Foreigners traveling to Tokyo face a set of obstacles they’re unlikely to encounter elsewhere — just getting around can be a struggle, given the sheer size and complexity of the city, and the fact that many streets seem to be unnamed. Selecting a hotel, one soon finds, is also not without its challenges.
Excluding such niche markets as capsule hotels (which can actually be quite fun) and the “love hotels” (likewise, under the proper circumstances), there are two types of traditional hotels in Tokyo. The first, the auberge hotels, are intended for the Japanese, and no other languages are spoken there, rendering them essentially off-limits to foreign travelers. The more familiar Western-style hotels comprise the second type, and Cerulean Tower Tokyu Hotel is one of these.
The hotel takes up the top half of the Cerulean Tower building, from the 19th floor on up to the 40th. In many cities, the view from a 37th-floor hotel room might be less than picturesque, looking perhaps directly into an office building across the street. Tokyo, though, is a city of medium height, with its twenty million people densely packed into, largely, the first dozen or so stories. Thus the view from Cerulean Tower is unobstructed, and spectacular — on a good day you can see Mount Fuji.
The location is as central as possible, given Tokyo’s sprawling non-plan. It would be impossible to be truly central, close to every possible destination. But Shibuya, home to Cerulean Tower, is the bustling and vibrant commercial and retail center of Tokyo (think Lost in Translation, shot mostly at the nearby, and rather less affordable, Park Hyatt).
The style here is contemporary, modern enough, but not blindingly hip — there are not many design-first boutique hotels in Japan (yet). Most of the international hotels, in fact, are conservative to an extreme. Cerulean Tower, by contrast, is well on the stylish end of the spectrum, perhaps less opulent than the higher-end competition, but worlds more attractive than the faceless alternative.
Cerulean Tower’s restaurant and lounge are located on the 40th floor, with a sweeping, panoramic view from majestic Fuji to Tokyo Bay. The first two floors of the tower are home to perhaps another half-dozen fine restaurants, and once outside on the street, the variety may be overwhelming. Suffice to say that Shibuya faces no shortage of dining or entertainment options.
If you’re reserving a corner king room, you’ll find that the view from the bathtub is extraordinary. In true Japanese style, you can enjoy a post-shower soak in the tub, contemplating the city from above. Well worth the price of admission.
Please note: Guests under the age of 18 are not permitted to use the fitness club. Also, all rooms are non-smoking except for one Standard floor.