- Trip Report Introduction: Korean Air & ANA First, and A Whirlwind Week in Tokyo
- Review: Korean Air First Class Lounge JFK
- Review: Korean Air A380 First Class JFK-ICN
- Review: Korean Air ICN New First Class Lounge and Korean Air Intra-Asia First Class
- Review: Hyatt Regency Tokyo
- Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Review: ANA First/”Suite” Class Lounge NRT
- Review: ANA B777-300 First/“Suites” Class NRT-IAD
The Park Hyatt Tokyo is, at least for those of us in the points and miles world, a legendary property. In addition to its prominence in the film Lost in Translation, the hotel is frequently visited as a points hobbyist “grail property” and at one point or another has been reviewed by every major points and miles blogger out there.
Despite having been a Hyatt fanboy for several years now, I have to admit that I had actually never been to the Park Hyatt Tokyo before, so we booked a two night stay to see what all the hype was about. As I mentioned previously, one of the nights was covered by a category 1-7 free night certificate, while the other was booked on a paid rate of about $675. We applied a suite upgrade to this reservation and despite our two separate confirmation numbers and payment methods, the property had no issue confirming us into a suite for both of our nights. I was very happy with this, as this is technically not something that hotels have to do, and Japanese properties in particular are notable for being very “by the book” on these types of things.
Breaking It Down:
Park Hyatt Location
Like the Hyatt Regency, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is also located in Shinjuku. As with the Regency, the Park Hyatt is in a largely commercial neighborhood; indeed the property itself is in an office tower. The location of the Park Hyatt is unfortunately not ideal for those planning on sightseeing, as the nearest subway station is a 10-15 minute walk away at best. As with the Hyatt Regency, the Park Hyatt offers a complimentary shuttle between Shinjuku Station and the hotel, but we never availed ourselves of this service and simply ended up taking a cab whenever we needed to go somewhere.
Despite the relative proximity of the Park Hyatt to the Hyatt Regency, the distance is not quite suitable for a trek with luggage, so we took a cab between the two hotels. We were greeted upon arrival by several hotel employees who assisted with unloading our luggage and escorted us into the building. While the entrance of the building is on street level, the actual lobby of the hotel is 41 stories up, and we were handed off to another agent in the lobby.
Once in the lobby, this new agent informed us that rather than checking us in at the check-in reception area, she would be escorting us to our room for an in-room check-in process.
My initial impressions of the property as we headed to our room was that it exuded a very old-world, luxurious feeling. Walking past the main restaurant, Girandole, and the “library” area, I felt I should have been smoking a cigar while wearing suede slippers. The property is undeniably nice, but the decor and ambience are by no means modern.
This sense of luxury from another time was further compounded when we were given our room keys. Rather than using electronic key cards, the Park Hyatt Tokyo has physical metal room keys. But of course. While this seems to have induced some pretty polarizing emotions among past reviewers, I didn’t feel too strongly one way or another about the keys and neither had trouble keeping track of them nor had any difficulties keeping them in my pocket or otherwise hanging on to them. We were also greeted by a welcome amenity of Japanese candy.
Our check-in agent was pleasant, friendly, and deferential, as is typical in the Japanese service culture. Check in was uneventful and fairly quick. While I see the potential value in having in-room check-in, I sometimes find myself wanting to quickly check in and head to my room alone and unescorted. The process at the Park Hyatt obviously is not conducive to that, and giving guests a choice of where and how to check in wouldn’t be a bad thing.
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Suite
Our suite upgrade confirmed into a Park Suite, which consisted of a large square space split into a living room, bedroom, and bathroom, with the bathroom connected to both the living room and the bedroom. The living room had plenty of seating, though the couch and chairs seemed to be quite dated.
One of the highlights of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, given its location at the top of a tall office building, is the incredible views that the property offers. Our suite did not disappoint in this regard, and we found ourselves staring out at the gorgeous cityscape multiple times throughout our stay.
The bathroom was quite spacious and offered both plenty of storage space and plenty of room to walk around. The shower amenities were by Aesop, a perennial favorite of mine (in no small part because it always conjures up memories of Cathay Pacific first class).
There was a very large closet with plenty of storage space.
At one end of the bathroom there was a vanity mirror and table.
Indeed, the bathroom was quite nice and notable for how much room there was; overall it took up between 1/3 and 1/2 of the square footage of the entire suite.
Park Hyatt Tokyo Public Spaces
After settling in to our suite, we decided to walk around and explore more of the hotel before heading back out into the city. One of the most notable features of the property is the “library” located near the main restaurant and the lobby. Square footage no doubt comes at a premium in Tokyo, so it’s quite impressive that this space exists at all, given it has no actual function.
Another one of the more striking features of the hotel is the Peak Bar and Lounge in the main lobby/atrium area on the 41st floor. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows and a glass ceiling provide ample natural light and phenomenal panoramic views of Tokyo. Despite the size of the space itself and the amount of activity going on when we visited (about half of the seating around the atrium was occupied), the atrium felt very serene and pleasant.
We ended up ordering a drink and spent about an hour in some seats by a window simply taking in the views. The drinks were fine and priced the way one would expect. Table service at the lounge was pretty average at best, though in their defense the area became quite busy during our time there.
Complimentary Globalist Evening Drinks
We returned to the lounge once more during our stay, to take advantage of the complimentary evening drinks and canapés for Globalists. As Park Hyatts generally don’t have lounges, this serves as an opportunity for the property to provide strong elite recognition. While the offerings were relatively average (Yoichi and Miyakigo scotches notwithstanding), the complimentary happy hour is a nice way for the hotel to acknowledge top-tier elites and was a good place to stop for a quick drink before we headed out for the evening.
The Famous New York Bar
Given that we were at the Lost in Translation hotel, we couldn’t not pay a visit to the New York Bar that features so prominently in the film. The bar is located on the 52nd floor and, like the lobby atrium, offers breathtaking views of the city. The bar is open to guests and non-guests (there is a cover charge for those not staying at the hotel) and was quite busy when we visited. Despite this, we were able to get a table with no wait and we ordered a few rounds of drinks (priced commensurate with what one might expect from a famous bar in a famous hotel) and enjoyed the live jazz they had for the evening. While I’m glad we experienced it, the New York Bar bar isn’t somewhere I think I’ll be returning to anytime soon, as it’s arguably more style than substance.
Room Service Breakfast
The Globalist breakfast benefit at the Park Hyatt can be used at the main restaurant or for in-room dining. As curious as I was about the restaurant, we were feeling lazy and opted for the latter. While I imagine breakfast at the restaurant would have been better, the quality of the room service dining was fine.
Park Hyatt Service
Overall, service at the property was what one would expect from a Park Hyatt. While we didn’t interact extensively with any of the staff, we found everyone to be professional and courteous. Little touches like having doors opened for us consistently, getting bowed to with every greeting, and being addressed as “Sir” or “Ma’am” with every interaction were nice but likely a function of Japanese service culture rather than Park Hyatt standards. The only very slightly negative interaction came when we asked the concierge desk where we could find somewhere to purchase a stamp and drop off a postcard. The friendly concierge offered to take care of it for us and ensured there was no charge, yet on check out we noticed a charge we didn’t recognize and were informed that the charge was for a stamp and mailing our postcard. In the grand scheme of things this wasn’t a big deal at all, but the miscommunication I would argue is not quite befitting of a Park Hyatt.
The Park Hyatt Tokyo is an excellent property on par with typical Park Hyatt standards. The hotel offers good service, comfortable rooms, and incredible views. While we did not get a chance to experience the gym, pool, or any of the hotel’s restaurants, the overall experience felt luxurious, with of course corresponding pricing for said luxury.
The hotel has received mixed reviews in the blogosphere, with some saying that the property is phenomenal while others have said it is nice but not special in any way. My impressions of the hotel following my 2-night stay fall somewhere in between. While I think the several hundred dollar or 30,000 points per night cost may be worth it for a special occasion, this property certainly is not my go-to in Tokyo. The views and accommodations are indisputably very nice, yet there are plenty of other places in Tokyo with great views, and nothing in particular about this hotel struck me as exceptional otherwise. Yes, the Park Hyatt Tokyo exudes understated luxury and offers an all-around great experience, but just not quite enough for me to drop several hundred dollars a night or a hefty chunk of points to do so.
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