When it comes to luxury hotels in Asia, Japan may not be the first place that comes to mind. Yet in regard to hospitality, really no other country can hold a candle to the Japanese. Case in point: the newly opened Four Seasons in Kyoto. Its opening in October added just the second international luxury brand to Kyoto. In November, we visited this beautiful accommodation to have a look around. We were not disappointed.
The hotel overlooks Kyoto proper as it sits atop a hillside with views of the city stretching out all the way to the northern mountains and Arashiyama. Built around an 800-year-old Japanese style pond and garden “ikeniwa”, it mixes modern accommodation with the elegance of ancient Kyoto. During the busy seasons of April and November, the garden can make an excellent escape from the crowds that normally come with a visit to Kyoto.
In addition to well-appointed rooms facing the town or the garden, the hotel boasts a spacious restaurant and lounge as well as a sushi restaurant produced by renowned chef Red Masuda. The counter seats only a few guests, who can watch their meal prepared directly in front of them.
But what also makes this hotel special is their full-service gym and a beautiful pool to relax the day away. And like any five-star hotel, a fully equipped spa awaits those temple weary visitors. I dare say that it may be worth it to stay a day in the hotel just enjoying everything they offer.
For anyone who wants something special from Kyoto, the Four Seasons is a great place to start. Certainly any stay here will be memorable.