20 AMAZING HOTELS IN TOKYO
20 AMAZING HOTELS IN TOKYO
The sky is the limit when it comes to hotel options in Japan’s expansive capital, since many of the most sought-after reservations are nestled into the tallest skyscrapers. However, the best homes, no matter how high in the sky, have deeply ingrained cultural linkages that exhibit an ancient respect for hospitality known as omotenashi, the difficult-to-translate Japanese idea of altruistic hospitality formed from tea ceremonial customs.20 AMAZING HOTELS IN TOKYO
The dynamic metropolis is home to 3,650 hotels and ryokans (traditional inns), and about 100,000 hotel rooms. Not all of them are created equally.
From vertiginous suites to contemporary retreats inspired by ryokans, here’s a look 15 of Tokyo’s top luxury hotels of 2023—informed by our travel experts and listed below in no particular order—that are part of our Hotels We Love series of the best hotels and resorts of 2023.
1. Aman Tokyo
Known for its matchless hospitality in sublime natural settings, Aman Resorts made its urban debut in 2014 with the Aman Tokyo, which delivers the transporting cultural experiences and superlative service it’s famous for to the center of Japan’s sprawling capital. Elevators open onto a 33rd-floor lobby with a soaring atrium that’s close to 100 feet high. The focal point is a show-stopping, seasonally inspired ikebana flower arrangement, reflected to dazzling effect in a shallow pool and anchored by rock gardens.
The 84 ryokan-inspired guest rooms, designed by Kerry Hill Architects, are among the city’s largest entry-level accommodations in Tokyo. They’re a minimalist’s dream, with chestnut floors, sliding shoji screens, floor-to-ceiling windows framing city views, and large stone furo soaking tubs worth clearing an entire afternoon to enjoy. Equally worthy of an extended exploration, the sprawling spa, which has onsen-style baths and a 98-foot pool facing city views, offers treatments that embrace the herb-based Kampo healing philosophy. Of the hotel’s dining options, the eight-seat Musashi by Aman is the most coveted reservation, with its omakase experience led by master chef Hiroyuki Musashi.
2. Hoshinoya Tokyo
Hoshinoya Tokyo reinterprets the century-old Japanese brand’s signature countryside ryokans for an urban setting in the city’s Otemachi business district. Interiors by Azuma Architects & Associates mix tradition with contemporary design. Set within a 17-story building clad in latticed metal, the 84 spacious guest rooms in muted palettes have handcrafted bamboo closets, shoji sliding screens, and cushioned floor seating backed with bows of ruler-thin wood. Every floor shares a communal ochanoma, a lounge where confections and seasonal treats are available throughout the day.
Accommodations are covered in soft tatami mats, but unlike a traditional ryokan, the flooring continues in the corridors, common areas, and elevators (guests surrender their shoes at the entrance and shuffle through the hotel in cozy socks). There are plenty of enticing on-property experiences to lure you away from the deep soaking tub inside your room, including the hotel’s 10-table restaurant (be sure to reserve), where executive chef Noriyuki Hamada serves Nippon cuisine, French-inspired Japanese dining. One on-site feature you’ll find nowhere else in Tokyo: the hotel’s top-floor onsen, which pumps natural water from 5,000 feet below the city into an open-air bath and where the edges of soaring onyx-hued walls frame the sky.
3. The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
Centrally located within flashy Roppongi and occupying the nine uppermost floors of one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings, the unparalleled views at the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo keep the property on the short list of the city’s most coveted stays. Enormous, lacquer wood-clad guest rooms have beds with Frette linens and marble bathrooms you could get lost in. For a true respite within the frenetic city, spring for a club-level room for access to the tranquil 53rd-floor Club Lounge, which on clear days showcases Mount Fuji. The lounge is a destination unto itself, where one-on-one business meetings take place next to leisure travelers enjoying afternoon tea, served to the music of a live harpist.
Seven restaurants and bars showcase many of the flavors that define the city’s culinary scene. In a moodily lit space, Hinokizaka offers four distinct areas for seasonal kaiseki menu tastings, sushi, tempura, and grill-based teppanyaki cuisine. On the 45th floor, the 28-seat Azure 45 serves a French- and Japanese-inspired fine dining menu in a room decorated with soothing blues and natural woods.
5. Muji Hotel Ginza
Atop Muji’s flagship store in the Ginza shopping district, the lifestyle brand’s first hospitality concept in Tokyo takes a page from its own look book, with rooms of tidy minimalism and a nightly rate that’s easy on the budget. The 79 guest rooms are spare but smartly designed, with built-in furniture and a neutral palette, making the most out of modest square footage. Everything from electric tea kettles and oil diffusers are stashed in clean-lined cubbies; wardrobes and storage disappear behind sliding screens.
While those who like extra pampering might miss the lack of room service and phones (a digital screen connects you to the front desk and controls the curtains), die-hard Muji fans will adore the immersion into the brand’s simple and satisfyingly organized approach to living. The restaurant Wa is worth a visit, with a rotating menu that highlights one regional cuisine at a time—such as the coastal Shimane Prefecture—and for palatable prices. You’ll find a Muji-brand bakery for early-day treats (say good morning, red bean buns), and the Salon bar is a perfect spot for a coffee or a nightcap at the camphorwood counter.
6. Trunk (House)
The team behind Trunk (Hotel), a crowd-pleasing 15-room boutique in Shibuya, branched out with Trunk (House), a splurgy, one-bedroom residence in Shinjuku near Edo Castle created to immerse visitors in the creativity of both traditional and contemporary Japan. The 70-year-old town house is tucked away amid handsome wooden homes in the maze-like neighborhood of Kagurazaka, nicknamed “mini Kyoto” in reference to its history as a geisha district.
Throughout the two-story town house, the art and furnishings are a roster of notable Japanese and international talent. A provocative tile painting in the bathroom, with its large hinoki tub, is by ukiyo-e (woodblock print) master Masumi Ishikawa, and the papercut art in the tearoom was fashioned by Kanagawa-born Chiaki Hirano. There’s a leather sofa by Los Angeles–based Stephen Kenn, a midcentury Potence wall lamp by French metal work master Jean Prouvé, and an installation of tea ceremony utensils by New York native Tom Sachs. Even the mini bar, stocked with traditional sweets by Higashiya and fresh local tea, is showcase of Japanese craftsmanship. Personalized attention is part of the experience, too: Your butler, clad in a uniform by fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto, will make you a bowl of ramen or help set up your own private disco club on the town house’s light-up dance floor.
7. The Okura Tokyo
The Okura Tokyo, famous for its impeccable service and midcentury aesthetic by architect Yoshiro Taniguchi, originally debuted in the city’s Toranomon business district in advance of the Tokyo 1964 Olympics. Following a controversial demolition, the hotel was rebuilt and reopened in 2019 after a four-year, $1 billion renovation, this time under the guidance of Taniguchi’s son, Yoshio, who redesigned New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Today, two new buildings now sit alongside an original wing and channel the original midcentury ambience. In the Okura Prestige Tower, wood-accented rooms have walk-in closets, deep soaking tubs, and picture windows that face panoramic city views. The 17-story Okura Heritage Wing takes service up a notch with its own dedicated reception area (or in-room check-in if you prefer), making it a favorite among privacy-conscious guests like heads of state.
There are eight places to eat and drink throughout the hotel, including the Orchid Bar, which specializes in classic cocktails and has an impressive collection of whiskies. The hotel’s 80-foot, five-lane heated swimming pool is bathed in light, while down below, the Okura Museum of Art offers a surprisingly large collection of traditional works of calligraphy and ceramics that’s free for guests to view. Be sure to linger in the iconic lobby, a painstaking recreation of the 1960s original that has lured design and architecture fanatics for decades.
8. Park Hyatt Tokyo
Occupying the top 14 floors of Pritzker laureate Kenzo Tange’s 52-story Shinjuku Park Tower, the iconic hotel opened in 1995 and maintains its superior service against many of Tokyo’s newer properties. Check in to one of its 178 sanctuary-like guest rooms and slip into a green yukata robe—like the one worn by Bill Murray in Lost in Translation, which was filmed here in 2003. Designer John Morford designed the accommodations with soothing teal carpets, rare Hokkaido water elm paneling, and granite and marble, which might entice you to stay in for a night and gaze at Mount Fuji or the twinkling lights of frenetic Shinjuku below. The full Japanese-style sento public bath area, a glass-enclosed rooftop pool, and a 2,000- book library also entice guests for longer stays.
The hotel’s legendary New York Grill specializes in regional wagyu beef like Gunma Ribeye and Kagawa Olive Fed Sirloin, while the jazzy New York Bar remains a popular draw for tourists. The hotel’s underrated Kozue on the lobby level cooks a fine Japanese breakfast featuring seasonal ingredients, fish, and house-made tofu—delivered to your room if you’re pressed for time. Watch this space: The hotel is due for a major renovation that will be completed in 2025.
9. Tokyo Station Hotel
How can one of the busiest places in Tokyo also be home to one of the most tranquil retreats? That’s part of the magic of a stay in one of the 150 ultra-quiet rooms at the Tokyo Station Hotel, located inside Tokyo Station, among the city’s busiest transit hubs. Tokyo Station Hotel is one of the most convenient hotels for travelers: it’s just steps from the Shinkansen bullet train platform and features a complimentary porter service that whisks you through the labyrinthine station to the car with your seat.
Refurbished in 2012, the bi-level maisonette rooms have a classic European decor, with high-vaulted ceilings and windows, chandeliers, silk curtains, and goose down–swaddled beds. Train enthusiasts may feel like they’ve boarded an Orient Express Pullman car—guest room minibars are stocked with Schott crystal, Noritake silver, and bottles of Japanese Hibiki whisky, which you can nurse from your wingback chair. The spa features carbonated hot baths and an exercise room, while six restaurants and four bars offer plenty of places to kill an hour or two before your train departs. The hotel offers discounts for JR Rail pass holders.
10. Palace Hotel Tokyo
Only a moat separates you from the Imperial Palace at this stylish and modernist 290-room hotel. Palace Hotel Tokyo dates back to 1961, but it was rebuilt from scratch and reopened in 2012 with 10 restaurants and a serene Evian Spa, replete with high-tech fitness center and pool. Guest rooms and suites are done up in golds, creams, and light greens accented against dark, polished woods. But best of all are the outdoor balconies—a rarity in Tokyo.
Another Tokyo rarity is the hotel’s range of curated activities that are all planned in-house, including dinners with sumo wrestlers and contemporary art and architecture tours with local experts. The excellent Western breakfast at the Grand Kitchen features a parade of French-inspired baked goods—raspberry croissants, perfectly puffy cream-filled doughnuts, and kugelhopf, along with duck confit, sausage, and pâté en croûte, which you can order on the leafy moat-side terrace.
11. Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Occupying the top nine floors of the Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, designed by renowned Argentine architect César Pelli, the Mandarin Oriental showcases postcard views of Mount Fuji to the west, Tokyo Skytree and the Sumida River to the east, and Tokyo Bay to the south. The hotel also turns to nature for its design inspiration. The property itself resembles a tree, with its entrance at the bottom of the tower representing the base; on the top floor, fabrics and carpets suggest leaves and branches, creating the feeling of a forest canopy. The 157 rooms and 22 suites were designed with such flourishes as bonsai trees and cherry blossom motifs. At the 37th floor spa, a signature “Totally Tokyo” treatment uses pine, bamboo, plum, green tea, and rice hulls to stimulate the senses and restore a sense of clarity. For dinner, choose among French, Cantonese, and Italian restaurants.
12. Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi
September 2020 saw the opening of this 190-room property, located in the Otemachi business neighborhood, a 10-minute walk to Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace and its rambling gardens. The Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi occupies the top six floors of a 39-story building with interiors from Jean-Michel Gathy (Aman New York; Setai Miami) whose nods to Japanese design include a tranquil rock pool in the lobby and a saffron-colored arch inspired by torii gates at the entrance, setting a subdued tone.
Especially airy and quiet, guest rooms feature neutral tones—paper washi sconces and lanterns riff on origami patterns, while silver-upholstered sofas and tri-footed loungers are poised to take in the views of Mount Fuji and the Tokyo SkyTree. The spa features a 65-foot lap pool, a 24-hour exercise room, ofuro soaking tubs, and a shop with a curated selection of Japanese pottery, cosmetics, and dishware. Five treatment rooms allow guests to partake in traditional Japanese wellness techniques. The signature Yakisugi Forest Renewal Ritual is inspired by the Japanese tradition of forest bathing. Tea time in the lobby lounge draws a smartly dressed set of Tokyoites who nibble on sandwiches and pastry, while the Michelin one-starred restaurant Est serves a French tasting menu with seasonal Japanese ingredients like yuzu lemons. The hidden bar, Virtú, has a whisky wall that’s so tall it needs a rolling ladder to access all the bottles.
13. Bulgari Hotel Tokyo
From the iconic luxury fashion house of the same name, Bulgari Hotel Tokyo blends Italian flair with a Japanese sensibility. On floors 40 to 45 of the glimmering new Tokyo Midtown Yaesu skyscraper, the 98-room hotel opened in April 2023 with designs from the Milan-based studio of Antonio Citterio Patricia Viel, designer of all eight Bulgari hotels and resorts worldwide. Heavenly upper-floor outdoor areas, a rarity in Tokyo, are lined with lemon and yuzu trees and have views of Mount Fuji and Tokyo Tower—which are also on display from the fireplace lounge, the spa, pool, and restaurants.
Bursts of la dolce vita are found everywhere, from the emerald-veined Italian marble flourishes throughout the hotel to the 1960s Italian musica leggera (light music) piped into black slate hallways. Guest rooms feature Italian furniture from Maxalto and B&B Italia and are swathed in jewel tones and precious materials like travertine, gold leaf, and Murano glass. Chef Niko Romito, who garnered fame for his Michelin three-starred Reale in his native Abruzzo, heads up the food program, as he does in five other Bulgari Hotels. Expect pared-back classics like vitello tonatto, tortelli, linguine, and polpette. But try to nab a reservation at the hotel’s eight-seat omakase sushi spot, where guests dine on superlative preparations of fish at an elegant cypress counter.
14. Hoshino Resorts OMO5 Tokyo Otsuka
This 2018 addition to the city is a thoughtful, budget-minded offering from the Japanese hotel chain Hoshino Resorts, better known for its luxury hotels across the country. It’s located in the youthful neighborhood of Otsuka, which is wedged between bustling Ikebukuro and sleepy Sugamo along the Yamanote Line. The 125 versatile guest rooms, which are covered in tatami mats, are designed for longer stays. Room configurations have a split-level design and include a loft bed and lower lounge area that can convert into another bed. They’re designed for groups up to four—perhaps two couples or small families.
Room walls feature built-in wooden storage shelves and clothes hanging areas that are handy for storing things like luggage or coats that can clutter a space quickly. OMO’s neighborhood guides, called rangers, take guests on complimentary tours around the neighborhood, showing off hidden izakaya, bars, and shops, while its cheery all-day café serves snacks, cocktails, and lattes to guests and nonguests, many clicking away on their laptops.
15. The Peninsula Tokyo
Designed to resemble a lantern, the 324-room property, located near the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park and a 10-minute walk to the shopping hub of Ginza, draws its design inspiration from both Tokyo and Hong Kong, where Peninsula Hotels is headquartered. Chandeliers take their inspiration from Hong Kong’s famous fireworks shows and ceilings are painted in gold, referencing Japanese temples. Tea time is a lavish ritual, rich with pastries and nibbles.
While the hotel opened in 2007, the spacious guest rooms, which start at about 579 square feet, remain fresh and modern feeling, with notes of beige, wooden slat headboards, and residential-feeling touches like Lavazza coffee makers and walk-in closets that are bigger than most standard Tokyo hotel rooms. A wedding chapel and five restaurants, including the Cantonese Hei Fung Terrace that serves dim sum at lunch, round out the offerings.
20 AMAZING HOTELS IN TOKYO
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