We recently toured the new Palace Hotel Tokyo, which officially reopened on May 17 after a $1.2 billion reconstruction. It replaced the previous Palace Hotel Tokyo, which opened in 1961 and was located at the same site and knocked down in 2009.
Here’s what you need to know about one of Japan’s newest hotels.
All the rooms face toward the city, meaning every guest, no matter what category they are staying in, has views of the gorgeous urban vistas.
We stayed in room No. 2207, a Club Deluxe room with balcony. Note: Not all in this category have balconies, so, for VIPs, be sure to request a room which has one. There is nothing like seeing the city lit up at night, while enjoying a beverage out in the open.
The best room here is the Palace Suite, which is modeled around a conventional presidential suite. The 2,200-square-foot room comes with one bedroom with double beds, but can also connect. There are a lot of powerful colors, for example a lot of black and gold throughout the bedroom. There is also a very large balcony, 60-inch TVs in both the bedroom and the living room, and a separate kitchen and dining area. Tip: The dining area can be used for private dinners, including wine and sake pairings.
Advisors should contact Reservations Manager Shinya Takekawa ([email protected]; 011-81-332-115-218).
Restaurants and Bars
All the hotel’s restaurants are open to the natives and a huge contingent of local businessmen frequents them every now and then. Therefore, it is very important to get reservations for VIPs at least a month in advance.
Grand Kitchen is situated on the first level and where breakfast, lunch and dinner are served. Nice Touch: There is a small garden area outside that seats roughly 25 guests while another outdoor terrace area can seat up to 40 guests. Tip: Both outdoor areas can be rented out for small groups. Grand Kitchen serves a number of cuisines from pastas to pizza to paella. We ordered the “Hirata Farm” pork loin with mashed potatoes, mushrooms and sage (tastes as good as it sounds!).
The Palace Lounge is a great place to have a cocktail. It has a living-room-type atmosphere and feels very homey. The lounge also has a piano with nightly live performances. Afternoon tea is served here from 2 to 4:30 p.m. The Palace Lounge’s complete tea menu has a total of 48 selections. The afternoon tea service has 25 of them to choose from.
Royal Bar on the first floor is a very sophisticated bar with an impressive piece of abstract art occupying an entire wall. Fun Fact: The piece, of an abstract dragon, is meant to be an ode to the year the hotel reopened.
|Wadakura has nine private dining rooms, serving four to 10 people.|
Wadakura is the hotel’s signature restaurant, serving such Japanese favorites as sushi and tempura. It seats up to 118 people but is so scattered it doesn’t feel large at all. In fact, there is a separate tempura bar, called Tatsumi, within the restaurant. Nice Touch: Wadakura has nine private rooms, serving anywhere from four to 10 people. Note: We were told these are usually the first rooms to go so be sure to book these at least a month in advance. Also, located within Wadakura is a separately managed sushi bar as well as Go, an area dedicated to teppanyaki. Tip: Tell VIPs dining at Go to order the Matsusaka beef, which may have been the greatest beef we’ve ever tasted.
Crown is the hotel’s French dining outlet. This restaurant has a strong Art Deco feel with floor-to-ceiling windows, offering an incredible view of the city.
Prive is another impressive lounge. It’s very similar to The Palace Lounge except it’s a bit sexier, a bit more modern chic. Like The Palace Lounge, it also offers tea, but with a French inspiration. The ambiance is designed to give VIPs a forest-like feel. It’s basically a really chilled-out, relaxed environment. Nice Touch: There is also a small, outdoor lounge area with black leather seats and couches.
Amber Palace is the hotel’s Chinese restaurant. There are a lot of amber hues throughout the restaurant, hence the name.
Advisors should contact Masahiro Yamamoto ([email protected]; 011-81-332-115-303), food and beverage manager.
|The Royal Bar is a sophisticated retreat on the first floor.|
The hotel is home to evian SPA TOKYO, and quite appropriately, Evian water is handed to guests along with a fresh towel as they work out in the fitness center, which is open 24 hours a day and affords city views from all the treadmills. VIPs who book a treatment can use all of the spa’s facilities. There is a modest fee for the pool if VIPs don’t have a spa treatment booked. The fitness center is free for everyone. Note: Club members, those staying on floors 18-23 and also in some select rooms on the 16th and 17th floors, have free access to the pool regardless of whether they have a spa treatment or not. The facility has five treatment rooms and a spa suite (each aptly named after a peak in the Alps), heated baths, a marble sauna, cold plunge pool, dry sauna, reclining baths, and separate men’s and women’s relaxation lounges. We opted for the Vitalizing Signature, the most popular treatment. It’s either a 50- or 80-minute session inspired by the Japanese philosophy of seitai, whereby pressure is meticulously applied on “master” trigger points using fingers, thumbs and elbows to intensely stimulate and improve the flow of energy throughout.
Luxury travel advisors should contact Spa Manager Natsuki Koseki ([email protected]; 011-81-332-115-298) with questions.
Note: The hotel houses a Western-style chapel, which can have up to 12 weddings a day. Nice Touch: There is also a Japanese shrine for more traditional weddings, but we got to know that roughly 80 percent to 90 percent of the guests use the Western-style chapel.
Good to know: Around 60 percent of the VIPs here are business travelers while the remaining 40 percent are those looking for a leisure getaway. There are roughly 15 percent to 20 percent Americans here. Business travelers or couples and families looking for a hotel just 20 minutes away from the famous Ginza shopping district will find this appealing.
For all other inquiries, luxury travel advisors should contact Chief Concierge Mayako Sumiyoshi ([email protected]; 011-81-332-115-211).