The hotels of Japan's bustling capital
Tokyo is similar to other Asian hotel markets, in that there are a clutch of 5-star global luxury brands (Ritz-Carlton, Peninsula, Mandarin Oriental, etc.), a solid offering in the city and business hotel category, and really nothing in between. The closest Tokyo comes to a “cool” hotel is called the Claska, but with its odd location and tired rooms, the hotel only makes our Honorable Mentions list.
At the 5-star level, we recommend the Tokyo Park Hyatt (of Lost in Translation fame), which is typically priced a little below the competition—mainly because of the hotel’s Shinjuku skyscraper location. The Conrad in Shiodome was for years our #2 hotel pick for Tokyo, as it had all of the amenities of the Park Hyatt but at a lower price. This is no longer really the case, so we’d just as well stick with the former. The latest entrant at the 5-star level, however, is the Andaz Tokyo. We had assumed the hotel would need some time to settle into its groove, but we were wrong, and we're happy to feature the property here.
The best value in the 5-star luxury category, however, is the Japanese domestic brand, Capitol Hotel Tokyu, in the city’s business and government area, Akasaka. For a similar Japanese luxury experience, you also have the gorgeous Tokyo Station Hotel and the Palace Hotel.
There's also the retro-styled Okura Hotel, which offers a great value at the 5-star level. It was built in the 1960s, and still kind of looks and feels like it’s stuck in that era (in a good way). But you'd better hurry if you want to stay in the Okura, as the owners plan to redevelop most of the hotel into a boring 38-story glass tower.
If you need to do Tokyo on a budget, there are a number of city and business hotel options, but they can be hit or miss. Look out for a rundown of Tokyo's more affordable hotels in our Features section.
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