***This is part 11 of my “Fat and Furious” trip report detailing a recent trip to Japan which included stops in Tokyo, Kyoto, and Matsuyama***
2. Star Alliance First Class Lounge at LAX
3. Singapore Airlines Suites Class Los Angeles to Tokyo
4. Conrad Tokyo
5. Eating Tokyo Part 1 – Department Store Hopping in Ginza
6. Funaya Ryokan In Matsuyama
7. Living The Onsen Life In Matsuyama
8. The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
9. Eating Kyoto – The Search for Matcha and Geisha
10. Kaiseki Dinner at 3-Michelin Star Kikunoi Honten
11. The Peninsula Tokyo
12. Eating Tokyo Part 2 – Maids, Robots, and Cosplay
13. Eating Tokyo Part 3 – Cherry Blossoms and THE BEST STEAK EVER
14. ANA Business Class Lounge at NRT
15. ANA Business Class Tokyo to San Jose
Even though I’m a total creature of habit, there was no way that I’d forgo the opportunity to stay at a different hotel when we returned to Tokyo. Similar to my restaurant dilemma, Tokyo has so many amazing luxury hotels to choose from that it was hard to pick one. Ultimately, I settled on The Peninsula Tokyo, mainly because I’d been wanting to stay at a Peninsula property for quite some time.
Our shinkansen arrived at Tokyo Station in the late afternoon, and even though we had our luggage with us, we ended up walking to the hotel. It wasn’t bad at all, and arrived about 15 minutes later.
Overall, the hotel’s location is great and much better than the Conrad’s. It’s tucked away on a relatively quiet street but within a 5-10 minute walk to 3 different subway lines, and about a 10-15 minute walk to Ginza.
The Peninsula hotels are known for their fleets of Rolls Royce’s, and one of the classic versions was parked outside.
We walked into the hotel lobby and stopped in our tracks. The decor was simply stunning.
The lobby bar was buzzing with happy hour, and we’d return for breakfast and afternoon tea later on during our stay.
Compared to the boutique feel of the Ritz Carlton Kyoto, there’s no mistaking the Peninsula for a boutique hotel. This is your typical urban skyscraper with 314 rooms spread across 24 floors. While most of the hotel guests we encountered in Matsuyama and Kyoto were tourists, the check-in line was filled with corporate-looking folks.
We arrived at the 16th floor and were immediately drawn to the unique art display along the elevator banks of each floor. A dark shaft that spanned the height of the hotel was filled with some sort of lighted cones.
While I’m generally happy with the entry-level room and not very big on paying for views, we were late to the game in booking our room and since it was cherry blossom season, couldn’t be too picky with what was left.
Our Deluxe Park View room featured views of the Imperial Palace on one side.
And a peek-a-boo view of Tokyo Tower on the other side.
Compared to our other rooms, this one was absolutely massive. The bed was amazing and featured some of the most comfortable linens I’ve ever had the pleasure of sleeping on.
The bed area flowed into a large living room with a sofa, work station, and small dining table.
Waiting for us on the dining table was a much-appreciated snack, and we took a short break to plan our itinerary for the next few days.
The centerpiece of the bathroom was the large soaking tub.
The bathroom also featured duel vanities and a large shower stall.
And Oscar de la Renta-branded toiletries.
Across from the bathroom was a huge walk-in closet that featured a make-up booth that was even larger than the one at the Burj Al Arab. My wife was in heaven with all the mirrors which must have added at least 10 minutes to her morning routine each day.
I’m always appreciative of a large area to place the suitcases, and in the drawer below were his and hers yukata.
But the most impressive feature of the room had to be all of the technological gizmos. First of all, the room was setup with automatic black-out curtains that made the room feel like a cave even in the middle of the day. In addition to Japanese tea, in the living room there was a fancy espresso machine.
And in the bathroom, a Japanese toilet that had more buttons than I knew what to do with.
Need to know the temperature outside? And more importantly, the strength and direction of the wind? Don’t worry, the hotel’s got you covered. The room was also wired with internet radio.
There was even a built-in nail dryer in the make-up booth.
Let’s talk food – our room included breakfast, which was available both in the hotel lobby was well as downstairs in the bakery cafe. The first morning I had the Japanese breakfast which was virtually indistinguishable from the ones I had at the other hotels.
The next day I tried the Western breakfast which was pretty standard, but high-quality. The set menu came with a pastry basket, juice, and a choice of entrees.
On our last day, we ventured downstairs to the hotel basement to eat in the bakery cafe.
The buffet was really just the same stuff offered in the lobby, but buffet-style. Overall, the breakfast paled in comparison to the ones at both the Conrad Tokyo and Ritz-Carlton Kyoto.
After breakfast clears out, the bakery cafe is open the rest of the day and we stopped by a couple times to grab some pastries and chocolates.
Like Krispy Kreme, the bakers were on full display.
We also tried the afternoon tea set in the lobby lounge which featured a wide range of cakes, pastries, and scones.
Lastly, if you’re going to eat that much food then you better work out. We used the fitness center and the pool at the hotel which were both top-notch.
This pool is really as good as it gets for swimmers – there was a dedicated lane for swimming laps, as well as a clock for those that wanted to do sets. Next to the pool, there was a hot tub and outdoor deck that overlooked the Imperial Palace and was the perfect place to catch the sunset.
The only nit-picky thing was that the hotel actually charged for swimming gear rental, whereas all the other hotels we stayed at offered it for free. That resulted in the walk of shame on our first visit to the pool as we had to go back to the room to change into our own swimming gear after deciding not to pay the rental fee.
Overall, we had a wonderful stay at The Peninsula Tokyo, and it was a fantastic first experience with the Peninsula Hotel chain. Hopefully we’ll get to sample their other properties in the (near) future including the iconic Peninsula Hong Kong and their newest hotel in Paris.