I spent a really, really long time looking for a place that ticked all my boxes - a luxurious ryokan with a private ensuite onsen (or the option to rent a private hot spring bath) that wasn't too far from Kyoto. I wanted to make sure that the room's bath used spring water, and wasn't just an outdoor bath (as many ryokans seemed to be). Finally, I also wanted somewhere we could be pampered and experience a traditional dinner with kimono. Right away, Yunohana stood out but I hesitated because of the price. I can now say it is worth every single penny! You are definitely paying for an experience, not just a hotel stay. We treated ourselves to just one night's stay but we were waited on hand and foot the whole time, from the shuttle bus that picked us up from the station to the moment we were gifted with sweets and origami at check out. The service is absolutely outstanding!
At check in, we were ushered to a lovely sitting area where we were served sweets and a refreshing drink, along with the usual hot towel. The rest of our stay was planned and outlined for us, and we were asked for our preferences for meals etc too - I had forgotten to pre book a massage so I was glad when this was offered, as it seems pointless not to have a treatment when you're in such a relaxing place! The combo of a hot spring bath and a massage is definitely recommended!
We were also given some "outdoor slippers" (for use in public areas) and shown to our room. As I mentioned, we plumped for the room with a private (outdoor) hot spring bath - WOW! It exceeded my expectations. These rooms are really large, with an entrance hall, separate toilet/bathroom/shower room, sitting room, bedroom plus a small dressing area. There was an abundance of toiletries, snacks, teas and drinks (all complimentary) - basically, you'll want for nothing. I even joked to my husband that we needn't have bothered packing any clothes because also provided were beautiful waffle pyjamas, towelling robes, more slippers and a yukata (light kimono) that you could wear outside of the room (i.e. in the public areas). I expected to find a hair dryer but was pleasantly surprised to find curling tongs and a facial steamer in my dressing room! Although I didn't use the latter, the former was really good.
After a quick dip in our gorgeous private outdoor bath - HEAVENLY - we made our way to our couple's massage. The two masseuses were gentle, kind and spoke excellent English. Although expensive, the girls were very good and we came out feeling even more relaxed. A bonus was that my hair never looked better the next day, thanks to the oils they used during my head massage.
Next up was our dinner (kaiseki) - WOW! I say dinner but it was really a banquet in our own private dining area. The service was excellent, and our waiter made a special effort to explain every single dish in English. There was about 12 courses and we each had a tailored menu - the resort took real care to understand our likes and dislikes. This was much appreciated since my husband hates fish and it was quite a challenge eating out in Japan, at times. Afterwards, we relaxed in the sitting area, which is really welcoming and provides free tea and coffee and snacks (inc. Haagen Dazs ice cream), before making use of the wonderful spa bath again. We had an excellent peaceful sleep too, the bed and pillows were so comfortable. The next morning, another banquet awaited us for breakfast - it was almost comical, it seemed like the dishes would never stop coming!
All in all, a perfect relaxing break - you will not be disappointed.