Four Seasons Baku

Four Seasons Baku has become the hotel to beat in the competition between 5 star luxury hotels that kicked off about a year ago in Baku. Set on the waterfront, on the edge of the Old Town, it is an ideal location from which to explore the city.

Patronised predominantly by serious businessmen, Four Seasons hopes to appeal to the younger, trendier tourists who are starting to filter across from Europe and the USA in search of new experiences.

We stayed in a luxury suite overlooking the walls of the historic centre and the rooftops of the houses below. Like the rest of the hotel, our room was elegant, classically decorated in muted hues with soft luxurious furnishings. A grand double bed dominated the room with numerous plump pillows perfect for propping yourself up to read in bed; by the bay windows was a small writing desk perfect for any pressing work matters that needed attending to. We didn’t much need the workspace but loved our mini balcony, there were beautiful city views creating an extension of our Azerbaijan-inspired room. The bathroom was rather more gothic with intense black tiling and regal gold detailing – it was rather a shock opening the mirrored doors, very different in style but we learnt to love it. Equipped with a huge bath, his and hers sinks, and a generously sized power shower there was certainly no amenity overlooked. As is true of most Four Seasons Hotels the bathroom was stocked with L’Occitane essentials.

In the morning guests congregated in the main restaurant for a deluxe buffet breakfast – we enjoyed croissants and fresh juice. At night this space transforms into the Zafferano Italian eatery, casual in atmosphere and cuisine, a family orientated restaurant serving simple Italian recipes and homemade pizzas. The pasta dishes were fresh and delicious, vibrantly flavoured seasonal ingredients… we particularly enjoyed the Squid ink spaghetti with lobster and the Gnocchi with baked beef tomato and pecorino. The pizzas were less thrilling, the bases were too doughy and thick and the toppings, uninteresting. The wine list features some intriguing Azerbaijani as well as European and African varieties. We enjoyed a couple of glasses of the light and very drinkable Prosecco DOC, Scanavino from Italy, which accompanied our meal perfectly.

The Jaleh spa was, for me, the star feature of the Four Seasons Baku. With a beautiful pool, luxurious facilities and highly qualified miracle-working therapists, it is the ultimate place of relaxation. The signature Jaleh massage we received was relaxing and rejuvenating. Our therapist, Havane used Comfort Zone Tranquillity blend oil to resolve knots and tension in my back, and released the strain in other areas of my body. Finishing with a blast of warmth in the sauna, a few energising lengths in the pool, a glass of lemon infused chilled water and a spritz of Voya seaweed toner in the changing rooms, my mind, body and soul felt completely refreshed. If you feel like treating yourself the spa has a great selection of gifts, including BomBom and Daisy fine gold jewellery, Gazelli Azerbaijan designer skincare products and fun peacock inspired haivianas.

With its famous emerald-green roof, the Four Seasons Baku is a luxury landmark in Azerbaijan and rumours have it that the hotel chain hopes to open a second hotel on the Azerbaijani coast. With so much progress and development in Baku, the Four Seasons needs to be proactive to remain ahead of the pack. It seems a shame that the hotel doesn’t feature an outdoor pool, as I believe, more than anything else, this would bring sun hungry customers providing a welcome oasis in such a hot climate.

More information and book here.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with British Airways who operates a daily service from Heathrow to Baku seven times a week. The lead-in fare is from £463.95 including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information visit or call 0844 4930787.

British Airways: London Heathrow to Baku Heydar Aliyev, Azerbaijan

Travel to Baku in style with British Airways’ new flight to the Azeri capital. Having recently taken over this ex-BMI route, it has never been easier for British visitors to exchange bustling London for the boulevards of Baku.

After just five hours, you arrive at Heydar Aliyev airport in 30 degree heat, a short taxi ride from the amazing architecture, skyscrapers and historical old town that Baku has to offer.

The British Airways aircraft for this route is divided into two cabins – Club World and World Traveller. I was lucky enough to experience both as part of my return journey. World Traveller is British Airways’ standard class but with plenty of legroom, friendly and helpful staff and very edible food; it is a step up from many of the airlines I have experienced.

On our return journey, we were especially pleased to be seated in Club World. A glass of Taittinger Brut Reserve NV Champagne on take-off, followed by a tasty piece of steak was a lovely way to round off our trip.

The British Airways motto “to fly, to serve” seems like a simple concept, but as always the service felt special – especially when you’re used to flying with Ryanair.

British Airways strive to make the world’s most unique destinations more accessible, this flight to Baku is a prime example.

British Airways operates a daily service from Heathrow to Baku seven times a week. The lead-in fare is from £463.95 including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information visit or call 0844 4930787.

Fairmont Flame Towers, Baku

Three grand glass towers are fast becoming the emblem of Azerbaijan’s capital, Baku. For me, a complete foreigner in this exotic country, the Fairmont Flame Towers are the strongest memory of this enchanting city. This breathtaking complex is a striking addition to the Baku skyline and acts as a reference point wherever you are in the city.

Designed by HOK Architects, it is the tallest structure in Azerbaijan and certainly the most dominating. Conceived to mark the country’s rebirth, it took over five years to construct and the staff who work here have been in training for the last year and a half. I could feel the sizzling excitement in the air as I stepped through the entrance, the first British journalist to experience this much-anticipated hotel. There are three towers: a hotel, offices and a residential apartment block. When we visited much of the hotel space was still to be finished, we were placed in the highest room available, on the eighth floor.

When in full operation the Fairmont Baku will offer 299 guest rooms and suites; 19 apartments; a luxurious ESPA spa (including tennis court, fitness centre, indoor and outdoor pools); French brasserie (Le Bistro); Steak restaurant; Jazz bar; Cigar divan and shop; the Nur Lounge bar; Coffee shop and poolside bar and grill. It hopes to be the hub of Baku activity for tourists and locals and, if they achieve their ambition, it is sure to be the ultimate Azeri accommodation.

It is difficult to describe the awe we felt whilst staying at the Fairmont Flame Towers. From our glass walled sky-high room we could look out and see many other recent additions to the architectural landscape of Baku including Flag Square (until recently the tallest Flagpole in the world), Crystal Hall (which was built to host the Eurovision in 2012), Martyr’s Alley and the Eternal Flame and, slightly further away, the walls of the Old City.

The hallway leading to our room still smelt of fresh paint and the room itself was in pristine new condition. It was a marriage of contemporary design and traditional materials, with quirky furniture and clever hidden technology. Everything from the lighting to curtain and blind functions could be controlled from the panel by the bedside. Our bed was massive, coated in 300-thread-count linens and down filled pillows and duvets… seriously comfortable and definitely welcome after a full day of exploring on foot. The alternate black and white (his and hers) Fairmont slippers were greatly appreciated as we made ourselves at home in our new pad.

The bathroom was high tech and fully equipped with super cool bespoke Le Labo Rose 31toiletries… much more interesting than the usual standard brands stocked in renowned hotel chains. The big bath was ideal for a long soak and an indulgent power shower encased in glass stood next to it. The word ‘Minibar’ has never been so appropriate, as our room had tiny versions of all the essential chocolate bars and posh jars of other naughty snacks.

The staff ensured our stay was unforgettable in every way… offering city suggestions, arranging a day trip to Gobustan, and arranging a cocktail class in Nur bar lounge specially for us. The only restaurant open was the casual French Le Bistro offering simple salads, soups and main courses. At breakfast we feasted on French toast and coffee and at dinner we relished the juicy steak frites, garlicky snails and wonderfully authentic creme brûlée. Over at the Nur Lounge for after dinner drinks, I can recommend the beautiful lilac coloured Grape and Lychee Collins and the sweet and syrupy Rose Petal Martini. Carrying the trend over from London and New York, the Fairmont bar is certainly producing the best, most innovative cocktails in the city. If you find yourself needing a snack, the Duck confit spring rolls with plum sauce are a must.

With everything on offer at Fairmont Flame Towers, guests need never leave the complex. Perhaps the most thrilling aspect of this empire occurs at 10pm every night when people all over the city can witness the most spectacular light show. All three towers are illuminated in tandem showing clever Azeri inspired designs and multi-coloured delights.

Unlike anywhere I have ever stayed in the World, Fairmont Flame Towers is an architectural marvel and hotel heaven.

More information and book here.

Thoroughly Modern Milly travelled with British Airways who operates a daily service from Heathrow to Baku seven times a week. The lead-in fare is from £463.95 including taxes/fees/carrier charges. To book or for more information visit or call 0844 4930787.