If you’re skiing in Japan then you simply must put aside some time in Tokyo. The lights, the shopping, the craziness (think Robot Restaurants, Owl cafes, Mario go karting in CBD streets), the Michelin food, the izikayas, the seafood markets, the people watching and the third wave coffee.
While you’re there, treat yourself to one of these super lush hotels boasting supreme service, Mt Fuji views and a seamless blend of east and west from dining dens to spa locations.
The Mandarin Oriental
You’ll find the Tokyo outpost of one of the world’s leading luxe brands in the Nihonbashi historical turned business district. Occupying the top floors of the Cesar Pelli designed NihonBashi Mitsui Tower, expect your jaw to drop upon arrive in the lobby. The 37th floor foyer welcomes guests with a mammoth wall of glass that reveals the city landscape and Mt Fuji in the distance.
Expect 178 rooms, all with views and some of the best fine dining on the planet. Michelin has graced the hotel with various stars across the four key restaurants. Our pick? The tapas bar, not just any tapas bar, a tapas bar with molecular alchemy. And the spa, do not leave with experiencing the spa, you will thank us later, it is a shrine to serious spa design with the best view from a sauna ever.
Those who stay at an Aman resort are spoiled for life and many go on to become Aman Junkies (there’s even a t-shirt). Their new flagship in Tokyo is found in the Otemachi district, a precinct dedicated to those who wheel and deal. Again, like the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel is in the top floors of a skyscraper. Aman is known for minimalistic design and it sits well here in the precise ways of Tokyo. The rooms are also a unique Aman twist on traditional Japanese bedrooms. Hues are neutral, if not monochrome with blacks and whites and the hotel also boasts a Japan inspired day spa with city views.
The iconic hotel featured in Lost in Translation is still, after 23 years since opening, a doyenne of Tokyo luxury in the Shinjuku district. Yes it occupies the top floors of a skyscraper, yes it has views of Mt Fuji, yes it has the famed New York Grill, yes it boasts the impeccable intuitive service that is a Park Hyatt trademark. Need we say more?
Ryokans are known in Japan as traditional inns, usually handed down from generation to generation of Ryokan families. They feature tatami mats, futon beds, paper screen walls and onsens and are found dotted around Japan. Hoshinoya is Tokyo’s five star Ryokan, the first of it’s kind and also found in the Otemachi district.
Like Mandarin Oriental and Aman, Hoshinoya is also housed in a skyscraper, only this time the Ryokan takes up the entire building with every floor a stand alone Ryokan of its own. Guests have their own Yukata Kimono style outfits to lounge in and the building design also offers a nod to Kimono graphics.
A hot spring from deep below the city serves the Hoshinoya Onsen and dining is traditional and precise as only the Japanese can do. Expect a blend of French and Japanese influence in the menu.
Sigh then exhale. That’s the Peninsula way. This stunning hotel is in the Marunouchi financial district and is, again, in the upper echelons of a soaring skyscraper. You’ll be close to the Tsukiji Fish Market and the Ginza shopping precinct. Rooms are classic Peninsula luxury with a Japanese nod in traditional red and gold hues. Like the Mandarin Oriental, the hotel has a number of dining options and a coveted bar named Peter (just go, and thank us later).