It’s a simple but powerful idea, spreading out and embedding hotel rooms into the urban fabric to give visitors a space from which to explore as well as a place that feels like it’s more part of the city than a monolithic tourist resort. The Hotel Enso Ango features a series of zen-inspired buildings and landscaping in what it boasts as Japan’s first ‘dispersed hotel’ in the ancient capital of Kyoto.
The idea, in part, is to encourage travel between the buildings in the hotel network, both to experience their amenities but also to explore more along the way. In simple terms: it aims to combine the best of staying at a cozy bed-and-breakfast with the benefits of a high-end hotel.
Each unit features courtyard gardens and meditation spaces, aimed at providing a relaxing experience to compliment city exploration. There are also spaces, like a central bar, that are open to the public, offering opportunities to mingle with locals.
The spaces are spread out through key neighborhoods of Kyoto and crafted to be both contemporary while also including local art and craftsmanship. As the hotel grows, it aims to build out additional spaces around the city.
Each building is located within walking distance from the others, as well as from a hotel hub space where the lobby, gym and tearoom can be found, providing an opportunity for guests to mingle, but at their discretion rather than by necessity. Those who wish to can participate in group meditation lessons, tatami craft and runs through historic parts of the city.
“Welcoming visitors is a building which embodies classical Machiya construction featuring a front desk and corridor-cum-gallery space decorated with art by Masanobu Ando. At the end of this corridor, the gallery space opens into a lounge area with a small garden known as Tsuboniwa – a typical feature of Kyoto houses, providing a spot to enjoy nature and relax in the safety of a private space.”