Travel: The Peninsula, Tokyo
From the chocolate-coloured lobby bathed in lights to The Void, an abstract art installation, it has an almost space-age appearance.
The rooms are some of the largest Tokyo has to offer and combine comfort – genuinely one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in – with the elegance that is the hotel’s hallmark.
WINING AND DINING?
Wherever you stay in the city, it would be a sin not to try the many varied dining options in Tokyo, from the top-rated sushi restaurants where the best chefs have the status of superstars, to sake bar snacks, or authentic diners where locals sit cross-legged. There is so much to try, the city has received more Michelin stars than any other in the world. However, the Peninsula has its own restaurants to rival much of what is available outside, including its famous afternoon tea in the lobby and Peter, a restaurant that combines international gourmet cuisine with breathtaking views from the 24th floor.
BUDGET OR BOUTIQUE?
Are you kidding? This is boutique all the way. Tokyo on a budget would always be difficult and a stay at the Peninsula is all about spoiling yourself. Although it does a roaring trade in business visitors, the hotel has lots of beautiful little touches that prevent it from becoming impersonal, such as the spa and treatment corridor, pool terrace and the Hei Fung Terrace private dining room.
God, it’s tempting. The food is fantastic, right down to the breakfast menu, which included a sumptuous eggs benedict, and the beds are so big and comfortable that an extra hour beneath the sheets was hard to refuse. Alternatively you could settle your food on a table next to the window and gaze across the extraordinary skyline and leisurely plan your day. The rooms include sofas, TVs with every channel known to mankind, and wi-fi.
WORTH GETTING OUT OF BED FOR?
One of the reasons for choosing the Peninsula is its location. Forget showy Shibuya and Shinjuku, Ginza is Tokyo’s number one shopping hub, and it’s only a short walk away, as is the Imperial Palace and surrounding gardens. The former home of the Tokugawa shogun, the corridors of power in olden day Japan, the palace was destroyed in the Second World War but rebuilt in the same style. Another must- see on the hotel’s doorstep is the Tsukiji Fish Market, a glimpse of the real Japan, beyond the skyscrapers and neon lights.
The staff are friendly and nothing is too much trouble. You do not even have to lift or lower the toilet seat – movement sensors do that for you. Speaking of pampering, the gym, swimming pool and spa offer an excellent opportunity to work off those extra pounds gained in the restaurants. The spa treatments on offer include Keihatsu enlightenment body massage, aromatherapy and shiatsu body massage, for those looking for the genuine Japanese experience.
A real delight and a treat to stay in such a fabulous hotel -– beautifully crafted and professionally tailored to meet every whim. With rooms starting at about £450 a night, and suites at £750, it is not the cheapest option. But if you want to enjoy Japan in style you will not feel short-changed. For more information, go to pensinsula.com.