We’re about the same age, the Four Seasons hotel group and me. We both enjoy our chapter fifty. The Four Seasons hotel in Kyoto however has another 49 years coming before the big 50 celebration.
This brand new hotel with a mixture of tradition and modernity, is only open for a year and is innovative in literally every sense of the way. A true luxury experience connected to nature in stead of just being a place to sleep. And lucky us that we picked the Autumn season to discover Kyoto. Colorful!
Location, location, location.
Surrounded by a peaceful, lush garden the Four Seasons Kyoto is located in the heart of the Higashiyama district. The temple district of the ancient capital of Japan, right on your doorstep.
The hotel is built around a renowned 800-year-old Shakusuien pond garden. Background to a never-changing theater of coloured leaves during this time of year.
The four-story building compares to a modern expression of Japanese architecture. Long minimalistic hallways, starting with the walk to the entrance through an alluring bamboo walled path. Large window views that frame the pond and garden from many angles. As a modern window into the rich history of this ancient capital city.
The room at Four Seasons Kyoto
As if a cover of Wallpaper * magazine comes alive. Our premier garden view room is on pond level and has floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the water. Ducks are about to float in our room. But not only that, the hues of the bright red, yellow and orange tinted leaves in front of us are breathtaking.
The room feels more like an apartment than a hotel room. Modern decor infused with traditional Japanese artistry as washi-paper lamps and fusuma screens. Starched white linens and a pillow menu with 12 options. Now I know that sleeping on lavender-infused-buckwheat is for sweet dreams.
Waking up with the sound of birds chirping and overlooking the pond unfolding its unique colors from the bed (opening the curtains is just a domotica button away), is the true essence of a luxury stay in Kyoto.
The eye-catcher is the urushi lacquerware black box with autumn leaves. Almost too chic to hold bathroom amenities, I would say.
The luxurious and modern aesthetics from the room also reflects the large bathroom. Like the rest of the hotel, Japanese design and materials of the highest quality.
The Spa & Pool
They each occupy an entire floor and state of the art fails to describe both areas. Both are beyond. The pool area has a 20 meter pool with in-water lounge chairs, relaxing cabana’s and a large whirlpool.
The Spa features seven treatment rooms, all in the same sophisticated and understated luxurious style. Both havens for contemplation and sanctuaries after exploring Kyoto and temples by foot all day. An escape for renewal of the senses. Or skin.
The signature facial is called the Adeyaka Facial, a facial transformation using anti-ageing products of Biologique Recherché to help turn back the years without use of Botox and/or fillers. The way we like it. My skin looks fuller and toned. Arigatou.
Breakfast with a capital B
Breakfast is supposed to be the main meal of the day. Well, that goal can be achieved in the Brasserie Lounge restaurant. The extended buffet has everything you might wish for and then some.
There is also the à la carte menu. With Tofu Pancakes. Could not resist. Every single day. Have to increase the temple steps.
The Four Season App
Paperless is the new – sustainable – black and this also counts for new hotel concepts. Except for a delicate handmade paper notepad, the personalised Ipad in the room is key to order-in-dining, spa booking or anything you might think of or want to know.
One step ahead the room’s Ipad is the FS app. I did the check-in while speeding from Hakone to Kyoto in the Shinkansen bullet train and ordered my buckwheat aromatherapy pillow from the taxi. Guess what I found neatly stacked on the (signature) bed upon arrival?
A luxury home stay feeling in a crowded city of 1,5 millions inhabitants in the most colorful season of the year. The best of a lot of worlds.
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