01 of 08
Why Luxury Travelers to Japan Like Palace Hotel Tokyo
A Quick Look at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo is a true luxury hotel. Its opening in 2012 added an appealing Tokyo luxury travel hotel to the many choices in Japan's vibrant mega-city.
Palace Hotel Tokyo is Japanese-owned and managed, and is a member of Leading Hotels of the World. The hotel is a $1.2 billion rebuild of an early Sixties hotel of the same name.
• Visit Palace Hotel Tokyo's website
The staff is passionate about their culturally significant hotel. Incredibly, half of its 450 employees are returnees from the original Palace. (General Manager Masaru Watanabe started there as a bellboy.)
The Style of Palace Hotel Tokyo
Australian architect Terry McGinnity designed the a 23-story Palace Hotel Tokyo. Stunning aji granite walls are a highlight of the hotel exterior. The dramatic interior has towering lobby ceilings, macassar ebony touches on the walls, and mesmerizing contemporary artworks by many of Japan's leading fine artists.
Guest rooms are elegant and good-sized, especially for Tokyo. They are sleek and modern, with Japanese stylistic accents. Bathrooms combine Eastern and Western elements.
There's a Lot to Do at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo is full-service and then some. This hotel offers guests a variety of activities and enticements on-premises:
• Three restaurants (Japanese, Chinese, French) plus more casual dining options
• A complete Evian Spa
• Indoor swimming pool
• Fitness room
• Sublevel shopping mall with high-end boutiques, galleries, food and wine shops
• AShinto Shrine
• Meeting rooms and banquet/event spaces
Excellent Service at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Service at Palace Hotel Tokyo is prompt and cheerful, yet with traditional Japanese Omotenashi (hospitality). I'd call this five-star hotel service.
• Check-in is efficient and housekeepers are punctual and extremely polite, bowing before exiting your room
• Concierges are top-notch, with fluent English skills. (Some concierges have written guidebooks, and really know Tokyo)
• Guests who dislike waiting for cabs will appreciate the hotel's ever-present fleet of taxis aawaiting outside the hotel
Don't Even Think of Bringing Your Pet to Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo does not permit pets. In any case, animals are not admitted to Japan from most countries including Canada and the US (except Hawaii).
Next: Will you, personally, like Palace Hotel Tokyo? Take this quiz to find outContinue to 2 of 8 below.
02 of 08
Will Palace Hotel Tokyo Be the Right Tokyo Hotel for You?
See If You'll Like Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo may be right for you if:
• You want to stay in the dead center of Tokyo
• You want to get to know Tokyo, and will appreciate outstanding concierge service
• You like important grand hotels with their own history and lore
• You seek a quiet hotel that rises above the city sounds
• You like sitting in a sociable lobby, working and/or people-watching
• Enormous choices in fine hotel dining are on your agenda
• You want a first-class spa in-house
• You will make good use of the hotel's fitness opportunities and extended hours
• You're a lap swimmer, and won't mind paying to use the hotel pool
• You seek a Tokyo destination wedding in a hotel with a scenic chapel
• You love an urban hotel beside vast green park space for strolling or jogging
• You'll be delighted to discover gallery-worthy contemporary art in your hotel
•You'll like checking out the varied, high-end boutiques in the hotel's sublevel arcade
Palace Hotel Tokyo may not be your ideal hotel if:
• You find the modern aesthetic cold
• Your taste runs to small hotels
• You'd rather stay in a traditional Japanese ryokan inn
• You're in Tokyo with youngsters who will feel more comfortable in a family-oriented hotel
• You see yourself in a crowded, neon-lit part of Tokyo rather than in a dignified palace location a short walk from the hubbub
Next: dead-center city location of Palace Hotel TokyoContinue to 3 of 8 below.
03 of 08
Perfect Location of Palace Hotel Tokyo
Bull's-Eye Location of Palace Hotel Tokyo
Hovering over the Imperial Palace gardens, the Palace Hotel Tokyo occupies prime Tokyo real estate. Even its street address is a coveted number, 1-1-1. The Otemachi Metro station is right outside the door, and another Metro entrance is to open right in the hotel's sublevel in 2013.
Everything is Nearby
The historic railroad terminus, Tokyo Station, is a 10-minute walk away in the ultra-modern Marunouchi district. Here, the first half-dozen floors of corporate high-rises burst with upscale shops and restaurants.
If Marunouchi Naka Dori street seems familiar, it's because this tree-lined strip is a marketing partner of New York City's Madison Avenue, with a similar mix of designer shops and cultural offerings.
Palace Hotel Tokyo is within walking distance of these Tokyo attractions:
• Imperial Palace and Gardens
• Yasukuni Shrine
• Marunouchi and Ginza shopping districts
• Tokyo Station
• National Diet (Parliament) Building
Next: take a look at Palace Hotel Tokyo's beautiful guest roomsContinue to 4 of 8 below.
04 of 08
Spacious and Serene Guest Rooms and Suites at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Accommodations at Palace Hotel Tokyo
This is a large hotel, with 278 spacious rooms and 12 rambling suites t They all have a wonderful view facing the famed Imperial Palace Gardens.
• Rooms can be viewed before booking.
These Rooms Are Big
Tokyo has a reputation for minuscule hotel rooms. Not jere. These well-designed accommodations range in size from 484 square feet to a whopping 2,300 square feet, for the one-off Palace Suite.
Nearly two-thirds of rooms feature balconies. Dark woods dominate the furnishings and walls, with warm earth colors in the leaf-motif carpet. Lithographs of Japanese scenes adorn the walls.
Most rooms have king beds with 300-thread count Japanese-made bed linens. Some rooms feature a pair of beds pushed together, as per Japanese tradition.
Upscale Features in All Palace Hotel Tokyo Rooms
Palace Hotel Tokyo rooms can be counted on to contain:
• Free wifi
• Complimentary bottled water, coffee, and Japanese teas
• Ample closet and drawer space and a dresser
• Round wood work/dining table and padded bench at foot of bed
• LCD TV with numerous English-language channels|
• Relatively easy-to-control lighting and A/C
• Glorious views of the Imperial Palace garden
• Breakfast is included with some room rate
East-Meets-West Bathrooms at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Spacious bathrooms are sleek and bright, with an shower and tub that appeal to both Eastern and western sensibilities. The bathroom's layout is open, but electric shutters close for privacy. Bathrooms contain:
• Large shower
• Separate soaking bathtub
• Partitioned off, a Japanese-made TOTO Washlet toilet with cleansing spritzer
• Japan's highest-quality Imabari towels
• Bath amenities (including verbena bath salts) by Paris-based Anne Semonin
• Robes and slippers
• Daily delivery of local or international newspaper (guest's choice)
Japanese Teas in Palace Hotel Tokyo Rooms
Rooms offer the high-end Maruyama Nori brand of teas. The traditional Japanese tea presentation helps define rooms' refined aesthetic. Mashiko-yaki teacups whose style dates from the 8th-century Nara period, rest upon handmade ceramic saucers. They are crafted in the town of Sabae using ancient Echizen lacquerware techniques.
Unusual Music Options in Palace Hotel Tokyo Rooms
Music options are multiple and easy-to-use.
• Guests in Deluxe and Club rooms can listen to their playlists using the in-room entertainment system by plugging their iPod or iTunes into the TV's audio feed.
• Grand Deluxe rooms and suites offer an M-Audio brand speaker beneath the flatscreen TV.
Gracious Club Lounge at Palace Hotel Tokyo
At the 19th floor Club level, guests are treated to numerous complimentary services including personal concierge services, a laptop loan, use of a private meeting room, and free use of the hotel pool. (these last two services carry a fee for guests not staying on the Club Floor or in a suite). Club Floor rooms' sleep-enhancing pillow mist is a rare amenity.
Palace Hotel Tokyo's Club Floor lounge is appealing. It offers Eastern and Western breakfast, all-day beverages, and afternoon tea service followed by canapés with alcoholic drinks.
• See if a club floor upgrade is worth it to youi
Next: get a taste of Palace Hotel Tokyo's delicious international diningContinue to 5 of 8 below.
05 of 08
Delicious Inernational Dining and Drinking at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Your Choice of Restaurants & Bars at Palace Hotel Tokyo
From casual snack spots to Michelin-starred culinary temples, the hotel offers are top-quality restaurants. The three major dining establishments at Palace Hotel Tokyo are cleverly set on the fifth and sixth floors in order to keep the city and Imperial Palace views at a human scale.
The French Restaurant
The Art Deco-look, French-cuisine Crown restaurant is an homage to the original Palace Hotel's French restaurant of the same name. With floor-to-ceiling views of both the Imperial Palace gardens and Marunouchi's high-rises, Crown serves lunch and dinner in a main room and in three private dining rooms.
Crown is a collaboration with Chef Patrick Henriroux of the two-Michelin-star La Pyramide in Vienne, France. Crown's modern French menu offers seafood entrées such as seabass and shellfish. Lamb with quinoa and chickpeas and a lemon confit has a Mediterranean feeling.
The Chinese Restaurant
Amber Palace is Palace Hotel Tokyo's Chinese restaurant, serving lunch and dinner in a main dining rooms and private nooks. It is filled with artifacts from mainland China, such as antique wooden doors and musical instruments like a stringed pipa on the wall.
Amber Palace comes from the Hong Kong team behind Tokyo's one-Michelin-star Fureika restaurant. Amber Palace's dinner menu offers several set menus with either Cantonese and Shanghainese emphasis. Dishes range from from dim sum and Peking duck to the more esoteric fried lobster and "bird's nest" desserts.
The Japanese Restaurant
Wadakura, named for the Imperial Palace moat just beyond the hotel, is affiliated with the two-Michelin-star Sushi Kanesaka in Tokyo's Ginza district. Wadakura's main room overlooks the moat and the gardens. Overseen by Chef Keiji Miyabe, it's a culinary world unto itself, with several mini-restaurants under one roof preparing different culinary Japanese styles both classic and innovative. At Wadakura's entry, a long textured wall created by a master plasterer recalls ground spices. Diners shed their shoes before entering, and the blond wood floor's nubby finish massages their feet.
Kanesaka serves stunningly fresh sushi crafted before your eyes by some of Tokyo's most respected masters of the art of sushi.
The shrimp and scallops in the hotel's Tatsumi tempura station come from Tokyo’s famous Tsukiji fish market. Go, named after another moat, specializes in teppanyaki (iron-griddled) fare. Here, the ingredients are high-end, such as Kobe and succulent Matsuzaka beef, spiked with a bit of grapeseed oil and red wine salt.
Breakfast Is Included at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Breakfast is included with room rates at Palace Hotel Tokyo. Breakfast offerings include a Western buffet with an omelet station in the open kitchen as well as an a la carte Japanese breakfast served bento-box style. The morning meal may be taken at the Grand Kitchen, where breads are house-made. Guests may sit indoors, in a garden room, or fully outdoors, overlooking the 600-year-old imperial moat, complete with a pair of imperial swans.
The Bar Scene at Palace Hotel Tokyo
The low-lit, atmospheric Royal Bar is Palace Hotel Tokyo's principal bar. Patrons sip top-shelf liquor and well-made cocktails at a handsome reproduction of the original wooden Palace's original long wood bar. The bar's cigar room is dedicated to smokers, offering a selection of fine cigars and drink pairings.
Popular for afternoon tea, the Palace Lounge serves Jyubako, or Japanese layered food boxes. At night, a musician's jazz piano tunes waft from a Steinway through the whole lobby.
Lounge Bar Privé, connected to the hotel's Crown restaurant, has an outdoor terrace that overlooks the Imperial Gardens.
Next: the tempting Evian Spa and round-the-clock fitness room at Palace Hotel TokyoContinue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
Evian Spa, for French Finesse at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Evian Spa and Gym at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Palace Hotel Tokyo's spa is Japan's first outpost of the French spa brand, Evian. Evian Spa's aesthetic is light-hearted, with origami birds hanging from the ceiling.
The soaking pools and sauna at this Evian Spa are impressive enough. But Palace Hotel Tokyo spa patrons can also count on:
• Luxurious his-and-hers spa locker rooms with various pools, tubs, steam, and sauna
• A 20-meter (66-foot) indoor pool, catnip to lap swimmers
• A 24-hour fitness room filled with cutting-edge equipment
• The gym is free to all hotel guests, spa appointment or not
• Pool use is on the house only for guests in suites or on the Club Floor; others pay a fee
Treatments at Evian Spa
Evian Spa treatments blend Western and Japanese traditions. Aestheticians utilize both Anne Semonin and Omnisens potions from France.
• See the complete spa menu
• "Celestial" massages employ green teas and citrus oils
• The Mineral Journey rejuvenates skin with pink kaolin clay and Evian spring water
• Vitalizing Signature massage is based on Japanese Seitai pressure-point therapy
• Couples' services are available
• Treatments can be combined in various spa packages
Next: great art, and insider cultural experiences, at Palace Hotel TokyoContinue to 7 of 8 below.
07 of 08
Modern Japanese Art at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Immersive Experiences at Palace Hotel Tokyo
The hotel is a true patron of all things authentically Japan. Hotel guests can get further into Japanese culture with the hotel's Palatial Pursuits offerings, a collection of unique, immersive cultural experiences led by insiders. Amongst them:
• Tokyo for Fashionistas
• Sumo Behind the Scenes
• Kabuki Stagecraft
• Gastronomic Tokyo
• Transcendent Tokyo Art Experiences
• Find out more about Palace Hotel Tokyo's Palatial Pursuits
Notable Art at Palace Hotel Tokyo
Art-loving luxury travelers will find Palace Hotel Tokyo inspiring.
The oversized paintings, sculptural pieces, and mixed-media artworks scattered throughout the hotel showcase some of Japan's most critically acclaimed artists. A few highlights of the hotel's rich art collection:
• Keizaburo Okamura's imposing dragon painting, dominating one wall of the Royal Bar. It commemorates the Year of the Dragon, in which the hotel reopened. Okamura used mineral pigments, sand, and oyster shells painted onto burned cedar
• Other Okamura canvases include an elephant in the main lobby seating area and a rabbit in the Palace Suite
• Shinano Hattaro's chalk illustration in the Grand Kitchen, A Brand New Yesterday. It replicates the restaurant's views of the Imperial Palace gardens and surrounding Tokyo skyline
• Takeharu Nakabayashi's Japanese pine tree and iris motif (seen above) stands prominently in Palace Hotel Tokyo's lobby. Commissioned for the hotel to honor the Imperial Palace gardens, it is constructed of iron and foil sheets encased in a glass screen
Next: how to connect with Palace Hotel TokyoContinue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Find Out More About & Follow Palace Hotel Tokyo
Where & How to Connect with Palace Hotel Tokyo
• Palace Hotel Tokyo website
• On Facebook
• By phone via Leading Hotels of the World: 800.745.8883
Palace Hotel Tokyo
• 1-1-1 Marunouchi
• Tokyo 100-0005, Japan
As is common in the travel industry, the Guest Author was provided with a complimentary visit for the purpose of describing the hotel. For more info, see our site's Ethics Policy.