The Four Seasons Kyoto is a very new property, having just opened in October 2016. The hotel is in a lovely setting in the Higashiyama District, next to a 5 acre garden and pond, and has just 123 rooms and suites.
TravelSort Clients receive these Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits:
- Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
- Food and beverage credit of USD100 (for The Brasserie or the Lounge; not valid for Sushi Wakon)
- Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites, villas, and private residences)
- Welcome note at check-in acknowledging you and your travel agency and the amenities that are being extended
- Complimentary basic Internet in all guest rooms; complimentary premium Internet in all suites
Four Seasons Kyoto Location, Lobby and Check-In
The Four Seasons Kyoto is located at 445-3 Myohoin, Maekawa-cho in the Higashiyama area of Kyoto, just an 8-10 min. drive from Kyoto Station. Although Kyoto Station does have a taxi queue that is “foreigner friendly” with English speaking drivers, there were hardly any taxis stopping there, so we took a regular Japanese taxi whose driver had no problem understanding where we wanted to go. The only tricky part for drivers not familiar with the Four Seasons is that the first driveway is for the Four Seasons Kyoto Residences; be sure to have the driver turn into the one for the hotel.
The reception area initially is fairly bland looking, although beautiful cherry blossom accents added color.
But the downstairs lobby seating, with its soaring ceilings, is more inspiring:
Four Seasons Room, Four Seasons Kyoto
Thanks to reserving with Four Seasons Preferred Partner, we were upgraded from our Deluxe Garden View Room to a Four Seasons Room, which has an outdoor balcony furnished with chairs and a table, and a lovely view of the garden and carp pond:
Here's a brief video of the Four Seasons Room:
The Four Seasons Room is 570 square feet, with a 64 square feet balcony. There's a living area by the window with a sofa:
The room comes with a King bed or two double beds, and as a brand new Four Seasons, it has the new Four Seasons bed with choice of three mattress toppers. We selected the Signature Plush, and had our best sleep thus far in Japan.
The bathroom has dual vanities, and toiletries, in a covered laquer box, are by Lorenzo Villoresi.
There's a walk-in rain shower, as well as a separate soaking tub. Interestingly, if you want to create your own steam room that includes the bathtub, you can open the shower door to seal off the shower and bath from the rest of the bathroom. The only issue is that this means there's a slightly lower floor area between the bathtub and shower, and if you're not careful you can stub your toe quite badly (see the lower right of the photo)–so be careful.
There was loose leaf tea and a tea pot, as well as strawberries, as a welcome amenity.
Swimming Pool and Jacuzzi
One of our favorite parts of the hotel was the swimming pool, in the Spa, which is open 10am to 10pm. This isn't really a lap pool, although it's large enough that you could do laps in it. Instead, the underwater lounge chairs invite you to relax, as do the whirlpool jacuzzis and cabanas.
Kyoto has had very little in the way of luxury hotels to offer until the Ritz-Carlton Kyoto opened in 2014, and the Four Seasons Kyoto really raises the bar. Unsurprisingly, rates are very high during high season March-May, reflecting the lack of market competition.
We loved the tranquil garden views from our room, the new Four Seasons bed (our favorite in Japan, together with the new Four Seasons bed at Four Seasons Tokyo), the fantastic pool, and the breakfast buffet as well as Sushi Wakon, which I'll review in a future post.
I do think the hotel could do more to welcome its younger guests, however–this is the only Four Seasons we've been to where there was no welcome amenity or child size bathrobe for our son.
If you've stayed recently at the Four Seasons Kyoto, what was your experience?
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Disclosure: I reserved the Four Seasons Kyoto with Four Seasons Preferred Partner benefits
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