No matter your taste, budget or style, there’s something for everyone in Tokyo, and this couldn’t be truer when it comes to the local hotel scene. Novelty, luxury, budget, designer – here are the best hotels in Tokyo.
Where you stay in Tokyo generally depends on two factors: your interests and your travelling style. Get it right and you’ll have the best time; get it wrong and you may spend a large portion of your time and budget getting around. Each neighbourhood has its own unique personality: there’s Ginza, home to luxury skyscrapers; Koenji, the gritty, art-loving corner just a short ride from Shinjuku; and the laid-back historic Ueno district. To avoid disappointment, it’s better to do a little research, and these hotels are a great place to start.
Situated in the heart of the Arks Hills commercial complex, in the international suburb of Akasaka, the ANA Intercontinental is a short walk from the Imperial Palace. With views of Tokyo Tower, it’s all about luxury here. The hotel regularly hosts seasonal events, like the newly established Chocolate Sensations festival that showcases the best chocolatiers from Japan and abroad. On the culinary side of things, the hotel is home to the Michelin-star Pierre Gagnaire French restaurant, the popular Karin Chinese restaurant and a steakhouse.
The Park Hyatt Tokyo is arguably Japan’s most famous hotel. It was the backdrop for Sophia Coppola’s 2003 cult hit Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Situated right in the middle of Shinjuku, one of Tokyo’s most vibrant neighbourhoods, it’s surrounded by bars, cafes, restaurants, and other nightlife hangouts. It also has its very own New York Grill – a bar on the 52nd floor of the hotel, which boasts one of the best views in the city.
The B and A in BnA Hotel’s name stands for Bed and Art, the two foundations on which this hotel was founded. Size-wise, the hotel is humble – it has just two rooms – but the concept is big. The hotel enlisted the help of the city’s most exciting contemporary artists and commissioned them to paint the bedrooms however they saw fit. Founded as a way to help fund the Tokyo art scene, every time a room is booked, the artists responsible for the design receive a percentage of the booking cost, thus providing funding for their creative pursuits. The BnA group also have another hotel in Akihabara, which is a worthy choice for those who want to be right in the heart of the gamer geek action.
Any avid reader will agree that there’s something inherently comforting about curling up surrounded by piles of dog-eared paperbacks and study hardbacks filled with pages ready to transport you to a whole new world. The team at Book and Bed know this love of comforting books all too well, so they decided to make an entire hostel dedicated to it. Book and Bed is a library-bookshop-hotel hybrid where guests are invited to crawl between their endless shelves of much-loved novels and drift off into a literary slumber. Positioned just a four-minute walk from Ikebukuro station, it provides easy access to the rest of Tokyo – if you manage to drag yourself out of bed, that is.
Tokyo’s Ritz-Carlton is located in the downtown Roppongi District in the city’s second tallest skyscraper. Make good use of the eight dining options on the premises, and take advantage of the most amazing views in all of Tokyo by requesting a room on the higher floors. An indoor pool, spa and whirlpool with city skyline views are also available for guests to enjoy. Close to picturesque Hinokicho Park, the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is located inside the famed Tokyo Midtown Tower. Enjoy luxurious suites, dine on delicious food or just relax by the pool, all while taking in stunning views of the city.
A hotel of grand proportions, Peninsula Hotel Tokyo holds luxurious rooms and suites that boast of standout interior design. The hotel also organises the ‘Peninsula Academy’, which offers guests unforgettable experiences such as sake brewery tours, talks and workshops with renowned artists of Japanese traditions (such as washi-paper art) and courses on the art of the kimono. Taking pride in Japanese culture, Peninsula also features video shorts that artistically highlight the hotel and its cultural significance.
A great choice for those on the hunt for a more homely experience when staying in Japan is Mimaru Tokyo Ueno. A super stylish, private apartment-style option, it’s perfect for long-term stays or larger travelling groups. The apartments feature open-plan, studio-style rooms complete with kitchen, living and dining spaces. Guests at the apartments are lent a free smartphone during their stay, so they can make free calls within Japan and navigate the city without maxing out data limits, which is a nice little added touch.