Aman has signed a deal with Kyoto Resorts, a
subsidiary of the Chartered Group, to manage a luxurious new
property in Kyoto, Japan, Amanís third resort in Japan.
Scheduled to open 1
November 2019, the Aman Kyoto is situated in a hidden garden close to Kinkaku-ji
Temple (Golden Pavilion).
The resort, with 24 rooms and two
two-bedroom villas, draws on the countryís ryokan (traditional
inn) and onsen (hot spring) concepts to provide an authentic yet
contemporary Kyoto sanctuary surrounded by nature.
secrets of Japanís ancient Imperial capital, Aman Kyoto and its
secret garden are just a stoneís throw from the cityís 17 UNESCO
World Heritage Sites, yet feel a world away.
Vladislav Doronin, Chairman and CEO of Aman, said,
from the success of Aman Tokyo and Amanemu, Aman Kyoto will add
another distinctive facet to our continued journey, and
commitment, to Japan. Aman Kyoto will embody the true spirit of Aman, blending our profound respect for nature with adherence to
simple, yet striking, principles of aesthetics and structure, masterfully brought to life by the late Kerry Hill and his team.
We look forward to unveiling the many dimensions of Kyoto through
the eyes of Aman and sharing the secrets of our enchanting
The 80-acre Aman Kyoto site comprises 72 acres of permanent forest
and eight acres of exquisite gardens lovingly tended over many
decades by the previous owner of the site, who was one of Japanís
most respected collectors of the obi (the ornamental sash for a
traditional Japanese kimono). His unrealised aim was to house his
collection in a textile museum to be built within the garden. Aman
is honoured to be the gardenís next custodian, giving it a fresh
lease of life and protecting its fragile grounds for decades to
The garden is formed as a series of
manicured platforms, impeccably kept through the years, within a
hidden valley, enclosed on one side by a small stream, and on
another by a wooded hill. An ethereal landscape of mature trees,
which change colour through the year, transports the garden from
one season to another. The platforms, originally intended as
locations for the buildings of the museum, now provide the
foundations for the sensitively designed pavilions of the resort.
Moss-covered stone pathways laid down by the
creator of the garden, some edged in massive cut-stone borders,
traverse the site. Graceful garden stairways and pathways lead
guests to the upper platforms, and are bordered with colourful
yama momiji maples and kitayama-sugi (Japanese cedar) planted in
avenues. The garden is cleverly designed to self-irrigate through
the collection of rainwater via the siteís numerous hidden caves
and water tunnels.
Within the formal lawn in the centre of the site, large granite boulders, originally
selected as sculptures by the former owner, define and hold court
over the space. The tranquility and drama of this setting,
magnified by the breeze in the trees, has inspired the respectful
architectural design of Aman Kyoto.
its simplicity, the resort is an architectural masterpiece brought
into being by Kerry Hill Architects, who designed both Aman Tokyo
Consisting of a series of standalone pavilions, each
with a distinct function, Aman Kyoto includes separate Arrival,
Living, Dining and Spa Pavilions, four Guest Pavilions housing 24
guest rooms offering leafy seclusion with garden-or-stream views,
and two separate Pavilions overlooking the forest canopy housing a
pair of two-bedroom villas of unparalleled luxury.
Each of Aman Kyotoís 24
guest rooms and two villas is a contemporary reimagining of the
traditional ryokan. Strikingly minimalist in their design, the
rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows framing the spectacular
natural surroundings, tatami mats covering the floors, and tokonoma (alcoves where items for artistic appreciation are
presented) providing a subtle focal point. The interiors are
spacious and light-filled Ė ingeniously crafted to foster peace,
relaxation and contemplation.
The colour palette
for interiors is neutral, complementing the work of local
artisans: handmade raku tile panels grace the Living Pavilion and
custom-made ceramic tiles decorate the restaurant. The ofuro
bathtubs in each guest room are made of hinoki cypress wood,
native to central Japan. All furniture pieces, including
traditional Japanese lanterns, have been custom-designed and are
exclusive to Aman Kyoto. Carefully selected artefacts, whether
vases, artworks or antiques, have been individually selected for
each space, celebrating the refined aesthetic and creative values
Aman Kyotoís signature restaurant in the
Dining Pavilion will be a landmark addition to one of Japanís most
celebrated gastronomical regions. Showcasing Japanese haute
cuisine, multicourse dining experiences will make use of the
finest hand-picked local produce.
The convivial Living Pavilion
with its central fireplace and glass doors opening onto the zen
(ornate stone garden) will be no less inspired. Home-cooked Kyoto obanzai-style cuisine will be served throughout the day, and
guests can also enjoy afternoon tea and reserve bamboo picnic
hampers to be enjoyed al-fresco in the garden or forest glades.
The garden itself is ideal for outdoor events, from small private
dinners and functions, to weddings, yoga and mindfulness sessions.
The natural spring water that flows near Aman
Kyoto is central to the philosophy at the resortís Aman Spa, and
something of a rarity in the region. Traditional onsen bathing
facilities, using the water from a local spring, deliver
relaxation and healing in their purest forms, while a range of
treatments tap into Japanís plentiful natural apothecary Ė
including Kyoto green tea, Tanba kuromame (black beans), local
sakť, and cold-pressed tsubaki (camellia) oil.
Part of its Japanese portfolio, Aman Kyoto
is owned by Kyoto Resorts, a subsidiary of the Chartered Group,
which has been the driving force behind this project. Mr Eyal
Agmoni, Chairman of the Chartered Group, said, ďWith the utmost
care, craftsmanship and dedication, this garden sanctuary has been
over two decades in the making so we can open its doors as an Aman.
I am especially grateful to the late Kerry Hill and his team who
created an architectural language that not only respects
traditional Japanese design, but also celebrates, protects and
brings back to life the unique gardens in which Aman Kyoto is
housed. I have no doubt that this resort will be met with positive
global interest, and will set a new hospitality standard in