Located in the heart of the city’s Nihonbashi business district and consistently rated one of the finest hotels in Asia, the Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo can be found a short walk from the ‘Bridge of Japan’ from which Nihonbashi takes its name. Situated on the upper floors of the Cesar Pelli-designed Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower, where there are 178 rooms including 21 suites, most of which face east towards the Tokyo Skytree, the hotel offers contemporary luxury in the city’s prestigious financial district.
In advance of my stay, the hotel had kindly arranged to store my bag from the morning, as I was going to be out and about in the city during the day and didn’t want to be traipsing it around with me. When I arrived at the end of the day, I was shown to my room by Takashi, the Head Butler, and it was there that all the formalities of check-in were taken care of, and my bag was already waiting. This made the whole process of my arrival seamless and efficient.
I stayed in Room 3114, an Executive Suite on the corner of the building, with a bedroom and bathroom that faced south towards Tokyo Bay.
In the corner of the bedroom was a chaise longue where you could relax and take in the view, day or night.
There was also a lounge which – along with the other side of the bedroom, looked west towards Mount Fuji.
The accommodation is 90 square metres in size and full of details that you might not expect – a huge closet, a Pilates mat, an umbrella, a back scratcher and even a pair of binoculars so you could make the most of the view. It was as if everything had been thought of, with no stone left unturned.
The bathoom consisted of huge twin basins, a bath with TV and separate shower, lavatory (another WC could be found elsewhere in the suite) and Bottega Veneta toiletries.
The hotel has all the facilities you would expect from a world class city hotel. A spa, fitness and wellness centre, and around a dozen different dining options, including some with Michelin stars. During my stay, I dined at the Sushi Sora Restaurant on the 38th floor and, like my previous hotel stay in Tokyo, dinner proved to be one of the highlights.
At my place setting, the napkin was wrapped as the Japanese would wrap a kimono, and placed on a wood counter made from a 350-year-old cypress tree.
Dining here was not only a treat for the tastebuds but also a fascinating experience since, being so small and intimate (there is seating for a maximum of 10 people only), we were able to watch Head Chef Yuji Imaizumi at work, chat to him and learn a little about his craft.
Here are some of the highlights from my dinner at the restaurant:
Radish flavoured with yuzu and miso.
Ice fish, lily root and seaweed dashi with bonito and soy sauce.
The prawn sushi was one of my favourites.
This had been marinated for three days in tiny egg balls and vinegar.
Also good was the gizzard shad (kohada in Japanese) which had been marinated with salt and vinegar.
Perhaps the best of the bunch, though, was the sea eel – surpisingly tender and succulent.
Other nice touches
Service was excellent in all areas of the hotel that I experienced. An umbrella was offered to me at the door when I went out for the day. The butler took my coat on arrival and hung it up for me. Premium strawberries were delivered to my room shortly after I’d settled in.
A closet in the room connected to the ‘outside’ – this means that when you finish with something like room service dishes, you can leave them in the closet rather than in your room or in the corridor outside, press a service light, and they will be taken away without any need to disturb you.
Entry level Deluxe Rooms start from 61,000 yen per night whilst the Executive Suite that I stayed in starts from 140,000 yen per night. (These figures do not include taxes and fees.)
The best bit
The hotel is worth a visit for the views alone but it was actually dinner at the Sushi Sora Restaurant that was the highlight for me – not just for the extraordinary quality of the food, but also for the experience.
The final verdict
The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo doesn’t fail to disappoint – it is what you might expect from a respected, global brand that prides itself on the very highest levels of excellence.
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.