A 16-acre compound installed on the tree-covered Higashiyama Hills just outside of Kyoto, this historic 1890 hotel has hosted kings, queens, presidents, and celebrities. The 501 Western-style rooms and suites overlook Kyoto’s temples and shrines, and more authentic Japanese accommodations are available in Kasui-en, a traditional guesthouse with tatami flooring and cedar tubs. The resort has a two-kilometer bird-watching trail and traditional gardens designed by noted landscape architects Jihei Ogawa and Hakuyo Ogawa. Recharge with a facial or body treatment at Sothys Skin Care Salon on the third floor, or savor Jing tea and truffles at the Mayfair Tea Room. The hotel’s five dining options include Grandview, which serves up flavorful kyoyasai—local vegetables—to complement the verdant hillside views.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.