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“Great experience with a Japanese-style hotel” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Gion Shinmonso

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Gion Shinmonso
Ranked #110 of 360 Hotels / Ryokan in Kyoto
Certificate of Excellence
Liege, Belgium
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
“Great experience with a Japanese-style hotel”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 April 2011

This was our first experience with a japanese-style hotel (ryokan), and we certainly don't regret it. The staff was very kind and welcoming, and the rooms were very pleasant. We had our kaiseki-style dinner served in the banquet room, even if usually guests prefer to have it in their room. Go there if you are on vacation for sight-seeing and seek a positive experience with a Japanese-style hotel. Very good location in Kyoto (Gion and Pontocho are at walking distance).

  • Stayed February 2011, travelled on business
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank bwis04
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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98 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    44
    39
    10
    3
    2
See reviews for
35
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (7)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Korean first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Swedish first
  • Any
English first
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 September 2010

A beautiful, tranquil and wonderfully located ryokan (just off of Shijo-dori, the main shopping centre. The street itself is lined with restaurants and places to drink). The ryokan has some lovely traditional elements, such as small zen gardens and traditional instrumental music in the reception area, screens with simple paintings in the rooms, tatami mats, tea sets and low, elegantly curved tables and chairs. I found the ryokan also smelled really nice.
A balance was found between traditional and modern, with light, open and airy bedrooms, mini fridges and bidets (wonderful things, with heated toilet seats and warm, pleasant water spout options for men and women!) adjoining every room. While colour TV was available, the range of channels was limited (standard, I'm guessing - and, forgive me, but Japanese TV was essentially inane morning breakfast shows all day long). Slippers and yukatas were provided for the stay.
Bathrooms were available and, although not en suite, they were, like much of Japan, were immaculate. And, although shared, my partner and I had it to ourselves whenever we needed it. The bath itself was, in classic Japanese style, very deep and square-like in shape - making for a truly meditative bath-time experience.
The indoor onsen was lovely, with powder rooms, accessories, showers lining the onsen itself (so perhaps not for the inhibitive - the culture is for users to wash in view of others, if any, to ensure cleanliness, and to bathe naked) and a wall of tall windows (with a shielding screen of course) lined with bamboo plants. The atmosphere is very relaxed and there are no staff here, so unlike some of the more traditional, militant onsen, any guests with tattoos are not ostracised.
A gift shop and lounge area with TV is also available in the main lobby.
A downside is the lack of internet access in rooms; while there is a public computer with free internet access in the main reception area, this does limit Internet calling. Nor is there an in-built restaurant, although the ryokan does offer breakfast in a lovely spacious and minimalistic yet elegant dining area (with small fish you cook yourself over a small burner, rice and small, but numerous, samples of exotic cuisine that, all-in-all, was surprisingly filling and very enjoyable.
While we were there a maiko geisha came to visit and an evening meal with a traditional dance was held on the rooftop - a much more casual environment, with flowing beer and nibblies. The event was marketed as a meal, however, but the food was very scarce (a small fish with hardly any flesh and with all of its innards intact, making it difficult to eat, was the most substantial aspect) despite how expensive it was. We were, however, entertained by the maiko geisha, were able to take pictures, were given a small interview with her (via a translator) and had a thoroughly Japanese experience!
The ryokan, at around £50 a night, was surprisingly [relatively] cheap considering its beauty, standards and location (and especially when compared to English hotels), although is perhaps not affordable for longer than a couple of nights - or particularly necessary, as the ryokan is rather minimalistic. My boyfriend and I were more than happy to slum it for the majority of our travels to afford a stay in a place like this, however!

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank sarahsometimes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Eagle River, AK
Level Contributor
25 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 May 2010

My 9-year-old son and I stayed at Gion Shinmonso, looking for a ryokan experience. It was perfect for us. The location is good--quiet, but within walking distance of Higashiyama and also the subways. The staff was the best part--friendly, hospitable, helpful. Our room was very comfortable. We had breakfast both mornings, and a formal dinner in our room the second night. The food was excellent, the presentation was exquisite, and the service was all that one could ask for. I would happily stay there again.

  • Stayed April 2010, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Huntingtons
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
110 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 April 2010

My room had 2 function rooms opposite, a pantry next door on one side and a staff room on the other. Below was a piano bar and the window was near a busy street. The hotel noise stopped about 11pm and started again at 6am. I asked to move but the other 2 floors were booked to high school children. When I mentioned moving they mentioned cancellation fee. No service. The ofuro smelt of chlorine. You'd be mad to stay here unless you like staying awake all night. Avoid floor 2 at all costs.

  • Stayed April 2010
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
12 Thank bariloche48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Gion Shinmonso

Property: Gion Shinmonso
Address: Shinmon Mae, Hanamikoji, Higashiyama Ku, Kyoto 605-0082, Kyoto Prefecture
Region: Japan > Kinki > Kyoto Prefecture > Kyoto > Gion
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi )
Hotel Style:
#39 Top resorts Hotel in Kyoto
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): €€
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Gion Shinmonso 3.5*
Number of rooms: 21
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Gion Shinmonso Hotel Kyoto

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