Aesthetics. Understated chic. Humble luxury. Just a few words that pop up when arriving at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Tokyo. One moment you drive in the overwhelming city of building, lights and people, the next you enter an underground cove flanked by a large waterfall. Enter tranquility. As if the outside world does not exists.
The hotel is upside down, the reception desk is on the top floor. Which makes total sense since the top floor comes with panoramic views of infinite horizons. Drone view from every corner!
Located in the old Nihonbashi neighbourhood – the birth place of Tokyo in the early 1600’s, the Mandarin Oriental is a landmark. With department stores like Mitsukoshi and small generations-old family shops selling handcrafted products like fans, knives, lacquers etc. around the corner. Easy to walk to Ginza district from here. Also convenient: direct access from the subway into the hotel via Mitsukoshi-mae station.
The room at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
Our Mandarin Grand room is on the 31st floor with a breathtaking – literally – view of not only the city but isn’t that Mount Fuji between the skyscrapers? To observe from up close there are binoculars neatly placed on a wooden tray.
Everything in this Japanese inspired room is about ‘sense of place’ and so thoughtful and delicate.
Like the little Bonsai tree delivered on the first day with a note about its origin. Or the daily fresh fruit, also with a small explanation on handmade paper about the origin of the fruit.
The yukata, cotton kimono, folded to perfection. The little bowl I find next to my pillow at night with blended essential oil to relax during the night.
The bathroom in Mandarin Oriental style
The large bathroom is overstocked with every aminity you might need, Bottega Veneta soaps and shampoo and a separate shower and toilet. The latter Japanese state-of-the-art with heated seat and a variety of cleaning programs. Not kidding.
Breakfast with a view
The bows (we automatically bow back, must be a funny sight) and the name addressing qualifies the high level of service at this hotel. Every morning we are welcomed at the breakfast restaurant with great honour and escorted to our table-with-a-view. On day two they know exactly how you like your eggs, cooked to perfection according to mr. B.
Besides eggs, anything you might think of is available. Japanese, Chinese or Western style.
This eight-seater sushi restaurant on the 38th floor, is about eating at the intimate chef’s table. He offers daily choice of 3 traditional menus in ‘Edomea style’, created around the freshest produce he persoanlly selects every morning at the Tsukiji fish market.
To watch both Sushi Sora’s chefs (1 for 4 guests) in concentrated action is like a culinary theater. Every dish is a carefully prepared gift. The resemblance to velvety texture is a recurrent feast for our taste buds.
The counter is made of 300 + year old cypress and again we are surrounded with floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking Tokyo’s Nihonbashi district. No wonder the name. Sora means sky.
Reservations necessary since this exclusive place is also a favorite of locals and visitors.
The upside down theme is pursued into the smallest of details. Hence the upside down artistic X-mas tree in the lobby lounge. Who doesn’t want to spend X-mas in this luxury hotel temple? We’re a fan.
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