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Hotel review: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (Japan)

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

A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a lovely holiday 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 31, 2016): Review of  Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (Japan).

Reflecting Tokyo’s contemporary urban culture, guests can expect a dazzling experience at this hotel. Located in a 52-story skyscraper, Andaz Tokyo offers 164 rooms, of which eight are specialty suites. Abundant natural materials are largely used for the décor, reflecting the traditional Japanese nature-oriented architectural style. From the tower’s apex on the topfloor, Andaz brings unprecedented rooftop flair to this city’s dining and entertainment scene, with breathtaking views from the rooftop bar and the city’s highest stand-alone wedding chapel.

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills features in my top 10 lists of the best luxury hotels in Japan and the most exclusive hotels in Tokyo, as well as in my list of the best new luxury hotels of 2014.

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

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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PROS & THINGS I LIKE
  • Andaz Tokyo in located in Toranomon, a lesser known but exciting and lively neighbourhood in the Japanese capital. Literally meaning “Tiger’s Gate,” Toranomon was the name of the gate of Edo Castle, and the Tokyo Metropolis is currently redeveloping this area to be ready for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. More than any other part of the city, Toranomon is building a bridge between Tokyo’s fascinating past and dynamic future.
  • The hotel occupies the top floors of a 52-story, brand new skyscraper, designated Toranomon Hills. The skyscraper’s highest point is 255 metres (837 feet), by which measure it is the tallest building in Tokyo. However, its building height without antenna is 247 metres (810 feet), by which measure it is the second-tallest building in Tokyo after the Midtown Tower (the latter houses the Ritz-Carlton hotel).
  • Situated between the Tokyo Tower and the Imperial Palace with its public gardens, the hotel’s location will appeal to both leisure and business travelers, as it offers easy access to Tokyo’s key locations and sites, including the Ginza shopping district, cultural attractions, and the city’s central financial area.
  • Located on the skyscraper’s top floors, the hotels affords knockout views from all rooms, the gym, spa and most of its restaurants. The views towards the Tokyo Tower (the world’s tallest steel structure) and the imperial gardens in particular is breathtaking, and on a rear clear day, Mount Fuji’s silhouette can be distinguished at the horizon. (which was the case during my stay). Few cities harbour so many skyscraper hotels as Tokyo, but IMHO, Andaz Tokyo has the best view of them all.
  • Most guest arrive at the property via the property’s covered car park on the ground floor, or via the discrete pedestrian entrance on the street side. From here, it’s just a few steps to the hotel’s small groundfloor lobby, where 4 elevators shuttle guests in no time to the magnificent, art-filled lobby on the 51st floor, where hosts with iPads take guest’s details in the lounge area over a glass of wine.
  • Designed by renowned interior designers Tony Chi of New York and the Tokyo-based Shinichiro Ogata, the hotel reflect Japan’s cultural emphasis on beauty and purity of form by using natural materials such as washi paper and walnut throughout each space. The Japanese penchant for authenticity of material and textures translates to simple yet sophisticated interiors where guests can both energize themselves and unwind at ease.
  • The hotel features 164 spacious and trendy guestrooms, including eight suites, which are located on floors 47-50 and can be reached by a separate set elevators from the lobby above. During my visit I stayed in a ‘Andaz Bay View Twin’ room, which came with an unparalleled view of the Tokyo Tower. Drawing upon Japanese tradition, the design of the guestroom incorporated natural materials and definitely felt authentically Japanese, albeit with a modern twist. Partitions allowed one to customize the space based on a personal style. The bathroom was equipped with a deep soaking tub, located in the innermost chamber, inspired by Japanese bath culture.
  • Similar to other Andaz hotels around the world, all non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks and locally inspired snacks are complimentary, as are local telephone calls and wireless Internet access, making a stay at Andaz Tokyo Toranoman Hills as seamless and barrier-free as possible.
  • The hotel offers a spacious and beautifully designed spa (designated AO Spa) on the 37th floor. Overlooking the Imperial Palace, the spa features a gorgeous, 20-meter (66 ft) swimming pool with unique carbonated bath and whirlpool bath, five spa treatment rooms, and a full range of most advanced fitness equipment.
  • The 52nd floor features a stand-alone chapel, the highest in Tokyo, offering breathtaking views of the city. It is designed with the same copper roofing and shingling of a traditional Shinto shrine and temple, offering a perfect venue for weddings.
  • The Andaz Tokyo offers a wide variety restaurants that suit everyone’s budget and taste. Adjacent to the hotel’s arrival on the 51st floor, the Andaz Tavern is the hotel’s main restaurant, serving refined European provincial cuisine, prepared with seasonal indigenous Japanese ingredients, under the restaurant’s soaring glass ceiling. The Sushi is an eight seat sushi counter resembling a dimly lit Japanese tea room, where master sushi chefs skillfully prepare an “omakase-style” menu for an authentic sushi experience. And then, there’s Bebu on the ground floor, a casual and cheap eatery focusing on signature burgers, tapas and grill menus.
  • The hotel features a superb breakfast buffet, one of the best I ever encountered at a hotel around the world. The abundant buffet is displayed around the open kitchen, and features Japanese- and Asian-style breakfast dishes (e.g. miso cod), in addition to the usual items such as smoked salmon, burgher muesli, cold meats, several cheeses, and yogurt parfaits. There’s also an egg station and a separate tabel with several fruits and juices.
  • Crowning the hotel on the 52nd floor, the rooftop bar creates the great mood and vibe for cocktails with indoor and semi open-air roof-protected terrace, offering spectacular views if the Tokyo skyline. Cocktails focus on seasonal fruits and teas.
  • Service at the hotel is excellent. The Andaz hosts are gracious and able to help with any guest wishes within the hotel, and are always ready with local insider tips.

CONS & THINGS TO KNOW

Andaz Tokyo Toronomon Hills is, simply put, an exquisite, superbly designed hotel. This is one of the most talked about hotels in Tokyo and it does not disappoint. Although Aman Tokyo is still my favorite residency in the Japanese capital, the Andaz Tokyo is your next best choice and a much more affordable property. I could not really fault the hotel, but you may want to know the following nonetheless:

  • Several juices were offered at breakfast, but – somewhat puzzling – freshly squeezed orange was not available during my stay.
  • The hotel enjoys a central location, although there’s no place of interest within walking distance.  The nearest JR station is at Shimbashi, about 10 minutes away, where you can find most restaurants and shopping options. Alternatively, you can take a cab or take the subway at nearest station – Toranomon – which is five-minute walk away.

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

TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
  • Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills (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%.
  • Platinum and Diamond members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out  (when available), and free breakfast (Hyatt Diamond). Click here to read my review of the Hyatt Gold Passport 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

Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills 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.

HOTEL EXTERIOR

HOTEL EXTERIOR

HOTEL EXTERIOR

HOTEL EXTERIOR

HOTEL EXTERIOR

HOTEL EXTERIOR

COVERED CAR PARK

COVERED CAR PARK

COVERED CAR PARK

COVERED CAR PARK

COVERED CAR PARK: ENTRANCE TO HOTEL

COVERED CAR PARK: ENTRANCE TO HOTEL

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

PEDESTRIAN ENTRANCE

PEDESTRIAN ENTRANCE

PEDESTRIAN ENTRANCE

PEDESTRIAN ENTRANCE

GROUNDFLOOR AREA

GROUNDFLOOR AREA

GROUNDFLOOR AREA

GROUNDFLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

GROUND FLOOR AREA: ELEVATORS

ELEVATORS TO MAIN LOBBY

ELEVATORS TO MAIN LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY GALLERY

LOBBY GALLERY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY LOUNGE

LOBBY: ELEVATORS TO GUEST ROOMS

LOBBY: ELEVATORS TO GUEST ROOMS

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

GUEST ROOM FLOOR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: ENTRANCE

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: COMPLIMENTARY MINIBAR

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: BATHROOM

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW (AT SUNSET)

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW (AT SUNSET)

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW AT SUNSET

ANDAZ BAY VIEW TWIN ROOM: VIEW AT SUNSET

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: ENTRANCE

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL (VIEW)

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL (VIEW)

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: SWIMMING POOL

AO SPA: GYM

AO SPA: GYM

BEBU RESTAURANT

BEBU RESTAURANT

BEBU RESTAURANT

BEBU RESTAURANT

BEBU RESTAURANT

BEBU RESTAURANT

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

ANDAZ LOUNGE & BAR

PASTRY SHOP

PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

THE PASTRY SHOP

ROOFTOP BAR

ROOFTOP BAR

ROOFTOP BAR

ROOFTOP BAR

ROOFTOP BAR

ROOFTOP BAR

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: BREAKFAST

ANDAZ TAVERN: VIEW

ANDAZ TAVERN: VIEW

ANDAZ TAVERN: VIEW

ANDAZ TAVERN: VIEW

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER

ANDAZ TAVERN: DINNER


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