Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is a 164-room hotel that stresses indigenous, which includes elevator cabin walls decorated with Tai fish made of white washi paper, as a sign of “celebration” in the Japanese tradition. We soared up to the 51st-floor lobby-reception and changed elevators, down to the 50th floor to find room #5028, identified by four protruding digits 20 centimetres off the floor. My key card is in a handmade yellow paper cover. Inside, two straight walls are panels of white washi-looking shoji, with big inset mirror panels. Designer Tony Chi has gone for a forest-like interior feel. The mottled moss carpet reminds me of a beautiful Japanese garden.
I soon discovered that the hotel is a place of happenings. Andaz Salon continually hosts live events, with professional musicians, fashion designers and photographers. It seems this is a working base 24/7 for younger generation Tokyo success stories. See them in the Living Room, working on their laptops.
Andaz Tavern is a big draw, with enormous windows, a high ceiling from which coils of wafer-fine wood and artworks by a Londoner Charlie Whinney. An inner area has a large L-shaped working kitchen. I look around at servers who could be catwalk models: they choose from a selection of custom-made gear, in muted colours based on traditional Japanese workwear.
Another great success is the AO spa, with the Blend Bar that is a feature of all new Andaz properties (this one has a range of products that includes Biologique Récherché, Elemental Herbology and Kotoshina, using Kyoto green tea). Rejuvenated, I was sadly already on my way, though before getting into the car I spent a few minutes checking out the irresistible concept stores down at ground floor level. As GM Ross Cooper says, this is a hotel that leaves you with lots of memories – and a myriad reasons to come back.
Lead image: Rooftop Bar – Andaz Tokyo