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
Halfway through our tour of Japan we arrived at Four Seasons. It was fabulous. Having stayed at a number of their hotels this was the best yet. Lovely staff, rooms great, we had one over looking the garden. I am a gym geek so for me finding a hotel in Japan that had one like this was a big plus point. Would definitely come back!
We stayed one night at the four seasons kyoto, as an extra treat, during our week-long trip to Japan as a family. From the reviews i had read and the price tag, i was disappointed in the actual experience of the hotel. The staff more or less efficient but not warm. At check-in, neither of our two rooms was ready at 2pm and when we asked where we could eat lunch nearby we were told there was nothing except their own restaurant. Then we were told we could upgrade to a suite with a view of a garden, for a whopping 80,000 yen extra. we declined. The property itself has a decent, smallish foyer overlooking the old garden. The rest of the hotel, however, consists of long, dark, charmless corridors leading to endless rooms. Our room itself, was comfortable, but sadly when they say no view, they literally looked onto a wall just a few feet away. Therefore no sunlight, no view, no sense of where in the world we might be. Again, considering the money paid, extremely disappointing.
another point to keep in mind is the neighbourhood of the hotel. This is a well outside the lovely Higashiyama neighbourhood, in a characterless part of town. The only visitable attraction on foot is the Kiyomizudera temple. At check-out, waited interminably to get a cab and the steward disappeared after telling us to wait. would not stay here again
This hotel is truly outstanding on every aspects. The hotel is beautiful and very calm. The staff is extremely friendly and very efficient. A great, great stay. I recommend 100% . It is the best hotel we stayed during our one month trip in Japan. And probably one of the best overall over the previous years in several countries.
Exceeded all expectations. Excellent comfortable and efficient facility, superb helpful knowledgeable and friendly staff, Outstanding restaurants. Beautiful pool and exercise facility. Very nice biclyles available too. I cannot think of one thing about this hotel that needs improvement.
From the moment we arrived we knew this would be a special hotel. Liam and Benedetta were always there to greet us with a big smile and help us with basically anything we neede and loved speaking with them. They provided fabulous dinner and excursion recommendations. We really appreciated the personal attention they as well as all of the staff provided. Special mention of the thoughtful housekeepers (who saw we had handwashed some clothing and brought by a clotheing rack), breakfast hosts and waitstaff, and the concierge.
Be sure to take advantage of the gym, pool and walk through the breathtaking garden. We enjoyed the fabulous breakfast and cocktails.
We stayed 4 nights and didn’t want to leave. While we stayed at other top hotels throughout Japan - the Four Seasons hands down was the finest. Not one complaint. If you are traveling to Kyoto, this is the hotel you must stay at!