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The top hotels in Tokyo

2023-02-21  Diana Solomon

Here is how to navigate the hotel scene in Tokyo.

The only constant in Tokyo is the assurance that you'll have a blast. With 28 million residents, Greater Tokyo is the big metropolitan region in the world and includes the cities of Kawasaki and Yokohama. In essence, this implies that whatever you are into, whatever you want to see, or whatever you want to do, you'll find it someplace here along with lots of things you didn't realize you wanted, too. The top hotels in Tokyo follow the same adage: whether you choose to stay in a skyscraper or a small inn, boutique or bling, go glam or local, or curl up on the nicest futon in all of Tokyo, there is a Goldilocks stay that is "just perfect" for you.

What area in Tokyo is the greatest for lodging?

It depends on your requirements, interests, and future steps. Shibuya is an excellent starting point for numerous walking, must-see sights, including Scramble Crossing, Harajuku, Yoyogi Park, and the Meiji Shrine, being close to some of Tokyo's other outstanding neighborhoods (Nakameguro, Shimokitazawa). The Otemachi financial area, which offers access to the Imperial Palace and its vast green lung, as well as high-end shops on the ground floor, is home to many of the big-brand, skyscraper Tokyo hotels (expect to see your fellow guests on the Palace running loop in the morning). The Toranomon neighborhood is the best location for Tokyo Tower and the city skyline at night. Be near the bullet train hub on the Yaesu side of Tokyo Station if you're traveling farther within Japan or need quick access to the airport.

How long do you need to spend in Tokyo?

Three nights in Tokyo is enough to get a good sense of the city and get your body clock back on track if you've been traveling for a long time. Pick just one base because the entire city may be reached from it via the extensive, effective, and clean rail and subway network (get a map as it is also highly complex). Only two 'things' every day are what you should aim for. If it's your first time visiting Tokyo, you shouldn't miss Shibuya, which is home to the Scramble Crossing, the storied "hints" shop Tokyu Hands, and the brand-new Shibuya SKY open-air observation deck. The tallest skyscraper, Tokyo Skytree on the east side, offers a view of the size of the metropolis. Visit TeamLab Futures in Toyosu, the Mori Art Museum, or the districts of Omotesando and Ginza for art and architecture (also the location of the new fish market). At the Yayoi Kusama Museum, make reservations two months in advance. For Kengo Kuma's Nezu Museum, with its serene valley garden and prime location in the center of chic Aoyama, show up. Try Koenji or Shimokita for used clothing. You may find some peace in Meiji Jingu, Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, or Hamarikyu Gardens on Tokyo Bay. Senso-ji Temple and Asakusa, in the old city, offer a laid-back, nostalgic air.

Aman Tokyo a

Aman Tokyo

Best for: A minimalist's paradise overlooking the financial district

Aman is known for its innovative designs and subtle elegance. Its first property in an urban environment, Tokyo, is no exception. It provides a contemporary take on conventional Japanese homes, spread across the top six stories of a dazzling tower in the Temachi business district (courtesy of the late architect Kerry Hill). Basalt stone covers the atrium-like foyer, which has a 30-meter-high roof that resembles the interior of a washi paper lantern. The atmosphere is completed with zen-like rock gardens and a water feature with seasonal ikebana flower displays. Arva, an Italian restaurant, and a lounge area that is all black provide dining with stunning views of the lobby. The exquisite two-story spa is the pride and joy of Aman, but the rooms are little havens all on their own. They are a celebration of Japanese minimalism, with blond-wood walls and granite ofuro bathtubs placed window-side to take in the breathtaking city views.

Read the whole hotel Aman Tokyo review.

Address: 1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda City, Tokyo 100-0004, Japan, Aman Tokyo, The Otemachi Tower

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo b

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo

Best for Michelin-starred cuisine and impeccable service in fashionable Nihonbashi

The Mandarin Oriental, perched atop an office building in Tokyo's famed Nihonbashi neighborhood, offers luxurious indulgence with a strong dose of Japanese refinement. Large baths, a beige color scheme with orange and teal accents, and an unprecedented level of personalization are all features of the suites at Mandarin Oriental. Even the bonsai tree in the bedroom comes with a message addressing visitors by name. The hotel's upper floors have not less than 10 bars and restaurants, ranging from Michelin-starred molecular bits at Tapas to authentic Italian pizza, in addition to breathtaking vistas and an outstanding spa. Watch out for the numerous kitchen takeovers that bring some of the most prominent chefs to Tokyo (René Redzepi, the Sühring brothers). During your stay, it might seem hard to leave this haven of luxury, but make an effort to do so because the concierge's recommendations for nearby attractions, including specialty stores founded in the early 1800s, are excellent.

Mandarin Oriental is located at 2 Chome-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi in Chuo City, Tokyo, Japan, 103-8328.

Nikolas Koenig c
Nikolas Koenig

Toranomon's The Tokyo EDITION

Best for Glittering views inside and out, including the Tokyo Tower's outstanding nighttime views.

The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon doesn't disguise its brightness, from the highly polished black marble at the entryway to the strikingly up-lit jungle of bamboo and butterfly palms that fill the 31st-floor Lobby Lounge. This unique hotel, which was created by hotelier Ian Schrager and built by architect Kengo Kuma, is located in the Toranomon business neighborhood and has 206 rooms, 15 of which have uncommon tower terraces. The hotel's Tower View rooms have some of the great views of the titular Tokyo landmark in the whole city. The Blue Room all-day dining restaurant is covered in sapphire velvet, while the marble and glass Lobby Bar is an island in a sea of green. The Jade Room, a British-Japanese culinary love-in by head chef Tom Aikens, will be launched in October 2022. Expats enjoy Golden Age drinks at Gold Bar at EDITION while there. When it opens in the spring of 2023, its striking private dining room—designed by Kuma—promises to be one of Tokyo's trendiest social destinations.

The Tokyo EDITION is located at 4-1-1 Toranomon in the Minato-ku neighborhood of Tokyo, Japan.

Tokyo at Marunouchi d

Marunouchi's Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo

Best for: Fine dining in a unique setting with clubby elegance.

This well-situated hotel next to Tokyo Station offers just 48 rooms and nine suites, giving it the ambiance of an exclusive club. Four Seasons at Marunouchi, which was created by Yabu Pushelberg and first opened in 2002, is an older hotel by Tokyo standards but has a devoted following of affluent travelers who value its quaint setting, attentive service, and convenient location (right beside the bullet train tracks, for travel almost anywhere in Japan). Its French fine-dining restaurant, Sézanne, which was expertly decorated by André Fu and is run by head chef Daniel Calvert, is another compelling reason to go back. About 18 months after opening, Sézanne received two stars in the Tokyo Michelin 2023 book. It boasts 42 highly sought-after (and often hard to bag) covers, but fortunately for hotel visitors, Calvert is in charge of all hotel meals, including the superb Parisian cafe Maison Marunouchi - and the complementary, warm madeleines sent to your room upon arrival.

Address: Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-6277, 1-11-1 Pacific Century Place, Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

Yuen Bettei Daita e

Yuen Bettei Daita

Ideal for: A traditional city onsen-ryokan experience

As there aren't many hot springs baths and ryokan in Tokyo, Yuen Bettei Daita has created a boutique inn right in the middle of the city that flawlessly replicates that iconic Japanese countryside hideaway. Its 33 small, Japanese-style wood and tatami rooms, are decorated in a modern, low-rise building in the trendy area of Shimokita, with elevated futon beds and conventional sliding shoji screens. The main draw is the hot spring spa, which features indoor and outdoor pools, the latter of which is stocked with genuine hot spring water from Hakone near Mount Fuji. The all-day restaurant Tsukikage serves seasonal Japanese fare, and you can observe the cooks at work from the counter seats. It includes a classic Japanese ryokan breakfast. The neighboring tea salon pays homage to the area's ancient tea-growing roots by being built around salvaged wood doors from a nearby historic home. In the evening, it shifts to punchy matcha cocktails after serving green tea and sweets during the day.

Address: 2-31-36 Daita, Setagaya-ku, Tokyo 155-0033, Yuen Bettei Daita

Nacasa & Partners f
Nacasa & Partners

In Otemachi, the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo

Best for: The next-generation wow factor of Tokyo

The top six floors of the brand-new, 39-story Otematchi One complex are home to this stunning, Jean-Michel Gathy-designed hotel, which provides 170 rooms and 20 suites, amplifying the classic Tokyo skyscraper hotel experience. The striking arriving view is of the vast metropolis far below, the west side of the city, and clouds and mountains mirrored in a mirror moat that runs the length of the crowded Lobby Bar (Tokyo's newest Afternoon Tea obsession). It is accessed by an ear-popping rapid elevator. Beyond that, you can enjoy flawless Neapolitan pizzas at the Italian all-day dining establishment Pigneto and micro-seasonal cocktails in the opulent yet classic Bar Virtù (glimpse jars of their home-made umeshu in the extensive liquor store behind the library). Chef de cuisine Guillaume Bracaval and pastry chef Michele Abbatemarco, a longtime professional team, created the one-Michelin-star French fine-dining establishment est. They offer up fresh, inventive interpretations of the Japanese terroir using 95% Japanese products (see the handy origin map on the menu). The 20-meter indoor pool tempts swimmers with its highly polished metal interior and huge picture windows. This stylish haven in the sky is completed with a spa with five treatment rooms and a large ofuro soaking tub (of course with views).

Address: 1-2-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0004 Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Otemachi

Trunk Hotel g

Trunk Inn

Ideal for: Eco-aware travelers who don't want to sacrifice comfort or style

Trunk Hotel is a hotspot for Tokyo's creative community and savvy city tourists, making it the ideal choice given its position next to trend-setting Cat Street. Trunk Bar, a lively lounge where local business owners and digital nomads use their laptops during the day and switch to drinks in the evening, is located in the center of the area. Each bedroom varies in size, with options for a cozy family suite with bunk beds to a two-story party pad with a plunge pool. The very high ceilings, metro-tiled bathrooms, and minibars loaded with gourmet soda pops and dried fruits are commonalities, though. Sustainability is key in this situation. Reclaimed wood is used to decorate the interiors, and the workforce wears uniforms made of repurposed denim. The same philosophy is applied to the amenities, which include recovered laundry bags and recycled rubber bathroom slippers. Most of them can be bought at the store on-site, along with craft beers from Tokyo and organic snacks.

The Trunk Hotel is located at 5 Chome-31 Jingumae in Shibuya City, Tokyo, Japan, 150-0001

Muji Hotel Ginza h

Ginza's Muji Hotel

Best for: A comfortable, no-frills stay

The brand's first hotel in Japan, located on the upper floors of Muji's flagship store in Ginza, embodies the company's "anti-cheap, anti-gorgeous" concept with a minimalist design that gives careful thought to and flawless execution of the fundamentals. The rooms, which resemble apartments, are long yet narrow, which complements their straightforward layouts effectively. Some feature spacious bookshelves, while others have futons and tatami mats. Unsurprisingly, they are all outfitted with Muji goods, from the air diffuser in the bathroom to the brand's distinctive minimalist alarm clock, all of which can be purchased from the store down the hall. The hotel restaurant WA, located next to the lobby, rotates its menu every three months to highlight a different region of Japan, getting nearly all of its products from that area during that period.

Address: Ginza, Chuo City, Tokyo, Japan, Muji Hotel Ginza, 6F, 3-3-5

Palace Hotel Tokyo i

Tokyo Palace Hotel

Ideal for: magnificent views fit for a president and bright, large rooms

After undergoing a comprehensive renovation in 2012, the Palace Hotel, a participant in the Tokyo hotel scene since 1961, is now the preferred lodging for dignitaries visiting the Japanese capital, including politicians, celebrities, and other VIPs. With good reason: hardly many hotels can rival the Imperial Palace's excellent location or the light, expansive rooms that the renovation delivered. Most of these rooms open to sizable balconies that overlook the Imperial Palace's enormous garden. The hotel maintains its traditional appeal despite its modern makeover; guests can anticipate superb white-glove service (head concierge Ms. Sumiyoshi chairs the Tokyo chapter of the worldwide concierge association), fresh flowers around the establishment, and silver spoons at the breakfast table. For the great views, claim a space on the terrace along the moat. Look for Wadakura, a cluster of Japanese restaurants with a village-like atmosphere on the sixth floor, for supper. Wadakura specializes in tempura, sushi, teppanyaki, and kaiseki. At its tenth anniversary in 2022, six more suites were built.

The Palace Hotel is located at 1 Chome-1-1 Marunouchi in Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan, 100-0005.

Park Hyatt Tokyo j

Tokyo Park Hyatt

Best for: Checking off your bucket list at one of Tokyo's most famous hotels

This iconic hotel has been welcoming visitors since 1994, and it has matured beautifully over time. The decor in the rooms and public spaces is still classic, and the service is just as attentive now as it was when the Park Hyatt first debuted as one of the city's premier hotels. Although the hotel is famous because of its part in the film Lost in Translation, the magnificent rooftop pool and first-rate spa are also well-known. The 177 rooms, which are all beige and dark lacquered woods, are of substantial size and come with Aesop amenities and bathrooms with marble finishes. There are breathtaking views, and on clear days you might even be able to see Mount Fuji in the distance, as is the case with all the sky-high accommodations in the city. Even if you're not staying the night, enjoying a Suntory Whisky in the famous New York Bar is a must-do in Tokyo.

Learn more about the Park Hyatt Tokyo in designer Erdem's dedication.

Address: Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku City, Tokyo 163-1055, Japan, 3-7-1-2 Park Hyatt Tokyo

Hoshino Resorts k
Hoshino Resorts

Hoshinoya Tokyo

Ideal for: A modernized version of the classic ryokan experience

In Tokyo, ryokans are a rare species, yet Hoshinoya manages to bring the design back in its ultra-swanky way. It has all the amenities of a traditional ryokan, including tatami mats throughout the property (including in the elevators, so there is a strict shoes-off policy upon entry), plush futon mattresses, and rooms surrounded by sliding paper screens. It is housed in a 19-story tower in the central business district. As the sun shines through the latticed façade, which is intended to imitate a whirling komon pattern, it produces lovely shadows. Six guest rooms are arranged around a lounge on each floor. While breakfast (freshly made onigiri rice balls) is available here as well, tea and seasonal snacks are offered here throughout the day. But, the in-room alternative, delivered in a lovely wooden bento box, is well worth the additional cost. Few locations are nicer to spend the evening after a day of exploring the city than a rooftop onsen with spring water piped up from approximately 5,000 feet below.

Hoshinoya Tokyo is located at 1 Chome-9-1 Otemachi in Chiyoda City, Tokyo, Japan, 100-0004.

2023-02-21  Diana Solomon