Tokyo has no shortage of places to stay: from some of the world’s best hotels to traditional Japanese-style tatami rooms to the curious capsule hotels often used by Japanese businessmen. Whichever you choose, you’ll be assured of Japan’s legendary customer service. Here are a few of our tried and tested.
1. Shinjuku Granbell Hotel
Right in the heart of the lively Kabuki-cho area in Shinjuku, this posh hotel is dedicated to showcasing works from promising Asian artists, with rooms designed by a different artist. The rooftop bar and terrace is a great place start a night out in Shinjuku.
2. Akasaka Excel Hotel Tokyu
The 487-room Excel Hotel Tokyu is a sprawling hotel that’s right at home in the lively Akasaka district. While the exterior may appear a little faded, guestrooms have been updated and have a distinctly Japanese feel. Some rooms are specifically reserved for solo female travellers.
3. Hotel Gracery Skinjuku
Don’t let the giant Godzilla head poking out of the hotel’s roof put you off. Although the rooms are smallish by Western standards, this super-modern hotel (opened in 2015) focuses on convenience and comfort. Best of all, it’s walking distance to everything Shinjuku has to offer.
4. JR Kyushu Hotel Blossom Shinjuku
Opened in August 2014, a short walk from Shinjuku Station, this 240-room property feels new and fresh, helped by its minimalistic décor inspired by traditional Japanese motifs and materials. The modern bar feels ultra-Japanese, with colorful pop art of sumo wrestlers adorning the walls.
5. Park Hotel Tokyo
The major highlights of this hotel are the rooms painted by different contemporary Japanese artists; and the Hanasanshou restaurant on the 25th floor, which serves Japanese ‘kaiseki’ cuisine, using fresh ingredients from a farm in Kyoto that has been growing vegetables for over 400 years.
6. Capitol Hotel Tokyu
Surrounded by greenery on the edge of the Imperial Palace, this 251-room hotel was designed by master architect Kengo Kuma, and offers the clean lines and minimalist aesthetic that typifies Japanese style. Rooms are extraordinarily spacious for Tokyo, with panoramic views of the Tokyo skyline.
7. Hilton Tokyo
Overlooking Shinjuku Central Park, this is the only place in Tokyo where you can play a game of tennis on the rooftop. There’s a free shuttle service to Shinjuku station, and the Tokyo Metro is below the hotel, making it very easy to get around.
8. Conrad Tokyo
Part of the Hilton brand, Conrad is located just a few steps away from Ginza. It ranked 1st as the most popular Japanese hotel for international travellers by TripAdvisor in 2015. Rooms are modernly furnished and feature panoramic views of Hamarikyu Gardens or Tokyo Bay.
9. Park Hyatt Tokyo
Featured in the movie Lost in Translation, this hotel is a local institution. Occupying the 14 top floors of a Shinjuku skyscraper, there's not a bad view in the house; often all the way to Mount Fuji. Deep soaking bathtubs in each room are divine.
10. Shangri-La Hotel Tokyo
Conveniently located next to JR Tokyo Station, all rooms here feature jaw-dropping views of the Imperial Palace, Tokyo Bay or Tokyo Sky Tree. Apart from the attentive red-uniformed hotel staff, we love the exclusive artwork collection of 2,000 pieces by Japanese, Chinese and Western artists.