Opened in May 2012, and the anchor of a $1.2 billion mixed-use development, the 23-story Palace Hotel was built from the ground up, and it succeeds Hotel Teito and the Palace Hotel that occupied the same site from 1947 and 1961, respectively. (Each was razed to make way for its successor.) Located opposite the ancient Otemon Gate of Edo Castle, the hotel was designed to showcase green space and the surrounding skyline, with all guestrooms featuring views of the Imperial Palace gardens and moats. Natural motifs—from the traces of trees on the walls of Bar Lounge Privé and its leaf-shaped bar to the hotel’s hand-tufted, deep-green carpets—reinforce the link to the outdoors. The hotel’s artwork brings to light the work of Japanese contemporary artists, with about 1,000 paintings, watercolors, glass, metalwork, and other pieces on display. Most rooms have open-style bathrooms, while more than half feature open terraces and balconies, a rarity in Tokyo.
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Located in the 1-1-1 Marunouchi development, the hotel is a 10-minute walk from Tokyo Station and steps from Marunouchi Naka Dori, one of Tokyo’s most upscale shopping and dining streets lined with trees and cafés—and jewelry, shoe, and clothing boutiques. It gets closed to motorized traffic during lunch, making it a pleasant place to wander during those hours. The hotel’s moatside location across from the Imperial Palace allows for striking views—and photos—of the Imperial Palace Gardens, moats, and surrounding Tokyo skyline. Otemachi Station is a quick stroll from the property.
Need to Know
Rooms: 278 rooms, 12 suites. From $965. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: noon. Dining options: The hotel’s signature Japanese restaurant, Wadakura, was built by a team of local craftsmen. In an alcove off Wadakura, the spare, elegant Tatsumi has a six-seat tempura bar and specializes in seafood gathered from the city’s famed Tsukiji Fish Market. On the lobby level, Palace Lounge re-creates a lofty living room and contemporary teahouse. French restaurant Crown has one Michelin star, while Amber Palace serves Chinese. Expect a distinctly adult ambience at Royal Bar, courtesy of dark woods, deep leather banquettes, and velvet-upholstered armchairs. Spa and gym details: The 13,000-square-foot Evian Spa has origami-esque interiors, five treatment rooms, and Asian therapies. Beyond the spa, the 24-hour fitness facility has floor-to-ceiling views of the Imperial Palace gardens, the latest cardiovascular and weight-training equipment, a 20-meter indoor swimming pool, and an outdoor terrace.
Who's it for: Couples, romantics, history buffs, and execs. Our favorite rooms: Any with a balcony and view of the Imperial Palace. Point of pride: Tokusaburo Tanaka, the original Palace Hotel chef de cuisine, wrote Japan’s first Japanese language guide on French cooking techniques. He trained in Paris and met the legendary Auguste Escoffier, bringing back his recipes to Japan. Some of these, such as the classic sole bonne femme at Grand Kitchen, are served today.