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Across the street from the Imperial Palace, the Peninsula delivers crisp service and luxe looks
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.