A contemporary Tokyo idyll with killer views
The hip Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills extends across numerous floors, including the top six, of one of Tokyo’s tallest buildings — the Toranomon Hills Mori Tower in the Toranomon Hills complex. Opened in 2014, it is the second outpost of Hyatt’s Andaz brand to open in Asia following Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai.
The modern, organic, Japanese-accented interiors represent the combined handiwork of designers Tony Chi (New York) and Shinichiro Ogata (Tokyo).
Andaz’s location places it with one foot in the present and one in the past: The Imperial Palace gardens are a mile to the north while the Eiffel Tower-esque Tokyo Tower sits a mile to the south. An arterial road being finished in front of the tower will lead directly to the 2020 Summer Olympics village, while Toranomon, which means “tiger’s gate,” was historically important as the southernmost gate of Edo Castle.
As at other Andaz properties, the concepts of space and staff are more fluid than in normal hotels, with a lounge replacing the standard lobby. In this realm, you’ll find your Andaz Hosts, a team of doormen, receptionist, concierges and bell attendants eager to make your stay pleasant. They also act as personal guides who offer tips on exploring Tokyo.
Our Inspector’s Highlights
• Art appears throughout the Tokyo hotel, from abstract, twisted-wood sculptures by British artist Charlie Whinney at Andaz Tavern to the kumiko-style panel from Shigemitsu Kotaka behind the reception area.
• The calming, 14,500-square-foot AO Spa & Club, on the 37th floor, is softly lit with paper lanterns. It also has five treatment rooms and a 65-foot pool.
• A standalone chapel on the 52nd floor, the highest in Tokyo, has the copper roofing and shingling found in a traditional Shinto shrine.
• The views are striking from every room. But for the most memorable vista, book one that looks onto the Tokyo Tower. When illuminated at night, the lattice-style communications-and-observation structure has an uncanny resemblance to the Eiffel Tower.
What to Know
• Toranomon is an enviably central development, offering easy access to the financial hub of Marunouchi; shopping of Ginza; government offices of Kasumegaseki; and the corporate and entertainment districts of Shinbashi, Akasaka and Roppongi. The United States Embassy is less than 10 minutes away by foot.
• The use of natural and local materials throughout give Andaz a sense of place —anticipate plenty of walnut wood in furnishings and lanterns constructed from washi, traditional handmade Japanese paper.
• In addition to the Andaz, the mixed-use, glass-sheathed Mori Tower (by some measures the tallest building in Tokyo) is home to residences, offices, retail stores and one of the city’s largest conference centers.
• In classic Japanese fashion, the building has a mascot, called Toranomon. The cat-like black-and-white robot with tiger stripes is related to the well-established Doraemon (both created by the Fujiko Pro manga company).
• Fusuma- and shoji-inspired panels in each room are a nostalgic nod to time-honored Japanese interior décor.
• Expect simple, neo-Zen accommodations in soothing hues and with minimal artwork.
• Vanities and tables of walnut wood from the island of Hokkaido bring a sense of grounding in rooms that are positioned high in the sky.
• Bathrooms, a sizable chunk of each room, are influenced by Japanese bath culture, hence all of them having deep soaking tubs.
• Non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks, snacks and all local telephone calls are complimentary.
• With 16-foot, floor-to-ceiling windows that allow you to enjoy sublime views of the Imperial Palace and its gardens, Andaz Tavern serves up simple European provincial dishes made with seasonal Japanese ingredients, like miyazaki beef rump with roasted makomodake (a bamboo-shoot like vegetable), lemon barley and tangy paprika sauce.
• Re-creating a darkly lit Japanese tearoom, The Sushi has an eight-seat counter and an omakase-style menu. Courses can be paired with a selection of sake.
• The views of the skyline and Tokyo Bay are the stars at the Rooftop Bar, best enjoyed while seated on one of the comfortable sofas with a cocktail or during afternoon tea. The sweet and bitter signature drink, Personal Collins, mixes Chivas Regal 12, matcha tea, St-Germain liqueur, honey and lemon verbena tea soda.
• Catering to hotel guests, office employees and residents from the area, the street-level BeBu is as popular for its burgers, grilled food and tapas-style meals as its selection of beers on tap.
• At the Pastry Shop, expect the archetypal simple but elegant Japanese presentation and packaging of sweet treats like raspberry éclairs, pistachio mousse cakes, matcha financiers and fruit tarts.