Review: Capitol Hotel Tokyu
Gleaming 29-storey skyscraper was designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma
LOCATION: Situated in the heart of Tokyo’s peaceful and charming political district, Nagatacho, this property regularly hosts dignitaries such as prime minister Shinzo Abe, despite the fact he lives a stone’s throw away. The property sits directly above a subway station with connections to four lines.
FIRST IMPRESSIONS: This gleaming 29-storey skyscraper is extremely modern, having been designed by Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, who is also behind the stadium that will host the opening and closing ceremonies for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. A combination of Japanese-style wooden latticework, high ceilings and elegant hues make guests feel welcome on arrival at this Tokyo institution.
THE FACTS: The hotel opened in 1963 as the Tokyo Hilton, before being demolished in 2006 and reopening in 2010. The 251 rooms and 13 suites feature serene tones and a minimalistic feel, as well as wall-to-ceiling windows serving up views of either the Imperial Palace, Hie Jinja shrine or, on a clear day, Mount Fuji. In traditional Japanese style, the low and comfy king-sized beds are encased in wooden platforms, while the bedroom and bathrooms are separated by a sliding shoji screen. The property’s six dining options include Japanese restaurant Suiren, Chinese venue Star Hill and pastry boutique Origami. One of the hotel’s most impressive features is its spa and fitness centre, which spreads across two floors.
EXPLORE: Having the subway on the doorstep makes it easy to get around – and the hotel staff are on hand to supply maps and set you on your way. It’s a 10-minute ride to shopping hub Ginza, but there’s lots to see near the property, with the Imperial Palace and Hie Jinja shrine a short walk away. The hotel’s concierge can book a geisha experience for about £500 – worth every penny for something so quintessentially Japanese.
WOW: Suiren offers some of the best kaiseki (a traditional multi-course dinner) I’ve tasted. The experience is more like a performance, as you watch the chef prepare dishes in front of your eyes. It’s a sensory overload as you feel the heat from the hot plates, catch a waft of the ingredients (some of which are still alive, so it isn’t for the fainthearted) and watch as the chef chops, stirs and intricately places masterpieces on plates.
As the art editor and production editor of all Travel Weekly Group products, Flora is responsible for the visual style and images in our print publications. She also creates the overall design and supervises others working on the production desk. She has more than 30 years in the travel industry and has built up a great knowledge of the luxury travel sector.