What’s not to love about the hotel portfolio that sets the bar for the luxury travel frontier? The answer is nothing; if it’s a Four Seasons, you know it’s going to be a home run experience. The Four Seasons has made many a destination, from Beirut to Saudi Arabia, more accessible because you know you’re in the best of hands. Galavante Founder Christine shares her top six, from the 80+ Four Seasons she’s stayed in around the world.
A note on the selection process as we do hope that this list sparks spirited debate. Our list is about the hotel itself, and of course the food and service that go along with it. It’s not necessarily about the destination, though as you can see, a few of these are in locales that are on the legends list.
The Property: Four Seasons Georges V Paris
Why we like it: This is one of the most iconic, classic, hotels in the world. Yes, when we’re in Paris, one of the most iconic, classic cities in the world, we occasionally step out on the Four Seasons to check the hottest new hotel opening. But we always come back to the Georges V. No trip to Paris is complete until we breeze through the lavish flower filled lobby, and grab a bite in the parlor before returning again for a drink at the V Bar.
The rooms are pretty special here, where they are so French it hurts, especially when you score a suite overlooking the Eiffel Tower. This property will be around until the end of time. #Respect.
The Property: Four Seasons Hotel Florence
Why we like it: There is officially not enough space to write about the many reasons we love thee, thy Four Seasons Firenze. Beyond the exquisite spaces of this former palace and convent, set within the largest private park in Florence, there is an indescribable energy of warmth, and the way that this places makes you feel sunshine inside you. And that’s not just Chef Vito’s Molllica’s mind-blowing cuisine and their Brunello by the glass talking.
We attribute this unique quality to the original General Manager, Patrizio Cipollini, whose mark remains at the hotel, even after his passing in 2019. He was an exceptional human being with a true kindness that pervades the culture of the property. This place is just something special. Forget being on a list just for the Four Seasons; this is a hotel you should put on your bucket list of lifetime world travels.
The Property: Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain Bay
Why we like it: We know this may sound random, as it’s not every day you’re heading to the Bahrain. But if there’s one reason to drop by when you’re in the neighborhood (like Dubai, Saudi and Kuwait), it’s this property. Designed in an H formation, this wasn’t about creating a hotel with the most rooms to recoup an investment, as almost the entire center of the hotel is nothing but air. This is one of those projects, where they spared no expense.
It will be tough to find a hotel in any portfolio, not just the Four Seasons, with higher end appointments to every single finish from the lobby to the rooms. You feel like you’re in your friend’s super tricked out yacht in the chambers, with the high polish wood veneers and art that is nicer than 99.99%. Ok maybe 100%, of what you have in your house.
The spa honors the importance of the ritual in Middle Eastern culture, by spanning 4 buildings and being a total oasis of chill. Service here is especially attentive, and maybe some of the best we’ve experienced. They set a tone, from the time they came to pick you up from the airport in one of the house Bentleys. Yes, we said it. They had us at Bentley.
The Property: Four Seasons Istanbul at Sultanahmet
Why we like it: Unlike the Florence property, which was a noble family’s home, the Four Seasons at Sultanahmet was once a Turkish prison, over 100 years ago. But you can’t have the most prime real estate in the most historic part of Istanbul house a prison, so enter the Four Seasons. Add in massive construction to re-architect the building, and you have one of the most luxurious hotels in the world. From the moment you step into the hotel from the bustling surroundings of the most historic part of the city of Istanbul, there is an indelible exoticism of entering the lavish lobby and architecture that has you impressed. It’s formal, yet inviting with the nooks to grab a tea as well as the inner courtyards that inspire hours of catching up over baklavas and their strong, Turkish coffee.
The spa, which has one of the best hammam experiences that is not just a spa treatment, but rather a cultural experience. There is no better spot to base if you’re especially a first time visitor to Istanbul, to take in the Hagia Sofia and Blue Mosque, along with the Turkish Bazaar. Even better when it’s on at sunset on their rooftop terrace.
The Property: Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Why we like it: If you could start from scratch and build the most luxury urban hotel possible, it may just look like the Four Seasons Kuala Lumpur. This has to be one of the largest scale Four Seasons in the world, with over 65 stories, 209 guest rooms and private residences, plus a shopping mall as an added bonus. You could be in the complex for days without leaving. For its opening, there were fireworks. There were royals. There was Jimmy Choo.
But beyond the glitz, this hotel was a dark horse for our no expectations, and surpassed in every way from the food venues, bars and service. And while we went out to explore the world, from its location right in the center of the city, we made a point to allocate a few extra hours each day at the hotel. The rooms were so beautifully and tastefully done, we had new home aspirations and lots of design inspiration from our stay, with their modern, clean and elegant lines. That’s what it boils down to with this hotel, and why it makes the list. Each room, even the standard ones, are like a deeply comfortable home. You will want to spend time, sit on the couch and look out the window at the views of the massive metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur.
The Property: The Four Seasons Maldives
Why we like it: What makes this Four Seasons property so special? Well, this is not one Four Seasons, but rather a trio, and one of those is a boat. Or, a yacht known as the Four Seasons Explorer, to be exact, with 11 cabins for you and your nearest and dearest.
Set in the Maldives, the Four Seasons doesn’t make you choose among an island beach, an over-the-water hut on an Atoll in the middle of the Indian Ocean, or a private yacht, because why choose, when you can have it all? The Kuda Huraa property is the traditional Robinson Crusoe, lost on a deserted island experience, but of course with all the creature comforts of a luxury hotel, and then some. You also get more of the local culture and a chance to explore the neighboring islands. At the Landaa Giravaaru, it’s all about the classic over-the-water-hut that you’ll have your, “I’m floating in the middle of the Indian Ocean” moment.