Being the first and only Shangri-la property in Japan and often cited as one of the best hotels in Tokyo, Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo encapsulates the world-renowned service and ambiance which has by now become a trademark of the hotel chain. Add to this the strong service culture of the Japanese, exhibiting omotenashi and serving with pride wherever they go and you’ve got the perfect formula for a well-pampered experience should you choose to make it your place of accommodation in Tokyo. I had the opportunity to witness the delights of this luxury 5 star hotel in Tokyo when they hosted me for a night during my recent trip to Japan. Like all my other stays in Shangri-la properties, it was superb.
time to check-in!
Location of Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo
The hotel is very centrally located. It occupies the top 11 floors of the 37-floor Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building and is within walking distance from the hub that is Tokyo Station. This station serves as a terminal, and a main conduit to the maze that is Tokyo’s metro system. The world-famous bullet trains or shinkansen also call their Tokyo base here, with places such as Kyoto being just over 2 hours away. Finding the hotel was quite simple but they offer a free “meet and greet” service for those who don’t want to waste time locating the property.
Given the very convenient location, the hotel also offers short excursions to places reachable by train. This include day trips to Kyoto and relaxing getaways to Hakone and Atami. It’s quite a good proposition to have all arrangements made especially for a country like Japan where few people can speak English.
well-appointed interiors of the hotel with chandeliers made into the shape of gingko leaves and paintings sourced from all over world
True to a luxury hotel, many of the decor and elements in the interior were crafted by world-renowned artists and designers. There are several unique art pieces lining the corridors and even the individual rooms of the hotel. Japanese elements were also incorporated in the design. For instance, the pieces of the grand chandelier were made into the shape of gingko leaves, the symbol of Tokyo. I personally don’t fixate myself with such minute details but certainly, there’s no denying on how these add to the overall ambiance.
shangri-la tokyo’s interpretation of the chain’s classic lobby bar
I went up to the 28th floor in order to check-in at the reception. What this Shangri-la lacks in terms of a grand lobby, it more than makes up for in terms of a superb view of the dazzling Tokyo skyline. Like in Shangri-la properties elsewhere, I was escorted by guest relations to my room in order to complete check-in formalities.
the deluxe room – their bed is one of the best i’ve slept on
First expression I had as I entered the room was just – wow! I knew that 5-star hotels in Tokyo were of relatively higher standard overall given the keen eye for detail that’s ingrained in Japanese culture, but the deluxe room that I stayed in was certainly very well-appointed. The earthly colors complimented the overall theme very well. It also made for a soothing sight to come home to after a tiring day outside. At 50 sqm, the room was spacious as well considering this is Tokyo, where housing space is notoriously cramped.
a nice sofa to enjoy the view outside
washbasin area which separates the toilet from the bath
the deluxe room, as seen from the bath area
Having been around for 4 years, the hotel room design can be best described as opulent and at the same time modern with see-through glass panels from the bath area. There is also a separation between the bath, washbasin and toilet areas, with these deemed as “sub-rooms” effectively. It’s a layout that I have seen in many of the newer hotels. While others employ this concept as a space-saving measure, Shangri-la Tokyo goes all out by giving generous space for the washing and bath areas. As a proportion of total room size, it certainly seems bigger than in other hotels.
As is my experience for Shangri-la hotels in general, a copious amount of amenities are provided. There’s a fine selection of fine teas and coffee, as well as a Japanese-style brewing pot. The minibar also comes well-stocked. For the case of Shangri-la Tokyo, the “bar” in the name is really deserving due to the wide selection of alcoholic drinks readily available in-room.
I was able to have a quick glimpse at their Executive Suite as well. At 120 square meters, it is over double the size of my deluxe room. It comes with a separate living cum dining area, done in an oriental style. As a higher class room, the toiletries used here are the Bulgari-branded ones.
Horizon Club Lounge
horizon club lounge of shangri-la hotel tokyo
I was given access to the Horizon Club Lounge during my stay at Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo. Open all day, it was practically empty during the afternoon that I visited. It was still a bit early for the scheduled cocktails which begin at about 5:30PM but I was warmly greeted by the staff who asked me what I wanted to drink. Judging from the display case, they have a great selection here of both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks which are served upon request for guests with Horizon Club Lounge access. Sake, wine, grapefruit juice… you name it.
well-equipped gym with many exercise bikes and machines
Unfortunately, due to my short stay, I wasn’t able to use any of the hotel facilities. But I dropped by to have a look. The health center, which is comprised of an indoor pool and a gym, shows an effective use of the relatively modest space that the hotel has. All the main machines are there in the gym to enable guests to have their workouts while the pool is shaped appropriately for those who need to do their laps as well as guests who just want to lounge around.
Shangri-la Tokyo keeps the branding of their spa service consistent with others in the chain, with the presence of Chi Spa. I did not avail of any of their services this time but I noticed a jacuzzi in the private rooms.
the selection at the breakfast buffer table
My stay in Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo came with breakfast. Since the property doesn’t have an in-house all-day dining concept, the breakfast service is actually held in the Italian restaurant, Piacere. They use a hybrid concept here, with a semi-buffet / semi-ala carte system that brings guests the best of both worlds. For the ala carte portion I chose the Japanese traditional breakfast and a plate of my traditional favorite blueberry pancakes.
traditional japanese breakfast – grilled fish fillet, picked vegetables and stewed appetizers
Although I loved the western offerings at the buffet table, what really sets this breakfast apart in my opinion was the traditional Japanese set which consisted of 6 dishes on a bento box and a bowl of multi-grain rice. The food presented here may seem a bit strange to foreigners at first (especially to those who don’t come from East Asia) but looking closely, it’s a good representation of the various food groups, with grains, meat, eggs and vegetables all represented. The presentation was quite simple but the food was sumptuous. As they say, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. I’m glad I did.
piacere, where breakfast is served. this italian restaurant is one of the two fine-dining concepts in the hotel, the other being nadaman, a japanese restaurant
This is the third Shangri-la property I have stayed in so far and I can say that the service and many amenities are quite consistent. In this regard, my stay in Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo was nothing short of great. The strong Japanese culture also made for a great proposition which the hotel wisely choose to accentuate. If this hotel was evaluated based on location, ambiance, food, comfort and cleanliness, it would have ranked superbly. The hotel’s physical condition is certainly very well-maintained and provides guests a feeling of luxury. But above that, the service was also exceptional. The staff I interacted with spoke English very well – even with western accents at that – so there’s certainly nothing that will get lost in translation here. I also noted a strong motivation to serve by the staff – constantly making sure that guest needs are met. A rough gauge I tend to use in judging a hotel stay is to base on my general disposition during check-out. For my stay here, I was definitely leaving with a heavy heart at the very short stay I had. I just wasn’t prepared to leave and if it were not for my flight back to Singapore later that morning, I would have probably kept myself from leaving!
Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo offers a myriad of packages for guests wishing to experience their brand of hospitality. These range from great deals to those who book in advance to short breaks complete with cycling tours around Tokyo that start from 68,000 yen and above.
Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo
Address: Marunouchi Trust Tower Main, 1-8-3 Marunouchi Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 100-8283, Japan
Tel: +81 3 6739 7888
Fax: +81 3 6739 7889