Review: Takanawa Hanakohro

This hotel-within-a-hotel in Tokyo leaves you feeling like a VIP

Location: This hotel-within-a-hotel is tucked inside Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. The property is located in Shinagawa, a big hub located just 20 minutes from Haneda airport. Shinagawa is within the Tokyo Bay area and is home to the second-biggest train station in the city (after Tokyo station).

First impressions: I felt like a VIP as I was whisked through the main entrance of Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa and placed into a lift, emerging in a secret section of the property called Takanawa Hanakohro. This traditional Japanese ryokan-style hotel is an unexpected gem. With hardly any online presence, you need to seek it out to know it even exists. The kimono-clad staff are extremely attentive (one of the reasons it was awarded Five Star status by Forbes Travel Guide), and you feel like you’re staying at a tiny boutique rather than a large complex-style property.

The facts: With just 16 suites – each named after the flora found in the property’s surrounding gardens – Takanawa Hanakohro aims to offer a traditional Japanese experience. Each suite features tatami mat flooring, screens and low[1]lying beds. You’ll find Japanese tea sets, traditional slippers and accompanying socks.

The Oh-Sai Lounge is exclusively for Takanawa Hanakohro guests and serves a traditional Japanese breakfast, cocktails and snacks. It also hosts sake tasting sessions, origami classes and furoshiki lessons, which showcase the art of fabric wrapping. Guests wanting a Western breakfast can dine in the main restaurant of Grand Prince Hotel Takanawa. An extensive room service menu is also available. The property is surrounded by pristine gardens, which are beautifully lit after dark.

Ideal for: Couples seeking a traditional Japanese experience away from the hustle and bustle of central Tokyo.

Explore: The property is just a stone’s throw away from Shinagawa station, meaning central Tokyo is easily accessible by train. Recommend clients head to Asakusa, where old meets new and temples and neon signs live in harmony. A trip to Akihabara, known as Electric Town, is also worthwhile, but for a slice of history and culture head to the Meiji Shinto Shrine or the Imperial Palace Gardens.

Wow: I particularly loved how under the radar this property is. Even taxi drivers seemed perplexed when I gave them the property name: top tip, give them the Grand Prince details and address instead.

Book it: Suites lead in at £419. Top category suites start from £2,200. Princehotels.com/hanakohro

Hollie-Rae Brader

Hollie is editor of Aspire’s print and online products. She is responsible for the running of the club and ensuring the content produced and the events organised are relevant to the Aspire audience. She was previously deputy news editor and cruise writer for sister title Travel Weekly. She loves exploring new destinations and is gradually ticking new countries off her list. She most enjoys writing about cruise, South America and Japan. Before working in the travel industry she held news reporting roles at the East Anglian Daily Times and Ipswich Star.

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