Amid Tokyo’s bright lights and dizzying skyscrapers, there’s a growing crop of small and stylish places to stay in the Japanese capital. From traditional ryokan to ultra-modern luxury hotels, check out the eight best boutique stays in the city.
Shibuya Granbell Hotel
Boutique Hotel, Hotel
Shibuya Granbell Hotel | Courtesy of Shibuya Granbell Hotel / Hotels.com
The decor at Granbell Hotel is anything but cookie-cutter. From spiral staircases and brick walls to glass bathrooms and repurposed trunks, every room in this stylish boutique hotel is unique. Shibuya Granbell Hotel’s central location is within walking distance of the area’s hippest clubs, restaurants, bars and everything else this pulsing part of Tokyo dishes up.
Wired Hotel Asakusa prides itself on its links to the surrounding Taito neighbourhood, partnering with local Asakusa craftsmen for its bespoke furnishings and hosting regular community events in the first-floor café, Zakbaran. This boutique hotel contains 31 very modern rooms, a comfortable shared lounge, an in-house restaurant serving Japanese cuisine and free bikes to explore the city on two wheels. Wired Hotel Asakusa is also one of the best-value boutique stays in town.
From the outside, this 4.5-star property looks like a century-old European railway station. And from the inside of its 150 luxurious suites, the Tokyo Station Hotel has the elegant decor to match. As the name suggests, this boutique hotel is directly connected to Tokyo’s main train station, making it a convenient option for travellers, as well as guests who want to splurge a little on the six restaurants, two lounge bars and modern health club.
Solaria Nishitetsu is a relaxing boutique stay in the heart of Tokyo, located a two-minute walk from Ginza metro station and even closer to the Higashi-ginza station. The 209 boutique rooms are thoughtfully decorated with colourful furnishings and contemporary wall art and the on-site restaurant, Furutoshi, plates up mouth-watering European fare.
The sophisticated Capitol Hotel Tokyu was designed by renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who has infused the property with his modern minimalist style. In addition to the contemporary design elements, the hotel boasts a spa, a fitness facility, three restaurants, a lounge, one bar and the Origami Pastry Boutique so you can take home some of their delectable treats.
The Imperial Hotel is utterly enormous – there are almost 1,000 guest rooms as well as 13 restaurants and three bars – but that doesn’t take away from the chic boutique vibe. This five-star property was the first Western-style hotel to open in Japan way back in 1890, occupying an entire block across the street from the manicured lawns of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace. Some of the rooms are almost as opulent as the palace itself, including the decadent suite usually reserved for royalty.
Traditional ryokan have sheltered Japanese travellers since the eighth century and this very modern version has been dubbed the first designer inn of its kind. Andon Ryokan first opened its doors in 2003, marrying traditional Japanese design with modern convenience at an enviable location between two well-connected metro stations.
If Andon is a new-age ryokan, then Kamogawa Asakusa is definitely old-school. This traditional inn offers truly authentic Japanese accommodation, including tatami-mat flooring and futon bedding, a tea set in every room, massage services, a large public bath, tea rooms, plus Japanese breakfast and dinner. The location is another big plus, only a two-minute walk from Kaminarimon gateway and the Sensō-ji Temple.