Hotel Anteroom Kyoto is what happens when the avant garde artists of Kyoto and Berlin have a love child. Part atelier, part thinking space, but 100% designed to engender community and creativity. As the name suggests, it is like the ante room in which you prepare yourself before entering the theatre and open air gallery that is Kyoto.
Art is at the very heart of this hotel’s DNA, which is immediately obvious from the moment you step inside, with a gallery in the lobby. Your heart will sing before saying hello at the reception. Most exhibitions in their Gallery 9.5 are connected with Kyoto in some way, such as artists who are based to Kyoto.
Recently they had an exhibition of Yasuto Sasada - a Japanese artist who has mixed the graphics of traditional Japanese characters and mechanics into his paintings and sculptures, using a 0.3mm ballpoint pen to bring incredible detail to life. Visitors are free to see the exhibition and from time to time have the opportunity to purchase these works of art. These works reflect the character of the city, and gives you an insight and a sense of belonging even if you only stay briefly.
The hotel believes that art is should not be limited to the gallery, and so even in the guest rooms, there is something artistic at every corner. All it takes is your mind to notice those little details in the furniture and decor.
Light and space are hallmarks of this hotel and its guestrooms, furnished with neutral tones that are easy on the eye. The most spacious rooms are the twin rooms with terrace at 30 square meters, with a private wood deck terrace at 20 square meters. While there are rooms above your terrace, such a large outdoor space is a rarity amongst hotels in Kyoto. The feeling of space extends to the bathroom, which is big enough for two people to use at the same time with a separate toilet and bath area.
The furniture is reminiscent of the Bauhaus School of design. Everything is functional yet elegant and minimalist, and stylish to look at. The double seat leather couch with wooden tea table creates a separate cozy living area away from the bed and the entrance. The German industrial theme continues throughout the hotel, with exposed pipes in the ceilings and concrete floors in the public areas that are more chic than grunge.
The single rooms at 15 square meters are equipped with a large sized single bed, one of the types is cafe type which has a leather chair with a little wooden desk and a proper bathroom. There are artistic elements in every part of the room, not only in the paintings but the decor, like the number 8.8 which is connected to the past exhibition held at Gallery 9.5. This number means infinity and a reflection of the multiple ways in which art can be interpreted. Staying in this hotel is to feel the infinite powers of art as you will encounter it everywhere.
Unexpected pleasures abound in this boutique hotel that is singing with connection and creativity. From the artist talks to its in-house resident designers, the earthy communal breakfast tables and lounge space filled with books of inspiration, you can’t help but bond here. It is like the hotel is designed for community, preferably those of the long staying kind. Included in your tariff is complementary Wi-Fi in the lobby, and also in the guest rooms. Of course you are likely to re-use your clothes over a three or more night stay, so the self-serve laundry facilities in the common area are first rate. Bike hire is complementary for two hour periods, which may seem long, but in reality is more likely to give you just a taste of the industrial sake breweries in Fushimi or the antique shops at Shinmonzen and Furumonzen Streets.
Should you suffer withdrawal symptoms when you leave, you can buy pretty much everything that is not bolted to the wall, from the original products to many of the art works.
While its location can be a mixed blessing, being in an earthy residential area, it is just a short ride away from everything from all the sightseeing spots around Kyoto station. Local knowledge can be handy here, such as the advice to catch the local 202 or 207 buses from Kujo Street to Higashiyama. It bypasses the crowds at Kyoto station and the traffic north of the tracks.