What is it? One of Tokyo's best-located and most historic hotels. Integrated, as the name suggests, into Tokyo Station, in the capital's central business district, it is also just a few minutes walk from the Imperial Palace. The complex, which was completed in 1914, has just emerged from a six-year, 50 billion yen (HK$4.7 billion) renovation that has left most other luxury hotels in the city looking over their shoulders. Think sympathetically revamped heritage interiors with cutting-edge modern touches such as earthquake-resistant foundations and state-of-the-art spa and gym facilities.


Why would I want to stay here? The location is unbeatable - trains to Narita and the rest of Japan are literally steps from your suite (the station handles about 380,000 passengers a day), as are a host of chic shopping destinations and eateries in nearby Ginza and Marunouchi.


What's the ambience like? Classic European. The elegant interior was created by British firm Richmond International, which has carved out a niche in transforming historical buildings into luxury hotels (it was responsible for the renovation of the Trianon Palace in Versailles, France). High ceilings, historic decorative features, glimpses of Gothic brickwork and claw-foot Victorian baths are Richmond's meat and drink. There is no getting away from the hotel's unique position: new ambassadors taking up their posts in Tokyo still ride in a carriage from the station's main entrance to the Imperial Palace to greet the emperor and empress.


What about the rooms? Elegant and classic, with all the usual mod cons. The four-metre-high ceilings and tall windows swathed in curtains provide welcome relief from the orthodoxy of modern hotel design in Tokyo. There are six types of room, including the "classic", opposite the Imperial Palace grounds; the "palace side", overlooking Marunouchi; and two-storey "maisonette" rooms. The royal suite, facing Gyoko-dori Avenue, which leads directly to the Imperial Palace, is by far the largest, at 1,860 square feet. The most atmospheric, however, would be one of the "dome side" rooms (above), which flank the station's beautifully restored domes and feature egg yolk-yellow-painted octagonal ceilings and reliefs of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac.


What's the food like? The hotel has six restaurants and bars, ranging from casual Italian and Japanese izakaya-style to fine French dining at Blanc Rouge. Octogenarian master barman Hisashi Sugimoto returned to the hotel when it reopened in October to mix the cocktails at Bar Oak. Guests can stock up on traditional confectionery at the Toraya Tokyo Café - the company has a 480-year tradition of making sweets - or head to the Lobby Lounge (top) for a cup of Toarco Toraja arabica coffee.


What's the bottom line? A one-night stay in a dome-side room costs from 32,160 yen (HK$3,030) per room, including tax and service charge but excluding Tokyo's accommodation tax.


The Tokyo Station Hotel is at 1-9-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda, Tokyo, Japan; tel: 81 3 5220 1111; www.thetokyostationhotel.jp