Zen atmosphere at New Otani Tokyo

I booked my stay at the very last-minute (2 days before arrival) and was a bit afraid about this property. Indeed, the “Cherry Blossom” event is very famous in Japan and all luxury hotels were full since a long time… New Otani was the only one with available room and usually it is quite a bad omen ! However I was totally wrong as this business stay was very nice in this HUGE property with many buildings, four restaurants, a shopping mall, two pools… New Otani Hotel is renowned in Tokyo to offer luxury amenities for its business travelers.

I experienced a VIP stay booking a room in the Executive House ZEN level, which is supposed to be a “brand new concept of luxury hotel” as they say, but basically it is just a level with an executive lounge with complimentary refreshments and snacks as well as dedicated staff for check-in, check-out, concierge, etc. The idea is not revolutionary but very well managed with luxury furnitures, moreover the entire level has been renovated in 2008 to create the ZEN concept so it represents a good value compared to other levels with old rooms.

The New Otani Tokyo opened in 1964 for the Olympics Games, is composed of 1479 guest rooms and suites in the Chiyoda district. I chose an Executive Room (30sqm) at the Executive House ZEN floor at 310 USD/night.

Living

New Otani Tokyo - Zen floor

New Otani Tokyo – Zen floor

Ok, this part is not easy. The hotel has three main buildings with lot of places to visit (stores, shopping mall, restaurants, a Pierre Hermé corner, etc.) so I will focus only on the building I stayed in, The Main. Lobby and Front Desk are not impressive, I would even describe them as dirty. Same for elevators that just look like pieces extracted from seventies ; not luxury at all. However when you enter the Executive House ZEN level, at floors 11 & 12, you just enter in another property. New design and furnitures, dedicated Front Desk, executive lounge and zen atmosphere make this part of the hotel really exclusive. I would definitely recommend to book there ONLY.

The shopping center looks a bit cheap, with its convenience shop and drugstore ; but in the same way you can also find the restaurant La Tour d’Argent, the Tokyo version of the famous 3-star Michelin parisian place. This is for me the proof of the global quality of New Otani Tokyo, beyond the poor feeling you can have when visiting the hotel for the first time.

Room

New Otani Tokyo - Zen Room bed

New Otani Tokyo – Zen Room bed

All rooms in The Main building provide a 180° view overlooking Tokyo and the Akasaka park. My Executive Room was quite large, 30sqm, with its separated desk and a nice bathroom with bathtube close to the bedroom. The large king size bed in a Japanese setyle is awesome and I loved the bath amenities (Salvatore Ferragamo products) with natural sponge daily renewed.

I am a slipper-fan, I was not disappointed by the black embroidered slippers given in the room, in both men and women sizes.

Dining

New Otani Tokyo - La Tour d'Argent restaurant

New Otani Tokyo – La Tour d’Argent restaurant

Well, except La Tour d’Argent restaurant, all four others are just a shame for such a luxury hotel. I had breakfast at the Top of the Tower, in the Garden Tower at the 40th floor, and food quality was very poor, as well as all furniture ; the only positive point is the amazing 360° view over Tokyo that don’t have any equivalent in the city.

For dining I chose room service with no special expectation. Even if I was not impressed, food were tasty and this option represents definitely a good value ; i.e. a good alternative for an evening stay in the hotel

Level of exigency

Like all countries in Asia, Japan is a good location for people liking high-level service. New Otani Tokyo is not an exception, especially in the Executive House ZEN where staff is trained to serve business and finicky people who have lot of expectations. At the ZEN front desk they are very aware of your needs and don’t hesitate the spend lot of times to answer your requests. For example, I was looking for a very rare manga ; they searched it on internet, found a bookstore that had a copy, phoned them to reserve it and finally send a guy to bring it. What a service !

Stay from 10th to 13th April 2013

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