The best hotels in Tokyo are all about the seamless fusion of modern-meets-traditional design and service. From historic to contemporary, luxe to affordable, these are the nine best places to stay in Tokyo.
A true balance of luxury and authenticity can be hard to achieve, but the new HOSHINOYA Tokyo, one of the the best places to stay in Tokyo, pulls it off masterfully. The city’s first luxury high-rise ryokan in central Tokyo is a modern take on the traditional concept, yet still maintains details like tatami mat flooring and futon mattresses. As minimal as that sounds, the details are remarkable: each floor has its own Ochanoma lounge, a gathering space for guests to sip tea by day and sake by night, while the intimate restaurant is located in the basement amid natural rock and clay formations. (Reservations are a must.) Our favorite feature is the onsen baths on the 17th floor, which are fed by mineral hot springs located beneath the hotel and afford skylight views.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
Tokyo's Toranomon district is experiencing something of a renaissance due to the ensuing 2020 Tokyo Olympics. At its heart: the glossy new Andaz hotel, in the capital’s second-tallest tower. Defying convention, chicly-dressed Andaz Hosts personally check in travelers while also doubling as in-the-know guides, making good on the brand’s promise to have guests “arrive a visitor and depart a local.” But with circular Japanese soaking baths in each guest room, an airy 37th-floor spa, and a teahouse-inspired rooftop bar, you might never make it out the door.
The Imperial Hotel Tokyo is all about the details. From the fresh pink rosebuds scenting every elevator to the doorman’s immaculate white gloves swapped out every 30 minutes, the 1890 property has a century-long legacy of perfection. It's no wonder why the world's royalty, celebrities, statesmen, and business leaders continue to eat in its 14 grandiose restaurants and sleep in the 56 elegant suites. Despite enduring multiple bombings, fires, and earthquakes over the years, which required rebuilds and expansions (including one by the venerable Frank Lloyd Wright), the Imperial's history and heritage have kept it among the top places to stay in Tokyo.
Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
It comes as no surprise that the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is such a fan favorite. Part of a brand beloved for its sophisticated luxury and impeccable service, the hotel is a mecca of Michelin-starred restaurants, muscle-melting spa treatments, and inimitable design that incorporates fine leaf-motif fabrics by renowned textile designer Reiko Sudo (whose work is displayed in the MoMA’s permanent collection). The hotel's most prized feature, however, has to be its address. On the upper floors of the financial district's soaring Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, every space, from the lobby to the guest rooms to the spa, features jaw-dropping views that stretch as far as Mount Fuji.
If you’re in the market for “firsts” and “bests,” the Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo won’t let you down. Ever heard of an “aroma butler”? Neither had we, but you can find one here, generously reviving weary travelers with aromatherapy blends—along with not one but two Michelin-starred restaurants and, from every guest room, unmatched vantage points of Tokyo. (The hotel is located in the tallest skyscraper in the city; on clear days, you can see all the way to Mount Fuji.) A recent renovation revamped the interiors in a contemporary-meets-Japanese-traditionalism style (think kimono pattern-inspired wallpaper and carpets echoing bamboo), while everything from the common spaces to the Club Lounge are now studies in comfortable opulence.
Imagine an art gallery dedicated to modern design, Japanese artisans, and traditional handicrafts that you can sleep in without breaking the bank. Welcome to Claska, Tokyo’s first ever design-focused hotel in the artsy Meguro neighborhood. Each of the 20 rooms are original creations designed by various artists—from Japanese-inspired spaces with tatami floors and paper lanterns to the D.I.Y. rooms filled with handmade furniture and found objects. Entire floors have been dedicated to creative endeavors featuring artists’ studios, exhibition galleries, event spaces, and the hotel’s popular design shop, DO. Not only do fashionable locals flock to the chic rooftop terrace and French-inspired Kiokuh restaurant, they also groom their pups at Claska’s stylish salon, DogMan.
Hotel & Residence Roppongi
Despite delivering award-winning design, friendly service, and serviced apartments, Hotel S Roppongi manages to remain one of the city's best value hotels. While individually designed guest rooms aren’t overly spacious, every inch is carefully planned to fit soothingly minimalist décor, deep soaking tubs, flatscreen TVs, and kitchenettes featuring microwaves, mini-fridges, and electric kettles. Need more room to spread out? Deluxe categories have separate living rooms and use of washing machines (not to mention wooden baths and complimentary welcome drinks). We especially love the chic ground-floor restaurant (try the delicious breakfast buffet) and guests-only fireside library lounge, which capture the arty spirit of the surrounding neighborhood.
Aman Tokyo is what urban sanctuary dreams are made of. Thirty-three stories above the city's bustling financial district, the hotel is tranquil yet sophisticated, from its 84 Zen-like guest rooms—all bathed in light, and each with its own black volcanic rock soaking tub—to the dark stone and leather in its restaurant and lounge. Whether taking in panoramic views of the Imperial Palace Garden with a Black Rum Mojito in hand, or soaking the day away at the 26,900-square-foot bi-level spa (the largest and most comprehensive in the city), Aman Tokyo masters the art of understated luxury and top-notch service.
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Palace Hotel Tokyo
With its singular mix of history and elegant design, it’s no wonder the Palace Hotel is a go-to for the rich and famous. But don’t expect a stodgy vibe. Following a massive renovation in 2012, the hotel now features 1,000 works by Japan’s talented contemporary artists, ten restaurants including a tiny tempura bar, and a new female bartender shaking up twists on the classic martini at the helm of its famous Royal Bar. Request a south-facing room (most have balconies) for lush views of the Imperial Palace’s moat and gardens.