Hotel Review: Tatler Checks Into... Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
Sleek and modern, yet embracing its traditional Japanese roots, Andaz Tokyo was a delight to stay in
I confess: I have a longstanding love affair with Japan.
Ten years ago, as a student, I bought insanely discounted tickets and hopped onto a Tokyo-bound plane less than a week later. Ever since then, I've somehow found myself returning to the Land of the Rising Sun—whether for work or play—year after year.
The Japanese are known for their impeccable hospitality, but one common gripe is that the hotel rooms in Tokyo are usually so tiny. This time around, there was no such complaint from me, as I had the chance to stay at the beautiful Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills.
Opened in 2014, the 164-room hotel takes up the top six floors of 52-story Toranomon Hills. Though I usually stay in the Shibuya or Shinjuku district, it was a treat to explore a different side of the city, especially with the nearest metro station (Toranomon station on the Ginza line) just a mere five-minute walk away.
Unlike the neon lights that signal your welcome to the Golden Gai district in Shibuya, the hotel is located in the business district between Shimbashi and Roppongi, and is an oasis of calm and quiet.
The moment I got off the taxi, my luggage was quickly whisked away as I was directed to the main lobby on level 51. Washi-paper, lattice panels and sculptures lend a chic, grown-up feel to the place, and the expansive space featuring large communal wooden tables, known as the Andaz Lounge, was where I enjoyed a cup of Japanese green tea as staff quickly and efficiently checked me in.
Do Not Disturb
Starting at 50sqm, the entry-level Andaz King Room is by no means small. With its soothing Hokkaido walnut wood furnishings and sporting a bright green carpet, the room—the brainchild of Taiwanese-American designer Tony Chi—is the perfect mix between modern and traditional.
The bathroom—sleek and dressed in the deep, masculine tones—is almost as large as the room. A deep, circular bathtub take pride of place, and there's also a connecting walk-in wardrobe.
At levels 47 to 50, you get stunning views of the city, and the rooms overlook iconic landmarks like the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Bay and Tokyo Tower.
In typical Andaz hospitality, the minibar is packed with free snacks and drinks (though there will be charges incurred for alcohol). During my stay, mini eclairs were served alongside a warm welcome note.
Stepping into the AO Spa and Club, located on the 37th floor of the hotel, I almost feel as though I have been transported to a different place altogether. Work out at the gym, take a swim in the 20m indoor pool which overlooks the Imperial Palace, or get a massage and customise your very own scrub at the Blend Bar, where therapists use herbs, fruits, plants and spices to concoct their bespoke creations.
Not in the mood for rigourous activity? Soak in the unique carbonated-water bath, or enjoy the hydrotherapy pool, which has water jets powerful enough to soothe aching muscles.
Food & Beverage
There are a total of five dining establishments at Andaz Tokyo.
The Tavern - Grill & Lounge, where breakfast is served daily, is located on the same floor as the main lobby. Specialising in grilled meats, the restaurant boasts a “snow aged” beef dish which has been matured for 25 days in a natural yukimuro (snow) refrigerator.
For a quintessential Tokyo experience, head to the SUSHI on the 52nd floor. The intimate sushi bar only sits eight and serves up omakase-style courses. There's also a rooftop bar, pastry shop and BeBu, a burger joint, on the first floor of the building.
You'll also find Toranomon Koffee, by Omotesando Koffee's Eiichi Kunitomo, in the same building. Coffee addicts mourned when the original Omotesando Koffee, a quaint coffee joint that took residence in an old, traditional Japanese house, closed. Though there are no tatami mats to be found at this airy, open space, the taste of the coffee is just as I remembered, with the Ice Cappucino (with its signature large cocoa-dusted 'bubbles') hitting the spot.
One of the highlights during my stay was definitely the visit to the Rooftop Bar. The hotel had very kindly reserved a choice spot overlooking spectacular views of the city—a feat, considering how insanely popular the bar is with both tourists and locals. As it was still chilly in Tokyo, heated electric blankets were thoughtfully offered and gratefully accepted.
You'll find an impressive list of Japanese, American and Scottish whiskies here, and Cuban cigars to be enjoyed too. But if you're in the mood for something a little more fun, the bar is known for its innovative seasonal fruit and tea cocktails, like the delicious Tokyo Mule I tried, made with jasmine thyme vodka, yuzu juice, and homemade ginger beer.