The Peninsula, Tokyo

Tokyo is populated with luxury hotels, and Ginza, arguably its most posh district, is lush with high-end options. My personal picks are the Mandarin Oriental, the Aman, and The Peninsula, in that order. The rooms in these hotels are huuuuge, especially in view of the limited space allowance of most Tokyo hotels, and furnishings tend to the plush and sophisticated, as opposed to the minimalist aesthetic favoured by the Japanese.

This trip to Tokyo, we stayed at The Peninsula, which is incredibly convenient and central. It's a short leisurely stroll to the Imperial Palace and its picturesque, albeit touristy, gardens, the Ginza shopping strip, and smack dab in the middle of the most amazing sushi-yas, and including izakaya-lined Yakitori Alley. You'll really have to be the laziest of bums to resort to taking a cab to get around the neighbourhood.

But, at The Peninsula, they do everything with utmost luxury and class. And cater to the most pampered of princesses. Apparently, The Peninsula offers a complimentary chauffeur-ed BMW Mini Cooper S to take you around a 10-km radius of the hotel's surrounds, limited to a 3-hour period and for up to 3 persons. And because the service is free, it's usually over-subscribed, and requires a booking of at least a month in advance. So be sure to ask for that as soon as you book the hotel.

The facade of The Peninsula may not look like much, but it was all ritzy and affluence inside. Check-in was smooth and regular.

We stayed in the 875 sqft Executive Suite, with a separate living area with a dining table for 4 persons and a comfortable work desk equipped with a complete set of stationery. The drinks on the coffee table (as well as the welcome chocolates and pastries) and non-alcoholic ones in the mini bar, next to the work desk, are complimentary, and replenished everyday. Rates start at JPY99000.

The bedroom, restful and comfortable, has its own mini bar, below the tv. The dressing area, annexed to the closet which then leads to the bathroom, is adjacent to the bedroom. The dressing area/closet is also the nexus to the living room and powder room

The Peninsula bathroom was a perfect marriage of functionality and luxury, with a deep soaking tub, a mini tv (because, you know, you need entertainment while stewing in the bath), double sinks, standalone shower, and partitioned toilet. The tub looked a little small, but it was very deep, so it fit 2 of us comfortably. Only issue was the gazillion buttons operating the tub. It took a bit of tinkering to get the jacuzzi going.

The room also had the cutest Japanese things like origami, tea set, and bonsai plant. So kitschy!

The view over Ginza city.

The gym was a little dim but it was adequately spacious and had enough machines with which to work.

The sun-drenched indoor pool was much much more cheery.

The room service was pretty decent, and we didn't get to have any ramen while in Japan, so this was quite satisfying. The Nabeyaki Udon (JPY2400), of thick springy noodles swimming in a rich but balanced shoyu-based broth, was choc-a-bloc with succulent chicken fillet dice, spinach, shitake, onions, carrots, and a runny poached egg. Really comforting fare in the middle of a cool night.

The Peninsula Baked Cheesecake (JPY1900), a signature found on every room service menu of all of their hotels, was fantastic. Luscious and creamy but nuanced, this was one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had.

The Peninsula
1-8-1 Yurakucho
Tokyo 100-0006
Tel: +81 3 6270 2888

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