Four Seasons Vs. Kempinski. Which Hotel Is Best?


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Which are best, Four Seasons or Kempinski hotels? While the choice between these two hotel brands varies between individual hotels, Four Seasons hotels generally have more carefully refurbished rooms with more comfortable beds, and Four Seasons staff are consistently brilliant and can’t do enough to help.

Both hotels usually have excellent facilities, extensive grounds, spas, and pools. Both tend to embrace the character of their respective destination. We have outlined the best Four Seasons hotels and best Kempinski hotels in case you want to delve further into each hotel brand.

We love both brands, so we have broken the comparison down into the different features of the hotel.

1. Loyalty

There’s no Four Seasons loyalty program although you can get free benefits from your very first Four Seasons or Kempinski stay by booking with our luxury travel concierge team.

Kempinski does have a loyalty program. DISCOVERY Dollars (D$) rewards are earned from in-hotel spend at around 4% of your total net bill charges (at the Silver level) and can be spent however you like within six months of the credit date.

2. Style

Four Seasons offers a variety of styles across their hotels according to the destination and the property itself. Their hotels are stunning, welcoming but also formal and palatial. Four Seasons Grand Hotel Du Cap Ferrat is a historic property, so takes its style accents from its classic and historic french architecture. If there’s a more beautiful hotel than this, I’ve yet to find it.

Another example of a beautiful Four Seasons hotel that embraces traditional architecture and mixes this with classic modern furnishings is The Ocean Club, A Four Seasons Resort in the Bahamas, which has a colonial feel. Others, such as the best Four Seasons resorts in Hawaii offer a more modern architecture.

Four Seasons Milan is another brilliant example of a completely unique Four Seasons hotel. This Milan property is housed in a former 15th-century convent that is situated up a tiny side street in the heart of Milan. You’ll find a most unusual and warm pool here in the convent’s former cellar. This pool is reached via steps between thick pillars, and you swim in its warm waters under 19th-century vaulted ceilings.

The soon-to-open Four Seasons Venice is also dripping in history and will be stunning.

By contrast, Kempinski hotels are often less consistent and less polished. The Kempinski in Venice is a fabulous property with one of the best hotel pools in Venice. That said, I would describe the bathrooms as faded glamour, and the rooms are smart but could do with softening around the edges. A thick rug on the floor would have gone a long way towards combating the stark stone floors.

The pool at this Kempinski is gorgeous but didn’t feel child-friendly. When we were there, there were lots of groups of young adults congregating with beers around the pool’s edge, which felt intimidating to a mum with a small child. That said, the Kempinski Venice is lovely and is on its own exclusive island, so it’s pretty special.

Overall, Four Seasons seems to invest more in interior design and staff training so that everything is immaculate and welcoming and there are no tatty edges.

3. Beds

Four Seasons invests a lot in their mattresses and bedding, so expect an excellent night’s sleep. I have found Kempinski beds to be less comfortable and not as easy to sleep on.

4. Size

Although this is not always the case, Kempinski hotels generally tend to be similar or larger in size than Four Seasons hotels.

5. Rooms

Individual hotel rooms at Kempinski hotels can be less predictable in size. Kempinski St. Moritz is another beautiful hotel we recently enjoyed. Again, much of the hotel was brilliant. The location was amazing for the nearby lifts. There was a beautiful park in front of the hotel. The pool and spa facilities were great, but some of the rooms were quite small. At the Kempinski St. Moritz, you must also be sure to pick a room facing out of the front of the hotel, as the rear-facing rooms do not have such nice views.

Four Seasons tends to insist on a minimum room and bathroom dimension and level of decor, so their rooms are always spacious and are usually more recently refurbished.

5. Grounds

This differentiator is very property specific; In Milan, the Four Seasons offers a glorious verdant green courtyard, and the main restaurant spills out onto this enclosed and secret garden.

In Venice, the Kempinski has its own glorious island with beautiful gardens. Four Seasons Venice is centrally located but has next to no grounds.

6. Beach, Pool & Spa

Kempinski hotels usually have excellent pools and spas. We stayed at Kempinski Hotel Bahía Estepona a while back, which has a small beach, but as a general rule, most Kempinski hotels aren’t beach hotels. They tend to be in city or mountain locations.

Four Seasons also has brilliant beach hotels, including the best hotels in Hawaii. There are many more Four Seasons beach hotels than Kempinski beach hotels. The best beachfront room, in our opinion, is the beachfront plunge pool room at Four Seasons Los Cabos where you can roll off your bed and step straight out onto the sand. So, for the best beach hotel, Four Seasons beats Kempinski.

8. Ski

Some of the best ski hotels in the world are Four Seasons. There are also some great Kempinski ski hotels. There are more Four Seasons ski hotels than Kempinski ski hotels. A great Kempinski ski hotel is the Kempinski St. Moritz which is one of the best Kempinski ski hotels in the world.

9. Food

Both brands offer excellent restaurants. You will need to review the specific property to determine whether a particular property has an award-winning restaurant. For example, it is hard to beat the incredible Michelin-starred Italian restaurant at Four Seasons in Florence.

Four Seasons breakfasts are consistently excellent. Kempinski hotels also have brilliant breakfasts. The differentiator tends to be the staff, who are more numerous and attentive at Four Seasons hotels.

10. Family Facilities

Both brands are family-friendly, but Four Seasons has a particularly amazing kids program with gifts and special touches in the rooms. I would say Four Seasons is the best child-friendly hotel brand in the world. Kempinski hotels do not treat your offspring as princes and princesses like the Four Seasons hotels do.

11. Conclusion

Both of these hotel brands offer magnificent hotels. Four Seasons wins for the quality of sleep, more consistent and larger rooms, and the care taken by staff to make you stay special. Both brands offer wonderful facilities. Kempinski hotels tend to be cheaper than Four Seasons hotels although we have outlined the cheapest Four Seasons hotels separately if you’re looking for a bargain.

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