Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
What We Love
- The 800-year-old pond garden that makes up the hotel’s placid center
- Twice-daily housekeeping service
- 24/7 access to the hotel’s pool, steam rooms, and saunas
- The traditional onsite teahouse (which rolls out a bar menu in the evenings), accessible by a glass bridge
What To Know
- The hotel is less than a mile from the Kiyomizudera Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
- The concierge can organize cultural excursions, ranging from pottery classes to sake tastings
- Complimentary bottles, diapers, wipes, lotion, powder, shampoo and safety pins are available for families with babies
- The business center offers translation and interpretation services
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
It took almost five years to complete this understatedly elegant property, which takes design cues from Kyoto’s revered Zen temples. Eye-catching waterfalls, natural wood panels, tatami walls, and stone pathways contrast with in-room creature comforts such as walk-in closets, rain showers and televisions, conveniently built into the bathroom mirrors. The plush seven-room spa, perfect after an action-packed day of temple hikes and market jaunts (the hotel is an easy five-minute walk from a number of area attractions including the Kyoto National Museum), prides itself on using strictly all-natural pampering products and is decked with a VIP couples’ suite—ideal for side-by-side massages. Perhaps the biggest convenience: a multilingual concierge to ensure you’re completely equipped for an insider’s tour of Japan’s exquisite former capital.
Quirky creations by local artisans, such as washi paper lamps, multicolored throw pillows, and intricate lacquer ware define each of the 64 guest rooms, visual testaments to Japanese minimalism with their clean lines and natural light. Opt for the accommodations with private outdoor balconies (there are 10 to choose from), which afford picture-perfect views of the jagged Higashiyama Mountains.
A 200-year-old cypress counter stands in for traditional table service at Wakon on the hotel’s third floor, which overlooks the hotel’s one-of-a-kind pond garden. Helmed by award-winning chef Rei Masuda (who trained under the almighty Jiro Sukiyabashi), the menu featured a freshly caught selection of Edo-style sushi.
Just a seven-minute cab ride from Kyoto Station, the hotel is set at the foot of the Higashiyama Mountains and within easy reach of Sannen-zaka, a narrow street teeming with traditional merchant homes that now house souvenir shops, tea stalls, and noodle joints.
How to Get There
Stayed at this 4 Seasons as part of a 9 day tour of Japan. The staff and service were fantastic. The accommodations were top notch. When we wanted to venture out, the staff was free to suggest areas to visit and resturants to try—-this made out visit more pleasurable reable
The service we was TOP! grounds were beautiful and food spectacular. Andrea and Siska were extremely helpful at the front desk. We received an upgraded hotel and the room was everything to be desired.
A new facility typical of the high Four Seasons standard, set around 10 minutes from the centre of town.
Our upgraded suite was as good as they get, set over the lake with Japanese gardens. The concierge was great in getting us into some really good casual restaurants. We had dinner one night at the very expensive Michelin hotel sushi restaurant which was an interesting experience but perhaps not the best value when compared to some of the local restaurants. Breakfasts did not compare very well to our recent stay at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo nor subsequent hotels on our trip. Overall I would recommend the hotel however we might try a similar hotel closer to the city next time.