Like Moses just back from the mountain, we’re here to tell you that we have seen the Peninsula Tokyo, and it is good. Actually, good is a bit of an understatement. This hotel, let’s not fool ourselves, is enormously expensive — but it’s as close to worth it as any luxury hotel we’ve ever seen. It’s still perhaps the sort of experience that’s best had on someone else’s dime, but even if you’re footing the bill it’s quite difficult to imagine coming away disappointed.
While most big Tokyo hotels occupy the upper floors of mixed-use skyscrapers, the Peninsula is purpose-built, with its lobby on the ground floor, just like a proper hotel. The location, in Marunouchi, is unique, adjoining the Imperial Gardens, which makes for impressive views during the daytime and the rare (for Tokyo) sight of complete darkness at night. You’re close by to the Ginza shopping district, but slightly removed from it all, and public transportation is no problem — though as long as you’re living it up, there’s a fleet of BMWs and Rolls-Royces at guests’ disposal.
The look is a bit on the conservative side, but that doesn’t mean dull. It’s quite a bit livelier and more inspired than the typical luxury fare, contemporary and a bit timeless, avoiding trendiness today so that it won’t look dated tomorrow. Along with stunning views, the rooms come with all the high-tech conveniences and low-tech creature comforts you’d expect from a top-flight hotel, plus free wireless internet access, which let’s be honest here, it would be insulting to be billed for when you’re paying these kinds of rates. Not that that stops most high-end hotels from adding it on to your bill anyway.
Simply put, it’s the five-star hotel the way it ought to be. Particularly unmissable is the 24th-floor restaurant, as glamorous a dining setting as any in Tokyo, with views that have to be seen to be believed. Pop down to the ESPA spa for a treatment, and have room service delivered through a hatch in the wall (for when answering the door is too much to ask) — it can’t get much better.
Please note: This hotel offers both smoking and non-smoking rooms.