As Japan reopens borders after two years of closure, eager tourists eye Tokyo’s many exciting new additions for their next trip. The ultimate city for a unique, luxurious getaway, Tokyo can cater to any type of traveler — whether you seek adventure, relaxation, a cultural experience or fine dining and nightlife.
Learn how five Tokyo hotels plan to welcome guests back to Japan this summer with everything from a joint city-country escape to an Alice in Wonderland-themed affair:
In response to the pandemic, Executive House Zen decided to make its tea service even more special. While you can still experience the afternoon ritual in the Executive Lounge, the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star hotel now offers the option to have tea in your room. Enjoy a tiered stand of delectable treats and your choice of four types of Japanese tea (hot or iced) without leaving your plush accommodations.
And if you need some fresh air, visit the newly opened Garden Pool (available through September 4), one of the largest hotel pools in central Tokyo. Paid admission is required for other New Otani guests, but those staying at the Executive House Zen, an exclusive-hotel-within-the-larger-hotel, get to use the popular complex’s main, kiddie and diving pools for free with a reservation.
Time your visit to Executive House Zen around mid-September through October to get a chance to see its secret Red Rose Garden, one of the property’s most Instagrammable spots where more than 30,000 blossoms leave the rooftop awash in crimson.
The striking Hotel Chinzanso comes alive in summer. The hotel’s 700-year-old history and garden make it a famous property throughout Japan — it’s an expansive forested oasis in the city with beautiful camellias, Japanese pagodas and bridges and, in early summer, one of the few places in Tokyo where you can see fireflies.
Soak up the country’s rich heritage with the hotel’s Japanese Culture Package, which includes two nights in a garden-view room, breakfast, dinner, access to its luxurious spa facilities and a cultural activity, such as a tea ceremony in the tea house or an origami or calligraphy workshop. Spend the final evening at Hakujukan, a traditional Japanese inn more than 300 miles away in Fukui prefecture. Remote and rarely visited by foreign tourists, Hakujukan provides a once-in-a-lifetime chance to participate in Japanese Zen meditation, Buddhist vegan cuisine and the untouched, natural beauty of rural Japan along the Eiheiji river. The package lets you enjoy Tokyo’s roaring city life and the traditions of the Japanese countryside.
Tokyo’s most centrally located hotel has just unveiled a new class of suite unlike any other in town. At more than 900 square feet, the Premier Suites outsize many homes in Toyko and can accommodate guests looking for a longer-term stay. The multi-purpose spaces make the Premier Suite equipped for both work and play. Local artists created the contemporary Japanese art adorning the walls — the pieces, including the sumi–e (ink wash) paintings, reflect the Five-Star hotel’s connection to nature. The suites reside on the 10th to 15th floors, affording a spectacular view of the Imperial Palace gardens and Tokyo’s sparkling skyline. Bonus: A suite stay grants you access to the Club Lounge, which provides breakfast, afternoon tea and evening cocktails and canapés; a meeting room; and a terrace.
If you’re visiting the Palace Hotel in the warmer months, cool off at Evian Spa. Sporting chic European design, the spa specializes in traditional Japanese and Asian treatments. Begin your weekend with a morning yoga session — available exclusively for in-house guests in the spa. Then try a luxurious marine mineral body wrap followed by a dip in the pool.
Tucked inside the 39-story Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, the sleek, stylish Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo attracts locals and tourists with staggering vistas, an excellent Five-Star spa and restaurants that span traditional Cantonese fare to avant-garde cuisine. But the Five-Star hotel has a new draw for those who want to learn more about Japan’s arts.
Immerse yourself in the local culture by trying the Mandarin Oriental’s new edo kiriko experience. Designated as an official traditional craft by the government, edo kiriko is a technique of decorative glassware cutting that traces back more than 180 years. After getting a lesson from established craftsmen, you’ll use the rotating grindstone tools to delicately engrave your design on colored glass. You will return home with a new skill and a one-of-a-kind handmade souvenir.
Grand Hyatt Tokyo makes the most of the beautiful weather with exquisite seasonal offerings served on its terrace. Enjoy the spices of the Caribbean with the Oak Door’s summer menu, including Jamaican jerk chicken, braised oxtail and free-flowing ice-cold champagne, beer and tropical cocktails.
Take in some art at “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” in the same building as the Grand Hyatt. Created in collaboration with Mori Arts Center Gallery, the mystical Alice in Wonderland exhibit has something special for all ages. Then return to the Grand Hyatt to experience an Alice-themed tea party with Queen of Hearts tartlets and Cheshire cat croissants at The French Kitchen. For the adults, find Alice in Wonderland-inspired cocktails at the Oak Door, cleverly crafted to the colorful theme.