Time for the next hotel review and this one comes from Kyoto, the APA Hotel Kyoto-Ekimae, located right next to Kyoto Station. This is a nice, business hotel, but has some things about it you should know about.
From what I can gather, the APA hotels are Japan’s budget/business hotels. They are no thrills, very simple, and budget friendly. Well, that is exactly what the Kyoto-Ekimae hotel is. It was simple, just two beds (the room we had was for two people, the image is from my friend who stayed in his own room so using his image and video below with his permission of course), a shower, and the most uncomfortable pillows I have ever seen at a hotel. Usually you wouldn’t hear me get upset over pillows, but these things were just awful (you would be better off with a rock or your luggage).
To get into it more, let’s start with the hotel itself. Location wise, it is great, located just a short walk from Kyoto Station, which is good if you are lugging a lot of luggage (also near a lot of restaurants within a short walking distance). However, being that close means you hear the constant sound of trains running at all hours. To be honest, it isn’t that bad and almost sounds like rain (which to me is relaxing) but there is always a constant low noise outside. The hotel grounds are clean and well kept. The staff was friendly, but at least for the one person we dealt with, did not speak a lot of English, but when you are in Japan, you should expect this (I don’t expect every person to understand/speak perfect English). It is not a big issue, but if you are looking for directions or expecting a full conversation with the staff, the language barrier is something to remember (no matter where you go in Japan).
The room itself is small and the bathroom, even smaller. However, this is typical of most Japanese hotels and we had two beds in the room, so the single bed rooms are even smaller. These kinds of hotels are meant to be a place to sleep and move on with your day, not a place to live and relax for an afternoon.
The biggest issue with these hotels is just the lack of space overall. With grown adults and luggage, space goes quickly, so be prepared to make adjustments to where you sit and set up shop when you stay at these hotels. Overall the rooms were very clean and grounds were well kept. We never had any issues with noisy people in the halls and the area was simply nice. It was not thrilling but for a budget hotel near the station, you get what you pay for.
Overall it was a solid hotel near the train station. Was it the best? Not really. Was it my favorite? Far from it. But did it do the job? Yes and that’s all you can ask for with a budget hotel.