Tokyo's modern marvel
290 Rooms / 64 Suites
Step into the hushed lobby of Conrad Tokyo and you get a hint of what to expect upstairs (the main lobby is on the 28th floor). In the center of the room, under a crown of ceiling lights, a shiny oversized cherry-red lacquer stem sprouts from a round black pedestal with its matching calla lily bud lying beside it. The commissioned Purification 1 by artist Nobuyuki Tanaka tells you that this is a luxury hotel with an eye for contemporary design with Japanese flair. And you’ll certainly find more elsewhere in the airy hotel; Conrad Tokyo spotlights works from 25 Japanese artists. In the 28th-floor lobby, Toko Shinoda’s enormous sumi-e (a traditional brush painting) work For Thee layers red ink on Japanese paper to give off a modern edge. Sitting at each elevator bank, Katsunori Kobayashi’s small Gekkaso sculpture shows a cluster of 10 moons that get more full as you travel up the hotel’s 37 floors.
The one visual that will trump the art is the view from the 23-foot-tall floor-to-ceiling windows from the airy yet intimate lobby bar TwentyEight. Whether you sit in one of the Eames-like brown leather chairs positioned right in front of the window in the morning with a cup of tea or you unwind on a gray sofa at night with a Hibiki whiskey, it will be hard to tear yourself away from the vistas of Tokyo Bay and Rainbow Bridge.
While it’s tempting to linger in the bar to soak up those views, you’ll get an even better vantage point in your room — from your bathtub. All 290 accommodations have a glass wall separating the bathroom from the spacious bedroom, which allows you to soak in the freestanding white tub for two and gaze out of the floor-to-ceiling windows along the back wall (a shade can be lowered to cover the glass wall when you need privacy).
The décor of the room follows the rest of the modern Japanese look of the Tokyo hotel. All of the furniture is made of zebrawood, from the closets to the desk. The cream headboard stretches to the ceiling and bears a muted cherry blossom sumi-e-style painting. In the spacious bathroom, gleaming black tile covers the floor, and a dramatic fluorescent light lines the circular mirror — which mimics the moon — at the his-and-hers sinks. And the bathroom is stocked with products from London-based Aromatherapy Associates.
All rooms come with a view, though we are partial to the panoramas of the bay. Accommodations the 36th and 37th floors give you access to the executive lounge. There, you can sit near the glass-enclosed fireplace with a glass of Japanese wine, hors d'oeuvres and the latest copy of Vogue.
Food is another draw at Conrad Tokyo, and all of the restaurants offer views. For an authentic Japanese experience, visit Kazahana, where you can choose among kaiseki (a traditional multi-course Japanese meal), sushi or teppan menus. For the kaiseki, expect plates of fresh sashimi, sushi (we ate squid, yellowtail, bonito and horse mackerel), a seasonal special (ours was a gorgeous dish of chestnuts, ginkgo nuts, salmon roe and more) and dessert (we relished a light tofu cheesecake). Noted chef Albert Tse crafts modern Cantonese cuisine like stir-fried spiny lobster with cheese-curry sauce in China Blue. On the weekends, China Blue serves a champagne brunch that includes your choice of free-flowing bubbly or Chinese wine, dim sum and more. Collage turns out contemporary French fare, like the pavé of ruby snapper with mussels, tomato garganelli and saffron consommé. Cerise is the all-day dining restaurant, and where you can go for the complimentary breakfast buffet that comes with your room. Of course, you can always opt for the 24-hour room service.
One of the amenities to check out at Conrad Tokyo is Mizuki Spa, which takes up the entire 29th floor with its 10 treatment rooms. If you’re traveling with someone, reserve the inviting Mizuki Room so that you can soak in the hinoki cypress bathtub (it gives off a pleasant slight lemon scent), the only one of its kind among Tokyo spas, with a cup of green tea. The hotel is also home to an aerobics studio — where you can take yoga, Pilates, power circuit, body conditioning or dance classes — and an 82-foot-long lap pool with a sumi-e design. Work out in the 24-hour fitness center with Technogym equipment while taking in views of the surrounding skyscrapers.
Conrad Tokyo sits in the Shiodome business district and is close to a number of popular attractions. Hamarikyu Garden, the last-remaining tidal gardens along the Sumida River, is a five-minute stroll; upscale shopping area Ginza with its massive department stores and the famed Tsukiji market — a must for foodies, it’s the world’s largest wholesale seafood market — are both a 15-minute walk from the luxury hotel. Plus, the hotel is just a minute’s walk from the Shiodome train station, which can bring you all over the city. For help with an itinerary, consult chief concierge Yasutoshi Abe. You’ll recognize him from the golden key pin on his suit lapel; it’s a sign that he’s a member of the prestigious Les Clefs d’Or organization, which means he’s an in-the-know local expert who will go above and beyond to help you.