Noku — Kyoto, Japan
Despite the fickle nature of the travel industry, the one destination that remains constant, is Japan; its easy nature, compelling culture and natural beauty has made it a popular draw for seasoned travellers and occasional tourists alike.
So it’s no surprise then, that the country’s hospitality industry continues to boom with hotels from local brands such as Hoshino Resorts to international groups like the Four Seasons opening at a dizzying pace. The latest brand to follow suit is from Singaporean property company Roxy-Pacific. Taking its cues from the trend for affordable design accommodation, the 81-room Noku Kyoto might not have five star butler service, but its endearing charm, calming Japanese design sensibility and faultless location - right next to the Marutumachi subway station and adjacent to the bucolic gardens of the city’s Imperial Palace - is certainly great value.
Inside, the aesthetic is subtle and understated, with blonde woods, soft lighting and a low-key colour palette that has been smartly interspersed with colourful patterned headboards, adding a dash of modernity and texture. Bathrooms, to be fair, are on the cosy side, but what it lacks in space, is more than made up for with the generous-sized bottles of Shiseido amenities.
In the lobby, sip on artisanal brews from local coffee master Takahiro Maeda, who has provided locals with their caffeine fix since 1971, and fuel up on the delicious french toast, before immersing yourself in the city’s sites- many of which are only a short stroll away.