Maja Hotel — Kyoto, Japan
If the rash of new hotel openings - which includes offerings from the Aman and Park Hyatt groups among others - is anything to go by, Kyoto is certainly having a moment.
The newest kid on the block is the 60-room Maja Hotel, an updated version of Japan’s traditional capsule concept, but with a slick Scandinavian look.
Behind a timber-slatted façade - a modern nod to Kyoto’s machiya townhouses - on a quiet street in central Kawaramachi, Finnish industrial designer Harri Koskinen has created a serene and minimal aesthetic revealed through a mix of light Tamo Ash wood, concrete and considered lighting.
With an entrance designed to resemble the shape of a house, complete with a triangle roof, the capsules themselves come in two sizes: the smaller ones follow a traditional capsule hotel format and are stacked on top of each other in two levels, while the larger ones are full-height walk-in rooms complete with a western-style bed. Privacy comes courtesy of blue-green pulldown Marimekko textile blinds, designed by Koskinen himself.
Also designed by Koskinen are the tables - using legs made from a tree that used to grow in the building’s courtyard - and his iwatemo KI-0202HK chairs, crafted in Iwate Prefecture, which fill the communal public spaces.
Meanwhile, Cafe Aalto serves up a taste of Finland – from salmon soup to cinnamon rolls – alongside official reproductions of Aalto-designed tables and chairs.§