Hot Spots

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 12:00am

Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunouchi

Where? In the frantically beating heart of Tokyo's financial district.

Spot on for corporate types, but what about leisure travellers? The main railway station is next door, so guests can hop aboard a bullet train and fast-track their way to Mount Fuji.The Ginza shopping district (aka Tokyo's Fifth Avenue) is a block away.

Any cultural attractions? Drama buffs will love Kabuki-za, a huge kabuki theatre in Ginza, while those seeking serenity should visit the Imperial Palace, which is a 10-minute walk away.

Is the hotel similarly peaceful? With just 57 rooms, including nine suites, Four Seasons' hip new hostelry provides a blissful retreat from Tokyo's teeming streets.

Zen, then? Yes, but with a generous dose of urban cool. The spacious guestrooms have wall-length windows, a yin and yang colour scheme (ecru, charcoal, off-white), streamlined furnishings in natural wood and contemporary artworks.

And the bathrooms? Choose a one-bedroom corner suite and you get a sculpted stand-alone tub, placed in front of the fabulous vista window. Otherwise, the limestone bathrooms have egg-shaped tubs and a Japanese washlet.

Japanese washlet? Also known as an Oriental super-loo with a built-in seat-warmer and radio, nozzles that squirt water from four directions like a bidet, and a hot-air dryer.

Will wonders never cease? Not here, clearly. Heaven for techno wizards, all the rooms have a 42-inch plasma-screen TV/DVD, and work gizmos including high-speed Internet access, copiers, scanners and multi-phone lines.

Who goes there? Actors, novelists and racing drivers, who frequent the hotel's French restaurant, and tourists eager to check out Tokyo's newest hip hotel.

Anything else we should know? Complete the Japanese experience in the spa with a scrub shower, shiatsu massage and therapeutic wallow in a traditional hot-spring bath.

Superior room from 60,000 yen (HK$4,007); Premier room from 70,000 yen; Four Seasons executive suite from 85,000 yen; One bedroom suite from 120,000 yen. Pacific Century Place, 1-11-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan 100-6277. Tel: [81 3] 5222 7222;