Housed atop Tokyo’s tallest building and Mori Building Company’s newest crowning glory, Toranomon Hills, Andaz Tokyo seems to be well-positioned for a warm welcome. Truth be told, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is not the brand’s first venture into the Asian hospitality scene, but it is indeed the first in the Japanese market. It’s big sister in Shanghai is attracting a lot of interest and rounds of applause, that everyone cannot help but hold the Tokyo property to a higher standard.
So far, it has not been one to disappoint. After stealing much of the spotlight during its opening in the summer of 2014, and then bagging the award for “Urban Hotel of The Year” a few months later, everyone has been left wondering: What’s all the fuss about?
The design world’s high appraisal may be all thanks to the brilliant minds of world-renowned interior designer, New York-based Tony Chi, and Tokyo’s renaissance man, Architect Shinichiro Ogata.
The overarching idea was to introduce the Japanese interpretation of open design outside the walls of a traditional home. Chi and Ogata have designed different areas of the hotel, applying their unique take as they went. The collaboration somehow resulted in a mishmash of spaces that seem aesthetically different from each other, but actually come together at the seams.
having few or no internal walls or partitions.
Though this contemporary reinterpretation of open design deserves the commendation, what brings it all together is the overall sense of balance in the use of various materials and different, complementary colors. Dark hardwood is mixed with leather seating and carpeting in pops of vermilion and chartreuse. The neutral whitewashed walls in the background stand reminiscent of traditional Japanese washi paper dividers. The combination of these visual cues perfectly translates the property’s aim of incorporating traditional design implements into modern interior design. The idea of integrating customary concepts of living with modern set-ups spreads throughout the property – from the large marble bathrooms reminiscent of onsen baths to bars designed after traditional tea rooms onto rooftops that look like Zen gardens.
As though experimenting with the open design concept isn’t enough, Andaz Tokyo sets its service design apart from what has been the norm in the hospitality industry for ages. The Andaz Lounge took on a ryokan-style check-in and checkout system. Cutting out the need for a defined reception area and leading guests towards a saloon, checking-in feels almost like being welcomed into a close friend’s home. The arrival becomes a lot more personal, and for some, special.
Andaz Tokyo may have been looking forward, when it decided to take on an experimental attitude in an industry plagued with cookie-cutter tendencies. But then again, in the next few years, the city’s design identity might just follow suit.
1-23-4, Toranomon, Minato-ku
Tokyo, Japan, 105-0001
THIS ARTICLE IS IN JOINT-PARTNERSHIP WITH ANDAZ TOKYO TORANOMON HILLS.
ALL COMMENTS & SUGGESTIONS ARE THE AUTHOR’S OWN, WRITTEN SOLELY FOR THE INTENTS AND PURPOSES OF PASSPORT OUT ASIA.