A luscious, subtle-hued study in tranquil elegance with enviable birds-eye views of the Imperial Palace Gardens, Palace Hotel Tokyo is hands down the city's most regal sleeper. Tokyo resident editor Jessica Kozuka beds down for the night in this contemporary icon.
The Palace Hotel Tokyo has a richer history than a thrice-married marquise, but don't mistake her for old and fussy – this low-key siren has sashayed into the modern age with aplomb.
Inside the all-white 60s edifice, a soothing, naturalistic design that speaks to the Japanese preoccupation with the seasons is spruiked with grass-green textiles and wall screens adorned with plants found in the neighbouring Imperial Gardens. Gimlet-eyed guests will spot the famous shigaraki ceramic tiles that graced the original exterior, now lining a lobby stairwell.
Continuing the Nippon-esque elegance, rooms channel the serene and sophisticated with simple, clean-lined decor enhanced by a restrained smattering of botanical motifs and modern artworks. Marble and dark-wood bathrooms are open-plan, while downy Imabari linens and traditional tea sets nod to tradition. Be sure to book a room with a balcony – an absolute rarity in this town.
The hotel’s prime location in biz n’ retail district Marunouchi means there are plenty of wine and dine options on tap, but, with 10 in-house restos and bars, chances are you won’t have to leave. High-falutin' French eatelier Crown is the jewel in the… yep, you got it. There’s also toothsome Michy-starred Chinese fare at Amber Palace and easy all-day eats at moat-side Grand Kitchen, while Washoku seekers can opt for kaiseki, tempura, teppanyaki and/or sushi, in one of several atmospheric dining areas, including private tatami-clad rooms.
Tucked into a discreet corner of the lobby, the plush Royal Bar is a gorgeous rendition of the 1961 original; pull up a pew at the glossy black-lacquer bar to sample one of world champion bartender Manabu Ohtake’s superb martinis.
Rounding out the heavenly offering is a sky-high 20-m indoor pool and Japan’s only Evian spa, an Alpine-esque sanctuary housing a sauna, relaxation room, fitness centre and an array of east-west therapies.
But wait, there’s more...
More than just a pretty face, the Palace Hotel Tokyo has a raft of experiences that enable you to gain a meaningful insight into Japanese culture.
Fascinated by sumo? Meet wrestlers and watch them train via the ‘Grappling Tokyo’ tour to a sumo stable. Sake connoisseurs both veteran and aspiring can deepen their knowledge with the ‘Brewing Tokyo’ tour, a privately guided day-trip to venerable brewer Hakkaisan in Niigata. Meanwhile, ‘Energizing Tokyo’ includes bespoke training sessions for track-pounding, lap-killing, muscle-bound workout warriors, including a swim lesson with Olympian Hanae Ito. Ka-pow!
1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, +81 (0)3 3211 5211, en.palacehoteltokyo.com
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