Hoshinoya Tokyo


Zen calm and luxury in the manic metropolis

Give me the lowdown: Tokyo is a cacophonous whirlwind and this is the antidote. Conceived as 14 contemporary ryokans (Japanese-style inns) stacked on top of each other, Hoshinoya Tokyo is smack in the middle of the skyscraping finance district, but the second you step inside and the giant cypress doors slide shut behind you, you’ll forget that.  

What’s the vibe? Tatami floors, futon beds and shoes off at the entrance, please. The interior, by local star architect Rie Azuma, pairs classic ryokan taste – bamboo, cedar, hand-plastered walls – with some modern tech flourishes such as glass bathroom walls that turn opaque at the touch of a button. In the morning, sunlight shines through the latticework on the tower’s exterior, casting traditional Japanese patterns on the tatami.

What’s there to do? First and foremost: bathe. The Hoshinoya’s most striking amenity is a black-and-gold rooftop bath with natural hot spring water drawn from 1,500 meters below the premises.  Soaring 15-meter walls frame a square of the open Tokyo sky, rain, shine or snow.  Early risers can also take rooftop ken-jutsu lessons at dawn, complete with a view across Tokyo; later risers can join the tea ceremony at 10am.

Eating and drinking: Guests can dine in their rooms or down in the stunning basement, where chef Ryosuke Oka creates intensely seasonal multi-course omakase meals using Japanese ingredients and French techniques. There is no bar, and the minibars in the room are deliberately small to encourage mingling in the communal lounges — each one accessible only by guests on each six-room floor. There, staff in traditional attire serve tea and seasonal sweets.

Whos behind it? Hoshino Resorts operates dozens of properties throughout Japan, as well as in Taiwan, Bali and Guam. The Hoshinoya name is reserved for their crown-jewel resorts, with this 2016 opening being their first in a city centre.

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