Recap of my Tokyo trip, and review of Park Hotel Tokyo
To make my trip to Japan with my boyfriend last December more interesting, I had planned for an element of ‘roughing it’, to recreate some of my fondest memories of travelling the country as a poor university student years ago. We spent our first days nomadically, travelling from town to town, our luggage stored in train station coin lockers, and our nights tided over in dingy (but creative) love hotels, 24-hour manga cafes and one tiny family run inn in the mountains. As you can imagine, the moment of walking into the luxe modern Park Hotel Tokyo lobby felt somewhat like wayward travellers coming in from the wild. That first impression set the tone of what was to be a truly flawless luxury hotel experience.
Modern luxe design
Being a member of Design Hotels necessitates a certain level of quality in design and luxury, which Park Hotel Tokyo effortlessly achieves. Its modern and plush design exudes comfort and elegance, and those quintessential Japanese beauty ideals of space and simplicity. The towering lobby atrium, which starts on the 25th floor of the iconic three-faceted Shidome Media Tower, reaches to the 34th floor, the expansive windows foreshadowing in panorama, the views of Tokyo Tower that Park Hotel Tokyo is famous for. Sculptural installations and artworks are integrated throughout the hotel’s design. It’s an introduction to the hotel’s identity, which is deeply connected with the art world. What makes Park Hotel Tokyo a truly unique hotel in Tokyo is its concept of ‘Artists Rooms’. These came about as the hotel’s version of ‘Artist in Residence’, where various Japanese artists were invited to stay at the hotel, and utilise the guest rooms as blank canvases to convey their experience of the hotel through unique murals.
Views of Tokyo Tower
Our room was the City Twin room, which was beautifully outfitted and surprisingly spacious for a boutique hotel in the middle of the city. However, it’s the breathtaking Tokyo Tower view that really makes Park Hotel Tokyo special. When we arrived in the early evening, our large 34th floor window framed a stunning multi-coloured light show. In the morning, the sun rising up across the city revealed Mount Fuji, peeking out in the horizon.
At home in luxury
We were met with a genuine warmth by the English speaking hotel staff. It’s simply that attention to every detail, from the restaurant manager remembering how we liked our coffee, to the reception staff obliging with our every unrully request, like storing our entire haul of Tokyo shopping (including a suitcase filled with Lego) and transferring it to our next hotel – Park Hotel Tokyo’s sister hotel, Shiba Park Hotel – where, upon arriving there, we found all of our things in the room waiting for us, neatly stacked in the closet.
Ideally located in the middle of Tokyo
In Tokyo it is enormously important to have a base of operation that is centrally located. Equally important is its proximity to a train station. Tokyo’s traffic is an absolute nightmare, so you are guaranteed to take twice as long to get somewhere by bus, and spend five times as much by Taxi. Not only is Park Hotel Tokyo right in the middle of Tokyo, in Shidome City, but it is directly connected to the Shidome subway station on the Toei Oedo subway line, which you can take to various key Tokyo areas. It is also around 5 minutes walk away from JR Shimbashi station, and the Ginza and Toei Asakusa line subway stations. We found going to the usual tourist haunts like Asakusa, Shinjuku and Harajuku extremely convenient, and in as little as 10 minutes of travel time – which in a place like Tokyo is extremely fast.
Also worth knowing
The basement of the hotel houses a 24-hour convenience store, which sells all the essentials, from phone chargers to hot food, which we fully utilised to keep our midnight snacks fully stocked. You can also walk directly from the basement of Park Hotel Tokyo to the JR Shimbashi station via the vast underground walkway which connect every building in the Shidome Sio-Site area.
The neighbourhood of Park Hotel Tokyo is also worth exploring. Walking along the above ground walkways that span many of Shidome’s brand new skyscrapers, we accidentally came across the famous Hayao Miyazaki clock at Nippon TV Tower, which performs an elaborate animation reminiscent of the film ‘Howel’s Moving Castle’ – Miyazaki is the director of many much loved Japanese animated films such as ‘Spirited Away’ and ‘My Neighbour Tottoro’. Also in walking distance from Park Hotel Tokyo is Caretta Shidome, Shidome City Centre and Shidome Italian Town. Here’s a great guide on what to do in Shidome.
I am sentimental about the idea of a ragtag travel experience like those I had in my younger days. However, in my current stage of life, coming along in my professional career, and having the resources to forego forever those cramped (albeit lively) backpacker hostel stays, I am increasingly partial to a more elegant way to travel the world. But with that is also a scepticism that the quality of a hotel may not correlate with its per-night rate, or the glossiness of their interior design. Our experience at Park Hotel Tokyo was absolutely perfect, and met every expectation of a luxury hotel. It has well and truly cemented my preference for spending a little more to travel in style and comfort.
Rates start from approximately $240 per night.