As 2023 approaches, many are turning attention to a new calendar of travel bucket lists. Four Seasons loyalists are spoilt with a choice the world over, and with travel restrictions easing in key markets across Europe, the Middle East, and Asia (where clusters of the brand sit) there’s no better time to get out and experience their very best. We’ve plucked four delicious Four Seasons hotels outside North America that offer something truly special depending on your desired season of getaway.
Best for Spring 2023 – Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto
Spring marks the birth of new life, and there’s no better celebration of renewal than at the Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto. Here’s where 29 sakura trees transform the landscape into a heavenly cloud of pink petals. Marvel as they disperse over the 800-year-old Shakusui-en pond garden, which echoes the hotel’s deep roots in tradition, artistry, and natural beauty. Garden-facing rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows are a must for such framed sights, spectacular year-round in addition to springtime. You’re sitting in the Higashiyama district of temples, so Zen you shall. Rooms are intricately accented with modern Shoji sliding doors, cushions made of kimono material, and illuminations of rose gold to massage comfort to your stay. Bathtime treats include Yuzu-infused bath bags and either Lorenzo Villoresi or Diptyque, whilst the pantry has both TWG teas or fresh green tea sets to choose from (as well as Nespresso and mini-bar). Those seeking to further calm, Kyoto-style, should veer to the spa and wellness center, which features ofuro baths, a radiant pool sidelined by whirlpools, and even a green tea therapy. Speaking of which, guests can also hydrate and refuel at the on-site restaurant, Sushi Wakon, for omakase dining; the Brasserie whose outdoor terrace provides a fine point for sakura enjoyment, and a sleek Lounge and Bar for a Kyoto-inspired cocktail. In 2023, sakura events and even a sakura suite will be available, book ahead to secure a coveted spot, and whilst in town be sure to visit the Arashiyama bamboo forest on a rickshaw.
Best for Summer 2023 – Four Seasons Hotel Seoul
As America experiences a K-explosion, Seoul’s Four Seasons outpost has seen visitors flock like never before. What stands out about this property is its level of service. Luggage ushered up to suite as one checked in, multi-lingual staff offering helpful yet non-intrusive assistance from spa to F&B, fresh gym wear hurried over to accompany a workout, and warm milk (not heavily processed creamer, take note USA) delivered as promptly as a pod hits machine: these are only a single night’s stay of examples we’d witnessed first-hand. Combine exceptional service with quality and you’ve landed the best stay in the country. Guest rooms are designed not with social media in mind, but more so with effortless comfort. You have rooms lit with smart lighting under clothing rails and drapes controlled via remote; 24/7 digital concierge, bedspreads that somehow feel cozy yet cool during warm summers, Diptyque bathtime products, and futuristic Toto toilets, and then there are the views. Ringed by verdant mountains, historic palaces, and neon lights below; guests get all-encompassing (floor-to-ceiling) blue-sky sights without needing to change out of a robe. Daytime exclusive visitors are too in for a treat. Peruse dazzling hangouts such as the contemporary bar, OUL; famed Cantonese restaurant, Yu Yuan, and Italian kitchen, Boccalino for perfectly grilled Korean beef. Or, retreat to the spa, where a lavish Korean sauna lies: here are cold, warm, and hot baths, wet and dry saunas, plus optional treatments for total relaxation. You’ll be re-energized and ready to take on a summer’s worth of Seoul exploration. Pro tip: book in advance on GetYourGuide, a platform that brings together the best of the city from DMZ tours to cooking classes.
Best for Fall 2023: Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire
Picture this: leafy English gardens, horseback riding up a hill, and glistening gold hues around an 18th-century Georgian manor house. Fall is best experienced in Hampshire, England. The Four Seasons property here can only be described as a royal retreat (the destination is in fact, where King Henry VIII first met with Catherine of Aragon). Perched on 500 acres of picturesque grounds, there’s every opportunity to escape big city life and reconnect with family, a loved one, or oneself. 112 guest rooms and 22 suites are quintessentially British countryside chic, but with modern upgrades to facilitate a 2023 stay. Enter your boudoir, illuminated by autumn sunshine from towering Georgian windows as you settle in with a Nespresso coffee, or soak in The White Company products in the free-standing claw-foot tub waiting in the bathroom. This is your castle, with plush amenities and meticulous service. During the day, a playground awaits: visit the lobby concierge to book a session in falconry, fishing, or clay pigeon shooting. Rejuvenate at the spa with a Hampshire Herbal Massage, and then spend sundown at Wild Carrot, a British triumph serving the region’s greatest Sunday Roast. With fall activities aplenty at the property, a romantic outdoor backdrop, and storybook corners galore, the Four Seasons Hotel Hampshire is a truly golden getaway.
Best for Winter 2023: Four Seasons Hotel London at Ten Trinity Square
With the UK forever at the forefront of US international travel, it’s only fitting to put a London property on a Four Seasons Christmas wish list. The Ten Trinity Square edition is a snow globe of splendor. Celebrating 100 years, the Tower Hill landmark serves as a starting point for discovering the city’s history and is set amongst many drinking and dining hotspots. Such hotspots include the Four Seasons’ own offerings: Rotunda Bar and Lounge in the lobby under a stunning domed ceiling, for all-day dining, drinks, and afternoon tea, and the acclaimed Chinese and Japanese destination, Mei Ume. Rooms and suites are a warm and peaceful retreat from bustling surroundings, especially after an afternoon of ice skating at the Tower of London (or an informative GetYourGuide expert guided tour), cruising the River Thames, or Christmas shopping. Additional spaces of tranquility await via a shimmering underground spa, which boasts eight treatment rooms including a couple’s suite and hammam, plus a heated pool, vitality pool, gym, steam, and sauna. Try the Voya Self Discovery Radiance Facial for an instant glow before heading to a festive engagement.
All images courtesy of Four Seasons Hotels