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. It bucks tradition, while at the same time offering a quintessential Japanese experience. Although the idea of blending Japanese, French country and Scottish arts-and-craft styles may sound chaotic, it's not, as this eclectic property proves with its dining options alone. Escale restaurant would be right at home in Provence, the brick-clad Library brings to mind a haute UK pub and Zuientei keeps the home fires burning with a classic Japanese setting serving kaiseki (multi-course) cuisine. As for the reason this fusion works so well: a Zen-fabulous harmony unites each space, from the dignified guest rooms to the penthouse Spa Trinity on the thirteenth floor.