*New Luxury Hotel
*New Hotel Spa Floor
*New Luxury Super Boutique Hotel ? Only NINE Rooms
*Budget Ryokan Nominated for an Architectural Institute of Japan Prize
New York, NY … April 21, 2005 … The Tokyo Hotel scene continues to boom with new buildings floors, facilities and designs.
Most recently, on April 11, 2005, Prince Hotels, which operates 73 properties in Japan (10 in Tokyo), opened its flagship luxury property, the Tokyo Park Tower. The hotel sits amidst the greenery of Shiba Park, just a five-minute walk to landmark Tokyo Tower, in the vicinity of Ginza and the Imperial Palace. The hotel’s 673 guest rooms ? 397 with balconies ? situated within 33 stories, offer 180 degree views of the city. The building was designed by Kenzo Tange (http://www.ktaweb.com/profile/en_index.html), who also designed the Akasaka Prince Hotel, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building and St. Mary’s Cathedral, Tokyo. The Prince hotel Tokyo Park Tower was his most recent accomplishment before his death on March 22, 2005 at age 91. (http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=peopleNews&storyID= 7969400) The hotel’s impressive facilities include a natural hot spring spa or “onsen” located in the state-of-the-art fitness center, which is also equipped with an aerobics studio and an 82 foot indoor swimming pool. The hotel sports several restaurants, but its “yakitori” or skewered grilled chicken specialist pub, Torishiba, serves only fresh, locally grown chicken, which is extremely rare for a hotel venue. Free in-room, high-speed Internet access is available, but guests must bring their own lap top computer. Special opening rates, available through December 30, 2005, start at 25,000 (about $240) for a twin room, single or double occupancy.
Address: 4-9-1, Shibakoen, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-8563, Japan
Tel. 011-81-3-5400-1111, Fax. 011-81-3-5400-1110 http://www.princejapan.com/TokyoPrinceHotelParkTower/
Brand new at the classic, 42-year-old Hotel Okura Tokyo is its Grand Comfort Floor ? Floors 9 & 10 ? which debuted on March 9, 2005. The main feature is the Relaxation Nature Court, with jet baths, meditation rooms, mist saunas, and refreshment bar, designed to soothe body, mind, and spirit. The Basic Relaxation Spa program is included in the room rates for guests staying on these floors. For hotel guests on other floors, the Relaxation Nature Court is available for a 12,600 (about $120) fee. In the Nature Program Zone, additional 20 minute session options, for an additional 4,200 ($40) include: reflexology, hand massage, aromatic shoulder rub, aromatic bath therapy, EX Facial Treatment, sea tonic body treatment, and stone therapy. In the Total Care Zone, many more skin, body, foot, hand, scalp and bath treatments, body wraps and bath therapy sessions are available for longer periods for varying additional surcharges. Rooms on the new floors are state-of-the art, with a multi-function shower, negative-ion air circulation, a liquid-crystal thin-panel television, specially-designed pillows, and a variety of Shiseido-brand personal amenities (except in the Imperial, Royal, and Presidential Suites, where Hermes-brand amenities are provided). Opening rates for the Grand Comfort guest rooms start at 42,000 (about $396) for a single room or 53,000 (about $500) for a double room/double occupancy.
Address: 2-10-4 Toranomon, Minato-ku, Tokyo 105-8416, Japan
Tel: 011-81-3-3582-0111, Fax: 011-81-3-3582-3707
The Claska ? a hybrid name from the Japanese “Kurasu,” meaning “to live” and the English word “classic” -- is an innovative boutique hotel designed by Japanese architect Shuwa Tei and Japanese designer/entrepreneur Sadahiro Nakamura, with graphics by British designer Steve Baker of Tomato. There are only NINE rooms, all with Japanese-style mosaic bathrooms and glass screens. Two rooms have bamboo-fenced decks. The hotel welcomes dogs and has its own, highly-rated doggie-trimming salon in the lobby. The lobby also sports a stylish neo-modern bar and bookshop, which the trendy staff transforms at night into a DJ-controlled dance space, booked solid for parties by big name designers such as Louis Vuitton and Versace. Opened in September 15, 2003. Double rooms start at $172.
Address: 1-3-18 Chuo-cho, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Tel: 011-81-3-3719-8121, Fax: 011-81-3-3719-8122, http://www.claska.com
The 110-page Japan Welcome Inn Guide (http://www.itcj.or.jp/indexwel.html), available from JNTO, provides information on budget accommodations all over Japan, but one particular “ryokan,” or Japanese inn, which opened in June 2003, is a bit unique. Andon Ryokan (an “andon” is a traditional-style Japanese lantern) gutted and then redesigned by Japanese architect Masayuki Irie, a professor in the graduate architectural engineering program at Waseda University, was nominated for a 2005 Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ) Prize. Although the design for each of its 24 rooms incorporates tatami matt flooring, other traditional features, such as wooden lattice and shoji screens are merely represented -- by dot point glazing, translucent glass, metal horizontal louvers, perforated metal and a combination of panel materials. Additionally, the interior lighting is muted to mimic the texture of the wooden part of a typical old house’s black luster and create the illusion of old cloth with a pattern of diagonal stripes. Rooms are non-smoking; all staff members speak English; there is no curfew, and every room is equipped with air conditioning, free cable television, DVD player ? with video rental permission, and broadband Internet access. Separate bathrooms for men and women are on each of the three guest room floors, and on the fourth and fifth floors there is a large, private Jacuzzi that can be booked, along with guest luggage storage, and the owners’ private residence. Self-serve laundry facilities are on premises, and credit cards area accepted. The ryokan’s location, just a five minute walk from the Minowa subway station on the Hibiya line in an old Brooklyn-like neighborhood, close to Ueno and Asakusa, gives tourists instant access to the traditional, old, undiscovered Japan of craft shops, temples and shrines. But, at the same time, you are only a 15-minute subway ride to the Ginza. Unlike most accommodation venues in Japan, the Andon charges per room and not person. A double or twin room costs 7,800 about $75, which is just around $37 per person!
Address: 2-34-10 Nihonzutsumi Taito, Tokyo, 111-0021 Japan
Tel: 011-81-3-3873-8611, Fax. 011-81-3873-8621, http://www.andon.co.jp