Short stay: Aman Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan

 

I’d been tipped off on how to get to the new Aman Tokyo on landing at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport: I was to take the monorail from the airport to Hamamatucho and to then take a taxi from there. The first part proved seamless, but the latter not so, with the first three taxi drivers all refusing to take me because they didn’t know where it was. So new was the hotel – just a month old – that even the taxi drivers didn’t yet know about it. And I later discovered that this was a cultural difference – the taxi drivers weren’t being rude as such, but rather didn’t want to face an embarrassing situation of being unable to get me to my destination.

With the fourth taxi driver, I was in luck… or so I thought. He claimed he knew where to take me, but it later materialised he actually didn’t. Such is the joy of travelling in a country where you don’t know the language, but thankfully several telephone calls later, we finally made it to the Otemachi Tower, situated in a business district between the Imperial Palace Park and Tokyo Station.

The welcome

The hotel has 84 rooms and suites on the uppermost floors of the tower – floors 33 to 38 – although there is a small reception area on the ground floor also. What strikes you when you reach the 33rd floor of the Aman Tokyo is the vast lobby which serves as a stunning centrepiece as you arrive. It’s a beautiful space designed to replicate the interior of a Japanese lantern, capturing lots of natural light and with fabulous views over the city. On a good day (which I sadly didn’t get during my time there), you can see out to Mount Fuji.

Aman Tokyo lobby

The room

I stayed in room 317 – a spacious and minimalistic Premier room.

Aman bedroom

Subtle, sliding Shoji screens made of delicate washi paper help serve to subdivide the bedroom from the bathroom.

Aman bed

From my room I could see the Skytree (Japan’s tallest building) as well as other city landmarks.

Aman view dawn

The bathroom

My slate bathroom formed an L-shape with a hi-tech toilet (already mentioned in this post) and twin basins found along the length of the room and a bath and shower at the end.

Aman bathroom

It was a deep, square-sided bath known as a furo – a traditional form of Japanese bathing, meant more for relaxation than for washing – overlooking the city.

Aman bath

The facilities

The hotel has all the usual facilities that you might expect from a top quality city hotel, including free WiFi, a swimming pool and an impressive 25,000 sq ft spa with outstanding views of Tokyo.  The spa is home to the largest hotel pool in the city at 30 metres long and 6 metres wide. There are also steam rooms, Japanese and western showers, and hot baths.

Aman Tokyo swimming pool

With the spa, the hotel has drawn on the traditions of Japan, with integrated treatments that use natural products – both their own range of chemic free Aman Spa products and Kampo herbs, with principals of movement and relaxation to provide a holistic approach to wellbeing. Treatments range from individual therapies to signature journeys and programs, be it pure relaxation and indulgence or a desire to achieve stated health goals. There’s also a fitness centre, yoga and Pilates studio.

For me the highlight was the restaurant. Dinner was nothing short of superb, from the food to the service, and the set menu worthy of a photograph for each course, so here you go:

Amuse bouche (deep fried prawns on top of Japanese potato)

Amuse bouche

Hokkaido scallops and sea urchin with Bottarga organic vegetables and green espuma (this course was the pick of the bunch for me, although I enjoyed them all!)

Hokkaido scallops and sea urchin with Bottarga organic vegetables and green espuma

Sautéed French fois gras, Tokyo shiitake muschrooms with grilled leek soup

Sauteed French fois gras

Tortellini of pumpkin in two colours, Amaretto biscuit, sage butter sauce with shaved 24-months aged Parma prosciutto

Tortellini of pumpkin in two colours

Deep fried Hokkaido botan prawn and seared tuna, wrapped in kadayif with lobster bisque foam, asparagus and truffle essence

Deep fried Hokkaido botan prawn and seared tuna

Grilled Kobe beef sirloin with Mie ‘DAIKOKI’ Shimeji mushroom wasabi infused veal stock served with Amabito sea salt from Setouchi

Grilled Kobe beef sirloin

Pipe of bitter chocolate with gold leaf 70% cacao Ecadorian chocolate ice cream, and Yuzu sherbet with warm espresso

Pipe of bitter chocolate with gold leaf

Espresso and petit fours

Espresso and petit fours

Private dining is also available on the 34th floor.

Breakfast was also good – Aman Tokyo’s egg dishes are cooked with free range eggs produced at Inoue farm, located in Sagamihara, Kanagawa prefecture.

Other nice touches

An attention to detail and subtle Japanese influences can be found throughout the hotel, from the rock gardens and sculptural ikebana floral art in the lobby to the library with books on Japanese culture and various Japanese artefacts.

Cost

Entry level De Luxe rooms start from around 90,000 Japanese yen per night, including taxes.

The best bit

Although the accommodation was very comfortable and I have no complaints there, dinner was the highlight for me.

The final verdict

The Aman Tokyo is Aman’s first foray into Japan and is sure to be successful enough for us to expect other Aman hotels in the country to follow; it is also their first city hotel, further strengthening the notion that the brand isn’t just about tropical retreats in SE Asia.

Disclosure: This post was created in partnership with ANA - All Nippon Airways. All opinions expressed in the post are my own and not those of ANA.

Comments (6)

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  1. That is so true of the Japanese when you note, that, they “didn’t want to face an embarrassing situation” . It is all about saving face. The hotel has beautiful design features, particularly the bathroom, which I thought was special. The dinner looks amazing with the attention to detail obvious. Lovely addition to Tokyo definitely

  2. Andy Higgs says:

    I always feel like I am one of the only people in the world to have yet to visit Tokyo – or Japan! I know I’m not alone and cannot wait to go; I’ve never met anyone who didn’t love it. I also think that if you’re going to go to Tokyo, go in style – and this hotel certainly oozes style. I guess the taxi situation when you arrived underlines the Japanese desire to please, too – the level of service at the Aman sounds fantastic. Heard a lot of good things about Aman and will definitely try to stay at one of their properties soon.

  3. Anna Parker says:

    I’ve read a lot about Aman hotels recently – they really do seem to get it right! And that pool is just incredible, with or without a view! I had a similar issue in Singapore – landed and needed to get to a new marina on the other side of town, no one had heard of it, slightly worrying as I was on my own heading to meet my husband! Eventually we found it…

  4. Aman has certainly picked the best of luxurious Japanese minimalism for this hotel. so elegant and streamlined. The dinner however looked like a feast for all the senses. Beautifully composed and artfully presented. I love desert served in glasses. Sounds like all tasted as good as it looked.

  5. Chinmoy Lad says:

    Ahhhh desperately been meaning to go here! The food looks incredible – interesting to note that they’re switching tactic for the city to some extent. They’ve primarily been known for their very ‘homely’ food (albeit very well presented), but this looks like they’re aiming for the Michelin-stars, without really losing TOO much focus of what they do with food at their resorts.

  6. Paul Johnson says:

    The food was incredible… could well prove to be another Michelin star for Tokyo (the city currently has an amazing 267 Michelin-starred restaurants!).

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