In the heart of Tokyo, Hoshinoya Tokyo provides a unique and fabulous Japanese Ryokan experience complete with an authentic Onsen located, believe or not, on the top floor of their hotel. Having stayed in many luxury properties throughout Tokyo, I was amazed on how Hoshinoya Tokyo was able to quickly and easily transport me into a relaxing and calm atmosphere with its’ truly traditional Ryokan environment. It was hard to believe that I was in the middle of Tokyo’s economic district.
Upon entering the property you are immediately aware that you are in a special place. As the large wooden doors separate you feel that you have entered into more of a Japanese residence than a hotel. A short walk inside leads you to an entrance where you exchange your shoes for provided slippers and the surrounding wooden designed wall and tatami mats, capped off with an exquisite flower arrangement immediately have the hustle and bustle of the vibrant city of Tokyo just outside the doors wash away in this tranquil environment.
The staff greet you at the entrance an quickly hand you luggage to a colleague who will discretely take them directly to your room as you are escorted to your floor. A very unique aspect of Hoshinoya Tokyo is that guests are taken to their floor, rather than a main reception lobby. Each floor has it’s own common area, called an Ochanoma Lounge, where you are welcomed to the property and the different aspects of the hotel are outlined to you.
I really liked the concept that every floor has an Ochanoma Lounge area that provides the guests on each individual floor with their own concierge. Having access to the different amenities available here, and a large space to do work was very unique. I liked the concept that if large families or corporate clients were all to stay on one floor, they would have a large central meeting place to enjoy meals, plan their days, or work collaboratively. This is a very nice touch.
The personal concierge on the floor is a very convenient concept, at it did prove to be useful in getting quick responses to any needs or questions. While checking-in with you floor’s concierge you are provided with a light welcome refreshment and you are shown the various refreshments that are available to the guests on that particular floor – only guests staying on your floor has access to your floor and the Ochanoma Lounge on that floor.
Once we had completed our tea and had the features of the property explained to us, we are escorted down the hall to our room.
The room was gorgeous and I would not change a thing about it. We stayed in the Kiku room and it was spacious and very relaxing. Again, although I was in a high rise tower in the middle of Tokyo, unless I opened the sliding screens covering the windows, I almost felt that I was in a Ryokan in Kyoto or somewhere more rural. The Kiku room is the largest layout on the floor and was a corner room. It had a large walk-in closet, a well designed bed area on a raised platform, and ample seating areas that included a desk, small dining table and a relaxing couch loaded with pillows to relax with.
I appreciated that, for this property, Hoshinoya recognized that there is a little more of a need for modern conveniences, most notably a TV (I mention this as some other Hoshinoya properties do not have TV’s in their rooms). It was well done in incorporating the TV into the mirror so that you still maintained that traditional feel to the room.
The bathroom was also large and well stocked with the necessities that one needs while traveling. I must admit, that I did not use the bathtub or shower as I utilized the facilities in the onsen instead.
The onsen on the top floor was a real treat. Back in 2014, a Hot Spring was discovered deep in the ground where Hoshinoya Tokyo now stands. It was hard to believe that I was in the middle of Tokyo enjoying an onsen. This feature alone makes Hoshinoya Tokyo stand out as an distinct property in Tokyo. The onsen was large and warm, with the highlight of this facility being the opening at the top of the second section that is completely exposed to the sky above, this succeeded in providing an open air feeling that would be extremely difficult to achieve given the location. I really found it to be a treat to have the rain falling on me while enjoying an onsen in the middle of Tokyo. For obvious reasons, i do not have a personal picture of the onsen to show, but they have provided permission to use this picture from their website:
If you are not familiar with onsens, the alkaline waters are believed to have healing and restorative properties that leave you with feeling extremely refreshed and rejuvenated after a long soak. Overall, an excellent facility and a true oasis in the heart of the city.
Hoshinoya Tokyo is a remarkable property in the middle of Tokyo and is highly recommended for anyone truly wishing to have a traditional Japanese experience while staying in Tokyo.
In my next installment on Hoshinoya Tokyo, I will showcase the amazing Kaiseki dinner and breakfast. I will then introduce the activity that we took part in on our second day.