Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.
Last spring (May 2016), I enjoyed a memorable trip with one of my best friends in scenic Japan. The hotels we stayed at were spectacular, and the flights to/from Japan were not bad either. You can read my trip reports here:
- Review: Japan Airlines B77W Business Class London to Tokyo
- Review: Amanemu
- Review: Aman Tokyo (today)
- Review: Andaz Tokyo
- Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Review: Hyatt Regency Hakone
- Review: St Regis Osaka
- Review: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
- Review: British Airways B77W Business Class Tokyo to London
Today (July 27, 2016): Review of Aman Tokyo (Japan).
- Location: Google Maps
- Hotel website: Aman Tokyo
- Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
Occupying the top six floors of the recently built Otemachi Tower, Aman Tokyo is an urban sanctuary high above the atmospheric whirl of tradition and modernity that epitomizes Tokyo. The hotel has 84 spectacular rooms and suites that feature a mix of minimalist style and traditional Japanese furnishings, such as washi paper sliding doors and a furo deep-soak bathtub. The hotel’s phenomenal lobby and spa are vast, light-filled sanctuaries set high among the Tokyo skyline. Aman Tokyo is the sister resort of Amanemu, which I reviewed here.
Aman Tokyo features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Japan, the most exclusive hotels in Tokyo, the best Aman hotels in the world, the world’s most impressive hotel lobbies, and my favorite luxury hotels in the world.
In this review (more info below my YouTube video):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- With its supercentral location in the prestigious financial district of Otemachi, Aman Tokyo represents a very convenient base in the Japanese capital for both leisure and business travelers. The hotel is connected to the Otemachi subway station, from where five lines provide easy access to all points of interest in the city. Tokyo Station, the terminal station for Shinkansen bullet trains, is only moments from The Otemachi Tower, as is the world-famous Ginza shopping district.
- Aman Tokyo stands in a category of its own within the exclusive Aman hotel group as it is the only “urban” Aman hotel so far. Aman used to have another urban property in New Delhi, but that was renamed The Lodhi after its owner DLF Limited (India’s largest real estate company) decided to sell back the Aman group to its original owner Adrian Zecha, except for the Delhi property (which was renamed since retaining the Aman brand would have meant paying a massive fee).
- The hotel occupies the top six floors of the newly built, 38-story Otemachi Tower, offering spectacular panoramas of the Imperial Palace Gardens, the skyscrapers of Shinjuku, and surrounding Tokyo landmarks from all of the communal areas, rooms, and suites. On clear days, Mount Fuji can be observed at the horizon.
- There is an oasis of green at the foot of the hotel building. designated the “Otemachi Forest”, which oak and gingko trees among 16 other species. While not large, it’s a perfect spot to chill and relax for a while after an intensive day of sightseeing or doing business in this hectic yet fascinating metropolis.
- The hotel has a discrete entrance area on the ground floor, with a small reception area that fearures a desk made from an immense trunk of a 250-year-old camphor tree. From here, three elevators shuttle guests to the hotel’s phenomenal lobby on the 33rd floor. The latter is a massive space, located beneath a 30 m (98 ft) soaring ceiling of translucent washi rice paper, which is designed to resemble a shoji lantern. A reflective water pond, two meditative rock gardens, and dramatic ikebana flower arrangements create a pure zen athmosphere, and there are plenty of lounge seats for socializing or taking in the tranquil ambience. IMHO, Aman Tokyo has the most stunning hotel lobby in the entire world.
- Inspired by a traditional Japanese decor, expansive shoji screens create loose boundaries between the lobby and the surrounding communal areas, giving way to gasp-inducing views across the city from most of the hotel’s vantage points. There’s a lively bar and fine-dining restaurant on one side, while a quiet library and cigar room on the other side provide a more intimate setting.
- The hotel’s exceptional design was created by Singapore-based Kerry Hill Architects, and will smack you in the face everytime you enter the property. The overwhelmingly beautiful decor incorporates Aman’s signature contemporary minimalism with age-old, Japanese design elements.
- The zen-like décor of the 84 rooms and suites taps into Japan’s design heritage, with a design that is reflective of traditional Japanese residential structures. During my visit, I stayed in a Premier Room, which featured a spacious foyer leading up to an incredibly comfortable bed – situated in the middle of the room – and an elegantly appointed living area. The expansive bathroom was separated from the bedroom by subtle Shoji screens made of delicate washi paper, and it featured a heated toilet seat, a rainshower, and a deep soaking tub intrinsic to the Japanese ritual of bathing. Floor-to-ceiling windows offered incredible urban vistas and the loungers in front of the windows made it very hard to leave my room.
- In keeping with Japanese sensibilities, you are required to remove your shoes on entering your room, but there’s no reason to worry since black cotton slippers will be waiting for you by the door.
- The Aman Spa is Tokyo’s largest and most comprehensive hotel spa and covers almost 2,500 square metres on two floors. Offering breathtaking views, it features eight treatment rooms each with a dressing room, treatment area, bathroom, steam shower and relaxation area.
- The spacious, light-filled fitness center is equipped with the latest in cardiovascular and weight-training machinery from Technogym and Life Fitness. TRX and spinning bikes are available. There’s also a Yoga Studio & Pilates Studio, fully equipped with Allegro Reformers and other Pilates-specific apparatus. Private classes can be arranged.
- The 30 m (98 ft), heated and basalt-lined swimming pool stretches across the skyscape from its high-ceilinged sanctuary. Comfortable daybeds positioned around the pool provide the ultimate perch from which to gaze onto the bustling city below. Facilities include steam rooms and traditional Japanese hot bath.
- The hotel has two on-site restaurants, both of them offering terrific food. The Restaurant by Aman is located adjacent to the majestic lobby, and is a light-filled space with a semi-open kitchen that offers striking vistas of the metropolis. The fine dining venue specialises in cuisine from Italy’s Veneto region on the Adriatic Sea, serving ocal vegetables, meats and seafood with the finest imported Italian ingredients. The hotel’s second eatery, Café by Aman, offers casual French fare and is located on the groundfloor, in front of the entrance.
- The hotel’s stellar breakfast is not your usual hotel breakfast, and ranks among the best I have ever had a hotel. It’s a multicourse meal served a la carte at the hotel’s main restaurant, and the brilliant presentation of the dishes matches the exquisite quality of the food.
- Aman Tokyo is managed by Aman, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand, which manages a small collection of glamorous properties stretching from Asia to Europe to North Africa and the U.S. Among its habitués is a group of passionate repeat customers who call themselves ‘Aman junkies’ (count me in) and whose travel plans are determined by Aman locations. The brand is known for understated elegance of its resorts, exquisite attention to detail, minimalist design, heartfelt service, and otherworldly locations. Frankly, an Aman resort makes a St Regis or Ritz-Carlton look downright pedestrian.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The groundbreaking Aman Tokyo is the most exclusive hotel in the Japanese capital, and one of my all-time favorite hotels in the world. It doesn’t get any better than this. It’s a hotel I found very hard to fault, but you may want to know the following nonetheless:
- The hotel’s two restaurants feature mouthwatering French and Italian cuisine, but I found it odd that – despite keeping in touch with its Japanese roots – the hotel does not offer Japanese cuisine (except for the breakfast, where you can choose between a Western and Japanese menu). I feel that a Michelin starred, intimate sushi eatery would fit well within this exceptionally beautiful hotel.
- Yes, the hotel is extremely expensive but this is Japan – where holiday budgets come to die – and it’s an Aman hotel, the world’s most exclusive hotel brand. You should know that going into it. The most important thing is that when you can afford it, you will not be disappointed at all with the unique Japanese experience that awaits you. It’s a place you will never forget.
- Be prepared to become an Aman junkie as this will raise the bar for your future trips.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 10/10
- Pool: 10/10
- Resort grounds: not applicable
- Rooms: 10/10
- Food: 9/10
- Breakfast: 10/10
- Spa: 10/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Overall experience: exceptional: 9,5/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Aman Tokyo (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, early check-in, late check-out, daily breakfast, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- All rooms at Aman Tokyo are superb, so there’s no need to worry that you may end up in an inferior room type. The more expensive rooms come with views of the Imperial Gardens or the Tokyo Skytree, but since views are spectacular from all rooms, I am not sure whether it’s worth paying the extra money for that.
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The hot summer months begin with the rainy season in June to July. The warmest month is August, while the coolest is February. Snowfall is common in the city in January and February, while spring is delightful, with mild weather and sunny days
HOW TO GET THERE
Set in the Otemachi district, Aman Tokyo is within easy reach of Tokyo Haneda Airport (HND) and Narita International Airport (NRT):
- Located 60 km (37 mi) outside of central Tokyo, Narita Airport handles the majority of international flights. T. Check the Wikipedia page of Narita Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport.
- The more centrally located Haneda Airport handles all domestic flights, and an increasing number of international flights. Check the Wikipedia page of Haneda Airport for the lasted updates on airlines that have direct flights to this airport. It’s a 30 minute drive from Haneda to the hotel.
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Wow. This is the hotel I dream of. Amazing to see the interior through all of your photos. The negative space in the ceiling of the lobby is stunning, and the finishes throughout are so elegant. Love the simplicity and comfort of your room. Thanks for the tour. I’ll continue to dream.