Stay Here: Marufukuro Hotel, Kyoto, JapanBy Iona Goulder
Nestled in the heart of Kyoto, the Marufukuro Hotel stands as a testament to the city’s rich history, cultural heritage, and the illustrious legacy of Nintendo. With its perfect fusion of traditional Japanese aesthetics, modern design, and a nod to Nintendo’s origins, staying at this hidden gem was an unforgettable experience.
The Marufukuro Hotel enjoys a prime location, a stone’s throw away from Kyoto’s iconic landmarks. The hotel belongs to the PDS HOTELS group, which is a global hospitality brand with its headquarters in Tokyo and has properties located across Japan with each site unique to the distinctive features of that area. Within the walls of Marufukuro, history unfolds. Fusajiro Yamauchi was established on this site and the small store would later become Nintendo in 1889, manufacturing and selling traditional Japanese-style hanafuda playing cards. Today, the hotel stands proudly on the site of Nintendo’s former headquarters in Kagiyacho, Kyoto, and pays homage to its storied past.
Marufukuro Hotel: The Lowdown
The Marufukuro Hotel artfully combines the architectural brilliance of Nintendo’s former headquarters, designed in the art deco style of the early Showa era, with the modern vision of internationally-renowned architect Tadao Ando. The three buildings comprising the hotel – the office wing, residential wing, and warehouse wing – retained their original charm, featuring straight lines, geometric patterns, and vibrant color palettes. Guests are immersed in a captivating blend of nostalgia and contemporary elegance as they explore the thoughtfully preserved spaces.
Marufukuro Hotel takes pride in offering a culinary experience that celebrates the innovative spirit of Nintendo. The brilliant Ai Hosokawa’s new restaurant ‘CARTA’ presents a fusion of traditional Japanese flavors and avant-garde techniques, offering guests a remarkable gastronomic journey. Each dish served at the set menu dinner is a masterpiece, beautifully presented and crafted using seasonal ingredients sourced from Kyoto’s bountiful surroundings. Dining at Marufukuro Hotel is a distinctly Japanese experience (in the best of ways) that tantalises both the taste buds and the imagination.
Marufukuro Hotel: The Ammenties
The Marufukuro Hotel goes beyond expectations by offering a self-serve bar and all-inclusive amenities. The self-serve bar is in a delightful library space where guests can unwind and savour a selection of premium beverages, allowing them to socialise and relax after a day of exploration. With the all-inclusive aspects of the hotel, guests are treated to a range of amenities and services included in their stay, ensuring a truly hassle-free and indulgent experience.
The Marufukuro Hotel offers a diverse range of rooms; we stayed in the Balcony King room, situated in the existing building. Located on the top floor, this room offers great views of Higashiyama from its balcony. The high ceiling, adorned with a triangular roof design, adds a touch of grandeur to the space. The bright red carpet and mature ambiance create an inviting atmosphere, making it a perfect retreat for adults seeking a sophisticated and relaxing stay.
In addition to the Balcony King, the hotel offers a variety of other room options. The Japanese Suite, originally part of the Yamauchi family residence, combines Western-style and traditional Japanese aesthetics, with a tatami-floored room and an outdoor bath. The Junior Suite, located on the second floor of the original building, features a spacious layout, a separate living room, and a chic design. The Deluxe room, situated on the topmost floor of the library building, offers natural lighting, a secluded atmosphere, and charming original elements, such as cross-girders in the bathroom.
The Marufukuro Suite is one of the gems and combines the classic features of the original buildings with the contemporary design of the new annex. It boasts a vast rooftop terrace, an opulent bedroom, and a living room with a subtle green and natural wood-based design. Whether you choose the Balcony King, Japanese Suite, Deluxe room, or any other option each room offers its own unique ambiance, as well as all the modern facilities you’d expect.
The Marufukuro Hotel in Kyoto offers an unparalleled experience where the timeless traditions of Japan, the legacy of Nintendo, and the vision of renowned architect Tadao Ando converge. From its prime location to its meticulously curated interiors, sumptuous dining options, and all-inclusive features, Marufukuro Hotel exemplifies the essence of luxury and pays homage to Nintendo’s remarkable journey.
For more information on The Marufukuro Hotel, see here.