Photography by Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
14 June 2023
The marbled murrelet is a seabird that constructs the highest nests in the world. These are built as high as 45 metres above the ground and usually on a soft moss-covered branch of an old conifer tree.
As I take the lift up the 247-metre-tall skyscraper which houses the Andaz Tokyo, I’m glad I’m not a bird. No need to flap my wings as the lift is far more effortless.
Perched high on the 52nd floor of Toranomon Hills, the Andaz Tokyo boasts one of Tokyo’s best bars offering a view of which even the eagles would be jealous. Set in a sophisticated open-air terrace, the sky-high mixologists use seasonal ingredients to create a variety of exotic cocktails.
One of which is Kyohime Amazake. This original cocktail is a delicate mixture of Japanese sweet sake, matcha and yuzu combined with Grey Goose Poire vodka poured over an ice ball. The bar is a must-do whether you are staying in-house or just visiting.
Those lucky enough to stay at the Andaz Tokyo will delight in one of 164 rooms in this hotel which occupies the 47th to the 52nd floors. There are eight suites with the smallest being 125 square metres so definitely generous by Japanese standards.
The bathrooms are almost as large as the bedrooms with each having a circular Goemon-inspired deep soak tub and a selection of Aesop products. What is also wonderful is that the minibar drinks and snacks are complimentary (not the alcohol). Floor-to-ceiling windows give the wow factor over the glittering Tokyo skyline.
Also included in the room are fluffy robes, slippers and yukata. There’s the Instagram-worthy Toto toilet that opens and closes automatically and no need to even flush it as it does it by itself.
The bed is comfortable and slighter lower than normal giving a nod to the traditional Futon. It is set in a chic room with Hokkaido walnut wood, fusuma and shoji panelling on the walls and locally inspired artworks. The deluxe rooms offer wraparound views from the curved windows.
The lobby smells divine with a different scent for each season. As I was there in Sakura it was the sweet smell of cherry blossoms. The washi art guides you when you first arrive at the port cochere and is predominant throughout the hotel. Washi art is created by intricate folds of paper reflecting Japanese origami art thus reflecting the past evolving into the modern. Other artworks such as Kumiko art (wooden blocks offering up a variety of designs) are strategically placed throughout.
Located on the Hibiya Line the Toranomon Hills station opened in 2020. This is an area that is changing from being business-focussed into a diverse area that offers a place for travellers, locals and workers to gather.
The Andaz has the place to wind down at the AO Spa and Club, which offers an indoor 20-metre lap pool, water bath, whirlpool, hydrotherapy pool and treatment rooms with jaw dropping views. Products offered are Biologique Recherche and Elemental Herbology massage oils. There’s also a gym with Technogym equipment looking over that magnificent view.
Andaz dining plays on the seasonality theme with both Japanese and western menus. Try the natto (fermented soybean). It’s like the Vegemite taste test, you’ll love it or hate it.
There’s a particularly alluring afternoon tea offered in the Tavern on the 51st floor with a melon theme showcasing richly fragrant melons, which are in season in early summer. The savoury Greek salad features melons, an unusual twist instead of cucumbers, with feta cheese, red onion, olives, and lemon for a refreshing flavour. The saltiness of the feta cheese and the subtle sweetness of the melon, combined with the sourness of the lemon, make this original dish fresh and unique.
From the sweets menu, the shortcake is sandwiched with fresh Rupiah Red melon, one of the most succulent and juiciest of melons. Vanilla panna cotta is an Andaz-style interpretation of the melon cream soda that is a classic staple in Japanese cafes. The smooth, vanilla-scented panna cotta is combined with a melon soda jelly and finished with a bright cherry on top, creating a melon cream soda that looks as good as it tastes. Enjoy the season’s best melons not only served as sweets, but also lavishly arranged as savoury dishes for your enjoyment.
The Andaz is where chic and traditional mingle to produce a wow factor stay in Tokyo’s highest building.