Impossibly high towers overlooking a sea of glittering lights. Gourmet sushi restaurants serving up delicate sheets of tuna sashimi. Muscle-melting public baths; serene tea lounges; elaborate breakfast buffets. Tokyo nails indulgence like few others can, so it’s no surprise that the city’s luxury hotels are some of the most glamorous, pampering and stylish on Earth. Whether you’re after somewhere buzzy to see and be seen or a discreet, celeb-worthy hideaway, here are the best luxury hotels in the capital of Japan.
Modelled after a traditional Japanese ryokan (inn), Hoshinoya has an intimate feel unlike many of the other best hotels in Tokyo. Tatami mat floors line the hallways and bedrooms (you remove your shoes on arrival); the rooftop onsen-style bath feels almost meditative; the basement restaurant with private dining rooms turns out exceptional Japanese-French cuisine. Optional activities, from sake tastings to tea ceremonies, sumo training viewing to gagaku musical performances, give insight into Japanese culture.
You won’t want to leave the spa at Aman Tokyo. Besides the exceptional treatments, including world-best massages and Shinto purification rituals, the mirror-like pool overlooking the city is a perfectly tranquil place to watch the sky turn sunset-pink. Rooms are dressed in contemporary Japanese stylings, with light woods, crisp white sheets and sliding shoji paper doors. Sample a parade of traditionally prepared Tokyo Bay sushi – omakase-style – at eight-seater Musashi by Aman.
Set in the heart of Roppongi, electric with nightlife, shopping and some of the city’s finest wagyu restaurants, the Ritz-Carlton has jaw-dropping views across Tokyo – the 45th-floor lobby lounge alone will have you reaching for your camera. Neighbouring Tokyo Tower, one of the capital’s landmarks with its orange Eiffel Tower-esque façade, is right outside your window when you dine at Michelin-starred Azure 45; even the pool brings vistas over the cityscape.
This massive hotel feels like its own city in the middle of Tokyo. Built near the Imperial Palace to accommodate guests visiting the 1964 Olympic Games, the Hotel New Otani Tokyo contains nearly 1500 rooms, more than 30 dining options and a mall’s worth of retailers. On top of this, you’ll find a post office, dentist, doctor and hairdresser, a spa and a summer pool, as well as immaculately curated gardens dating back 400 years, complete with a waterfall and ponds flush with koi fish.
Set northeast of central Tokyo station, near the swish Ginza shopping district and rambling grounds of the Imperial Palace, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo has a glossy, international appeal to it, suitable for business travellers as much as those seeking leisure. The amenities are crowd-pleasing too, especially if you have children in tow, with a pizza bar on the 38th floor and spa treatment rooms overlooking the city for parental downtime.
With architecture inspired by a rose-coloured lantern, abstract calligraphic artworks on the walls and views over the Imperial Palace across the road, this luxury hotel has Japanese tradition woven into its design. The Peninsula’s central Yurakucho location close to the high-end stores of Ginza. Inside, you’ll find 314 decadent rooms and suites, a rooftop restaurant, two ballrooms and a wedding chapel. The signature fleet of green Rolls-Royces brings an added touch of glamour.
Next door to Hamarikyu Gardens, one of Tokyo’s most atmospheric landscaped green spaces, the Conrad keeps things classically luxurious with wood and white rooms and gentle botanical print on carpets. The buzzy bar space, overlooking the city below and steely Tokyo Bay, is a meeting place for locals and visitors alike, while the China Blue restaurant is a moodily lit space perfect for a romantic dinner, chased down with a bottle from the walk-in cellar.
For a truly authentic stay in Japan’s capital, book one of the best ryokans in Tokyo now through Culture Trip. For more stunningly stylish options, see the best boutique hotels in Tokyo. If you’re not wanting to break the bank, discover our guide to the best cheap hotels in Tokyo. Heading elsewhere? Check out the best hotels in Japan and book now on Culture Trip.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
This is an updated version of an article originally by Tom Smith.
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