The Peninsula Tokyo

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am

A new addition to the portfolio? Yes, and the first freestanding luxury hotel to open its doors in Tokyo for more than 10 years.

Similar to its Hong Kong cousin? In some respects - notably the afternoon tea served in the lobby. Also, the guest rooms have the unmistakable Peninsula signature. There's a helipad on the roof too, but the hotel isn't licensed to use it unless there's a fire.

From the outside, it's not very similar. The Peninsula Tokyo has a glass and amber granite facade and a modern - some might say unremarkable - design. However, the 1934 Rolls-Royce Phantom II parked out the front, a pair of Imperial guardian lions at the entrance and a forecourt fountain suggest the property's pedigree.

How about the rooms? Sensational. There's a feeling of genuine luxury, with rustic sliding wooden doors, fine soft furnishings and an attention to detail. From nail-polish driers in the dressing room to camera memory card readers on the widescreen TV control panels and the preset RTHK button on the digital radio control, it's all been thought through. Free Wi-fi broadband connection is standard and you can fine-tune the in-room humidity and temperature. Sink into the bath and press the Spa button for a selection of mood music and romantic lighting. Even the electronically operated toilets are a cut above the usual, automatically raising and lowering the lid when you enter and leave.

Good location? No hotel in Tokyo can claim to have the ideal location as the city is so sprawling, but Marunouchi district is as good as anywhere for tourists. The Imperial Gardens and Hibiya Park are across the road and the Ginza shopping district is five minutes' walk away. The famous Tsukiji Fish Market is within walking distance.

How about food? The main fine-dining restaurant, called Peter, is on the 24th floor and offers diners 'internationally inspired cuisine' in a modern, aubergine-purple and steel environment. Hei Fung Terrace serves Cantonese cuisine in a Suzhou-garden-themed layout. There's also a Japanese restaurant, Tsuruya, and a boutique and cafe.

What's the bottom line? Superior rooms start from 60,000 yen (HK$4,560) but if you can afford that then you may as well upgrade to a deluxe park-view room - more like a suite in terms of size and layout - for an extra 10,000 yen. Top of the range is the suite, which will set you back 850,000 yen.

The Peninsula Tokyo is at 1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, Japan, tel: 81 3 6270 2888;