Do you ever stop and pinch yourself and wonder how you got so lucky? Stay at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Tokyo, and this will become a familiar feeling indeed. Less famous than the Park Hyatt, which was the location for much of Scarlett Johansson and Bill Murray’s movie Lost in Translation (which I’ve also visited thanks to Sega, who were promoting a new Sonic game and wanted to buy me a drink), the Park Hyatt is just as luxurious, and is in a really amazing central location, just 40 minutes walk from Harajuku or Shibuya, and right in the centre of Roppongi and Omentsando, the Champs-Élysées of Tokyo (or is Champs-Élysées the Omentsando of Paris?).
I honestly couldn’t recommend the Grand Hyatt enough if your budget will stretch that far – I can’t think of a better location for a hotel in Tokyo, that has this level of luxury and customer service. Waking up every morning to a view of Tokyo Tower from my room, in my second favourite city in the world (sorry New York, you’re third, and London is simply tops), was an unbelievable experience, and so I had to write a post about it so I could share even a fraction of the delight with you all!
As I was visiting for business, I didn’t have a great deal of time to spent searching for places to eat – cue lots of room service. I treated myself to a Japanese breakfast on my second day, and just like everything at the Grand Hyatt, it was an exercise in understated luxury from masters of the craft.
The breakfast, like the rest of the room service meals I ate, came delivered on a small wheeled table, where you could dine at your leisure before calling room service to come and take the whole thing away when you were done. As you can see, I had an incredible array of small dishes to select from, from grilled fish and tempura, to pickles, seaweed, tofu, simmered dishes and more. The breakfast also came with miso soup and steamed rice – absolute essentials to someone like me who usually lives on onigiri, pickles and miso soup in salaryman hotels when staying in Japan.
For those of you with an insatiable curiosity about the nitty gritty of the hotel room, I filmed this guided tour of every single drawer and cupboard the room had to offer. Every detail was meticulously thought out, from the cotton yukata and lint roller, to the divine toiletries from June Jacobs, and the addictively comfortable memory foam pillows. I have to say, though, if I could have popped anything from my stay in my bag to spirit it home for future use, it would have been the charmingly retro alarm clocks (of which there were two in my room!)
Back to the room service, though – of which, don’t forget, I was a veteran by the time I left… There is a reassuring mix of European/western style dishes, and traditional Japanese ones, but no matter what I selected, the meals exceeded my expectations. I ordered foie gras and crème brulee, both of which were silky smooth and luxurious – and I also ordered a salmon teriyaki set for dinner, which was tasty and authentic (and would you expect anything less?!).
Of course, just like the room rate, with the Grand Hyatt, everything is priced according to the standard at which you would hold the product – and this standard is set incredibly high. The price of the breakfast was on average £28, whilst the crème brûlée worked out at around £12 – the sort of price you would expect from a high-end restaurant in London.
And when you’re eating your meals in such incredible surroundings… how can you have much to complain about?!
Of course, the Grand Hyatt also has a wealth of exceptional restaurants to try as well. I only got to try one, which was Roku Roku – the sushi place. Just you would expect from the exclusive price and location, the food was mouth wateringly exquisite, and well worth the price. Roku Roku was a revelation – a tranquil and authentic place to try exceptional sushi, prepared with love and the highest of skill by the team of chefs who worked in the dining room – providing an enchanting spectacle!
I have to give a huge shout-out to the concierge service at the hotel, too. Before I arrived, I put them to good work tracking down some hard to find items that I just had to get hold of as souvenirs for friends and family. Without exception, the concierge service was professional, discrete, friendly and incredibly helpful, finding the items and providing me not only with the shops to purchase them, but printed out maps to help me find them too! And, my request for a western style teapot and teacup were fulfilled, and waiting for me upon my early arrival to the hotel. (Yes, the hotel rooms have a hot water kettle, plus cups, teabags, milk, sugar and a fully stocked mini-bar – plus a convenience store across the street which carried both full-fat and semi-skimmed milk, for all your English-tea drinking needs… Or is it just me who worries about these things…?)
I’m dying to go back to the Grand Hyatt – or stay in another of the chain to see how it compares! Let me know what your favourite hotel is, and which city you’d like to stay in the most the next time you go on holiday!