Tokyo’s airy, contemporary enclave
314 Rooms / 47 Suites
Architect Kazukiyo Sato envisioned the freestanding Peninsula Tokyo — a rarity among hotels in the city — as a 24-story traditional Japanese lantern at the entrée to the Marunouchi and Ginza neighborhoods. And thanks to lighting designer Tino Kwan, at night the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel's soft glow makes it look like one. Inside, you’ll find even more Japanese touches, including a restaurant serving kaiseki cuisine, locally made art and an excellent ESPA spa that provides several Asian-influenced treatments.
Yukio Hashimoto, formerly of local design firm Super Potato, infused the interior with a contemporary Japanese aesthetic. Take the two-story lobby, where wooden slats create a peekaboo screen against the cream walls and ceiling. A path leads you to 1,313 crystal LED light bulbs that form an inverted dome over Lying Dragon Gate, an oversized piece from Keisen Hama that’s supposed to bring good fortune. A bamboo figure rests on top of a circle, which symbolizes a dragon protecting the hotel.
Art plays a key role in the Tokyo hotel’s interior design, with more than 1,000 works from 85 mostly Japanese artists on display. Of course, there are big pieces like Lying Dragon Gate, but you’ll even see art in unexpected places, like an enclosed atrium near the elevator bank. Peek into a window to see The Void, a modern work with 24 stainless-steel cones that glow an electric red in the pitch-black space (learn more about the collection by taking a 45-minute walking tour on your own via complimentary iPod).
The contemporary, airy Japanese look carries over to the guest rooms with cherry wood slatted headboards that stretch to the ceiling (and similarly styled entertainment centers), red desks and black bedside tables made of lacquer, gorgeous sliding horse chestnut doors and ceilings concealed in ajiro, hand-woven cedar panels. Look out the windows for great views of the Imperial Palace gardens and Hibiya Park.
The spacious accommodations also come with separate dressing rooms (look inside the dresser for a kimono-style robe and obi) and luxurious bathrooms. The centerpiece in the bathroom is the deep-soaking tub with a dramatic backsplash with alternating stripes of tan granite and rough stone. From the bathtub, press the “spa” button to instantaneously dim the lights, play calming music and turn on the “privacy” setting for the phone and doorbell while you watch the steam-free, flat-screen TV. There are also hands-free phones near the tub, vanity and electronic toilet that mute the TV or radio for the duration of the call and digitally filter out the sound of the bathroom echo and running water.
If you couldn’t tell from the bathroom, the tech perks are one of the best amenities at the luxury hotel. You’ll find automatic nail dryers, control panels that tell you everything from the outside humidity to the direction the wind is blowing, personal fax machines and numbers, and wired phones that you can sync to your cell to transfer incoming calls via Bluetooth to any handset in the room.
One don’t-miss amenity is The Peninsula Spa Tokyo. Indulge in one of the ultra-modern spa’s treatments, like the Keihatsu Enlightenment Massage, which uses shiatsu techniques to restore your qi, or life force energy. Afterward, take a dip in the indoor, 65-foot-long pool or the adjacent vitality pool with a balcony that looks out over the Imperial Palace Gardens.
When it comes time to dine, The Peninsula Tokyo offers several options. Nosh on Kobe beef at rooftop grill Peter, which sets a dark, sexy tone with chrome polished trees, rich wood, curved black banquettes and floor-to-ceiling windows with 180-degree views of Tokyo and the Imperial Palace Gardens. Enjoy dim sum and other Cantonese fare at Hei Fung Terrace, which looks like a Suzhou garden with stone paths and bird cages dangling over tables. Kyoto Tsuruya, a sister restaurant to the beloved Kyoto outpost, serves kaiseki, a traditional multicourse Japanese meal that presents the fresh, seasonal food like art.
For something lighter, take tea in the lobby, where you can sip a cup of rosehip and hibiscus while listening to musicians perform live from the second-floor balconies. Or head down to the basement level to The Peninsula Boutique & Café to watch the pastry chefs craft sweets from a kitchen window. But don’t leave without having the mango pudding — it’s so popular, the bakery sells 300 a day.
Standing across from the Imperial Palace and Hibiya Park, the hotel is in the financial district of Marunouchi. It’s easy to get around from the hotel — it has a direct entrance to the Hibiya subway. Ginza, the city’s haute shopping spot, is only a three-minute walk away. Though you can always catch a ride in one of the hotel’s stylish house cars, like the customized Rolls-Royce Extended Wheel Phantoms or a Tesla Model S.