There may be no more enviable real estate in Tokyo than the Imperial Palace and its vast gardens: centrally located, green space amid one of the largest cities on earth, views of the surrounding skyline. As of May 17, a luxury property right next door will begin offering the same.
Palace Hotel is reborn and is at once both a classic and a new construction. The original structure was demolished back in 2009, and though it was decided the hotel would be completely redesigned, various artifacts and design elements were kept for the new property. At the entry you'll find Aji stonework similar to the real palace's walls along the moat (the original stone work itself can also be seen just outside the lobby windows across the moat). Designs were chosen to bring the outside in and leans toward understated greens with floral prints in the public spaces.
The new Palace Hotel has 290 rooms, losing almost 100 in the renewal. That room loss translates to room space. And even the lowest category, the deluxe room, has a spacious 45 m² while the suites start at 75 m² and head up to 210.
Luxury comes easy with remote controlled curtains on the windows and blinds in the glassed-in bathroom. A 46-inch flat-screen TV is complemented by the waterproof LCD built into the bathroom mirror. Wi-Fi and wired internet are complimentary. Japanese touches abound with 300-thread count Imabari bed linens and bath towels from Ehime prefecture, as well as Maruyama Nori teas manufactured in Tokyo’s Tsukiji district.
Tokyo is not exactly famous for its balconies and, in fact, one can’t even open the windows at many properties. And why would you want to when the view is likely the highrise just next door? This is not the case at the Palace Hotel. 60 percent of the rooms have balconies, and the suites have spacious double balconies that open into the sitting room and the bedroom. Two upper-floor lounges likewise are open air. But there’s no concrete and steel at eye level; the view is of the gardens and the fountain park of the Imperial Palace as well as the moat surrounding it all. It is the greenest view in Tokyo, for sure.
The boardrooms and ballrooms of the Palace Hotel will surely play host to important celebrations and conferences, and with that comes a lot of guest traffic. In order to maintain what management calls a “grand residence” feel, the hotel has a separate entrance for functions and for the guest rooms and suites, as well as a dedicated bank of elevators to eliminate lengthy waits for a lift.
Onsite are ten food and beverage outlets including two Michelin-star hopefuls. The Amber Palace is a Chinese restaurant from the creators of another Sino-cuisine eatery that already has a couple stars from Michelin. Sushi Kanesaka, which also has the double stars, opened a second location of its famous Ginza restaurant here in the hotel. Crown, the revival of the original hotel's French restaurant, serves exclusively French wines, and within the entire hotel you can find upwards of 500 vintages from around the world.
As you walk from restaurant to restaurant, one thing becomes quite apparent: everything is small – not uncomfortable small, but personal. While there is an assortment of private dining rooms, even the general dining spaces feel intimate.
Evian Spa makes the Palace Hotel its first appearance in Japan and its third location worldwide. Along with a fitness center and indoor pool area – both with views – the Evian experience will leave guests feeling as good as this place looks.
Finally, to top off the high-class experience of this hotel is a staff that has been meticulously trained to offer the finest Japanese grace, ceremony and hospitality that makes visitors feel they are truly guests of a Palace.
For more information, please visit www.palacehoteltokyo.com