to relax, recharge, and source inspiration. So when the design-oriented Ace Hotel opens its first-ever Japanese outpost in Kyoto this spring, the development will likely be a natural fit.
The 213-room hotel is partially housed in the former Kyoto Central Telephone Company building, which was designed in the mid-1920s by one of Japan’s great architects, Tetsuro Yoshida (1894–1956). Its current reimagining as Ace Hotel Kyoto was in collaboration with Kengo Kuma, the esteemed Japanese architect renowned for his minimalist building designs, including the Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum and, more recently, the Olympic Stadium for the Tokyo 2020 Games. The hotel also includes a new structure across from the repurposed building, separated by a central courtyard filled with greenery—one of many landscaped gardens across the property.
In line with the hotel brand’s reverence for incorporating hyper-local elements into each property’s design, Ace Hotel Kyoto will showcase original works by Japanese artists such as Tokyo-born craftsman Samiro Yunoki, who’s known for his colorful patterned textiles. Local art will be displayed throughout the property’s spaces, which include a café, gallery, and three separate restaurants, for which specific details have not yet been announced. Most guest rooms will also feature Japanese soaking tubs and tatami mats (traditional floor coverings), and Japanese whiskeys will be on the menu at the lobby bar.
“Every detail and material was thought through to connect the building, land, and history together,” said architect Kengo Kuma when the Ace Hotel Kyoto plans were first announced in 2018. “The thought was to create a hotel that is connected to Kyoto and open to the surrounding area.”
Ace Hotel Kyoto is centrally located near landmark treasures such as the Nijō Castle, Nishiki Market, and the Museum of Kyoto and Kyoto Art Center. The hotel in Japan’s former capital will welcome guests prior to the Summer 2020 Olympics in the country’s current capital, Tokyo, which is reachable from Kyoto in just under three hours by train.
Ace Hotel Kyoto reservations can be made online for stays beginning April 16, 2020. Rates start from $400 per night.
This article originally appeared online in April 2018; it was updated on January 30, 2020, to include current information.