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.
Location – 7.5
Toranomon Hills, Tokyo’s newest development, is just a 20-minute car ride from Haneda Airport, or a 1.5-hour car ride from Japan’s predominant airport, Narita. If you could opt to take a car from the airport, reaching Andaz Tokyo would be as easy as 1-2-3. Else, navigating the metro to find yourself at the Kamiyacho Station might be a bit challenging.
Whilst here, expect to hobnob with leisure travellers of a wide age range of 25-55. A lot of couples were sighted, but surprisingly, a lot of families were in the check-in crowd. The Andaz Tavern and the hotel lobby were brimming with local tourists and foreign guests alike.
The Arrival – 7
Coming into Andaz’s front entrance at half past noon might be a bit disconcerting. We inadvertently joined an overwhelming lunchtime crowd, as we headed towards the 51st floor lobby.
Before the stay, I already had an idea of Andaz Tokyo’s way of welcoming guests, but I did not expect to be welcomed into a lobby with no dedicated concierge desks. I felt how Alice might have had, after stumbling down the rabbit hole into Wonderland – lost and dazed. Aggravating factor: trying to catch the attention of the front desk staff took more time than usual.
Though checking in did not go as it normally does, dealing with formalities in the Andaz Lounge more than made up for it. Filling up forms is stripped off of the stress, when latte is served alongside pen and paper. Then, it started feeling like sitting in a friend’s living room.
After devouring our fair share of welcome drinks and introductions, we were led by the chirpy Louis to our room.
The View – 10
The aptly named Andaz Tower View King welcomed us with a pleasant panorama: an uninterrupted view of the Tokyo Tower in the privacy of our own room. I might have just sat by the wide windows gazing at it the entire afternoon, had commitments not been made beforehand.
The Room – 8
At 50 square meters, the Andaz Tower View King is spacious for Tokyo standards. What the room lacks in actual size, though, it compensates with smart design and functionality.
The simple layout makes use of space wisely – even fitting a small walk-in closet by the room entrance. Upon entering, a granite-tiled hallway immediately leads to the mix-use bedroom, living room and study. Hardwood sliding doors separate the toilet and bathroom, vanity dresser, and walk-in closet from the hallway. A small pantry – fully equipped with a mini bar, a Nespresso machine, and a gorgeous Japanese tea set – stands against the intersection of the bedroom wall and the hardwood sliding doors. It’s surprising that even with a lot going on, there’s still ample space to walk around.
Design-wise, everything was well-thought out: every bit and piece fits the bigger picture perfectly. The separation of spaces was such that one can move smoothly within one area, and from one area to another. The unexpected mix of contrasting materials – take paper and glass, or polished stone and bamboo, for example – brings surprises here and there.
The Bed – 8
Seemingly floating amidst the colours, the bed was heaven. I slept so soundly that getting up the next morning was almost impossible!
In-Room Technology – 8
From turning on bedside lamps to drawing privacy curtains, everything can be done at a flick of a switch on the bedside controller. A Bose SoundLink Mini Bluetooth Speaker II right beside it would make any music buff squeal, just like I did.
But if music isn’t number one on your list, maybe coffee is? A Nespresso machine sits on the pantry. Need I say more?
The Bathroom – 8
All rooms in Andaz Tokyo have the same open design bathroom.
The bathroom’s crowning glory is its circular, onsen-inspired bathtub big enough to fit an entire litter of puppies.
Right next to it is a rainforest shower with a detachable showerhead. It’s quite unusual to not find a separate shower. This set-up reminds of a Japanese house’s bathroom design, which is not altogether unpleasant.
The ceramic undermount sink on the wooden countertop extends the room’s theme all the way to the bathroom. The soothing aesthetics mixed with good lighting makes for the perfect vanity dresser.
Service – 8
What I adore about the hotel’s approach is that it revolves around sharing personal stories and ideas with guests. Trying to connect this way may seem intuitive, but it essentially requires a lot of courage, some patience, and a good deal of sense of humor.
Departure – 6.5
Our schedule was a bit frantic, so we decided to check-out two hours ahead of time. What I expected to be a fast check-out turned out to be a time-consuming fare. There was an unusual rush of goings on; it was like the check-in scene was on loop. Sitting for brunch at BeBu, it finally occurred to me that it was still Hatsumode season after all.
I was hesitant to try out Andaz Tokyo initially: it being a new brand, and all that. Coming in with no expectations whatsoever, they turned out to be outrageously good at what they are doing. Service was above par. The interiors left me awestruck.
Andaz is, every bit, a nonconformist. The boutique hotel branding and execution made for a special and memorable stay. However, service needs a few tweaks here and there, before it can genuinely feel like home. Nonetheless, there’s a reason to be optimistic that Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills is trying to initiate change, where others have failed.
Overall – 7.89
1-23-4, Toranomon, Minato-ku,
Tokyo, Japan, 105-0001