Text/ Wesley Sin Photo/ Wesley Sin, Hotel PR
What’s New in Tokyo?
As a travel guide writer, Tokyo is one of my favorite cities in the world. Every time when I visit Tokyo, there’s always something different that catches my attention. The completion of new attractions and commercial projects helps to keep the city vibrant and charming. In April 2017, Ginza Six, a new retail destination, opens its doors in the Ginza area. Designed by world-famous architect Yoshio Taniguchi, the building combines the traditional and modern aspects of Ginza.
Another two new landmarks, Tokyu Plaza Ginza and Shinjuku Miraina Tower, also bring the city some new vibes of fashion, culture, and recreation in early 2016. The new shopping and dining complex in Daikanyama, Log Road, which has been transformed from previous railroads is also a must-visit hot spot in Tokyo. With their “green” concepts, which are similar to the Highline in NYC, you will definitely find something creative and unique here.
Luxury Hotel Experience
Grand Hyatt Tokyo
Another thing I like to do during my trips to Tokyo is to spend some quality time at the hotels to relax. One of the best hotels on my pocket list is Grand Hyatt Tokyo which is directly connected to Roppongi Hills and just a 3-minute walk to Roppongi metro station. They provide 387 rooms and suites with contemporary designs. If you choose to stay on the Club Floors, you will be able to access the Grand Club lounge with exclusive service, a delicate breakfast, and evening cocktails. You can also easily access the retail stores and Mori Art Museum which are in the same building complex.
On the top floor of the Mori Building at Roppongi Hills, there is another must-visit spot, Tokyo City View. This is my most-recommended location to see the stunning night view of the city, and of course the Tokyo Tower! If you are tired from your non-stop travel schedules, don’t forget to visit the Nagomi Spa and Fitness in the hotel that features a red granite indoor swimming pool.
As a “lifestyle destination”, Grand Hyatt Tokyo offers 10 restaurants and bars widely acclaimed for their authentic gastronomy that features an incredible variety of international cuisine including French, Italian, American, Chinese, and Japanese sushi, teppanyaki and seasonal kaiseki fare. I always enjoy the brunch buffet at French Kitchen, al fresco dining at the open-air terraces of Fiorentina, and the live music in the chic jazz lounge Maduro. Another thing I like about Grand Hyatt Tokyo is their multicultural and multilingual staff members.
They will provide you a lot of information about what’s new and fun around Roppongi such as the cherry blossom in spring, the traditional Matsuri festival in summer, the annual Roppongi Art Night in fall and the glamorous Christmas illumination in winter.
Conveniently located in the West Shinjuku area, Hilton Tokyo provides 812 rooms for a wide range of international guests. If you are a fan of shopping, Hilton Tokyo might be your best choice. You can easily visit the most popular shopping destination, Shinjuku Station, by a 15-minute walk or take the free shuttle bus provided by the hotel. The newest landmark, Miraina Tower, and its shopping center NEWoMan are all close by. All guest rooms at Hilton Tokyo were fully renovated 3 years ago with a new design which combines artistic Japanese traditions and modern contemporary styles.
At the same time, Hilton Tokyo also re-launched their dining floor with a brand new concept “TSUNOHAZU” which is the ancient name of West Shinjuku. In TSUNOHAZU, you will have the chance to try Western grill, Japanese and Chinese cuisine in one open space with no wall in between. This innovative design by world-renowned architect Nao Taniyama encourages a dynamic movement across the entire floor, imbuing the hotel’s elegant, relaxed and exotic ambiance. In Junisoh, I chose to sit at the sushi counter and tried the Edo style sushi by chef Hidetoshi Nakamura. He seasoned the sushi rich with red vinegar and smoked fish, such as bonito and conger eel over straw for a more fragrant and complex flavor.
I also enjoyed my dining experience at Metropolitan Grill with the steak grilled over a charcoal fire and smoking cherry blossom hardwood. It was also interesting to meet the “Spice Concierge” who pushes the trolley with various spices around the restaurant and gave me the best suggestions for freshly grinded spices to match my entrée. If you are a lover of sweets, you can’t miss the “dessert buffet” served daily at the Marble Lounge. You will definitely be in the sweetest of heavens during your stay in Tokyo.
Palace Hotel Tokyo
If you have stayed with international hotel brands all over the world, you may want to try a different type of “omotenashi”, or Japanese hospitality, with this luxury local brand. With a singular, moat-side setting just opposite the Imperial Palace gardens, Palace Hotel Tokyo provides visitors a new experience combined with tradition and modernity. Fully rebuilt from a historical hotel, Palace Hotel Tokyo now provides 278 rooms and 12 suites with cozy and contemporary design.
Besides the Japanese cultural elements, a lot of natural motifs can be found at the hotel from the tracery of trees on the walls of Bar Lounge Privé, to the hotel’s hand-tufted deep green carpets, to the seasonal artistic floral décor.
If you are lucky enough to book a balcony room, you will be able to wake up with the breathtaking view of the Imperial Palace gardens. I also like to enjoy an early morning swim at the evian SPA TOKYO inside the hotel, which is the first and only in Japan. Inspired by the journey of evian water through the French Alps, the spa creates its unique treatment for guests from the signature mineral wrap treatment to the vitalizing therapy for jet lag.
There are also skin care packages particularly designed for gentlemen. After all treatments, you can enjoy some relaxing sauna time in the spa.
As for dining options, Palace Hotel Tokyo includes 10 restaurants and bars with distinguished concepts, including French fine dining at Crown, authentic Japanese cuisine at Wadakura and refined Chinese tastes at Amber Palace.
At Wadakura, the whole space is divided into four distinct areas-tempura at Tatsumi, teppanyaki at GO, sushi at Sushi Kanesaka, and kaiseki in the main dining room. Each section represents a different type of food culture in Japan. Trying to skip the breakfast?
I don’t think that’s a good idea! The breakfast is provided at the Grand Kitchen on the first floor which is right next to the Imperial Moat.
In spring and summer, enjoying a tasty breakfast at the outdoor terrace will be an unforgettable memory during your stay at the Palace Hotel Tokyo. You’ll see how relaxed I am from my photo below!
About the writer
Wesley Sin is a writer for travel and fashion guides from Taiwan. His personal publications include What’s New in Tokyo, Tokyo Fashion Guide, Travel in New York by Subway and more. He is currently working in New York as a PR professional all the while writing and contributing from the Big Apple.
Do you want to know more about Tokyo? You should read Wesley’s new guidebook.
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