Review: The Celestine Hotel Gion Kyoto

Nestled in a quiet corner of Gion in Kyoto, the Celestine Hotel Gion caught our attention in our search for a well-located accommodation in Kyoto. The hotel encapsulates the essence of Kyoto’s charm and cultural richness, offering guests an exquisite blend of traditional Japanese elegance and contemporary comforts.

We chose this property for our four night stay in Kyoto in May 2023, and we booked a deluxe twin room. Overall, we enjoyed the stay very much. If you want a hotel in Gion that is near Kyoto historic attractions and offers good Japanese breakfast, public bath, comfortable room and efficient service, we think you will be happy with the Celestine Hotel Gion.

screenshot of the Celestine Hotel Gion on Google

Is this your first trip to Japan? You may find helpful top tips for first time travelers to Japan here.

Location

The Celestine Hotel Gion is located in Kyoto’s famed Geisha district, Gion. It took us only 10 minutes to get to the hotel from Kyoto station by taxi. The ride cost slightly over 1,000 yen. There’s also a free shuttle bus running between the hotel and Kyoto Station.

The location of this hotel serves as an excellent gateway to explore the historic Gion and Higashiyama areas. A serene walk through the grounds of the Kennin-ji temple opposite the hotel (the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto) will take you to the bustling Hanamikoji-dori, which is full of shops and restaurants. We took this walk at least twice a day and got quite fond of it.

the grounds at Kennin-ji temple in Kyoto
The grounds at Kennin-ji temple
Hanamikoji-dori in Kyoto
Hanamikoji-dori in Kyoto

Iconic sights such as Kiyomizu-dera and Yasaka Shrine are within a comfortable 15-minute walk from the hotel, making it an ideal base to explore Kyoto’s historic landmarks. The area directly surrounding the hotel remains quiet both during the day and at night, so we could relax comfortably after a day of exploration.

There are many good restaurants within walking distance from the Celestine Hotel Gion. I include some restaurant recommendations near the hotel in this best Kyoto local foods guide and Hanasaki Manjiro kaiseki restaurant review.

Rooms

Upon entering our room, we were quite pleased to see how clean and neat it looked. The room’s neutral color palette exuded a sense of Zen, and the window overlooked a small green area. Despite being on the ground floor, it was absolutely quiet.

view of deluxe twin room at Celestine Hotel Gion in Kyoto

Our deluxe twin room had a comfortable 34m2 (366 square feet) space equipped with a humidifier and bathtub. It is a decent sized room for a Japanese hotel, however, since we had 2 large suitcases and 1 carry-on, maneuvering around the room was slightly inconvenient sometimes. We may consider an executive twin room next time if we still bring that many suitcases.

The quiet surrounding, the absence of noises from any adjacent rooms, and the comfortable bed allowed us to sleep very well every night. Bathroom wasn’t spacious, but toiletries were of decent quality and the shower had strong water pressure.

Facilities

Lobby at the Celestine Hotel Gion, one of the best hotels in Gion Kyoto
Lobby at the Celestine Hotel Gion

The public area is pleasantly designed with ample seating and the lobby always smelled very calming. The guest lounge, open from 1-6 pm, is free for guests to use, however it is pretty small.

Guest lounge at Celestine hotel Gion in Kyoto
Guest lounge at the Celestine Hotel Gion

The Celestine Gion has a public bath for each gender, providing a soothing soak after a long day of exploration. They also provide yukata to wear to the bathhouse, adding an authentic touch to the stay.

Food & Beverage

A breakfast buffet was included in our room rate. The dining room isn’t large and can get a little noisy at times, so we often tried to have an early breakfast.

a tray of food from the breakfast buffet at the Celestine Hotel Gion in Kyoto

While the options might not be vast, there was enough variety for us to compose a satisfying Japanese breakfast of small traditional dishes. We particularly liked their tamagoyaki and vegetable tempura. Additional options include yogurt, granola, fruits, and the delightful warabi mochi.

However, it’s worth noting for those who prefer Western breakfast options, they might find the selection limited. Another drawback is the breakfast offerings remained the same throughout our five-day stay.

a tray of fruits and desserts from the Celestine Hotel Gion breakfast

Breakfast was from 7:00-10:30 am, which we found pretty convenient for sightseeing. It allowed us the flexibility of either having an early breakfast then heading to attractions, or visiting super popular places very early to avoid crowds and then coming back to the hotel for breakfast.

You can read more about dining options at the Celestine Gion here.

Service

The service at The Celestine Hotel Gion was commendable. Generally, we did not have much difficulty communicating with their staff in English. The staff were polite, professional, and efficient, ensuring quick check-in and check-out procedures.

We were not given an early check-in, which seemed to be the norm at most hotels in Japan. So don’t be upset if you can’t get an early check-in.

The front desk was also very accommodating, assisting with taxi bookings, luggage delivery arrangements, and restaurant reservations. They helped us secure a lunch reservation at Hassun, a highly-rated restaurant on Tabelog that also has 1 Michelin star.

two suitcases
Staff helped us sent two suitcases to Tokyo using Yamato luggage delivery service

Price

The average cost per night of our reservation in May for the Deluxe Twin room, inclusive of breakfast, was 42,000 yen. Considering the hotel’s prime location, the condition of the room, and the efficient service, we found the price acceptable.

How to Book

The Celestine Hotel Gion can be booked directly on the hotel’s official website. We booked with them via their website and paid at check out.

You can also check the price on third-party sites, such as booking.com and agoda.com, and compare.

Check Prices & Availability
Booking.com Agoda.com

Overall Impression

In summary, The Celestine Hotel Gion, with its thoughtful amenities, good service, and prime location, offers a serene and comfortable stay. We wholeheartedly recommend it to travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the historic Gion district while enjoying modern comforts.

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