4 Seasons Kyoto evaluate – The Factors Man

Editor’s word: The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto offered TPG with a complimentary two-night keep in order that we might get an inside have a look at the lodge and its facilities. The opinions expressed under are fully these of the writer and weren’t topic to evaluate by the lodge or any exterior entity.

Japan’s historical capital of Kyoto stays the beating coronary heart of the nation’s cultural legacy. It has greater than 2,000 temples and shrines, historic laneways, an imperial palace and lovely boutiques peddling handicrafts handed down from era to era.


Kyoto can also be totally modern, with cutting-edge inventive studios, vogue ateliers and revolutionary eating places which have garnered worldwide plaudits. It embodies an irreplicable mix of bygone status and forward-looking sophistication, which is, in flip, mirrored at one in every of its most interesting luxurious motels, the 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto.

Associated: The 16 greatest 4 Seasons on the planet, in line with journey consultants who’ve stayed at them

It is bordered by a number of the metropolis’s most important cultural websites and predicated on time-honored traditions of Japanese hospitality. On the similar time, it provides up-to-the-minute in-room expertise and facilities that everybody from enterprise vacationers to household teams will recognize. The lodge is sort of a model of Kyoto writ miniature.

Here is the whole lot you should find out about staying on the 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto and how you can take advantage of your time there.


Getting there

The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto is near town’s historic middle, many vital temples and the much-Instagrammed crimson Torii gates of hilly Fushimi Inari.

When you arrive by way of prepare at Kyoto Station, a taxi or ride-hailing service will take round 10 minutes and value 1,350 to 1,500 Japanese yen ($9 to $10). When you’re touring mild, you can even catch a number of of town’s buses, together with the 206 line, for simply 230 yen ($1.50); it takes about quarter-hour.

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The closest main worldwide gateway is Kansai Worldwide Airport (KIX). To get from the airport to the lodge, you may take the Kansai Limousine Bus to Kyoto Station and catch a metropolis bus from there for about 3,300 yen ($22). The overall journey time needs to be round 90 minutes to 2 hours. You possibly can additionally rent a taxi or automobile service, slicing the time to round one hour and quarter-hour, although the fee is perhaps prohibitive, at round $250 to $300.

Reserving particulars

The 4 Seasons Kyoto has simply 180 lodging whole, together with 110 rooms (48 of that are interconnecting, making it a good selection for household teams touring collectively), 13 suites and 57 residences; the residences have that spacious suite-like sq. footage however with added facilities like eating rooms, kitchenettes and washing machines.


Even base-level deluxe rooms begin at almost 530 sq. toes, although, and the Premier Backyard View room I stayed in was even roomier, at 570 sq. toes. Sure lodging even have balconies overlooking the historic grounds.

The 4 Seasons Kyoto participates in Amex Advantageous Motels + Resorts, so cardmembers with The Platinum Card® from American Specific or The Enterprise Platinum Card® from American Specific who make a reserving via AmexTravel will obtain advantages like complimentary day by day breakfast for 2, room upgrades primarily based on availability, a $100 on-property credit score to make use of throughout their keep and assured late checkout.


The lodge can also be a part of Chase’s new The Edit, which is a rebranding of its Luxurious Lodge and Resort Assortment. So, you probably have an eligible card and make your reserving via Chase Journey, you may anticipate perks like day by day breakfast for 2, availability-based room upgrades, early check-in and late checkout primarily based on availability, a $100 property credit score for use throughout your keep and a welcome reward. These with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® may even redeem Final Rewards factors for stays booked at The Edit properties.

Different eligible playing cards for The Edit bookings embody:

Charges on the 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto over the following a number of months begin at round $1,160 per evening, whereas the Premier Backyard View room I stayed in begins at $1,350 per evening.

Standout options

  • It is in a superb location close to town’s fundamental historic sights however faraway from the vacationer crowds.
  • It has a beautiful historic floor anchored by a Twelfth-century backyard and pond
  • The bi-level spa and health amenities have uniquely Japanese touches, together with ofuro tubs for a soothing soak.
  • There are next-level cultural actions like a standard tea ceremony and evenings within the metropolis’s geisha districts (which have traditionally been off-limits to foreigners).


  • The breakfast unfold is lavish with each Western and Japanese fare; nevertheless, the opposite meals and eating experiences are in transition.
  • The lodge grounds are serene, however there are nonetheless visible and auditory reminders that you just’re within the coronary heart of town.
  • Though nicely value it for the extent of service and refinement, excessive nightly charges make this a rarefied expertise for the rich few.

The vibe

Tucked away past a bamboo-lined driveway straight out of an Ang Lee movie and overlooking Shakusui-en ikenawa (a beauitfully preserved Twelfth-century backyard and pond full with a slender pagoda, believed to have as soon as been a part of the mountain villa of a robust samurai), the 4 Seasons Kyoto is an enclave of historic allure with simply the correct soupçon of present-day polish.


Visitors can ebook non-public tea ceremonies (or sake tastings) at Fuju, the picturesque pondside teahouse, and watch exquisitely choreographed musical performances by a maiko (an apprentice geisha). They’ll additionally partake in avant-garde smoked cocktails within the Lounge & Bar or take pleasure in a facial incorporating state-of-the-art Kotoshina skincare merchandise constructed from natural Kyoto inexperienced tea on the spa.


Is {that a} one-of-a-kind Hermes rickshaw within the foyer? Why, sure, it’s. And do these lovable memento teddy bears sporting handmade kimonos within the boutique value a relative fortune? Certain.

However are the cream-filled taiyaki fish-shaped waffles on the breakfast buffet successful with the children? Additionally sure. And it does not value further to make use of the spa’s locker amenities, full with ofuro-style scorching tubs, or to take a dip within the serene underground pool.


So whether or not you need to take in Kyoto’s cultural riches or just take the household on a luxurious trip set within the current day, the 4 Seasons Kyoto ought to match the invoice…if you happen to can foot the substantial invoice.

The room

My Premier Backyard View room was on the identical stage as reception (third ground) and some doorways previous the visitor elevators. It was virtually 600 sq. toes with panorama home windows overlooking the backyard and pond.

Simply contained in the entrance door was a small seating space the place you could possibly take away your sneakers earlier than continuing into the remainder of the room.


Alongside one wall, the picket paneling was paying homage to Kyoto’s well-known Arashiyama bamboo grove; it held the closet with a secure and hanging space, in addition to a spacious floor for storing baggage.

The principle room held the king-size mattress wearing 4 Seasons’ signature white linens with a small bench at its foot in addition to a semi-separate dwelling space with a settee, ottoman and work desk.

Shielded by privateness dividers paying homage to Kyoto’s well-known ornamental washi rice paper and painted with tree-like patterns, the sleeping space felt like a room unto itself.


There was a nightstand to every facet. One had an ornamental lamp, plugs, USB ports and a pill with lodge data; the opposite had a Bluetooth speaker and switches to manage the room’s lights, shades and curtains, which robotically lowered and closed to create a cocoon-like area.

Although the sofa in the lounge was upholstered in taupe material, the ornamental pillows have been fairly colourful with purple and orchid-patterned accent pillows. There was additionally a spherical ottoman to relaxation one’s toes.

The stone-topped desk had a chair to both facet, plus plugs and USB ports and controls for the shades and curtains.

On the wood-paneled wall subsequent to the desk, the high-definition flat-screen tv was 55 inches throughout.


Subsequent to this, the minibar space had a scorching water kettle plus a standard teapot with two hand-painted porcelain cups, a Nespresso machine and quite a lot of snacks, together with complimentary soy-glazed rice crackers and chocolate-covered gluten puffs.

Wine and Japanese gin, vodka and whiskey have been additionally obtainable, together with water and gentle drinks.

The toilet suite was huge, taking on no less than a 3rd of the room’s footprint. It had sliding paper-screen doorways separating it from the entry hall and the bed room (which additionally had a glass-door partition).


The principle space had a sandy-colored marble ground and wall tiling with twin black granite sinks on the self-importance. A drawer was stocked with facilities in case you left any toiletries at dwelling, together with lavender-scented Diptyque cleaning soap and lotion.

The water closet had an automatic Toto rest room with all the same old features, together with a heated seat.


By way of a swinging glass door, the showering space held the bathe and the bath. The open bathe had each an overhead and wall-mounted showerhead that you could possibly additionally detach to carry in your hand, and the area was stocked with full-size Diptyque merchandise.

The bath was rectangular and fairly deep, with its personal handheld spigot. It had each a bar of cleaning soap and a material for scrubbing your self in addition to sachets of yuzu-scented tub salts for a soothing soak.

Each opulent and understated, the room, like the remainder of the lodge, blended modern luxurious sensibilities with a way of place and previous that felt like simply the correct mixture of parts.


Foods and drinks

The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto has 4 fundamental eating places. Adjoining to the foyer (sure, simply previous that Hermes rickshaw and the ceramics from native studio Tohgoro on the close by cabinets) is the Lounge and Bar. It’s open day by day from midday till 11 p.m.

Although informal, the area feels upscale due to shiny black marble flooring and low-slung, tufted velvet chairs and banquettes. There’s loads of pure mild via the large home windows.

The daytime menu options assorted pastries, together with seasonal buches, espresso drinks, Jing teas and bar bites equivalent to Japanese beef fillet sandwich bites ($20), calamari fritters ($22) and hummus with greens ($17).


Within the evenings, you would possibly discover fellow visitors sipping theatrically introduced cocktails. The Yuzu Mule has chamomile and tangy yuzu and peach juice blended with ginger ale and citron vodka ($26); the Smoky Outdated Usual actually lives as much as its identify with its melange of Japanese whisky, maple syrup, do-it-yourself cinnamon and orange bitters, and a cherry wood-smoke floater that wafts over the highball to intoxicating impact ($26).


The lodge’s fancy Edomae-style sushi restaurant, Sushi Wakon, was sadly closed throughout my go to however serves lunch and two set night seatings (at 6 and eight p.m.).

The menu adjustments day by day relying on fish flown in contemporary that day from Tokyo’s Toyosu Market and is served at a 26-foot, 10-seat counter crafted from 200-year-old hinoki wooden. (There are additionally two non-public eating rooms for separate events.) At lunch, you may have a less complicated nigiri menu ($163), however dinner is a chef’s selection omakase feast with a panoply of dishes that may quantity nicely over a dozen ($222).


On my first afternoon, I ambled via the traditional grounds, feeding the pleasant koi and geese from a bridge over the pond. I then stopped by the lodge’s teahouse, Fuju, for a waterside sake tasting that included a dram of the lodge’s personal Kyoto-made particular cuvee ($40 for a tasting of three sakes).

The lodge additionally serves afternoon tea ($44 per individual) with sweets like kumquat chiffon cake and Kyoto black bean panna cotta that adjust seasonally. Visitors may order Champagne and cocktails or ebook a non-public tea ceremony or a romantic non-public dinner expertise.

Lastly, the lodge’s fundamental restaurant, Brasserie, is one stage down from reception by way of a grand staircase. It appears to be in a state of flux in the meanwhile, and the lunch and dinner menus usually are not at the moment obtainable.

Nevertheless, I did benefit from the luxurious breakfast buffet on each mornings of my keep, which is included in most nightly charges. It was too chilly to eat on the out of doors terrace, however these are the seats to snag if you happen to’re right here in good climate. In any other case, the nest-like cubicles alongside one facet of the area really feel non-public however accessible.


Visitors can peruse the choices alongside the bar. They vary from candy and savory pastries like matcha muffins and taiyaki waffles to DIY soba, varied cheeses, chilly cuts, contemporary fruit, yogurt and day by day particular smoothies (the yuzu lettuce one was surprisingly refreshing).

Among the many scorching a la carte dishes obtainable with the American breakfast have been truffle free-range onsen (soft-poached) egg with creamy truffle and hen jus and avocado toast with poached eggs. Go for the elaborately introduced Japanese breakfast set, although, to take pleasure in broiled fish of the day, candy tamago-style omelet, seasonal pickles, steamed rice and do-it-yourself tofu with ginger sauce — amongst different hearty bites.

Facilities and repair

Except for its spectacular grounds, a part of what units the 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto aside from town’s different luxurious motels is its cultural choices. There are various paid actions, equivalent to a non-public tea ceremony at Fuju ($135 per individual) and a kimono expertise the place an knowledgeable helps costume you in conventional Japanese garb earlier than a photograph shoot across the property (from $54 per individual). Two ladies I met at Fuju have been collaborating in and having fun with immensely by their very own account.


Visitors may absorb a maiko (apprentice geisha) dance efficiency on sure evenings. A concierge staff can help with suggestions for town’s greatest fan outlets for distinctive souvenirs, last-minute reservations at hard-to-book eating places like Tan and extra.

The remainder of the lodge workers members have been likewise accommodating and useful. They provided the whole lot from ideas on the breakfast and cocktail menus to an impromptu health middle tour to bread for feeding the fish and geese within the backyard pond.

The restaurant waitstaff remembered my espresso order on the second morning of my keep and proactively changed my cappuccino with a scorching one after I might left the primary one to speak with somebody away from my desk for a number of minutes. In brief, no want — nice or small — went ignored.


The lodge’s boutique sells the whole lot from fashionable hanao sandals from Entire Love Kyoto to kimono-clad teddy bears and ornamental metallic ornaments from Kazari Kanagu Takeuchi.

Its wellness complicated, in the meantime, occupies two flooring (B1 and B2). On one stage, the expansive health club is provided with Matrix cardio tools, varied weight machines and free weights, and a stretching and yoga studio. There are males’s and ladies’s locker rooms with bogs, showers, white-granite ofuros alongside conventional washing stations, steam rooms, saunas and resting areas.

It is adjoining to the 65-foot indoor pool, which is a cavernous however fantastically lit area tiled in grey granite. It options loads of loungers and daybeds, plus jacuzzis set underneath skylights for some pure illumination.

Up one stage, the salon and spa have their very own set of full locker rooms with the identical facilities. The spa has simply seven therapy rooms with decor impressed by Kyoto’s conventional machiyas or picket townhouses. The companies incorporate well-known worldwide manufacturers like Biologique Recherche from France and the Japanese label Tatcha.

The Akari (which means “mild”) facial is carried out with Tatcha’s skincare line and a gold-leaf face massager impressed by town’s well-known geishas (ranging from $209 for 60 minutes); the Kyoto Heritage shiatsu therapeutic massage is designed to optimize the physique’s circulate of power (beginning at $182 for 60 minutes).

Out and about

The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto is within the metropolis’s historic Higashiyama Ward, close to a few of its most well-known temples and shrines. It is accessible to the broader metropolitan space due to the excellent public transport community of buses and trains.

Proper across the nook, the Kyoto Nationwide Museum accommodates treasured historic artwork and artifacts; the close by Sanjunsangendo Temple, with its thousand statues of Kannon, the goddess of compassion, is to not be missed.


A ten- or 15-minute stroll south of there, the grounds of Tofukoji Temple, with its rambling picket bridge, are merely spectacular. From there, it is one other 10 or quarter-hour to the enduring crimson Torii gates of Fushimi Inari (and a heart-pumping hike to the summit previous mystical moss-covered shrines and smirking fox statues, if you happen to’re recreation).

From the lodge, visitors can stroll about quarter-hour northeast to the sprawling hilltop temple complicated of Kiyomizu-Dera and the unmistakable terraced spire of Yasaka Pagoda. Then, they will spend hours searching the cafes, outlets and galleries alongside the picturesque pedestrian streets of Ninenzaka and Sannenzaka earlier than descending into the alleys of the normal geisha district of Gion.


Simply throughout the Kamo River, Nishiki Market beckons with its aromatic meals stalls and vibrant memento outlets. Though, you would possibly need to catch a metropolis bus or taxi from there to the Kyoto Imperial Palace grounds and gold-covered pavilion of Kinkakuji with its manicured gardens.



The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto has two wheelchair-accessible entrances, one on the facet of the property the place the residences are and the opposite on the lodge foyer.

The general public areas and visitor hallways are vast and with out stairs to permit for straightforward use of wheelchairs; all flooring are additionally reachable by way of elevator.


Visitors in wheelchairs ought to be capable to navigate elements of the trail across the backyard and pond. Nevertheless, the part nearer to Fuju has extra rough-hewn stones which may show a problem.

There’s a single wheelchair-accessible deluxe room with a toilet that is bigger than these of different rooms; it has sliding doorways, a roll-in bathe, a rest room with handrails and lowered sink counters. The mattress has no particular options to accommodate wheelchair customers however is about 27 inches excessive. If you wish to ebook it, it is best to contact the lodge immediately to make sure that it’s reserved for you.


The 4 Seasons Lodge Kyoto is without delay utterly trendy however with palpable nods to the previous that interaction authentically with the encircling metropolis’s historic legacy.

Whereas the cultural choices and tranquil grounds ought to delight vacationers looking for a deeper expertise of modern-day Japan, the modern lodging and high-touch high quality of the service make it a best choice for enterprise and household vacationers as nicely.


The highest-shelf worth level will put this lodge out of attain for a lot of vacationers. Nevertheless, whether it is inside your finances and you’ll ebook both via a bank card portal or a journey adviser who can guarantee further perks, a keep right here is nicely value it.

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