Finding a boutique haven in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo

The Four Seasons Tokyo at Marunouchi was a perfect respite in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo. Like much else in Tokyo, space is not abundant. The Marunouchi however has made the perfect boutique experience in the heart of Tokyo – a compact luxury hotel that feels like coming home after a long day of touring the city.

The welcome

The welcome started with a greeting on the platform at Tokyo station. This was essential – if you’ve never been to the sprawling Tokyo station, it’s the worlds busiest train station with more than 200 exits. Thankfully, two wonderful members from the concierge team met us on the platform, promptly took our bags and led us through the crowded maze of the station. The hotel is about a 5 minute walk from the station (once you’re above ground). We were welcomed into the front desk and wished a happy honeymoon. When we arrived in our room, we found a few romantic touches such as a welcome note from the GM and a swan towel display. About 10 minutes later, we got a call asking if we drank alcohol (an example of the thoughtfulness that is Japanese culture). After we said yes, a knock on the door arrived delivering a cart fit with a bottle of champagne, fresh berries, chocolates, and other Japanese sweet treats – the words “congratulations” were written in chocolate on the plate. The woman who delivered the cart took our photo and wished us a very happy honeymoon.

The Room and the Hotel

It’s worth noting this is not a typical Four Seasons Resort, but rather a luxury boutique, “City” hotel. The design was minimalist and perfectly Japanese, while being extremely comfortable. Our room was pleasantly large for Tokyo (we had a standard bedroom) and fit with a King size bed. The menu of various pillow options alone took us 10 minutes to read (my husband gladly ordered the “foot” pillow and was delighted). The options continued into the bathroom, with heated toilet seat settings and bade for him and her. We received nightly turn down service  to find our slippers ready at the side of our bed (another lovely cultural touch that we greatly appreciated) and our room refreshed with bottled waters.

The top floor of the hotel hosts the hotel Restaurant, Gym, and Spa. The restaurant was beautifully designed and boasted 360 degree views of the city. The breakfast is included in the rate and was to die for – who knew Tokyo could produce croissants rivaling ones I’ve tried in Paris? I still dream of this breakfast. On the other side of the top floor, was the Gym and the Spa….see below for these notes.

What stood out the most beyond the luxury amenities of Four Seasons Marunouchi, was the service. The staff were an exemplary representation of the warm and welcoming Japanese culture. We were addressed as Mr and Mrs throughout our stay and everyone knew our name. At the end of our stay, we were gifted a print of the photo taken upon our arrival – a small token of their appreciation. The staff felt like family and the hotel felt like a home!

The Spa

As a smaller hotel in the Four Seasons fleet, the spa was compact. Upon first arrival, we were relaxed with the scent of lemongrass and greeted by the receptionist. The spa was connected to the gym (which had views over the city of Tokyo, and chilled towels and bottled water at our disposal), women’s, and men’s changing rooms. The changing rooms had whatever we needed – robes, slippers, toiletries, and bottled water. While we did not book a treatment, we took advantage of the soaking pools (traditional “onsen” – Japanese hot springs), steam, and sauna, all of which were the perfect cure for jet lag. The busy city life of Tokyo disappeared after a long day of playing tourist.

Insider Tips

If you’re celebrating a special occasion, let the hotel know ahead of time! We emailed to say we were coming on our honeymoon and the added touches were incredibly thoughtful. Take the concierge up on their offer to meet you at the train station if you take the train into JR Station. Make sure you are able to get on wifi and let them know your exact train number and arrival platform. Spend time at breakfast – the food is incredible and pretty much unlimited. This was one of our favorite parts of the day. Have the concierge help you with restaurant bookings and translating for cab drivers – many people don’t speak English.

– Katherine, Guest WSR contributor

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