What do you look for in a hotel? Do you look for a comfortable bed, clean rooms, Wi-Fi and a convenient base to see the sights? A luxury resort with five star restaurants, somewhere you never want to leave? If you are in the former category, the Dormy Inn could be just right for you.
Dormy Inn is a well-run business hotel chain with locations in Japan and South Korea. Business Hotels and Resorts are different. Five star resorts, like some ryokans or the Hyatt are a destination in itself, while business hotels are used as a base to see other destinations, as a means to an end.
Business Hotels like Dormy Inn on the other hand, are used as a base. For example, a visitor would leave their luggage in the hotel room, and then spend a whole day sightseeing outside the hotel. Being a home “base”, they also have luggage storage and coin operated washing machines and clothes dryers. This is a great idea when you are traveling for a long time and you run out of clothes. Of course if you have time, you can do your laundry in your own bathroom and pull out the retractable clothes line to dry overnight.
Most guests are business people, traveling salesmen and the like. There are the occasional retired couple or college graduate, plus a smattering of people from overseas. This hotel is designed more for the Japanese speaking market, with little in the way of English TVs or Western dishes for breakfast, but don’t let that put you off. The staff at reception speak a little English, so if they don’t understand, rephrasing or writing the question neatly in English or with a picture diagram would help. On the other hand, they are always trying to help you, and it is the little touches, like folding your clothes in your room, help to make a stay here special
Compared with other Dormy Inns, the Kyoto hotel is part of the premium offering, with a relaxing communal bath and sauna area on the top floor with the feeling of a countryside hot spring. In Japan, the tradition after a big night out is to enjoy some ramen with your friends, and here they have a complementary noodle supper between 9pm and 11pm. All you need to do is go to the counter and they will cook to order. There is also a complementary microwave oven. In the morning, there is a paid breakfast buffet for 1500 yen per person offering a wide selection of fresh Japanese items, such as Kyoto vegetables and pickles as well as grilled fish; it is like a mini tour of Kyoto cuisine.
On the other hand, if you are not into a big breakfast, or would like something more European, the Lawson’s Convenience Store is next door, where you can buy yogurt, juice and bread. There are also a number of cafes nearby. For lunch and dinner, Kyoto station has a number of good restaurants, including Ramen Alley, an eat street above the station. Aoi Soba offers traditional dishes at a cheap and cheerful price, while Pontoiru gives you the experience of trying fusion pasta with chopsticks. The Man in the Moon Pub is a fun place to enjoy a wide selection of beer and spirits while watching the latest sports tournament.