1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
The 290-room Palace Hotel is Japan’s answer to the Ritz Carlton, Peninsula and other global five-star brands, of which Tokyo has plenty. It boasts luxurious and well-appointed rooms, exceptional customer service, a range of polished dining options and all of the facilities and amenities you would expect.
The Palace Hotel Tokyo also comes with a bit of history. The modern and elegant building you see today was part of a US$1.2 billion mixed-use project completed in May 2012, when the hotel re-opened its doors for the second time. The original Palace Hotel stood for over half a century, first opening in 1961 (an even earlier hotel on the same site—the Teito— served as General Headquarters for the Allied Forces).
The new Palace Hotel is grander and more dramatic, boasting one of the finest views of Tokyo’s Imperial Palace Gardens. Everything here is on grand scale: ten restaurants and bars, a massive ballroom, and a lobby area that could probably hold a small Japanese village.
Despite the size and scale of the Palace, the service here is still intimate and warm. Don’t expect to be wowed by design in the rooms—it’s clean and contemporary at times, with old-fashioned elegance sprinkled throughout. The hotel's dining options, however, are another story, with truly beautiful styling in some, in particular Wadakura.
Rooms here are on par with the Conrad, though a bit smaller at the entry-level. As you can see, they feature the now ubiquitous glass window into the bathrooms (we are not sure who likes this feature), but fortunately a draw shade provides ample privacy.
Just across the street from the Palace you’ll find one of the world’s most famous jogging circuits—the 5km run that circles the Imperial Palace grounds. It’s flat and well-paved, but can get crowded on weekends and evenings. Don’t miss the stunning pine forest that you’ll pass on the southwest side of the circuit.
While the Palace has many dining options, the Grand Kitchen is actually our favorite. Wide selection of cuisines, and actually quite reasonably priced for Tokyo hotels.
There are some 720 pieces of art on display throughout the hotel, mostly by contemporary or recent Japanese artists, so art lovers should pay attention to what’s on the walls.
And lastly, you are just steps from one of the prettiest streets in Tokyo, tree-lined Marunouchi street, which runs from the Peninsula Hotel at the south end all the way to Eitai Dori (“dori” means street in Japanese).
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