The Luxe List 2016: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto

A tea ceremony at Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto.

A tea ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto.

With international tourists flocking to Kyoto in record numbers, and with those figures set to rise annually until Japan hosts the 2020 Olympics, the October debut of the Four Seasons couldn’t have been timed better. And what an arrival it is. The hotel occupies a prime site on the edge of the beautiful Higashiyama mountain range, just a short step from key tourist sites such as Kiyomizu-dera and Sanjusangendo temples and the Kyoto National Museum. Despite this central location, the property retains the air of a secluded luxurious private villa, with its 123 immaculate guest rooms, two restaurants (the Brasserie and Sushi Wakon), and spa nestled in leafy forests and bamboo groves, facing an 800-year-old pond garden. No expense has been spared in the creation of this gem of a hotel, which balances ancient tradition with state-of-the-art modernity: exquisitely painted cedar-wood doors and traditional paper and fusuma sliding screens sit seamlessly alongside flat-screen TVs and bedside iPads. The Four Seasons also boasts the city’s largest and most comprehensive spa, fitness, and relaxation retreat. The 20-meter indoor pool is a thing of beauty, with its golden sculpture of the moon reflecting in the water. Quite how they managed to get natural light to a pool complex two floors below ground is something of a mystery. Then again, the Japanese are past masters at making the most sophisticated, refined, and complex things look easy. And that’s this place in a nutshell. (81-75/541-8288;; doubles from US$740).

This article originally appeared in the December 2016/January 2017 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“The Luxe List 2016: Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto”).

Inside the Deluxe Garden View Room.

Inside the Deluxe Garden View Room.

Overlooking the Shakusuien Pond Garden.

Overlooking the Shakusuien Pond Garden.


Share this Article

Related Posts

Four Seasons Hotel Seoul Unveils New Korean Bar

Oul is a late-night venue where the cocktails nod to the past, present, and future of after-hours Se...

Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok Launches New Art Exhibition

“Beauty, Now or Later” explores the correlations between beauty and time through the eyes of thr...

Tom Aikens is Opening a Restaurant in Tokyo

The British celebrity chef is in charge of seasonal menus at The Tokyo Edition, Toranomon’s signa...

Introducing The Westin Yokohama

Calming interiors, sustainable dining, and views of Mount Fuji beckon at the latest Asian property o...

What’s New at Four Seasons Hotels in Southeast Asia

Properties in Bangkok and Bali have introduced new dining experiences, while a revamped spa awaits a...

Hot New Hotel: Kai Izumo

This serene property stands out for its pared-back guest quarters, traditional dance performances, a...