Tokyo's luxe contemporary high-rise
200 Rooms / 16 Suites
Surrounded by skyscrapers and designer shopping complexes in the upmarket Marunouchi district, the opulent Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo occupies the upper 11 floors of a 37-story tower a stone’s throw from the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Station, one of the world’s busiest terminals. Lavish chandeliers, unbeatable views, and a 2,000-strong collection of artwork make this place a top option in a city flush with luxury hotels.
When guests emerge from a train car at Tokyo Station, a red-suited staff member will escort them through the labyrinthine walkways to the entrance of the 200-room Shangr-La — expect grand floral arrangements and the hotel chain’s signature heady aroma of ginger and bergamot to hang in the air.
At odds with Tokyo’s reputation as a city lacking space, Shangri-La is home to some of the largest guestrooms in the capital, ranging from about 540 to 2,900 square feet. Dark wood panels, plush carpets, calligraphic artworks and rich maroons and neutral hues evoke a luxury Asian ambiance, complete with deluxe touches like 300 thread-count cotton linens and hypoallergenic pillow options.
Center stage, however, are the sprawling urban views (seen through floor-to-ceiling windows) of landmarks such as Tokyo Skytree, the Imperial Palace gardens and — on a clear day — Mount Fuji. A wall of glass in bathrooms let guests take a long soak while enjoying the view. Bath products include Shangri-La’s signature fresh mint toiletries or, for those in the Horizon Club rooms and suites, Bulgari amenities.
In addition to lavish upholstery, gold-flecked paintings and contemporary flower arrangements, the elegant Tokyo hotel is also filled with more than 50 crystal chandeliers, most created by Lasvit in the Czech Republic. Highlights include a dramatic chandelier (almost 39 feet long with nearly half a million crystal beads) that cascades through a sweeping staircase spanning three floors. Even the elevators that whisk guests from the first-floor entrance to the 28th floor lobby are adorned with beehive-shaped chandeliers and handlebars sparkling with crystals.
The contemporary Italian fare featuring seasonal ingredients at Piacere is rivaled only by its grand views over the Imperial Gardens. Signature dishes include spaghettoni alla carbonara, served with egg yolks, crunchy pork cheek and Pecorino cheese. Insider tip: Those looking for a romantic evening should request the private sommelier seats, rumored to have a 100 percent success rate when it comes to marriage proposals.
Japanese fare is available at Nadaman, developed by a culinary group that dates back to 1830. Here, chef Takehiko Yoshida oversees kaiseki-style banquets, as well as the sushi and teppanyaki counters. The Lobby Lounge hosts lavish afternoon teas featuring seasonal ingredients against the soundtrack of live piano music. Cocktails are expertly mixed after dark at the bar beneath a sparkling gingko leaf motif chandelier.
A holistic, healing atmosphere runs through the luxury hotel's CHI, The Spa, which is decked in Eastern décor and features Chinese medicine-inspired, energy-aligning treatments in six private spa suites. There is also a popular wedding chapel with an interior flooded in white light and a large circular chandelier.