We here at L&A love to plan our trips down to the finest detail. Some folks like to fly by the seat of their pants and go where the wind blows them, but that’s not us (well, not Ryan). But there are times when traveling that sticking to the plan is not in your best interest. We booked a room at an inn in a small town in the Japanese Alps. It was grubby and shabby, which would be fine if it were cheap or we didn’t have a choice, but at $200 for one night, we expected a bit more. The inn keepers were very nice, but in the end, even though it was late in the day, we altered our plans and decided to continue on to our next destination, Kyoto, a day earlier than our reservation. It was an hour by local train to Toyama where we could pick up a JR train to Kyoto. We were not sure if a train ran to Kyoto this late, so we went to the JR ticket office to find out. We showed our JR passes to the super helpful agent, and he put us on a train that would leave in 25 minutes and arrive in Kyoto three hours later at 10pm.
We arrived at the hotel a night early, hoping to get a room. Even though it was late, the staff accommodated us immediately. In fact, we were given a half price rate for that night.
We want both comfort and affordability; the small inn offered neither, but you will find both at the Hotel Monterey in Kyoto. The rooms here are spacious by Japanese standards and are about the size of a European hotel room. You are provided with complimentary toiletries and some pajamas to wear during your stay. There is a restaurant and bar on the first floor and a hot spring bath on the top floor. It is a large hotel with 327 rooms, but the staff gives it a cozy feel. The hotel is located in the center of the city and is within walking distance of most of the attractions.
Hotel Monterey is located just one block south of the main subway station. (Kyoto has two subway lines; one runs east-west and the other runs north-south and they cross at Karasuma station).
Affordability, convenience and comfort come together to make Hotel Monterey a wonderful place to stay while visiting Kyoto.