Tried & Tested

Hotel check: Park Hotel Tokyo

17 Mar 2008 by Mark Caswell

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Not to be confused with the nearby Royal Park Shiodome Tower Hotel or the Park Hyatt, the Park Hotel Tokyo is located in Tokyo’s Shiodome media and business district, and is the only member of the Design Hotels group in Japan’s capital. The entrance to the hotel is via a lift to the 25th-floor lobby, from where an atrium stretches up ten floors to the top of the building. When I arrived, sun was streaming through large windows by the reception area, which, combined with the comfortable sofas, gave a cosy “loft feel” to the lobby. According to the hotel, around 50 to 60 per cent of its guests are from overseas, with 30 to 40 per cent of these being from the UK – this was evidenced by the predominantly Western clientele using the public areas.

WHERE IS IT? The hotel is situated to the south-west of the Imperial Palace, and served by Shiodome subway station on
the Toei Oedo line, and Shimbashi’s underground and mainline stations. The hotel itself forms part of Shiodome Media Tower, which is adjacent to Nippon TV headquarters and houses the office of news agency Kyodo News. There are 20 parking spaces in the basement of the building, charged at £5 per night.

HOW MANY ROOMS? 273, with 224 City rooms, 20 Corner rooms, 27 Premium rooms, one Park suite and one disabled-access room.

ROOM FACILITIES City Queen rooms (which make up around half the room count) measure 22-24 sqm, so don’t expect a huge amount of space to spread out in unless you upgrade to a Premium one (32-34 sqm). Having said that, the rooms are modern and light (mine had spectacular views towards Tokyo Tower), and include business traveller staples such as free wired internet access, flatscreen TV, air conditioning, coffee table and chair, workdesk, safe, tea and coffee-making facilities, luggage rack, and ironing equipment on request. There is also a trained pillow fitter (apparently the only one in Japan) on hand to help restless souls choose the right type of pillow for a good night’s sleep, and free Japanese sleepwear. Bathrooms have a combined bath and shower, and include toiletries by Thai spa brand Thann.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS Impressively, the hotel has not one but two Michelin-starred restaurants, both situated off the main lobby area and offering great views of the city. Hanasanshou serves kaiseki dishes (traditional Japanese multi-course meals on a par with Western haute cuisine), with fish sourced from Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, reputedly the largest of its kind in the world. Meanwhile, Gastronomie Française Tateru Yoshino serves modern French fare devised by the chef of another Michelin-starred eatery, the Stella Maris in Paris. (The hotel’s sister property, the Shiba Park Hotel, which is located further to the north of the city, also has a Michelin-starred restaurant under the direction of chef Yoshino.) Guests at the Park Hotel can choose to take breakfast in either restaurant or opt for a buffet in the Lounge (under the tenth-floor atrium), where coffee, pastries and pasta lunches are also available. Finally, the Bar à Vins Tateru Yoshino, also located on the 25th floor, offers light meals and cocktails, with jazz music on Tuesday to Saturday evenings.

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES Salon Chinois (65 sqm) and Salon Christofle (81 sqm), on the 26th floor, can be hired for private dining and boardroom meetings, and there is a business centre with internet terminals and facilities including fax, mobile phone rentals, battery-charging, translation services and business card printing.

LEISURE FACILITIES The hotel’s Institut de Phyto-Aromathérapie, on the 26th floor, offers massage treatments using essential oils and is open from mid-morning until 2am (last entrance 11.30pm) – treatments can also be taken in-room. The Park Hotel also has a Constance Spry Flower School (named after the late flower arranger to the British royal family), and on the first floor of the building there is a flower shop by the same company.

VERDICT Rooms are bright and contemporary, if a little on the cosy side, but it is in the public areas where this hotel comes to life. The sun-drenched lobby and surrounding restaurants are destinations in their own right, and well worth a visit if you are in the district.

PRICE Internet rates for a mid-week stay in early April started from JPY18,400 (£90) for a City Queen (designhotels.com).

CONTACT Shiodome Media Tower, 1-7-1 Higashi Shimbashi, Minato-ku Tokyo; tel +81 3 6252 1111; parkhoteltokyo.com.

Mark Caswell

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