Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, Japan – Review

By Jonathan Spira on 20 November 2013
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Shangri-La may be a fictional and somewhat mystical and happy paradise in the Kunlun Mountains that was first described in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, but it’s also a place that’s very real, at least when it concerns hotels.

The first Shangri-La hotel opened its doors in 1971 in Singapore, and the Shangri-La Hotel, Tokyo, located conveniently near Tokyo Station, appeared on the scene in 2009 as part of a large-scale redevelopment project of the area that surrounded the train station.  The Shangri-La is minutes from the Imperial Palace, the historic Nihonbashi district, and the Marunouchi financial center.

An elevator whisked me up to the 28th-floor lobby from the ground-level entrance with a 1,301-pound (590-kilogram) chandelier designed by Jitka Skuhravá that features a flowing curtain of crystal leaves intended to evoke a gentle breeze.  (To build this required 30,600 crystal beads and 780 pieces of crystal in the shape of gingko leaves.)  The lobby itself is the first hint of tranquility and paradise, a plush yet understated space with fresh flowers and more chandeliers, including the three-story grand staircase chandelier, designed by Táňa Dvořáková that rises from the 27th to the 29th floor.

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My Horizon Club Deluxe Bay View room was spacious at 538 square feet (50 square meters) and elegantly appointed.  Along the floor-to-ceiling windows was a very comfortable sofa/day bed that was perfect for taking in (and photographing) the magnificent view that encompassed a stunning cityscape including the Tokyo Sky Tree, the world’s tallest television tower, as well as Tokyo Bay.

The room was designed for guest comfort and convenience, with bedside lighting and curtain controls, a Nespresso coffee machine, and a wooden valet with a jewelry holder.

The bed was satisfyingly comfortable, helped no doubt by the fluffy feather duvet and pillows (there’s a pillow menu offering a selection of other pillows, including hypoallergenic ones), contributing to a very good night’s sleep.

The marble bathroom was large and well-lighted, with more than sufficient counter and storage space.  A separate tub and shower were behind one glass door.

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