Sourced from Kyoto Keage Onsen, Spa Kacho at the Westin Miyako Kyoto hotel is a hot spring and spa centre that boasts a total area of an amazing 2,100 square meters over two levels. The natural hot spring waters come directly from the hotel grounds and are quite effective in warming up your entire body and loosening up tight muscles.
The semi open air bath on the upper level is at a perfect temperature allowing for long stays and is surrounded by the sounds of waterfalls and the chirping of birds - a wonderfully seasonal panoramic scenery. Sauna rooms are set indoor on the lower level and the jacuzzi here is a powerful burst of feelgood water massage.
The interior design of the spa was inspired by the Suirokaku aqueduct in Nanzen-ji Temple - it feels almost like ancient Rome. The hotel's concept of 'Queen of Elegance' sees the facilities in the changing room having no edges - curved and round motifs create a warm and soft ambience. Much of the design is an homage to Togo Murano, one of Japan's most renowned architects between 1910 to the mid-1930s who represented the modern Sukiya style.
The facility is available for all hotel guests, though not for children under the age of four. Guests won't be hearing the sounds of young kids and their tantrums...
In the same hotel lies Sothys, a skin care salon and day spa. An ideal nirvana for beauty and relaxation, the products used here are natural and organic, coming straight from the 74 hectare company-owned garden in Corrèze, France. The healing spa program includes shiatsu, moxibustion and meditation.
I tried their Sothys Athletics TM full body oil treatment (JPY18,000 for 60min). My therapist started off with a foot bath before working her way up to my legs and back on the massage table. Working on tense core muscles and deep tissue, the therapist literally took away my muscle pain, gifting me with an undisturbed sleep that night. Courtesy of the Sothys 'green technology', my skin felt revived from the warm aromatic oil used. Their motto is to regenerate and harmonize the mind & body and that is exactly what I needed.
Sothys also provides an 'Awaken Spa Ritual' of meditation and yoga, a wellness breakfast, hiking on the premises of the hotel, an onsen soak and finally a massage treatment. These package deals sound quite invigorating and serve to showcase some of the best relaxation experiences in Kyoto.