Ace Hotel Kyoto Is Perfect for Design Travelers Seeking Elevated, yet Unfussy Accommodations

01.29.20 | By
Ace Hotel Kyoto Is Perfect for Design Travelers Seeking Elevated, yet Unfussy Accommodations

Japanese architect Kengo Kuma’s imprint is subtle but evident across the latest Ace Hotel destination located in the historic and former capital of Japan, Kyoto. The new 213 room hotel is a part new, part historic structure co-designed by Kuma within the former confines of the Kyoto Central Telephone Company originally designed by architect Tetsuro Yoshida, arriving ahead of this year’s 2020 Tokyo Olympics for design aficionados*.

I intended to design a ‘Cultural Catalyst’ for various people to visit and create a seamless relationship with Kyoto’s community.

— Kengo Kuma, Principal, Kengo Kuma and Associates

The hallmarks of the relaxed air Ace Hotels offers guests make a surprisingly natural partner to Kuma’s affinity for simple, honest surfaces – an effect further harmonized by the contributions of award-winning and longtime Ace partner, Commune Design.

The contemporary, yet warmly executed use of materiality of wood throughout references Japan’s characteristic respect for unfussy natural surfaces, offering guests a stay unencumbered by formality.

The proximity of a verdant garden courtyard, accompanied with additional features such as an art gallery and event spaces decorated with works in collaboration with local artists further underscores the tranquil modernity offered. A cafe and three stand-alone restaurants are also available on site for guests to enjoy during their stay.

Ace Hotel Group Chief Brand Officer and Partner, Kelly Sawdon, describes the new Kyoto hotel as a natural extension of the city itself, one inspiring “countless artists, designers, musicians, filmmakers and poets”, envisioned to represent the confluence of creativity “for locals and travelers” alike.

The property offers eight tiers of rooms, starting from a Standard King room with king size bed, window seats, Japanese soaking tub, separate shower, a Tivoli radio, and turntable with a small collection of vinyl on hand, onwards up to the spacious Ace Suites, offering a king bed or two double beds with a separate dining, bar and living area, double vanity, Japanese soaking tub, and a separate shower.

Those seeking a more historic experience can choose to stay within one of the Tatami Suites, giving guests the opportunity to enjoy a night’s rest upon four tatami futons, while also having access to double vanities, a turntable, Japanese soaking tub, separate shower, and a bar.

There’s no doubt the Ace Hotel Kyoto will immediately become an architectural flame for moths of global design, with reservations now available for stays beginning on April 16th, 2020.

*In line with the recommendation of the Kyoto city government opening of Ace Kyoto is now slated to open later in Spring 2020.

What: Ace Hotel Kyoto
Where: 245-2 Aneyakojidori Higashinotoin-nishiiru Kurumayacho, Nagagyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan 604-8185
How much: From $400
Highlights: Rooms offer guests access to their own Japanese soaking tub and original art from local Japanese artists impart the hotel with regional flavor across every grade of room.
Design draw: The tasteful contemporary interpretation of a ryokan experience as envisioned by architect Kengo Kuma and decorated with interior details by Commune Design should offer an utmost satisfying experience for the design traveler seeking elevated, yet unfussy accommodations in Japan’s historic capital.
Book it: Ace Hotel Kyoto

Photos courtesy of Ace Hotel Group.

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Gregory Han is a Senior Editor at Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at