Tried & Tested

Hotel Check: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

30 Sep 2012

BACKGROUND This property has a distant link to The Beatles: During their iconic 1966 world tour they stayed at this location – at the time a Hilton. Capitol Tokyu took over in 1983, and in 2006 the building was demolished to make way for the new Capitol Hotel Tokyu, which opened in October 2010 encased in a cool, slate-grey edifice that blends with the other similarly toned structures in the quiet, upscale neighbourhood.

WHAT’S IT LIKE? Capitol Hotel Tokyu is one of the stops of the Airport Limousine Bus which deposits guests on level 1, from where they can take the lift to the lobby and head for the reception. Japanese aesthetics inform the public and private spaces, conceptualised by well-respected architect Ed Tuttle, who worked with design architect Kengo Kuma and Associates and landscape master Shunsako Miyage to produce an airy and restful ambience The water features and a bamboo grove along the driveway help create a restful atmosphere.

WHERE IS IT? Located in the Akasaka area, close to the National Diet Building viewed from many of the guestrooms. The historic and pretty Hie Shrine is perched on an adjacent hill and is the site of the Sanno Festival every mid-June, whose highlight is the procession of portable shrines borne by people dressed in traditional imperial robes.

The hotel is directly linked to the subway of Tameike-sanno and Kokkai-gijidomae stations from B2 floor. From there, travellers can connect to the Nanboku, Chiyoda, Ginza and Marunouchi lines – all important links to major business and leisure centres.

ROOM FACILITIES My 45 sqm club deluxe king room came with extra privileges so I was able to enjoy a drink and watch the twinkling lights of Akasaka in the lounge before proceeding to my quarters.

Conceived by master designer Ed Tuttle (you see his works in countless Architectural Digest editions), the bedroom reflects Japanese modernism, clean and elegant and yet warm, thanks to the rich earth tones of the carpet and chaise longue and the delicate kimono patterns of the wallpaper. I just didn’t think the sliding door leading to it, after one opened the main door, was really necessary. But perhaps Tuttle wanted to heighten the arrival experience. Amenities include flat-screen TVs, docking stations, deep soaking bathtubs and free wifi access.

RESTAURANTS AND BARS There are three F&B options: Star Hill Chinese Restaurant, Suiren Japanese Restaurant and Origami all-day dining where even à la carte breakfast orders (such as my egg-white-only selection) are artfully plated. For drinks, there is the Origami lounge off the lobby, while overlooking it is The Capitol Bar, featuring moody illumination and black-and-white photos of an endearingly young John, Paul, George and Ringo during their stay. Draft beer will set you back from ¥1,155 (US$14.68) and a glass of champagne ¥2,136 (US$27).

BUSINESS AND MEETING FACILITIES The ballroom is fittingly named Ho ‘oh – Japanese for “phoenix” to reflect the hotel’s resurgence and has a seating capacity of 500. The attached multipurpose foyer is a useful area for waiting or hosting a cocktail reception. Kiri, a smaller banquet space can take up to 80 seated, while three breakout rooms are good for seminars for 30 persons each.

As an alternative to a regular function room, the hotel is offering groups use of the fifth-floor Sanno Suite that comes with generous natural light and a view of tranquil gardens and Hie Shrine. 

Suiren has six private rooms, one of which is on the upper level, accessed by a private elevator for exclusivity, and has its own small garden.

LEISURE FACILITIES There is a 20-metre indoor swimming pool with beautiful picture windows, which is perfect for lap exercises, as well as a gym. The Carju Rajah TIADO spa and barber has a wide range of therapies capped by some picks from the healthy menu.

VERDICT The hardware is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and the subway link is an enormous plus for guests

Fact File

  • HOW MANY ROOMS? 251 guestrooms occupying levels 18 to 29 of the building, with two suites on the fifth floor. The room category with the most units is the deluxe king with 164, followed by premier corner twin with 36, club deluxe king with 32, premier king with 18, executive suite with eight, club premier king with five, club premier corner twin with three and speciality suites with five.
  • ROOM HIGHLIGHTS The uncluttered aesthetics that make it easy to move around in. 
  • PRICE An internet nightly rate for a club deluxe king room from November 18 to 19 starts at ¥41,000 (US$523) with additional taxes of ¥6,555 (US$84).
  • CONTACT 2-10-3 Nagatacho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0014, Japan, tel +81 3 3503 0109,

Margie T Logarta

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