Our recommendations on where to stay in Kyoto include:
Hotel Okura Kyoto: This was a very nice and attractive hotel that was very centrally located. You can easily walk to shopping, restaurants and many important sights. The view from the restaurant where the breakfast buffet was served was excellent. There were also good restaurants in the attached retail mall where I found a good Udon restaurant for lunch.
The Tawaraya: For my birthday I moved to the famous Tawaraya Ryokan which offers a glimpse of the time-honored Japanese way of life. Still centrally located in Kyoto on a quiet street, it has been operating for over three centuries and is classed as one of the finest places to stay in the world. I thoroughly enjoyed my traditional tatami room with private garden and traditional Japanese bath. But there was a TV and internet through one of their laptops that kept you connected to the outside world. The service was outstanding and the food excellent. I ate one dinner in my room and the other at their separate, very attractive restaurant called Ten-you a short distance away. They serve a full course dinner, Tempura Kaiseki, which included tempura and small dishes of Japanese delicacies. They also have a lovely tea room around the corner which was a great place for a late afternoon snack after a day of sightseeing.
Other good choices recently found in the press include Hotel Kanra, The Screen a newer boutique hotel, Hotel Monterey, Hoshinoya Kyoto and The Hyatt Regency. Another option is Iori Machiya Townhouse Stays where you stay in traditional, renovated Japanese townhouses. I am familiar with the owner, Alex Kerr, and met him briefly when I was in Kyoto.
The 39 room, ryokan-inspired Suiran is a 40-minute subway ride from the city-center, but is getting good reviews and press.