After a ghastly night at Haneda, the Sybaritic Single jumped on a first-class JAL flight and after three glasses of Joseph Perrier champagne eventually arrived in Kyoto. The local Aman was quintessentially Aman: breathtakingly beautiful and serene yet so predictable.
Eventually, the Sybaritic Single spent more time at Fauchon l’Hotel Kyoto, perhaps the most exciting among all hotels in the city. Since the demise and bankruptcy of the iconic brand during the pandemic, Fauchon hotels in Paris and Kyoto seemed to be the only islands of Fauchon normality in the tumultuous sea of luxury.
Fauchon has long been synonymous with all things gourmet in Japan, having opened its first store in the country more than 50 years ago. The eponymous 59-room hotel boasts an excellent location within walking distance of everything one might desire, from ancient shrines of Higashiyama to the local Takashimaya. A celebration of all things glamorous and Parisian, it became the world’s second Fauchon L’Hotel when it opened its doors in 2021 (the next one will be in Riyadh).
It’s a veritable Fauchon-fest: the ground floor is home to a Fauchon patisserie and boutique, selling a medley of treats from macarons to teas (including the hotel’s exclusive “One Night in Kyoto” mix – a fruity green tea blend with notes of cherry, pear and tangerine).
A sweeping central staircase, adorned with stained glass inspired by the blooming sakura, leads up to the Salon de Thé, serving its own take on a Japanese tea ceremony complete with a pink metal teapot and more macarons. Executive chef Masu Naoto (formerly of Aman Kyoto) rustles up an exquisite array of picture-perfect Parisian gastronomy with a Japanese edge (though the taste was quite disappointing, more so for the world’s finest gourmet brand).
At night, the Sybaritic Single presided over the world’s first Fauchon Le Bar on the 10th floor overlooking Kyoto and the mountains that wrap around the city. Rosé champagne and pink macarons were delightful, especially in the gorgeous space with accents of Fauchon fuchsia, white washi paper, gold leaf and black lacquer – just what was needed after a long day of sightseeing.