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
- 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
You get what you pay for. Yes, the rates are high but it is well worth it to have an experience that you will never forget. The staff will walk you to elevators, open every door, greet you at every turn. The ambience sets a tranquil tone that calms the most rattled nerves. The rooms were spacious and beautifully designed.
What more could you ask for? A truly special property that blend seamlessly with nature. As you would expect from the Four Seasons, you are treated exceptionally, concierge team is top notch, hotel staff are all professional.
The spa experience was one of the best of my travels, and the bike rentals are must. Do not miss the Geisha Show in the lobby and the Wagyu burgers on the patio.
Special shout out to Hotel manager Massimo Moreschini for making our stay exceptional.
I'll start with the only negative. More often than not the front desk staff did not speak fluent English and would just stare at you with a smile. If this happens to you, ask to speak with someone who does speak English. Now, on to the everything else which was PERFECT. Beautiful new hotel. Amazing rooms - I think we got a junior suite. Immaculate common areas, gym is outstanding - fresh squeezed fruit juice, home made granola bars, everything you could ever ask for in the mens locker rooms, beautiful pool, Michelin star restaurant on site, I could just keep going and going. If it's in your budget, book it! The only odd thing is that every week day morning the main entrance is closed between 8 and 9 AM...so one day we had to postpone our private driver by one hour. Everything else was redefining of what the Four Seasons is all about. Great location too and weekly genuine geisha shows. Oh, and free outstanding breakfast if you book through Amex Platinum.
We stayed as a family of 4 here. This is probably the best hotel in Kyoto for a family and for quality dining too. It's hard to fault it. Service is outstanding, beds are some of best I have ever experienced. The room is big with good bathroom. Pool in B1 is outstanding and breakfast garden restaurant is excellent. Finally staff are excellent. The only pitfall is the price is expensive ~ yet we felt it was still worthwhile. We paid USD 1200 a night which was actually a discount deal here! Occupancy in Kyoto is over 95% everywhere so book well in advance
We had a great experience with a 3 years old and 6 month old baby. The hotel staff were very welcoming of children. Rooms are beautiful. Swimming pool is excellent. Food was great. On par with best of what Four season has to offer elsewhere