When it comes to location for a truly swish hotel in Tokyo, few can better than The Peninsula which celebrated its first decade just last year. The hotel’s location at the triangulated centre of the Tokyo Station, Imperial Palace and Ginza enables you to take a leisurely five-minute stroll to either of the three.
As you return from your day out in one of the most eclectic cities in the world, you pass the hotel’s customised fleet of luxury automobiles including a 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II (one of just four in the world), extended wheelbase Phantoms and a Tesla Model S finished in The Peninsula’s signature Brewster green.
That familial feeling of The Peninsula Lobby, from Hong Kong to Bangkok to Beverly Hills, envelopes you the moment you walk in, together with an aural ambience provided by a three-piece classical ensemble. The serenade may also take the form of the traditional Japanese shakuhachi flute music, as you nurse the hotel’s tribute cocktail to Humphrey Bogart; a ‘Tokyo Joe’ which blends Bombay Sapphire, Umeshu, Drambuie and cranberry juice.
Inside the hotel’s 314 guest rooms and suites, a wealth of amenities and technology are embedded, courtesy of The Peninsula’s dedicated research and development efforts in guestroom technology. Walk-in closets, full-sized bathrooms and a generously sized spaces ensure that guests could spend weeks here with a freedom of space and perfect comfort.
With an understanding that the hotel room is a temporary workspace as well as a home away from home, the hotel has enabled facilities such as Internet radio with over 3,000 stations, nail dryers and an outdoor temperature and humidity level display at the desk (making it easier to dress for the outdoors). Bathrooms incorporate three lighting moods – which become especially useful when you’re soaking in the dramatic tubs at the suites, overlooking the Tokyo urbanscape. A spa button immediately dims the bathroom lights, plays soothing music and sets up a privacy command for the phone and doorbell.
The hotel’s famed spa is a perfect study of Japanese interior design with Yukio Hashimoto’s rendition of indulgent use of gold and chocolate, beige marble and dark woods. ‘Aji-ishi’ granite from the Kagawa prefecture and washi paper light juxtapose the hard and soft, a harmony which helps transition you into deep relaxation, aided by the practised hands of ESPA-trained therapists. Its signature Keihatsu Enlightenment Massage draws from a 3,000-year-old East Asian tradition which promotes the healthy flow of Qi through deep kneading, rolling and stretching movements. Just a floor down, the nearly 10,000 square feet fitness centre includes an indoor heated swimming and vitality pool with balcony views of the nearby Imperial Palace Gardens and Hibiya Park.
In one of the greatest culinary capitals of the world, a quartet of dining options at the hotel means you’re never too far from a good meal. Peter, on the 24th floor of The Peninsula Tokyo, does prime-cut meats and seafood with 180-dregree views, and a bar equipped with all manner of libations and cigars. The Cantonese-styled Hei Fung Terrace offers dinner in a Suzhou garden theme while Kyoto Tsuruya is the sister outlet to the famous Kyoto kaiseki restaurant; where one may sample the freshest of Japan’s seasons.
The Lobby and its signature afternoon tea is a perennial hit with locals and tourists alike, thanks to the inventive chef de cuisine Jun Ishii who enhances the experience with culinary flourishes such as pan-seared red snapper with organic brown rice and a Kobe beef steak sandwich on crusty baguette, chimichurri and truffle fries.
In October last year, a gala event in honour of the hotel’s 10th anniversary showcased chefs from all ten Peninsula Hotels destinations, each of whom created gourmet dishes inspired by their location of origin. The anniversary celebrations included The Peninsula Tokyo Rally Nippon 2017 – a four-day drive by 160 drivers in 80 iconic automobiles from Kyoto to Tokyo with visits to UNESCO World Heritage Sites, underscoring the hotel chain’s long association with classic cars. These events, and the continuing ethos of The Peninsula, was most succinctly encapsulated by the hotel’s General Manager Sonja Vodusek who says, “We are with you, always – now and in the years to come. Creating everlasting memories and guests for life – generation by generation."