Fodor's Expert Review Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
2–1–1 Nihombashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8328, Japan See on Map Fodor's Choice
The Mandarin Oriental is known as one of the finest hotel brands in the world and the Tokyo incarnation lives up to that reputation in spades. Any fan of the chain will feel right at home. The concept of all Mandarin Oriental hotels is around a sense of place, and this version focuses on water and wood and is designed like a tall tree with the bedrooms as its branches. With a premium on service, multiple Michelin restaurants, and a stellar spa, the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo is a dream for high-end hoteliers.
YOU SHOULD KNOW You might be surprised to learn that there’s no pool at the hotel. Something for five-star fans to consider when booking.
Although it’s a tad confusing, the rooms are actually below the lobby level and are housed on the 30th-36th floors. Once inside however, you’ll find elegant and spacious digs with hardwood floors, comfy daybeds, and epic city views. Complimentary items include Illy Coffee makers, tea, and bottled water.
If you want to work out to your own music there are Bluetooth Bose speakers and yoga mats inside the rooms.
Large bathrooms are filled with complimentary toiletries, enormous bath tubs and showers with three separate showerheads! You’ll also find marble countertops, Toto automated toilets, and TVs for tub-soaking and news watching.
Set on the 37th floor of the Nihombashi Mitsui Tower, the classic lobby is a calming space with comfy furnishings, polished wood floors, and a living garden centerpiece. Beyond the check-in and concierge desks are incredible views of the city.
Nihonbashi Sembikiya, in the same building as the hotel, is Japan’s oldest fruit shop opened by a samurai in 1834 and home to the best (and most expensive) fruit in the city.
The award-winning Spa at Mandarin Oriental is an escape for the senses. Inside there are nine treatment rooms where guests can get some of the most original and exhilarating massages, facials, and more. Inside the spa’s locker room facilities are large vitality pools with body-shaking jets, in addition to steam and sauna rooms.
The spa is known for their Christian Louboutin nail treatment with the famous brand’s signature red and black colors.
The fitness center here has hardwood floors, Life Fitness machines, and a bevy of free weights. The mid-size space provides guests with free water, headphones, juice, and homemade energy bars.
The hotel gives guests a jogging map that follows a path around the Imperial Palace Gardens. Also, in case you forgot you workout gear, the hotel will let you borrow theirs for free.
The true highlight of the hotel is its award-winning dining outlets. No other hotel in Tokyo has three Michelin-star restaurants, and all of them live up to their reputations. Sense is the hotel’s fine-dining Cantonese spot with one Michelin star. Tapas Molecular Bar is a unique and inventive molecular gastronomy spot with one Michelin star. And Signature, the hotel's gem, is a one-star Michelin spot serving fine-dining French cuisine. Additionally, you’ll find a sushi spot and Italian pizza joint that haven’t won stars but are still exceptional.
The hotel easily has the best breakfast buffet in Tokyo – so if it doesn’t come with your room, it’s worth the price. Also, on the ground floor of the hotel, is their Gourmet Shop, filled with pastries, breads, and other delicious deli items.
The Mandarin Bar is one floor below the lobby and is a smoky lounge known for whiskey, cigars, and live jazz from Monday-Saturday. Views of the city at night from this drinking den are spectacular.
Below the Mandarin Bar is a private wine cellar with one big table where guests can order from their unparalleled vino collection during private lunches and dinner events.
This part of town is extremely walkable and you’re within minutes of great restaurants, shopping, bars, and attractions. The hotel is also directly connected to the subway so getting to other parts of the city is a breeze.
Check out next door’s Mitsukoshi Department Store (1-minute walk). It’s the oldest department store in Tokyo and in the basement is a market with dozens of food stalls selling every kind of Japanese cuisine imaginable. If for some reason Signature inside the hotel isn’t cutting it, you can find a different French cuisine option at the luxurious Palace Hotel, whose Crown Restaurant (15-minute walk) is known as one of the best in the city.
If you eat at the Palace Hotel, stick around for drinks at their Royal Bar (15-minute walk) which is known for their martinis. Another great hotel bar can be found at the Aman Hotel. Inside, The Lounge by Aman is famous for craft cocktails that only use Japanese ingredients.
WHY WE LIKE IT
A cut above, the Mandarin Oriental lives up to its high-end reputation. With a focus on service, the hotel caters to every whim of its distinguished guests. While there’s no pool (surprising) the hotel makes up for it with water treatments in the spa. You can’t go wrong with the food, as three Michelin restaurants will fill you up. Another great part of this hotel is its unique experiences. The Mandarin has special access to a variety of treats like learning sword play from a samurai or making sushi at the fish market, or just cruising down the Sumida River in a Shogun-style pleasure boat. Lastly, the hotel arguably has the best concierge in the city, so if you need those impossible dinner reservations, this is the place to get it done.
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