A nature-inspired respite in Kyoto
7 Treatment Rooms
The Ritz-Cartlon Spa, Kyoto was designed to ensure you have a place to relax in a busy city. Its wellness concept focuses on running water and supplying utter tranquility. The location along the Kamogawa River all but guarantees you will be busy throughout the day — you’ll be within walking distance of the subway for immediate access to the Kyoto’s temples and gardens — and the spa tucked away on The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto’s bottom level offers a place of refuge and relaxation.
The three-story waterfall that you see in the lobby level of the hotel runs all the way downstairs into the spa’s glistening blue 65.6-foot swimming pool. It serves as the beating heart of the spa’s atmosphere, flowing down behind a large picture window atop a stone wall and rock garden.
The common area décor is clean and simple, with sultry low lighting accented with soft beiges, browns and creams, ensuring the blue of the pool pops in the center.
In the treatment rooms, accent lighting and sleek straight lines, be it in the wood paneling or the closet doors, grab your attention. The spa has seven treatments rooms in total, including one spa suite, as well as the usual suspects you’ll find in top luxury spas: a dry sauna, steam room, relaxation area and the aforementioned pool surrounded by plush lounge chairs.
The theme of running water also makes a charming appearance in the bathroom and changing room — be sure to listen for the babbling brook sound machine as you settle in before a treatment.
The mark of a great spa is its ability to incorporate local culture into its therapies. In this case, the Japanese affinity for green tea rightfully spills over into the treatment rooms at the Ritz. Hailed for its healing nature, green tea forms the cornerstone of the spa’s featured Ryokucha Serenity Ritual, where the antioxidant properties of locally grown leaves are used to improve wellbeing during a gentle, flowing massage. It a unique and the most locally themed option on the menu, so unless you know exactly what you want, this is an excellent treatment to choose.
If you’ve got upper body tension and headaches, soothe your ailments and book the Higashiyama Vigor — the service uses potent essential oils during a volcanic stone pressure point massage.
The rest of the menu leans toward what we’ve come to expect of Western-style offerings, including Swedish, deep tissue, hot stone massages, facials, body treatments and a shiatsu massage that can be taken in your guest room.
The Kyoto spa uses products from ESPA, a world-renowned skincare line, in all of its treatments. Composed entirely of pure extracts, ESPA products are today featured in around 450 spas in 50 countries across the globe, no doubt a tribute to their quality. The botanical essences and marine active ingredients mean spa-goers get natural, effective treatments.