Peninsula Tokyo - Visit Report

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  1. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    After my perfect stay at the FS-HKG, and some intermediate stops in Seoul and Taipei, I ended up in Tokyo for the last point on my roadshow.

    I had been considering between the Pen, the FS-Marunouchi and the new Palace Hotel as places to stay in Tokyo. After plenty of constructive input from people in FT's Luxury Hotel forum, I selected the Tokyo Peninsula for my hotel.

    Wow. This was a good call.

    Overview: A strong in-city business hotel
    Strengths: Service, location, rooms
    Drawbacks: Lobby configuration? (very minor point)

    The full text of my report is below. The report with full pictures is linked here.

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    Our car’s arrival from Haneda, well after 11pm, was greeted by four bellman waiting in front of the hotel. Amongst the team, they removed our luggage, stood ready to spin the hotel’s front door for us and brought the bags to the front desk.

    Immediately upon entering the hotel, you find yourself directly in the middle of the lobby restaurant. As we were arriving fairly late, the restaurant was closed (and being set for breakfast). Somehow, it wasn’t quite the entry that I had anticipated. The front desk was on the far side of the restaurant, in an alcove off to the left.

    Once I got over not liking entering through a restaurant, I’m pleased to say every other aspect of my stay was absolutely perfect (and indeed, the lobby restaurant configuration really wasn’t that big of an issue!).

    The check-in process was quick and efficient. I was left to find my own way to my room; no bellman escorted me.

    While my room was in the lowest room category (a Superior Room), I can safely say that this was the most thoughtfully designed, comfortable and detail-oriented lead-in category hotel room that I’d even been in. (I was required to book via my corporate travel agent, which precluded participating in the FHR program, or other similar programs.) I wonder what extra little touches would have been in higher room categories.

    Entry to the room was through a reasonably wide ten-foot corridor. To the left was the bathroom and to the right, a walk in closet of perhaps 80 square feet.

    The bedroom itself was quite large, with the bed to the right, and a comfortable sitting area (with sofa), a small dining table and a small desk, all to the left.

    The room was furnished with a flat screen television, a full espresso/cappuccino maker (including a milk steamer) and many other little goodies. Having a dining table, albeit small, was a nice touch for a lead-in room.

    Amongst the controls available in the room (beyond fully lighting, temperature and electronic curtain control) was a switch that let you regulate the humidity of the room.

    A small origami figure was waiting for me. I brought this home for my son, who is quite a fan of origami.

    Separating the entry corridor from the main room was a large, solid wood door. This was a very tasteful component of the room’s décor.

    The bathroom was quite large, and featured two vanities, a large soaking tub, a separate shower stall and a frosted glass toilet room. Beyond the water controls, there was a control panel with 15 buttons next to the tub (servicing the television, calling for Housekeeping, etc).

    The closet was also a showpiece. It had a full sitting area, and plenty hanging space and drawer space.

    The closet featured one of the Peninsula’s trademark Valet Boxes. These boxes provide a spot to leave things for a valet without having to leave them hanging on your door knob or having him/her come into your room. These boxes – quite rare in hotels these days – are a very thoughtful touch. A button can be pressed to summon the valet, and a small light is turned on when your items are returned. I sent a suit out for pressing, as well as had my shoes shined, both via the valet box. The shoes were returned quickly, and the suit returned exactly at the requested hour in the morning.

    I arranged to have my shoes shined; the service was very quick and the shine was very good.

    The closet featured plenty of thoughtful electronic accessories as well – including a nails dryer.

    In the morning, I went for a run and a swim. Before I headed out for the run, I ordered breakfast. I asked for it exactly in one hour.

    My run was very pleasant – I ran along the Imperial Palace’s moat to beyond the new Palace hotel.

    I stopped by the pool for a quick post-run swim. I was greeted by an attendant, who quickly helped me get situated. The hotel’s pool complex was very nice – there was a cool pool, suitable for laps, a whirlpool (which was warm, but not unduly hot) as well as an outdoor sitting area. This proved a nice spot to relax for a few minutes after the workout.

    The pool area locker room was well appointed, and clearly little-used.

    I returned to my room, just as breakfast was arriving (exactly one hour after I called). Although not extraordinary, the breakfast was of very good quality, and very tasty. The waiter was very quick; he had the meal set on my in-room table in a remarkably brief period of time.

    Check-out was also without issue. My bill was correct, and the front desk staff was both friendly and efficient. While I was checking out, a bellman came and took my bags out to my waiting car. When I arrived at the car, the boot was open and ready for inspection (to make sure the bags were there).

    Beyond the Lobby Restaurant, the Peninsula also has Hei Fung Terrace (Cantonese), where tables are “well-spaced for confidential business” and Peter (French), located on a very high floor in the hotel. There is also a “view” bar adjacent to Peter atop the hotel. My dining was limited to room service, which was quite good; alas, I didn’t get to dine at any of the hotel restaurants. Their menus look to be well put together – but perhaps not at the three-star level at the Four Seasons – Hong Kong.

    * * * * *

    No one does service like the Japanese. Even measured against that high bar, the service experience at the Peninsula was wonderful. I’d have absolutely no hesitation to return to this hotel in the future. The other top hotels I’ve been to in Tokyo include the Mandarin and the FS Chinzan-so. I’ve also stayed at the Park Hyatt, Imperial and Okura – amongst these five hotels, the Peninsula is in a league of its own. I’m curious about the FS Marunouchi, but excluding that property, I feel comfortable calling the Peninsula the top hotel in Tokyo – and one of the top business hotels in the world.

    If you can make the math of staying at the Peninsula work for you (or, ideally, your employer[​IMG]), you simply will not go wrong here.

    Details
    Peninsula Tokyo
    1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku
    Tokyo, 100-0006 Japan
    +81 3 6270 2888
    http://www.peninsula.com/Tokyo/en/de...spx#/Tokyo/en/
     
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  2. marcwint55

    marcwint55 Gold Member

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    thanks for the report. We were at the Park Hyatt a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it. I saw the outside of the Peninsula and it looked like a nice hotel, but the suite upgrade at Park Hyatt was too good to give up.
     
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  3. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    For points travelers (or coupon upgraders), the Ritz or Park Hyatt are indeed way to go.
     
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  4. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Awesome review, thank you for sharing. What was the rate?
     
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  5. NYBanker
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    Thanks for the kind words.

    $758 all in. This included easily $50 for room service breakfast and $50 for some misc laundry.
     
  6. tommy777
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    tommy777 Co-founder

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    Hmmm. That's actually not that bad. I've kind of gotten used to the Park Hyatt Tokyo which is about 490 all in, that guaranteed Diamond suite upgrade on paid stays is such a good value, but I'll definitely try the Peninsula next time (january) based on this review. I do agree that the location of the Peninsula is a lot better than the PH

    Thank you again for the recommendation
     

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