I’ll admit it, the last time we did Tokyo, we didn’t do it right. It was 2012, and we were storming through various parts of Asia. We stayed in a decent but ordinary and boring business hotel for what still felt like a handsome sum. The room was small, like only the bed fit in it kind of small. The bathroom was confusing, and a low point is when I thought the fancy remote control in the bathroom turned the shower on. Standing before the toilet, I hit the water button only to have one of Japan’s finest toilets point a bidet and spray me, full pressure, squarely in the face.
We never one drank real coffee, given the exorbitant cost we stuck to the cheap vending machine cans of coffee. And, I hate to confess this, but transparency is a must on this blog: We didn’t really eat sushi the way we should have. Sticker shock scared us off, and while that reality opened up the world of ramen to us, we missed out on sushi.
And so returning last November, we knew we had to correct a few things:
1. Eat sushi.
2. Stay closer to the parts of the city we wanted to be in.
3. Stay at the nicest hotels in Tokyo, and not pay a penny doing so.
When you think luxury hotel and Tokyo, you’re bound to think about the Park Hyatt Tokyo, made famous from the film Lost in Translation. Fear not dear friends, we stayed there and have a review on the way, but I want to talk to you about a hotel I didn’t realize I’d love so much. And so this is our review of The Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills: a 5 star boutique hotel located on the top 6 floors of a 52 story skyscraper in Tokyo! We’ve got a photo and video review below!
The important facts
So here are the essential basics on this Andaz property. When we walked onto our floor, we were a bit creeped out.
Is this the twilight zone? “Where the hell are we and damn it Hyatt what have you done with our points?!?” we thought to ourselves in silence as our host walked us onward to our room. Rounding the corner, things got a bit nicer.
And when we got to our room, I knew we’d found a hotel bound to surpass our previous stay. Sure, there was the view and the fact the square footage was something like 7 times what it was when we last visited Tokyo. But there was something even more important that I discovered: There would be no confusing the bidet remote as a shower remote this time around.
And the shower, well, it was probably bigger than the last room we stayed in.
OK, but you probably will spend most of your time outside of the bathroom, at least we hope. So back to the basics…
Price: We’ve been able to find rooms for about $400 a night. Or, you can do like we did, and pay with Hyatt Points: 25,000 a night. Note that’s 5,000 points cheaper than the other property you’re probably scouting on points: The Park Hyatt Tokyo.
Size: The hotel is small, as in 164 rooms small. But it still packs a great beer and burger joint (Bebu) we personally enjoyed on the 1st floor, as well as a rooftop bar, their main tavern and a pastry shop.
Neighborhood: So this might be the biggest drawback on this property. It’s in a business district. And so there’s not much within walking distance. That said, public transportation is easily accessible, with the ability to walk in under 10 minutes to the following:
1. Toranomon station (Ginza line) – 5 minutes walk
2. Kamiyacho station (Hibiya line) – 5 minutes walk
3. Kasumigaseki station (Marunouchi, Hibiya, Chiyoda line) – 7-8 minutes walk
4. Uchisaiwaicho station (Toei Mita line) – 7-8 minutes walk
5. Shimbashi station (JR line) – 10 minutes walk
And so while we wished we had more walking distance from the hotel, we found it quite easy and convenient to get to other parts of the city. And in truth, being the introverts we are, it was nice to be away from the really busy hustle and bustle that is evident in other parts of Tokyo. Part of our stay here fell on a weekend, and it was actually really cool to walk some streets that were eerily quiet in the early morning hours.
We found the room to be AWESOME! We were high above the city, and enjoyed soaking in the views of Tokyo Tower day and night.
There were random perks and cool features too. All the nonalcoholic beverages were free!
There was a Nespresso Machine.
As is standard in fancy pants hotels (technical travel industry jargon) the blinds were electronic. But what made the room great was next to each bed was complete controls of everything from all the lights in the room to the privacy and shade blinds.
The staff were also great. Our host and I got into an awkward bowing competition as after she’d say thank you, I’d say “no, thank you” and so on as she backed out of the room, dueling bows. My bad. But when calling about the reservation I told them we were celebrating our anniversary. No matter our anniversary was in August, this was the first big trip from then. And while they didn’t quite nail the details just right, the sentiment and most importantly bottle of champagne, was nailed!
Outside the room
As much as we loved our room and the view and amenities that came with it, we really fell in love with the rest of the hotel property. I joke that I normally stay in cheap hotels to motivate me to get my ass outside of the hotel. In the case of the Andaz, it was really hard to leave. So get this: In a city where alcohol is $$$$, they had a social hour from 6 to 8 pm in the lobby with free wine and snacks.
But where this hotel really stole the show was in their spa and health club facilities. Simply put, they were stunning. In the gym, each cardio machine had it’s own TV with cable, internet access, and an easy ability to hook up your own phone to it for whatever you might want to stream onto it. The view wasn’t bad either, read into that what you will. My wife is hot.
The pool was beautiful as well.
The spa area had everything you’d expect: Overpriced but probably really good massages, hot tubs (and a freezing cold tub), saunas, etc…
The men’s locker room was insane. I’d love to show you the women’s locker room but Laura says it’s creepy to take photos of locker rooms, and she probably has a point. But for the men, they were filled with tall lockers, great showers, and good amenities.
After a long workout, I was a sucker for the quiet massage chair room. Grabbed some of the most delicious juice and a cold washcloth
And then I grabbed a newspaper, tried to navigate the massage chair buttons that were all in Japanese with some surprising success, and sat back and read. And read, and then maybe fell a sleep for a bit too.
The fact of the matter from our Andaz Tokyo review is this: The Andaz is pretty awesome. Sure we stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo and yes, it was just as luxurious as we imagined. But as profiles go, I think we’re learning we’re more Andaz than Park Hyatt. Where Park Hyatt felt over the top, Andaz felt just right. It doesn’t hurt that the Andaz is 5,000 points a night less than the Park Hyatt’s 30,000 point per night total. I could go and on, but I’ll leave you with this: A YouTube video that’s a quick walk through of the guest room we stayed in.
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