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Hotel Review: Conrad Tokyo, Japan

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Looming tall above the gleaming Shiodome district, with views of Tokyo’s sweeping bay on one side and the vibrant city on the other, this five-star beauty by the Hilton group is a rock n’ roll queen of luxury accommodation in Japan’s capital, says Jayne Robinson.

The luxury Tokyo hotel occupies the top section of a sleek skyscraper, surrounded by the glossy high-rises and weaving monorails of this relatively new business district. But don’t be fooled by its conservative exterior; because high above the suits and briefcases of the ground floor entrance sits a colourful playground of luxe accommodation and trendy design with a fun, rebellious edge that distinguishes the hotel from its more businesslike neighbours.

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Reached via an ear-popping elevator ride, the 28th-floor reception lobby makes one heck of a first impression. After being whooshed up from street level, we stepped out into a vast, light-flooded atrium where glass walls the height of a house displayed uninterrupted views across Tokyo Bay to the twinkling man-made island of Odaiba beyond.

So far, so gobsmacking. But happily for us, not intimidatingly so. Superlative service comes with the territory in Japan, but some upmarket hotels can all too easily feel snooty or overbearing in their approach. Thankfully this is not the case at the Conrad, and we found the welcome immediately warm and relaxed; highly professional yet refreshingly human.

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Accommodation

The 290 rooms and suites follow either a city or a garden theme in their design; depending on whether they overlook the neighbouring city skyscrapers, or the Hamarikyu Gardens and Tokyo Bay. Our 34th-floor pad fell into the latter camp, with a turquoise and blue colour scheme reflecting our front row view of the gardens and bay. A comfortable chaise longue extends the entire width of the window, providing a cosy perch from which to take in the busy scene below – and with the vista including the famous Tsukiji fish market, the iconic Rainbow Bridge and the futuristic, neon-lit architecture of Odaiba island, it’s not one to easily tire of.

Accommodation is all on the larger size, with even standard rooms offering an ample 48sq metres and three metre ceiling heights. Huge open bathrooms feature free-standing tubs, walk-in rain showers and two sinks – as well as a generous selection of cosmetics and the all important fluffy bathrobes and slippers.

As well as the 172 ‘standard’ rooms (if such a thing as ‘standard’ exists here), there’s a great selection of super-swish suites – including four deluxe suites and the jaw dropping royal suite which; reportedly a favourite of Justin Bieber and other visiting celebs.

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Tokyo’s finest spa

The luxury hotel‘s 29th-floor Mizuki Spa is one of Tokyo’s finest, so it’s well worth taking some time to enjoy. The spa boasts a full range of treatments and fitness equipment, but the jewel in its crown is a 25 metre swimming pool with panoramic views of the city, where you can swim through the sky amongst the surrounding skyscrapers. Something for tattooed guests to note however; due to long standing associations in Japan between body art and the mafia, you’ll be asked to cover up your ink with plasters – or may even be refused entry to the spa altogether if your tattoos are on the large side.

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Drinking and dining in the sky

Some of the city’s top restaurants and bars can be found in the Conrad Tokyo; all boasting the same dazzling, high-rise views. There’s plenty to choose from, including the glamourous, blue-lit Cantonese restaurant China Blue, exceptional Japanese cuisine at Kazahana and Michelin-starred restaurant Collage which serves up modern French cuisine in mid-century minimalist surroundings. For  those harbouring any Lost In Translation fantasies, the swanky 28th-storey piano bar offers a similar experience to the Park Hyatt’s overhyped New York bar made famous by Bill and Scarlett, but with arguably more interesting views and a more realistic price tag.

Conrad Tokyo, 105-7337, Tokyo, 1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku, Japan, conradhotels3.hilton.com

About

Assif is a luxury travel and design aficionado currently working as a BBC content producer. He holds an MA in journalism from the University of Leeds. He is partial to tea and cake - Yorkshire Tea Gold Blend please. His favourite trips include island hopping in the Seychelles, a mountain escape in Kashmir and getting lost in Hong Kong.

Assif is the current editor of Adelto Magazine. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @journolista.

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April 20, 2015 | Asia Japan Tokyo Travel Travel Reviews | View comments

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