After an extensive ground-up gut renovation, the iconic Palace Hotel Tokyo in Marunouchi reopened in 2012 in the same place it always stood. But it’s not the same hotel as when it originally opened in 1961. Each of the Palace’s 290 guest rooms feature contemporary furniture, open-concept bathrooms and high-tech appliances. Balconies promise panoramic views of the city skyline with the Imperial Palace’s lush gardens and moats—located just half a mile east of the 23-story property.
The hotel’s modern interiors are courtesy of GA Design International, the London-based firm that oversaw renovations of Hotel Bel-Air and Cap Ferrat on the French Riviera. The Palace boasts Japan’s only Evian Spa and it’s a gorgeous and refined one (think: marble saunas, limestone floors and a sculptural origami installation). An indoor swimming pool and fitness center with state-of-the-art equipment rounds out the wellness offerings.
Each of the property’s 10 restaurants and bars are vibrant and varied. They include the Michelin-starred French boîte Crown, created in collaboration with Patrick Henriroux of Vienne, France, and Wadakura, a Japanese restaurant managed partly by Shinji Kanesaka of the famous Sushi Kanesaka in Ginza. Additionally, the all day dining restaurant Grand Kitchen, off the hotel’s lobby, offers a lavish breakfast buffet (which attracts tourists and power brokers alike) and features continental cuisine and a myriad of fresh squeezed juices. Outside on the adjacent terrace, the serene reflection of water on the ceiling of the hotel’s roof makes for a peaceful and reflective al fresco morning.
Below, the Palace hotel’s general manager Masaru Watanabe tells us about the most sought-after room on the property.
The most requested room:
Any and all that have balconies! More than 60 percent of the rooms have them.
What makes them so special:
Our guests seem to really love having a balcony all to themselves while in Tokyo because it’s as though they have their own private residence in the center of the city—and overlooking the magnificent Imperial Palace gardens and moats no less. Balconies tend to be a rarity in Tokyo, and the vista as seen from our vantage point is a tough one to top.
Rates start at $500 a night for our Deluxe rooms with balconies and $1,000 a night for our suites.
Your personal favorite:
Our Chiyoda Suite.
The interior reflects an exquisite, contemporary interpretation of Japanese design aesthetics. And within the suite itself, the distinctly Japanese-inspired en suite bathroom is a favorite of mine. It offers both a wet-style bath and shower area and is almost entirely enclosed in glass. Plus, the bathroom is outfitted with izu stone, a porous stone indigenous to Japan that turns from a light shade of grey to a deep green when it’s wet.
We’re not at liberty to disclose any details, but we consistently welcome globally recognizable titans of industry in fashion, finance, business, entertainment or politics.
Guests are usually quite surprised to learn that although the hotel is entirely modern, our history actually goes all the way back to 1961 when the first Palace Hotel first opened. Remnants of those days can still be found throughout the hotel, including the white Steinway on which Ray Charles once played and the bar counter from the original Royal Bar.