One of the first top-end luxury hotels to open in Tokyo, Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo (Shangri-La Tokyo) remains an enviable address for a business or recreational stay. If not for its location in the heart of town, it’s for the mystical sanctuary that coddles guests in the legendary land featured in James Hilton’s Lost Horizon novel.
Conveniently located next to the Tokyo Station, which also houses the terminal for the Shinkansen bullet train network, Shangri-La Tokyo takes up the top 11 floors (27th to 37th) of the 37-floor Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building. The renowned Ginza shopping district and the Imperial Gardens are both a stone’s throw away, as is Nihonbashi. By virtue of its perch, the hotel affords panoramic views of the city’s surrounds including the gardens of Imperial Palace, Shinjuku skyscrapers, Mount Fuji (on good days only) and the Tokyo Sky Tree tower.
Style & character
As Shangri-La goes, one would expect the 28th storey hotel lobby to be grand and the sheer expanse and opulence of this Tokyo property does not disappoint, think airy space, glistening chandeliers and enormous floral arrangements by celebrated floral artist, Nicolai Bergman. Of note is the Czech hand-made chandelier – with 890 pieces of crystals – in the Lobby Lounge bar where each crystal is shaped like a gingko leaf, the symbol plant of Tokyo. Throughout the property, including the rooms, halls and facilities, you will also find more than 2,000 pieces of artwork inspired by the works of poetry by Bai Juyi (772-846), a Chinese poet of the Tang dynasty.
Service & facilities
For guests arriving by train, the hotel offers a Meet & Greet escort service on the Narita Express and Shinkansen platforms. By and large, service is sincere and highly professional. Anyone in need of relaxation should check out the five treatment-room Chi Spa, next to which is a functional gymnasium and an indoor swimming pool (they provide swimming costumes rental for free in case you left yours at home).
There are 200 guest rooms here and by Japanese standards, the rooms, each 50 square meters or bigger, are reasonably large. Designed by Hirsch Bedner Associates, each room features neutral tones and lots of wood, with floor-to-ceiling windows framing panoramic views of the cityscape. The rooms come with complimentary Wi-Fi access, a Nespresso machine as well as bath amenities by L’Occitane or Bulgari (for suite guests and Horizon Club floor guests). All guests of suites, plus those who book one of 41 Horizon Club rooms, have access to the Andre Fu-designed Horizon Club lounge. Perched on the 37th floor, the lounge offers breakfast, all-day hot and cold beverages as well as canapes and cocktails in the evening to go with wondrous views of the city. It’s worth noting that Shangri-La supports the local community by sourcing selected artisan food products locally and you will find these in the Horizon Club Lounge (more details below).
Food & drink
Within the property, you will find two restaurants – Piacere for contemporary Italian and Nadaman for Japanese, both designed by Andre Fu. Piacere serves an a la carte breakfast (think eggs, healthy selection, pancakes, Japanese style breakfast with grilled fish or oriental style breakfast with congee) to go with a solid array of buffet selection including fish, salads and vegetables; at dinner, it also serves a “Il Mio Pensieeo” degustation menu by executive chef, Andrea Ferrero. Nadaman serves an extensive menu of kaiseki, sushi and teppanyaki at both lunch and dinner and its kaiseki menus are particularly popular. If you have Horizon Club Lounge access, you’re in for a treat for the breakfast menu is outstanding. Options include a choice of eggs benedict, French toast, Belgian waffles, a selection of pancakes as well as Japanese, Oriental and/or vegetarian breakfast. That’s not to mention the farm-fresh and locally sourced produce at the buffet counter including artisan yoghurt from Makai Ranch (Mount Fuji), jam and smoothies from Nakahira Farm (Nagano), Marushin toufu from Hyogo, boneless ham from Nanshu Farm (Kagoshima) as well as croissants by a local French bakery in Tokyo.
Shangri-La Tokyo room rates start from JPY 55,000 per room per night (excluding tax and service charge) excluding breakfast, which costs JPY4,400 per person (excluding tax and service charge).
Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8283, Japan;
+81-3 6739 7888; shangri-la.com/tokyo