Monday, March 12, 2018

Where to Stay Now: Aman Tokyo — Dazzling and Discreet

The New Ultra-Refined Aman Tokyo hotel is one of my favorite hotels in the world.

High in the sky, peaceful, refined and incredibly private, the Aman Tokyo offers tranquility, elegance and a new experience of Japanese urban design.

And the next weeks will be an ideal time to visit Tokyo.

March 24 this year is expected to be the height of full-bloom for cherry blossom trees. Golden Week travel will begin on Saturday, April 28, with activities through Sunday, May 6.

It’s a very festive time in Japan. Aman Tokyo, with its calm décor and endless views, is an ideal escape and retreat. I’m devoted.

Chic serenity: The new Aman Tokyo is a tranquil haven high above the city.

I’ve been staying in the heart of Aman resorts for many years—and have been fortunate to experience Aman hotels in India and Bali, Cambodia, Laos, as well as Venice and many other locations in Asia. One of my all-time favorites is Amangiri in Utah. A 35-suite resort, it is set in a mini Grand Canyon and surrounded by wind-shaped escarpments.

Aman is anti-glitz. In particular, I love the low-key style and the very personal, subtle service offered. It’s relaxed luxury, always very private, which I value highly.

Now Aman, noted for its exotic Ranthambore tiger camp, beach resorts, jungle outposts, remote Jaipur setting, and Balinese exoticism, has a new and delightful presence in cities. Aman Tokyo, in the most intense and exciting of all cities, is a thrilling new setting.

In a city noted for classical and dramatic architecture, the new Aman Tokyo hotel offers extraordinary contemporary Japanese design and mesmerizing views. 

The centerpiece of the lobby, soaring sixty feet high, is a majestic architectural feature resembling the interior of a Japanese paper lantern. Created with layers of textured Washi paper and stretched over the Shoji frame, it filters diffused sunlight to illuminate the lobby.

Located in the historical financial district of Otemachi in central Tokyo, the Aman Tokyo soars high above the city in the top six floors of the 38-floor Otemachi Tower.

Double-height windows on each floor afford panoramic vistas of the Imperial Palace Gardens and across the cityscape as far as snow-topped Mount Fuji and Tokyo Bay.

The interiors are designed by the great and talented Australian architect Kerry Hill in a chic and understated palette of pale grey stone and light Hinoki wood and pine.

It’s the first Aman hotel to be located in a city (most are luxury resorts in remote locations) and it’s superbly welcoming. It’s just three blocks from frenetic Tokyo Station. After being greeted at reception on the first floor, guests speed to the hotel’s tranquil domain and their sky-high suite.

The interior architecture and décor of the hotel are authentically Japanese, with a restful and soothing feeling, thanks to an almost monochromatic color scheme of tones of grey.

It has been created as an elevated sanctuary, with great subtlety and minute attention to detail.

Incorporating elements of the local architecture is a hallmark of each Aman, and the Aman Tokyo blends traditional Japanese design with contemporary simplicity and an abundance of daylight.

Classic Japanese materials such as Camphor wood, Washi handmade paper and stone are fused with modern technology. Subtle fabrics and textures create a subtle interplay of shadow and light that are fundamental to the ambience.

There are just eighty-four rooms and suites, so the hotel has a very private, residential feeling. In the spacious suites, sofas and comfortable chairs in pale ash wood have low silhouettes that don’t distract from the panoramic views.

From a long raised banquette adjacent to the windows, guests may watch cloud formations, a dramatic sunset, and moonlight. The pine floor is softened by tatami mats.

Cocooned in this soothing, silent atmosphere, a guest may rest, reflect, and order tea and Japanese cakes, or a special rare sake.

The Lounge is a convivial venue for a drink or snack throughout the day and into the night. The Restaurant, popular with locals, offers a gastronomic fine dining menu based on Mediterranean cuisine, and includes a selection of Japanese and Asian inspired dishes.

The hotel also houses an impressive glass-fronted walk-in wine cellar. Working with international winemakers as well as one of Japan’s most revered sake masters, the cellar is stocked with over 1,200 wines and sakes. 

The spa, said to be the most comprehensive hotel spa in Tokyo, takes an integrated approach to wellness and relaxation in a serene, Zen-like setting. There’s a heated swimming pool with expansive views of the city. The 30-meter pool is flanked by double daybeds, ideal for passing a few hours with a book or taking a reviving snooze.

And the pleasures of Tokyo shopping and culture are just outside the front door. This Aman is close to legendary Tokyo museums, along with architecture to study. And with a swift taxi ride, there are new neighborhoods to explore…and favorites like fashion-fan Harajuku, Aoyama and Omotesando. I always find art galleries, small cafes, quirky bookshops, and accessories boutiques that are trend-setting and original there.

Aman recently announced plans for small, chic hotels in London, New York, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore. The Aman Tokyo is a superb debut of the concept.

Aman Tokyo is Aman’s first urban concept hotel, is situated adjacent to the Otemachi Forest. Offering bird’s eye views of the Imperial Palace Gardens and surrounding Tokyo landmarks, the hotel features a serene Aman Spa and a peaceful inner garden. Surrounded by engawa, a wooden feature dividing the inside and out, the soaring lobby rises nearly 30 meters. 

Aman Tokyo
The Otemachi Tower
1-5-6 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0004, Japan 
Tel: (81) 3 5224 3333 
Fax: (81) 3 5224 3355 

Images courtesy Aman Resorts, used here with permission.



Anonymous said...

This looked so familiar to me. Then I remembered. Richard E. Grant featured this hotel as part of his series about great hotels around the world. It looked wonderful then, and it does now!

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Yes it is outstanding...and very quiet and refined. D