Don’t be fooled by the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto’s cutting-edge external architecture as you arrive, nor the grand central lobby lined with marble or towering glass-clad atrium, as when you look a little harder you’re faced with a luxury Kyoto property that’s actually very proud of its Japanese heritage and history.
The designers of this unique resort have since suggested their aim was to create certain spaces that felt like the ‘inside of a shoji paper lantern’, and while this might feel like an abstract thing to imagine, there’s certainly no doubting the Four Seasons Kyoto’s sense of place and nods toward traditional Japanese ryokan-style abodes.
Even in such an impressive five-star hotel of only the very best furnishings, decor and design elements, the final effect that such attention to detail creates is nothing short of enchanting.
Going beyond the look of Four Seasons Kyoto however, there is so much else to fall in love with here too. Take the hotel’s setting, sat beside an 800-year-old pond garden that can be admired as you dine al fresco, before visiting a clutch of nearby temples that rarely feature on the regular tourist trails.
Then there’s the spa, one of the best in Kyoto with its traditional treatment rooms, ancient remedies, an exotic underground swimming pool surrounded by sunken bubble beds plus steam baths, saunas and so much more besides; it all looks like something from a fairytale film.
Add into this already enticing package a string of fine dining restaurants, including an exclusive Michelin-star sushi joint; beautiful communal areas and grounds; family-friendly services; well-equipped and spacious suites; hotel services available at the touch of a button, even a personal in-house florist, and the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto really does start to speak for itself.
The guestrooms, suites and residences at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto reflect the blissful garden scenery that surrounds them outside, as floral prints punctuate the walls, cushion covers are hand-embroidered with delicate flowers and thick-set rugs colour-code to match it all. They are spacious too, with even standard guestrooms enjoying a floorplan of nearly 600sq ft, all rooms then coming with at least a comfy sofa and lounge area, or an entire living room, kitchen and diner in the residence options, plus a furnished balcony for almost every room. Standard in-room extras include Wi-Fi; customisable king-size or twin beds; marble bathrooms with separate tub and rain shower; a complimentary iPad for accessing hotel services; espresso machine; plush bathrobes and Lorenzo Villoresi toiletries, among the many other mod-cons you’d expect from any Four Seasons hotel. If travelling to Japan as a family or small group, suites and residence suites are an ideal option due to their extra space and amenities, while couples will have their pick as every room category here is terrifically well-equipped, and beautifully adorned once inside.
Brasserie restaurant and bar is an absolute gem at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, a place where inside you could be cosied up with a cocktail by the fireplace or, if staying during one of those warm Kyoto evenings, dining al fresco on the terrace surrounded by the neighbouring pond gardens. The cuisine on offer here is a kaleidoscopic fusion of Asian inspired flavours and one or two more European dishes. So, your freshly caught seafood may be fused with ginger, soy and seasonal vegetables, yet don’t be surprised to see staple classics such as prime grilled steak on the menu either; everything cooked to perfection in this fantastic fine dining eatery.
Michelin-star sushi at the Four Seasons; it really doesn’t get much better than this esteemed onsite Kyoto restaurant if looking to get one of the ultimate introductions to delicate Japanese cuisine. With just two private dining rooms and space for 10 lucky guests at the Hinoki counter available, this is not only one of the best sushi restaurants in Kyoto but one of the most exclusive too. And to make every mouthful even more special, in addition to the fresh seafood and seasonal produce that goes into each piece, certain ingredients are also flown in directly from Tokyo on a daily basis specifically for this restaurant; a real cut above.
The Lounge and Bar is an atmospheric and beautifully designed space, all velvet armchairs, brass and glass light fittings, high ceilings and polished black marble floors. It’s as elegant as the long list of cocktails, fine teas and artisan coffees to be savoured here, as well as handmade cakes, sweets, gourmet wagyu burgers and other lip-smacking snacks, some of which can be ordered to take away, if out on a sightseeing tour or day trip.
An authentically-styled teahouse overlooking the hotel gardens, Shakusio – Tei is a suitably serene place to spend a few hours between tours, though it’s not just tea on offer as champagne and sake are also on the menu too.
Activities and Entertainment
The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto sits beside an 800-year-old decorative pond garden, filled with fish and lined with trees covering 2.5 acres; you can either wander through it or simply enjoy the sight, while dining on one of the hotel’s al fresco decking areas overlooking the water. Nearby, more historical intrigue can be glimpsed at a handful of ancient Buddhist temples plus Kiyomizu-dera, Kodaiji and Chion-in a little further afield. Onsite experiences come in the form of chibi-maru lantern making, learning how to wear an authentic kimono, meditation sessions and everything from tea tasting to trying your hand at age-old ninja moves or how to use a real-life samurai sword!
The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto have kindly considered just about everything you could imagine to ensure each lucky guest wants for absolutely nothing throughout their stay. This extends far beyond the hotel’s irresistible interior design and unrivalled grounds – beginning in the spa where an underground swimming pool lined with sunken loungers is just the start. There are all manner of traditional Japanese wellness treatments on offer here, everything from gold leaf facials to authentic healing ceremonies or a straight up holistic massage, plus steam baths, Jacuzzis, saunas and quiet zones to unwind in. The Four Seasons is also a family-friendly Kyoto hotel, with babysitting, a kids’ program, toys, books and games, even mini bathrobes all available. You can hire bicycles, visit the onsite florist, hit the gym, tailor your stay with a complimentary tablet in every room where each hotel service can be accessed, or simply lean on their fantastic concierge team while here.
1/12 - Beautiful Pond Area at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
2/12 - One Bedroom Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
3/12 - Brasserie at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
4/12 - Premier Room with Garden View at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
5/12 - Rock Garden at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
6/12 - Sushi Wakon Restaurant at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
7/12 - Presidential Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
8/12 - Spa Treatment Room at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
9/12 - Presidential Suite at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
10/12 - The Lounge Bar at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
11/12 - Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
12/12 - Brasserie in the Evening at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto, Japan
Our World, Your Way
One of the most trusted names in luxury travel
Over 40 years’ experience in worldwide holidays
Fully bonded and protected
We use our first-hand expertise to create a bespoke holiday
We’ve spent years establishing industry-leading contacts
Insider knowledge: our team travel to all our destinations
We get to know you personally, so your trip is perfect for you
You’ll be looked after by your own personal Travel Specialist
From meet & greets to private transfers – we’ll make it happen
On Hand When
You Need Us
24/7 assistance throughout your holiday
Our travel experts take care of you every step of the way
Our dedicated concierge team will take care of all the details