The General (formerly named Enso Ango) is a dispersed hotel – a unique concept that works incredibly well in a city like Kyoto. A recent change to the name has not impacted anything at all about the charm or quality. Rooms and facilities are scattered throughout one of Kyoto’s most picturesque neighbourhoods, allowing guests to stay harmoniously among the traditional houses, without having to forfeit the pleasures of a larger boutique hotel. Each building retains its own characteristic style, with guests being able to use the features and lounges in any of them throughout their stay. All rooms and suites of the hotel are blessed with heavenly comfortable beds, with decor that treads the line perfectly between functionally modern and traditionally beautiful. Lounges offer complimentary refreshments at all times – a wonderful touch that gives you an excuse to check out each ‘sub-hotel’ for yourself!
Tomi II (Takatsuji Tominokoji) is the main building, containing a chic, speakeasy-like bar and an incredible Spanish/Basque restaurant where breakfast and dinner are served. Rooms are decked out in classic colours – dark wood and greys – with most keeping their privacy in the residential streets via large, opaque windows, letting in plenty of white light but preventing the neighbours from peeking in. The Swiss design company atelier oï has created beautiful touches throughout this building – from the origami-esque paper light fixtures in the lounge, to the stylish but functional chairs in the bedrooms. The other buildings making up The General are designed by local Japanese artists, each built around its own theme and concept.
Fuya II (Takatsuji Fuyacho) has the majority of the hotel’s rooms, as well as a well-stocked gym, a minimalist tearoom, and a large tatami salon for yoga, ikebana (flower arranging) and Zen meditation classes. The lobby emanates Eastern-charm with dark, clean-cut wooded furnishings and matcha-green walls. In the nearby streets, two smaller buildings have their own unique elements to offer. Tomi I (Bukkoji Tominokoji) has a childlike naivety to its homespun interior decor, and is also a great pick for families. A large communal kitchen allows guests to create their own meals, and is also the location of scheduled cookery demonstrations. Fuya I (Bukkoji Fuyacho) is a modest, minimalist affair – smaller rooms, though each one perfectly kitted out, making it the perfect pied-a-terre for busy sightseers. A peaceful lounge space to share with the small number of other guests is an island of calm, looking out to a tsuboniwa courtyard garden.
The General truly offers something for everyone – it is clear why this is a firm favourite of ours when exploring the atmospheric streets of Kyoto.