From Punta Cana to NYC, the month’s hottest hotels
BACKSTORY: The original building, a fixture on Tokyo’s old-guard luxury hotel scene, was knocked down three years ago and replaced with a shiny 290-room tower that opened this past May. Everything’s brand new, apart from scattered artworks and artifacts from the original hotel (including its beloved white grand piano). Oh, and the staff: More than half of the current 480-strong team worked at the previous incarnation.
DESIGN NOTES: The sleek décor is accented by exquisite Japanese touches: a beautifully coiffed red maple viewable through the lobby windows; an entrance featuring Aji stonework similar to that of the Imperial Palace; afternoon tea served in traditional tiered jyubako boxes; and 300-thread-count Imabari bed linens and towels from Ehime prefecture.
ROOM WITH A VIEW: The hotel overlooks the Imperial Palace moat, with the green rooftop of Japan’s most distinguished residence clearly visible from the upper levels. Ask for a south-facing room, and you can sip a cup of Maruyama Nori green tea on the balcony while taking in the neatly manicured gardens and the Imperial Palace grounds against a backdrop of skyscrapers, including Tokyo Tower in the distance.
WHERE TO EAT: Of the hotel’s 10 restaurants and bars, the standout is Wadakura, located on the sixth floor. It’s home to a tiny sushi bar that’s run by Michelin two-star chef Shinji Kanesaka, as well as Tatsumi, an equally diminutive and tasty tempura bar where you can pair your dish with seasonal flavored salts (e.g., soba, seaweed or cherry blossom).