When we think of Kyoto lodging, the first thing that comes to mind is the ryokan, a classic Japanese inn. Perhaps that's why we like this hotel so much. Even though it bucks tradition, it offers a quintessential Japanese experience. A blend of Japanese, French country and Scottish arts-and-craft styles may sound chaotic, but in fact, it's quite soothing. House restaurant Escale would be right at home in Provence, while the brick-clad Library brings to mind an haute UK pub, and Zuientei keeps home fires burning with a classic Japanese setting serving kaiseki (multi-course) cuisine. As for the reason this fusion succeeds: Zen-fabulous harmony unites every space, from the handsome guest rooms to the penthouse Spa Trinite.