Kyoto is best worth a visit for its beautiful bridges, geishas and cherry blossoms. But the lack of international hotels means most travelers opt for a rustic ryokan, or Japanese inn, which can often be a little too barebones with not much more than a rollaway tatami straw bed. Now there’s a splurge-worthy option: enter 39-room Suiran, a recently opened Starwood Luxury Collection hotel that mixes the authentic experience with luxury surrounds. Located on the grounds of a world heritage site, the Tenryuji Temple, Suiran has great views of the Arashiyama hills (best known for its famous Bamboo Grove) as well as a pretty, leafy riverside location. The place keeps up with Kyoto culture, albeit taking it for a fancy spin with ryokan-inspired rooms, calming neutral tones and open-air bathtubs.
From JPY60,000. 12 Susukinobaba-cho, Kyoto, Japan, (+81) 75-872-0101, www.luxurycollection.com/suiran.