In a city renown for its plethora of luxury five-star hotels, the Palace Hotel, which overlooks the Imperial Palace gardens, is a shining jewel of stylish, understated luxury perfectly suited to couples looking for a few days of spa pampering, fine food and outstanding service either before or after touring around this fascinating country.
A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, the hotel is located on a moat-side setting in the financial district of Marunouchi, opposite the ancient Otemon Gate of Edo Castle and overlooking a massive expanse of the Imperial Palace gardens and parkland – possibly the best location in the city!
The airy lobby, with its double-height ceilings, walls of glass, plush carpets and modern paintings set the scene for what is to come. Built in 1961 but then knocked down and completely rebuilt in a three-year redesign by globally renowned architect Terry McGinnity, the hotel reopened in 2012 and has garnered praise from guests and professionals since. It’s the only Japanese hotel to be given five-stars in World’s Best Rooms Collection 2019, published by internationally respected Forbes Travel Guide.
Best Room for Two
I always suggest that couples book a Club Room simply because of the wonderful extras you receive, (well worth the extra initial cost) and in this case we could not have chosen better. Our Deluxe King Room was spacious with floor to ceiling glass and window coverings that opened and closed at the touch of a button, and best of all, a full length balcony which gave us a stunning view of the Imperial Gardens and Wadakura Fountain by day, and by night, the glittering forest of Tokyo’s high-rise in the distance. Beautifully furnished with a settee, dining table and work desk, I have to say that the bed was one of the most comfortable I have slept in. With a deep full length bath, separate shower and Anne Semonin amenities my nightly ritual of soaking in the bath while listening to soothing music was heavenly!
We had Club access so naturally spent quite a lot of time sipping on French Champagne and supping on afternoon tea nibbles and pre-dinner canapés. You can also enjoy breakfast here with a vast menu of delectable hot and cold dishes.
Japan’s first Evian Spa is right here and what an experience it is. Whether you indulge with a Celestial Facial, Precious Journey, Celestial Signature or, like me, with a Vitalizing Signature treatment created exclusively for Evian SPA TOKYO, you’ll leave floating on clouds! My deep tissue massage with traditional Japanese seitai acupressure-style trigger point work ironed out every kink formed from sleeping on floor futons while travelling, and I came away from the spa rejuvenated and refreshed! Don’t forget your bathers because you’ll be diving into their 20-metre indoor swimming pool after a workout in the state-of-the-art gym, a morning yoga session or a walk/run around the five-kilometre jogging track that skirts the Imperial Palace gardens.
Tokyo’s dining scene is one of the best in the world but isn’t it lovely to know that you don’t even have to leave the hotel to enjoy incredible dining experiences as there’s seven of the city’s most excellent right here (ten if you include the three bars). With their new partnership with Ducasse Paris giving birth to fine dining restaurant, Esterre with Chef de Cuisine Martin Pitarque Palomar at the helm, you’re guaranteed of superb French haute cuisine. There’s also the one Michelin-starred Chinese restaurant, Amber Palace, Tatsumi for tempura, GO for teppanyaki, Sushi Kaneska for sushi and the Grand Kitchen for all-day dining (and the very best breakfast selection). To enjoy our last authentic Japanese meal before we left Tokyo, we booked at Wadakura, for Kaiseki – a ten-course feast that left us waddling off to the bar for a nightcap completely satiated!
Bars and public spaces
For the hotel’s legendary martini (stirred not shaken) head to the classic Royal Bar on the lobby floor and relax into a deep leather or plush velvet chair. One of Tokyo’s most sophisticated bars, cigar aficionados will relish the finest cigars and top-shelf liquors. The Palace Lounge on the same floor transforms from a cosy afternoon tea setting where kimono-clad waitresses offer 48 varieties of tea into a cocktail lounge with live jazz at sunset.
Both classic and elegant with service second to none, the Palace Hotel is one of Tokyo’s most exceptional five-star accommodation options that will please the most discerning traveller.