Wednesday, December 13, 2023

The Legendary One

To be honest, I don't really fancy staying in a 100-year-old hotel but turned out my week in the legendary Imperial Hotel Tokyo was very enjoyable. 

The hotel sat right in between Hibiya Park and Ginza, and the location was more convenient than I first thought. Hibiya Station is just a block away and with two major lines going through, got me to just about anywhere I need without change of trains - that included my office in Omotesando. Just a few blocks away was the famous Ginza 6-chome with all the shops and restaurants that one would need for a fun day out in the busiest block in the world.

The lobby was packed with people when I arrived in the afternoon but check-in was surprisingly fast. They gave me a room on the Imperial Floors (just asked nicely, with some skills, of course) - equivalent to the executive floor but no lounge; instead they have a friendly attendant staffed on the floor and delivered drinks to your room on request during happy hour. Another perk was the access to the pool and spa in the annex building next door - a bit of a walk and I felt like walking back in times with the retro-looking facility, nice albeit small.

Same could be said about the room. There's definitely the sign of age and not the most spacious, but it's tastefully done and being on the high floor meant the view was quite decent, looking over the theater across the street and the commercial buildings nearby. You don't see the classic cupboard with whole Western and Japanese tea set often anywhere else, and I like the bathtub that would fill up to the rim automatically upon pressing a button, and the bathroom was surprisingly spacious. Small touch that drastically improve the stay experience. 

The hotel was first built in late 1800's (yes you heard it right), and once renovated by Frank Lloyd Wright. The building definitely saw some of its glory days being one of the few grand hotels for overseas visitors, but now right in the middle of another round of revamp scheduled for completion in 2036. 

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