Before even staying here, the expectations are sky-high: the hotel has been awarded the six star diamond award from the American Association of Hospitality, which is an award you see about as often as Mme Leroy’s Musigny. Furthermore, the combination of MO, and a city such as Tokyo, where the standards of service are some of the highest we have experienced, only places greater pressure on the hotel to deliver an almost magical experience.
For the most part that is just what the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo does. To begin with its location in Nihonbashi is in the heart of the city’s banking district. A few minutes away from Ginza, you are in the vicinity of not only the banks, but also restaurants, and shopping centres that make Tokyo fascinating. What the location allows you also to do, however, is to sit in your spacious, and warmly designed room, and look out of the bustling forest of skyscrapers that stretches out in front of you.
This view, however, is best enjoyed from another spot at the MO: the sauna, and vitality beds that allow you to relax, whilst contemplating the ever-moving city in front of you. Lying here during the sunset, or sunrise must be one of the most memorable things you can do in Tokyo. Additionally, given that access to the spa is not free most hours of the day, you can be sure to be almost alone here, making it all the more serene, and relaxing.
Whilst a number of hotels in the city have a good location, and a perfectly run spa, the feature that really makes the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo stand out, is its unparalleled service. It is remarkable for its fluidity, and effortlessness. From the moment you step out of the car upon arrival until the bell boy waves you off, you hardly notice how much effort is put in to make your stay as smooth, and special as possible.
Finally, and no less important, given our penchant for gastronomy, the hotel offers a variety of restaurants: edomae sushi is served at Sushi Sora, which is no less exclusive than some of the city’s more famous sushi restaurants. Nicolas Boujéma, a former disciple of Pierre Gagnaire, runs the French Restaurant Signature, whilst the Mandarin’s birthplace’s food is served at the Cantonese restaurant Sense. A more recent addition to the hotel’s gastronomic offerings is a pizza bar that has already become quite a sensation in the city. Furthermore, a restaurant that might have been more famous a few years ago, but still remains unique, is located within the Oriental Lounge: Tapas Molecular Bar. Serving molecular cuisine for a handful of diners, this is certainly one of the most idiosyncratic restaurants in the city.
The Mandarin Oriental in Tokyo is a hotel that trumps every single one of its competitors with its service quality, gastronomic offerings, and atmosphere. It is the one hotel in Tokyo that truly offers a complete experience. This is a hotel that will make even seasoned travellers excited about their stay, and give you even more energy to explore one of the world’s most fascinating cities.