The new Aman Tokyo marks the first capital city launch for the luxe Asian hotel brand, and its debut Japanese getaway. We’re just loving the lobby…
BY SOPHIE DAVIES
When it comes to hotels, the Fizz is particularly partial to two things; a look-at-me lobby and the perfect pool. Luckily, new city retreat Aman Tokyo delivers on both fronts. Unveiled on 22 December, it’s a serene dream of a place, with sleek interiors by Aman regular Kerry Hill Architects. We’re talking tactile materials, contemporary simplicity and epic, urban views.
Set in upscale financial district Otemachi, Aman Tokyo perches, God-like, on the top six floors of the 38-storey Otemachi Tower, offering 84 rooms and suites with panoramic vistas of the Imperial Palace Gardens. Design plays with natural light and shadow, drawing on a classic Japanese palette of camphor wood, washi paper and stone, teamed with modern technology.
TOP PICTURE: Tokyo skyline views from a Premier Room living area
BELOW: A lofty lantern-inspired feature tops the soaring lobby lounge; internal gardens add calm to the space
So back to that jaw-dropping lobby… The atrium’s centrepiece is a soaring architectural feature shaped like a 30-foot-high Japanese paper lantern. Rising six floors through the core of the building, it was crafted with layers of textured washi paper stretched over a shoji frame. Below, the hotel’s vast inner sanctum beckons, combining Ikebana branch and flower arrangements with a calming water feature and two rock gardens. Soothing timber and sheer stone floors and walls surround this oasis, creating a monumental mood.
Yet design takes its cue from Japan’s cosier residential structures, too, with the inner garden flanked by a veranda, or engawa, which leads to the dining and lounge areas. Traditionally a wooden space between the garden and living quarters in local homes, the concept is mirrored in the separation of sleeping and living zones in the hotel’s bedrooms.
BELOW: Zen-chic rules: pale wood and paper shoji screens in a Deluxe Room; the Aman Suite boasts a deep furo bath for stylish soaking
Naturally, bedrooms here are all huge, zen and Instagram-friendly (heck, some even boast pantries). But the real draw for us? Each features a large furo, a deep soaking tub that celebrates the Japanese ritual of bathing.
Aman Tokyo’s seductive 30-metre indoor pool stretches across the skyline, with dreamy day-beds, steam rooms and Japanese hot baths for unwinding in style. It’s part of a two-floor wellness centre, which includes an Aman Spa with eight treatment rooms, a fitness centre, and yoga and Pilates studios.
ABOVE: Inviting loungers line the sleek, indoor swimming pool
Peckish? At ground-floor The Café by Aman, you can sample Mediterranean fare and seafood, with indoor/outdoor seating giving onto the Otemachi Forest. Signature still and sparkling sake is served from distinctive vats. In the main reception area, the Lounge by Aman offers casual snacking, afternoon tea and evening cocktails, with floor-to-ceiling windows for gazing at the Imperial Gardens and Mount Fuji. Alternatively, step it up at The Restaurant by Aman on level 33, a Med fine-diner which also whips up Japanese dishes. Don’t miss the glass-fronted, walk-in wine/sake cellar. Throw in a slightly un-PC Cigar Lounge and a very-PC Residents’ Library – lined with books on Japanese art and culture, and elegant artefacts – and this is one Tokyo stay that won’t be lost in translation.
ABOVE: Fine dining and stellar vistas at The Restaurant by Aman
Coastal cool to city slickers
Known for its luxurious yet intimate Asian resorts, the Aman group has always embodied minimal-chic design, immaculate service and magical locations. The brand’s 26 properties have generated a fiercely loyal following – aka Amanjunkies – of style-conscious jetsetters. Now, though, Aman fans can swap the beachlounger for the city-skyline bar, with a new generation of Aman hotels targeting cities such as New York, London, Paris and Singapore. Watch this space…
'Aman Tokyo', Otemachi, Tokyo, Japan. Until May 2015, introductory rates for double rooms start at £505 a night.