Perched on the top floors of a modern skyscraper that towers above one of Asia’s most thrilling cities, Zara Horner discovers Park Hyatt Tokyo epitomises modern-day convenience housed within timeless elegance.

From the moment a guest walks in and collects the room key on a sterling silver key ring, it is clear that a stay at Park Hyatt Tokyo will be an ‘over-the-top’ experience.

Conceived as “an exclusive retreat for international business travellers”, the unique spirit of the hotel is an elegant oasis of space and calm.

Priding itself on its art, gourmet F&B, history and design, chief concierge Adrian Fautt notes, “our team is primed to guide guests through unique and authentic experiences in the vibrant city of Tokyo.”

With only 177 rooms Park Hyatt Tokyo is intimate by Asian standards, but has one of the largest guestroom square metreage in Tokyo.

The 235-metre-high building which houses the hotel was designed by internationally acclaimed architect the late Dr. Kenzo Tange, ‘father of modern Japanese architecture’.

Tange established his career after World War II, providing plans for the rebuilding of Hiroshima after it had been devastated by the atomic bomb. His design for Park Hyatt Tokyo includes three soaring towers of different heights so that nearly every public space and private room offers views of Tokyo, the Kanto Plain, and Mount Fuji.

The stepped-back design is not just visually striking, it minimises the impact the building has on the surrounding area. The “graduated configuration gives an impression of slenderness, yet also reduces shadow onto the neighbouring park,“ hotel literature points out.

The building is on the hard bedrock of the Shinjuku district, insulating it from the earthquakes to which Tokyo is prone. Nevertheless, three 145-tonne earthquake stabilisers have been installed.

Sole interior designer, Hong Kong-based American John Morford used “steel, glass, wood, geometry and Zen to contribute to the modernist decor.” Morford designed Park Hyatt Tokyo “to feel like a small, elegant, personal presidence encased in a bold granite-and-glass sculpture.”

The hotel is full of deliberate visual experiences. For example, when the elevator door closes at the ground floor the lights are dim, as it rises the lights brighten and when guests reach the 41st floor, “a burst of light propels them into a luminous lobby.”

Class is timeless

The clean-lined design scheme features muted hues of deep green marbles, brown and grey granites, and an abundance of windows and mirrors. The effect is high-tech and dramatic, yet warm. The warmth comes from the woodwork, hand-tufted carpets, natural abaca (Manila hemp) woven wall coverings, as well as an abundance of specially commissioned artwork by internationally acclaimed artists and sculptors.

The first luxury hotel under a foreign brand in the city, the hotel opened in 1994. Since then the ‘timeless classic’ design theme has not changed.

“Each guestroom and suite meets the dual needs of the international traveller by doubling as a serene retreat and an efficient private office with the latest amenities,” Fautt says.

“Every room has been designed as a contemporary private residence with exquisite fabrics, woods, original artwork, and a selection of books for both reference and pleasure.”

Morford’s design vision brings the granite, steel and glass of the exterior inside: the granite sets off the hotel’s art collection, while mirrors “pull in the sky and surrounding views, expanding the perceived limits of space.”

Greenery also forms an important aspect of the hotel’s sense of place and comfort, accented by Shinjuku Central Park, which is located in front of the building.

Fautt points out that each room and suite has an “oversized bathroom, equipped with a deep soaking tub – over which hangs a Yoshitaka Echizenya painting – and separate shower. Western guests are amazed by the ultra high-tech toilets.”

Standard hotel room features are whimsically incorporated into the interior design, for example, the bedside switches that control room functions are glass knobs that look like drawer pulls. The walls are panelled with rare water elm from Hokkaido in Northern Japan that has been submerged in lakes for as long as 2,000 years; the distinctive wood grain exudes a warm and rich ambience.

The suite life

“A stay in one of our 23 suites is a one-of-a-kind experience in sophisticated, contemporary luxury,” says Fautt.

The stylish interior of the Tokyo Suite is “understated and elegant, whimsical masks by Yuki Mieko welcome guests into the 220m2 private residence,” Fautt explains. “Complete with a collection of over 1,000 books, and artworks by Yoshitaka Echizenya, the suite is designed as a reflection of the dynamic metropolis of Tokyo.”

Guests inclined to tinkling the ivories are able to do so on the grand piano in the Diplomat Suite, which also has a 12-person boardroom. Expansive windows in the suite’s bathroom offer a unique experience high above the Tokyo skyline.

An “oversized foyer” welcomes guests to the Governor’s Suite where “the bedroom is complete with plush sofas and a master walk-in closet offers unobstructed views over the Kanto Plains and the dazzling city lights. The Japanese cypress tub in the grand bathroom, the only one offered in the hotel, is a favourite for our international guests.”

The Park Suite’s unusual circular design “combines timeless elegance with high functionality in a contemporary setting with sleek amenities.”

And there’s more

With a colour scheme of contrasting mahogany and warm grey to give a fresh and light effect, the ballroom and Venetian room also boast green crystal from Murano in the decorative lighting for a traditional and romantic touch. These spaces convert to a fully equipped conference room and are connected by a circular staircase made of Brazilian mahogany to the white marble Wedding Chapel on the 40th floor. Here, paintings by Martin Fung hang behind the altar and on either side of the central aisle. The altar is further decorated with pieces by Italian jewellery designer Gianmaria Buccellati. The staircase also leads to the banquet rooms below or up to the bamboo atrium and restaurants on the 41st floor.

The hotel’s “world-class restaurants and bars” include the iconic New York Grill & Bar, known for its wagyu beef specialities, authentic Japanese kaiseki is served at Kozue with afternoon tea or original cocktails at the atrium’s The Peak Lounge & Bar.

Meanwhile for those with a head for heights, breathtaking views are on offer from the pool and whirlpools on the 47th floor.