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Review: “Lost in Translation” at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (Japan)

Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review.

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a lovely 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:

Today (August 17th, 2016): Review of  Park Hyatt Tokyo (Japan).
  • Location: Google Maps
  • Address: 3 Chome-7-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku, Tokyo 163-1055, Japan
  • Hotel website: Park Hyatt Tokyo
  • Tip: enjoy free VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso

From the moment a guest walks in and collects the room key on a sterling silver key ring, it is clear that a stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo will be an “over-the-top” experience. Perched on the top floors of a modern skyscraper, the famous Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel is an elegant oasis of space and calm overlooking Tokyo and the Kanto Plain all the way to Mount Fuji. The spacious rooms feature stylishly appointed interiors, with fine woodwork, hand-tufted carpets, and natural-fibre woven wall coverings. Sofia Coppola’s beautiful movie Lost in Translation (2003) was filmed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo.

Park Hyatt Tokyo features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Japan, the most exclusive hotels in Tokyo, and luxury hotels made famous by movies.

In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):

  • Pros & things I like
  • Cons & things to know
  • My verdict
  • Tips for future guests & save money
  • Best time to visit
  • How to get there

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • The Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel is located in the Shinjuku district, at short distance from Shinjuku station, said to be the world’s busiest train and subway station. The latter can be reached by 10-minute stroll or free shuttle ride, and is surrounded by Japan’s most famous entertainment district and nocturnal playground.
  • The hotel is located in the 235 m (771 ft) tall Shinjuku Park Tower. The modern skyscraper was completed in 1994 and designed by Kenzo Tange, one of the most significant architects of the 20th century, who loved to combine traditional Japanese styles with modernism.
  • Within the skyscraper, Park Hyatt Tokyo occupies the top floors (39 to 52), affording spectacular views over the fascinating metropolis in all directions. On an admittedly rare clear day in Tokyo, Mount Fuji can be observed at the horizon, adding a touch of magic to the stunning urban panoramas.
  • The Park Hyatt Tokyo has a lobby on the ground floor (with cake shop) from where elevators take you all the way the hotel’s social epicenter on the skyscraper’s 41th floor: a glass-roofed giant atrium with a small bamboo garden at its center, that is surrounded by several bars and lounges from where to enjoy the breathtaking views. From here, an elegant corridor takes guests along the hotel’s main restaurants and library to the small but tasteful reception area. A separate set of elevators goes up 14 stories from this pleasant space to the accommodations and leisure facilities.
  • The exceptional welcome ritual at the hotel will impress even the most discerning of guests. Upon arrival at the hotel, one of the doormen escorts guests all the way to the hotel’s atrium, where another member of the staff takes over for the stroll to the reception area. Here, another member of the team takes guests to their room, where check-in is done and the room’s sterling silver key ring is handed over.
  • The hotel’s stylishly appointed interiors feature earthy hues of deep green and brown set against ebony furnishings. The overall elegant, modern and airy design is offset by more traditional elements, such as the beautiful library near the reception area.
  • Park Hyatt features some of the largest guest rooms in the Japanese capital. During my visit, I stayed in a spacious Park Suite, which featured a beautiful entrance, separate living and dining room, a bedroom with twin beds (with plush down duvet and Egyptian cotton linens), and a large bathroom. The suite’s décor featured fine woodwork, hand-tufted carpets, natural-fibre woven wall coverings, and rare Hokkaido water elm panelling. The bathroom was fitted with a deep soaking tub, a separate shower, and a high-tech toilet. The suite had four large windows in the living room that framed the stunning views of Shinjuku and Mt. Fuji.
  • The excellent hotel spa, Club on the Park, is a serene oasis atop the bustling city, and offers sweeping views, generously appointed spaces, and exquisite pampering by dedicated spa and fitness specialists. Sunlight streaming through the glass atrium of the 47thfloor fills the high-performance facilities featuring a gym, a lovely 20-metre (66 ft) pool, and an aerobics studio.
  • The Park Hyatt Tokyo has three on-site restaurants, all of them offering breathtaking views of Tokyo. The New York Grill is one of Tokyo’s prime steakhouses and serves a wide selection of prime quality Japanese and imported beef, market fresh seafood and poultry roasted to perfection on the rotisserie. The hotel’s exquisite contemporary Japanese restaurant, Kozu, features Japanese cuisine uniquely presented on beautiful earthenware, porcelain and lacquerware created by noted Japanese craftsmen. The hotel’s third restaurant, Girandole, is a more modest affair and offers all day dining with focus on French brasserie-style and Asian dishes.
  • Each morning, Girandole restaurant is the decor of a hearty Western and Japanese style breakfast buffet. You can also order several items from an a la carte menu, such as eggs, waffles or pancakes. The restaurant’s stunning two-storey collage of 144 black and white photographs depicting European cafe life sets a distinctive ambiance.
  • One of the hotel’s strongest selling points are the several bars from where to take in the superb views, such as The Peak Lounge on the 41th floor around the bamboo garden or the stunning New York Bar, one of Tokyo’s most spectacular venues for live music, featuring jazz by top international artists nightly.
  • Park Hyatt Tokyo gained instant world fame in 2003 with the success of the Hollywood movie Lost in Translation, about half of which is set in the hotel. It’s an 2003 American romantic comedy-drama film written and directed by Sofia Coppola, and starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. The New York Bar, swimming pool, and rooms feature prominently in the movie.
  • The luxury hotel reflects the unparalleled elegance of the Park Hyatt brand, one of the most exclusive hotel brands in the world, ensuring a sophisticated and enriching experience for business and leisure travellers alike.
  • Wireless internet is complimentary for all guests.
  • The dedicated and knowledgable staff offers exceptional service, and speaks fluently English, so you won’t be lost in translation at all.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

There’s an obvious reason that the Park Hyatt Tokyo hotel is known to some as the “Lost in Translation” hotel. If you have seen the movie, then you know that a spectacular experience awaits you at this iconic property. Yet, it’s not perfect, and this is what you need to know when considering a stay here:

  • The hotel’s interiors are showing their age. The reception and spa area, as well as the rooms, would benefit from a refurbishment, especially since a string of recently opened, ultra luxe hotels in Tokyo means stiff competition for the Park Hyatt.
  • It’s not a very convenient hotel for those who don’t like to walk, because of the giant size of the building and its somewhat confusing layout. From the ground floor, you need to take the elevator to lobby on 41st floor, from where it’s short walk to another set of elevators that take you to the room.
  • While still excellent and of high quality, the breakfast buffet is a little underwhelming due to its limited offerings and soulless presentation in a somewhat dated decor. In that perspective, the Park Hyatt Tokyo should have a look at the brilliant breakfast buffet offered by its sister hotel in town, the Andaz Tokyo.
  • There’s not much of interest in terms of restaurants and shops in the hotel’s immediate surroundings. You need to walk for about 10 minutes for a more lively neighbourhood.

MY VERDICT
  • Location: 8/10
  • Design: 7/10
  • Pool: 8/10
  • Resort grounds: not applicable
  • Rooms: 9/10
  • Food: 9/10
  • Breakfast: 8/10
  • Spa: 9/10
  • Service: 9/10
  • Value for money: 8/10
  • Overall experience: very good: 8,3/10

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Park Hyatt (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).
  • Save money: make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee to discount the cheapest room rate by an additional 20%.
  • Elite members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, World of Hyatt, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complimentary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out  (when available), and free breakfast. Click here to read my review of the World of Hyatt program (with pros & cons).
  • 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

Park Hyatt 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 20 minute drive from Haneda to the hotel.

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3 Comments on Review: “Lost in Translation” at the Park Hyatt Tokyo (Japan)

  1. not specifically about this property, but…are you a Virtuoso agent yourself or could you recommend one?
    Also – if booking via Virtuoso agent, could Hyatt DSU be applied? could “points + cash” be used for booking?

    Like

    • No, I am not a (Virtuoso) travel agent myself. When I book my hotels via Virtuoso, I do so via Classic Travel (link via banner on top of this article) since they offer terrific service and because they have an online booking tool. Unfortunately, you cannot combines the benefits from Virtuoso with those of the Hyatt Gold Passport program, so you will have to choose. If you don’t stay at lot at Hyatt properties or don’t have elite status with them, then Virtuoso is a better option.

      Like

  2. Thank you – that’s very helpful!

    Like

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