The Peninsula Tokyo
What We Love
- Prime location, steps from the palace grounds and the famed Ginza shopping district
- Spacious rooms would be luxurious anywhere; they’re unimaginably so in space-starved Tokyo
- Top-flight English-speaking staff, from concierges to room service, valets to spa attendants
- Tech-friendly rooms have push-button everything and free WiFi
What To Know
- Mostly business travelers (the financial district is nearby) and sophisticated leisure travelers
- The Lobby Restaurant is just that, bisected by a corridor connecting the front desk to the valet
- READ MORE: 72 Hours in Tokyo
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The Peninsula brings the flair of its Hong Kong origins to the Japanese capital. Even before you reach the front desk you’re greeted by cheery bell staff wearing pillbox hats and white uniforms with Chinese collars, while an enormous bowl-shaped chandelier looms over the multistory lobby and an improbably balanced round sculpture made of nubby bamboo grabs your eye. Windows from elevator lobbies on each floor look out into an art piece called The Void, swirls of light in the darkness that run the height of the building’s interior.
Bed & Bath
Rooms are spacious and tech-forward. Massive slabs of wood form sliding doors, ceilings echo the thatch of a rustic tea house, capacious walk-in closets have built-in nail dryers, vanity counters, plenty of drawer and hanger space, and a valet cabinet where you leave your shoes for polishing (they magically reappear in a supple drawstring bag). Bedside panels control everything from the curtains to the temperature. Textured granite stone work in the bathrooms ensconces two sinks, a soaking tub and a shower.
Guests will be particularly impressed by the well-equipped gym, spa, sauna and pool — the pool deck has views of the parks across the street. Take the express elevator to Peter, the top-floor restaurant and bar, which has views across the Imperial Palace gardens, as well as perfect steaks, seafood and salads. Common areas get plenty of business visitors, but leisure travelers looking for quiet sophistication will be happy here too. And the concierges are among the best in a town known for discerning customers.
In the Area
Star attractions just steps away include the stark, minimalist gardens of the Imperial Palace, and the Ginza district, where large department stores such as Mitsukoshi tempt travelers (at least visit the basement food floors). Side streets filled with tiny yet chic galleries and boutiques beg for exploration, while Sukiyabashi Jiro, the Michelin-starred sushi bar featured in the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, sits in a nearby subway station. Tokyo’s premier venue for kabuki, the Kabuki-za Theater, reopened in April 2013 after a three-year renovation; rent the English-language earphone translation to catch the action. Or see Tokyo commerce and food at their busiest, at the Tsukiji Fish Market.
How to Get There
Expensive, but really a memorable experience. The flowers in the lobby are truly works of art.
Extremely helpful front desk staff.
Very nice room and loved the light on the stone wall over the tub. Gorgeous.
Ate in the lobby for breakfast multiple times. I only wish I could dine there more often. Great
flavors, beautiful presentation.
Great location for exploring the Imperial Palace and the Ginza.
Very nice indoor pool that didn't even have the characteristic unpleasant odor of an indoor pool.
Truly a top flight hotel
The last 4 nights of a 16 day Japan trip. Well worth the cost. Service was 1st rate. Location was in the heart of Ginza. Rooms were impeccably clean and very spacious.
Walk-in closets, large bathroom and incredible views. Staff could not be any more helpful. Truly 5 Star hotel.
We stayed in the hotel around thanksgiving time last year. I still feel bad about their services and decide I need to express my dissatisfaction. I highly suggest anyone plans to utilize hotel concierge services stay away from this hotel.
The room is spacious and new, which are as expected for the price they charge. The lobby is small and overcrowded. They turn both sides of the small lobby into a restaurant, leaving only a narrow aisle leading to the front desk with limited seats for waiting.
The concierge service is atrocious. They are irresponsive and make mistakes (multiple of them). Some due to disorganization from the top, some due to carelessness, some due to who knows what funny reasons I fail to think of out of normal reasoning.
1) they are irresponsive. We emailed to request reservation of restaurants. It took them a whole three days to respond, only acknowledging the email had been received without any warm greetings or action plan. I regret not canceling despite this red flag!
2) they are disorganized. we had to make international phone calls to remind them to take action on a timely manner ( I don’t know who is supposed to assist whom). To their credit, they usually act immediately after the phone call. But whoever followed up obviously got totally disconnected with the last person handling the matter. They seemed to have no record of previous communications. They asked the same questions we’d answered before, they double booked restaurants already booked, etc.
3) they made us pay for their mistakes! one restaurant on our list is quite pricy and upon reservation no cancellation is allowed. So we were very careful and highlight and bold counter seats only! If counters not ok we will not reserve! And Guess what, they booked a private room for us, which offered a totally different (and much less enjoyable) experience!
4) they are just too thoughtful... one restaurant on our list is an eel specialist. We emphasized that we would order natural wild caught eel. To our surprise, when we got to the restaurant we were served with farmed eel. The restaurant called the hotel to ask if something was wrong. Yes, it turned out they made a mistake. And guess what they told us? They ordered farmed eel for us for budget control. Ha, when and where did we ever mention budget?? If they were really so thoughtful and considerate, why not just offer to compensate us for the $$$ we paid for the their mistake in 3)?
5) they are not too thoughtful. One restaurant on our list we got the contact information from the chef. So we asked them not call until a certain time because we don’t want to appear abusing the relationship. Ha, they just called, not once but twice, way ahead of time. Nice job and proactive.
6) maybe they just have no clue? One restaurant on our list we have been to many times. The hotel we usually stayed at would point that out to the restaurant, so we were always able to reserve a good time slot. But peninsula just totally ignored this background we told them, and consequently was able to only reserved a very undesirable time for us. I suspect they ignored the background because they didn’t know it could help reservation. If this is the case, it just tells how unprofessional they are. If not, it only means they are either careless to detail, or careless of their customers, or both.
7) with all the disappointments, they at least offered a joke for us to laugh at... one restaurant on our list happened to have peninsula on their blacklist (we didn’t know when we made the list). Haha, of course they didn’t tell us about that. They just said they strongly discourage us to reserve for the restaurant because of unpleasant experiences other customers had before. Hmm.
You know you love a hotel when all you can think about is how to get back there. We only had two nights at this location but it was enough to make an outstanding impression. We had a standard room with a city view; it was huge compared to normal hotel rooms and with every amenity you can think of (and even some I had never experienced before, such as the valet box and nail dryer). Service was impeccable from the doormen to the bellhops, the front desk to the concierge. There were so many refined touches. We did two of the Peninsula Academy adventures and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. Our drivers stayed with us the whole time and became an integral part of the experience. Getting a city tour in the bespoke Mini Coopers was outstanding! I can't recommend the Academy enough and hope there are more experiences available when we return. A shout-out also to the door staff and concierge; we wanted to go someplace recommended by one of the drivers but didn't realize we needed advance reservations until the gentleman escorting us to the taxi asked us if we had tickets. We didn't, but the concierge was able to get us into an alternate location and we were off. That saved us a lot of disappointment if we had shown up with our young daughter and not been able to get in. Dining was also excellent; we ate breakfast in the lobby restaurant when we arrived and subsequently had room service. Food arrived quickly, was always freshly prepared, and the table set up beautifully. Location was also great; easy walking distance to Ginza, shopping, and restaurants. What else can I say other than we can't wait to return and are already planning a much longer stay next time. P.S. We also took the green Phantom Rolls Royce out - what a fun and unique experience! If you like exceptional cars, be sure to check out the vintage Rolls parked out front.
Occasionally one gets a situation where high expectations are met by an equally high reality. For us it was The Peninsula Tokyo. We had stayed at the The Peninsula Hong Kong a couple of years ago which set the bar high but we had never been to Tokyo before so there was the question of location versus other options. The Peninsula Tokyo scored exceptional high on the that, too.
To start with location, The Peninsula is in Hibiya which is on the other side of the tracks from the famed Ginza shopping district but just opposite Hibiya Park and the Imperial Gardens. That is all properly swank. The interesting bit is Yarukucho (which you could argue is the true location of the hotel). This is the bit between the hotel and the Japan Rail and Shinkansen train tracks. This area is more down market but in the best possible way. The arches under the tracks are packed with local restaurants including a German beer garden and a couple of surprisingly good Italian joints.
What this also means is the entire Tokyo subway and rail systems are right there. For transportation within Tokyo and beyond, the Peninsula is unbeatable.
The Peninsula Tokyo is built on a surprisingly small parcel of land but they get a lot of goodness into it. Our room was a standard king but it included a large closet and dressing room to the right as you’d walk in and large bathroom with individual his and hers vanities, a soaker tub and a shower opposite that. The room is big enough to have a sitting area in addition to the bed. And - as a personal first - the room included a combo printer, scanner, fax machine which we did actually use.
The hotel has a spa and indoor salt-water infinity pool. The pool is configured for doing laps and has a beautiful view of Hibiya Park and the Imperial Gardens. Like everywhere else is the hotel, the service is extremely attentive. And, similarly, the standards of upkeep are extremely high. We watched one afternoon as five staff members determined the best way to remove scuff marks from the walls.
The concierge service was absolutely exemplary. Before we arrived, they helped us secure some difficult restaurant reservations. While we were there, they helped out with an emergency dental appointment as will as some further restaurant details. The late Anthony Bourdain may have disliked the typical concierge restaurant recommendations, but that certainly would not apply here.
While the Peninsula Hong Kong has pads for all of its room controls, the Tokyo hotel makes do with slightly less tech-forward controls with physicals buttons. You can still adjust the lights and open and close the blinds from the bed so there is nothing wrong with that approach. The only tech complaint I have is that the the TV has a range of analog inputs but lacks the much more useful HDMI input.
The Peninsula has afternoon tea in the lobby. It may not have the line of people waiting for a seat that you’d see in Hong Kong but it is still a nice selection of savoury and sweet. The only complaint is that it took about 45 from ordering to receiving our food.
The basement has one of the two restaurants that serves breakfast. What’s really interesting downstairs is that you get to watch the bakers and the chocolatiers. The baked goods are very good and the chocolates - made from Valrhona and Callebaut chocolate - are exceptionally good.
A family member has some specific nut allergies so there was a question about whether or not the chocolate truffles would be OK for him. We called room service who had the chocolatiers call us and, ultimately, one of them came to our room - with extra truffles - just to make sure our question was answered satisfactorily. That’s attention to detail.
Combine all of the above with Japanese hospitality and an unbeatable location, there is little to negative say about The Peninsula Tokyo.