Tokyo is a dynamic city, a place where centuries-old tradition coexists with the cutting-edge. And it’s vast: with dozens of neighborhoods to explore, you could easily spend a month trying to understand the differences and nuances of areas like Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Shirokane.
So choosing a hotel can be daunting. For this year’s World’s Best Awards, our readers selected properties with central locations and reputations for stellar service. The Shangri-La (No. 5), for example, is located next to Tokyo Station, which is a dizzying maze of food halls, shops, and of course, train tracks. But a red-uniformed hotel staffer will be there to greet you at the platform, sign in hand, and walk you right over to the hotel.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
The Mandarin Oriental (No. 4), in the Nihonbashi financial district, is within walking distance of the Imperial Palace gardens, and, like many a top Tokyo hotel, offers panoramic views of the glittering city (its contemporary guest rooms start at the 30th floor). At the Ritz-Carlton in busy Roppongi, a nightlife and shopping district, even the gym boasts a view of Mount Fuji, as one reader recalled.
Perhaps as an antidote to the city’s frenetic pace, many of the top hotels are known for their luxurious spas — the Mandarin Oriental’s has five VIP treatment suites and an amethyst-crystal steam room. At the Peninsula, which is No. 1 this year, you can come back from shopping in the Ginza to swim laps in the 20-meter heated pool, which overlooks the Imperial Gardens. Or try a Shiatsu massage and oxygen-infused facial, among other treatments. It’s the faultless service and over-the-top amenities (nail dryers in the dressing room, anyone?) that make this hotel the best in Tokyo. Read on for the full list of winners.
For sheer size and comfort, nothing beats the rooms at the Peninsula, which start at a whopping 579 square feet and come with massive walk-in closets and kitted-out bathrooms (electronic toilets and all). “The rooms are wonderful,” said one reader, while another added, “the closet alone is larger than many rooms I’ve stayed in.” Downstairs, on the lobby level, the light-filled restaurant serves breakfast (the rich coffee will cure all jet leg) and afternoon tea, while upstairs, you can unwind with a Japanese whisky at Peter: The Bar. Through a basement-level concourse, you can connect right to four different subway lines — making the Marunouchi location beyond ideal for those who want to explore Tokyo.