Most people travelling to the Caucasus region tend to just visit Georgia and skip its neighbours. Whereas Georgia’s charm lies in its tradition, Baku is proud to show Azerbaijan‘s oil and gas riches with modern buildings and luxury hotels. Many people are not aware, but central Baku is a bustling, modern city. I had such a great time when I was there back in 2013, that I had to return this year. Only that I was there twice within just a few weeks! On one of these occasions, I had the chance to stay at Four Seasons Baku, la crème de la crème among the city’s luxury hotels, located just outside Old City walls, near the shores of the Caspian Sea.
With a trendy Italian restaurant (Zafferano), two lounges, state-of-the-art health club and spa and an enormous indoor pool, the hotel is not only very luxurious but chic and utterly tasteful. I’ve always loved Four Seasons hotels and I have stayed and dined in many of its properties around Europe. And Four Seasons Baku is exactly what I was expecting from the brand – and yes, my expectations are always high.
My Stay at Four Seasons Baku
But first things first, when I arrived at the hotel, I was lucky they could offer me an early check-in, so I could get to my suite late morning and avoid the heavy snowfall outside.
From the moment I got into my Executive Suite, I knew it would be hard for me to leave. It felt very comfortable and homely with a decor that mixed classic style with modern touches – very well appointed.
As you entered it, there was a corridor with a small cupboard for jackets and umbrella, which led to the spacious sitting room with three sofas, coffee table, a working desk that I used for hours, LCD TV, fully stocked minibar and a kettle AND an espresso machine with a huge selection of teas and coffee.
In the sitting room, there was a glass door that took me to the spacious balcony. There, I had a full panoramic view of the whole of Icheri Sheher (Baku Old City) with its snowed rooftops, the iconic Flame Towers and the TV tower. I couldn’t be excited, to be honest.
The living room had two doors into the bedroom. While the living room had wooden floors with a carpet in the sitting area, the bedroom was fully carpeted, with a large king-size bed, armchairs, a TV and an iPhone/iPod deck.
This perfect blend of classic luxury decor with the latest technology was also present in the spacious bathroom.
The luxury was in the in white marble with details in black tiles that extended to the deep bathtub – which I absolutely loved – and double-basin sink stocked up with L’Occitane products – yes, who said men don’t appreciate high-quality toiletries? The latest technology was in the mirror TV – yes, I touched the mirror and the small TV screen switched on, so I could shave and watch the news at the same time. Talk about convenience, right? Also convenient, was the walk-through closet with a huge storage space.
Breakfast: As Good As It Gets
Zafferano is Four Seasons Baku chic Italian restaurant and where the ultimate breakfast buffet is served in the morning. And when I say “ultimate”, I mean it. There was definitely something for everyone, from the large choice of fruits, pastries and juice to the Azeri-style breakfast and “Western” options.
The chefs were also there, ready to take your hot food order. On my first morning, I had some eggs Benedict that was nothing short of perfect.
In the evening, Zafferano is buzzing with hotel guests and locals alike. But following a local friend’s suggestion, we met for a drink at the hotel’s Bentley’s lounge, before joining a local friend for dinner in the Old Town. So Zafferano, I’ll be back for a proper evening meal!
Luxurious Spa & Leisure Facilities at Four Seasons Baku
Guests have access to the fitness centre and the swimming pool free of charge. The fitness centre is fully equipped with latest technology machines and also has a fairly spacious free-weight area. But it’s the 25m-long indoor swimming pool and the jacuzzi that really made me want to stay longer.
With very high glass ceiling, natural light and elegant classic decor, it feels like a modern-day Roman bath. As I had the pool all to myself, I was able to swim more than ten laps without worrying about bumping into other guests.
I don’t usually talk about spa changing rooms – it can sound creepy, right? But the ones at Four Seasons Baku are really worth a mention. As much as you expect attention to details from any hotel of this calibre, it’s hard to ignore the fact they thought about every single detail – from the slippers, towels and bathrobes in the private cabins to the quality of the Jaleh Spa products available.
My only regret was not going for a massage in the luxurious spa – another must-do for my next trip to Baku, which will be perfect after my (most likely) overnight train journey from Tbilisi.
Address: 1 Neftchilar Avenue AZ1095 Baku (25km from Baku Airport and 3.3km from the railway station)