Hotel Review: Tatler Checks Into... The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo
1/5 First Impressions
If you've got a predilection for heights and fantastic views, you can't go wrong with ultra-luxe The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo. Located within Midtown Tower—the highest building in Tokyo that boasts a hotel, shopping centre, art museum and even medical centre—there are 360 views to be had regardless of whether you're dining, enjoying the spa, or relaxing in your room.
For guests who have booked the Club Deluxe Room categories and above, check-in is in the "sky lobby" at the Club Lounge on the 53rd floor. Seamless and fuss-free, the friendly staff greeted us the moment we stepped out of the elevator, handed us a welcome drink, and proceeded with check-in while we took in the gorgeous views in the plush lounge.
2/5 Do Not Disturb
Japanese hotel rooms have a reputation for veering on the smaller side, but The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, definitely does not suffer from such a fate. At 52 sq m, the smaller Deluxe rooms are large enough to house a king-sized bed, desk, sitting area, and a spacious marble-clab bathroom with a tub and seperate shower area. Decked out in lush fabrics and shades of greys and mahogany, the rooms are a calming space for rest and respite.
In the world of luxury, it's the littlest details that count, so we were delighted to hear that there was a complimentary pressing and shoeshine service upon arrival. All 247 rooms have stunning views of the city, but if it's Mount Fuji you wish to greet you on a clear day, don't forget to request for a room that overlooks the majestic volcano. Or, for something a little bit more traditional, book the beautiful Modern Japanese Suite, which has been outfitted with tatami mats and a shoji-style door.
3/5 The Extras
A fantastic club lounge has the ability to make a good stay great, and the one at The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo, did not disappoint. There are four spaces—reception, where check-in is usually carried out; garden terrace, to enjoy a cuppa; dining room, for breakfast with a view; and the library lounge, where you can wind down the day with a tipple or two.
Every weekend and on Mondays (3 to 4.30pm), guests can enjoy a special afternoon tea accompanied by a harp performance and sweet treats prepared by an award-winning chocolatier and pâtissier.
4/5 Food & Drink
The hotel is home to seven different dining establishments, including two restaurants which have been awarded a Michelin star in recent years. There's French restaurant Azure45, with beautiful East-meets-West interiors, Towers, which specialises in grilled meats and seafood (fun fact: it was named so because of its views of the Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree), as well as The Lobby Lounge, famously known for their afternoon teas.
We were lucky enough to score a table at Hinokizaka, the one-Michelin starred (2010) Japanese restaurant with four specialty areas serving kaiseki, sushi, teppanyaki, and tempura. If you're only in the city for a short while, the kaiseki menu is a best way to be introduced to the flavours of the season. For our Spring-time inspired menu, there was a beautifully presented soup made with Shogoin daikon radish, yellowtail, mochi, young green uguisu-na (turnip), miso and yuzu, and a noteworthy course created with soy milk skin, mochi rice, sea urchin, kudzu (Japanese arrowroot) sauce and wasabi.
(Related: Hotel Review: Tatler Checks Into... Bawah Reserve)
5/5 Tatler Tip
One of the perks of staying within Midtown Tokyo is that you literally have everything at your doorstep. You'll find Harry Winston, Valextra, Pleats Please Issey Miyake, and the ubiquitous Uniqlo within the same building, as well as Precce Premium, a gourmet supermarket. Knackered from shopping? Head to the Ritz-Carlton Cafe & Deli on the ground floor to indulge in a spot of people-watching, or satisfy your sweet tooth at La Boutique, the hotel's newly opened chocolate and pastry shop.