The first Andaz in Japan, located (according to the website) in the heart of Tokyo (it's a very big hearted city) at Toranomon Hills, is just over an hour from Narita Airport whether you take the bus or book a limo transfer. We loved the location, in the centre of the business district but if you venture out at night there are lively restaurants full of salarymen enjoying yakitori with colleagues before returning home. Just choose one of the many basement establishments, brave the smoky atmosphere and enjoy a genuine and keenly priced dinner.
Tokyo already has a Park Hyatt, as well as a Grand Hyatt and a Regency. Andaz though is Hyatt's "boutique" brand. It promises a younger, hipper approach to hospitality with "creative cuisine", local art and cutting edge technology. London's Andaz was my first experience of being checked in by iPad in a counterless lobby. Arnaud de Saint-Exupery was GM then and he has been charged with this very significant opening. London's Andaz at Liverpool Street remains one of my favourite hotels and Arnaud is not only one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet but he has a keen eye for detail, so we expected a lot from our recent visit in April 2015. Not to spoil the review, but we were delighted with our stay and this will now be our go to hotel in Tokyo.
Andaz Large King
Unfortunately, there are very few large Andaz Kings, all located in the corners of the building thus a complimentary upgrade is unlikely to occur. However, these rooms would be perfect to book for a longer stay. In many hotels they would be described as a studio suite and, at 65 square metres, there is plenty of room to relax and enjoy the amazing views from the curved floor-to-ceiling windows. The bathroom is similar to the standard rooms, so all the extra space is in the living area, with a great lounge space and feeling of airiness - rare in a city such as Tokyo.
In future, we will definitely cross our fingers for an Andaz Large King room and would recommend paying the extra $150 or so for the upgrade if you are booking a cash rate.
We enjoyed breakfast at the Andaz more than at any other hotel in Japan - there was plenty of fresh fruit, service was very good and there was a wide range of main dishes, including many we haven't seen elsewhere, including nutella-filled brioche and baked scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes and goat's cheese. We were also delighted to be offered room service breakfast at no extra charge due to our early check-out from the hotel.
For evening delights, the hotel offers a wide range including an 8 seat sushi restaurant on the roof terrace (make sure to book in advance), Andaz Tavern on the 51st floor offering all-day European-style dining with a Japanese twist, the casual Bebu restaurant offering simple snacks and grill items, the pastry shop with its Eclair, cookie and chocolate menu and, lastly, the rooftop bar and sushi restaurant with its summer picnic menu and breathtaking views from the 52nd floor.
Starting at 50 square metres, the standard rooms are anything but standard. Decorated in a very Japanese fashion with panelled walls (echoing the traditional Japanese white paper walls) and a deep bath. The basic room types are divided by bed type (twin or king) and view (city, tower or bay) but are otherwise identical. We stayed in a bay-view king room and found it plenty spacious enough for a couple of nights.
In particular we appreciated the long bench seat next to the window - we could while away quite a long time admiring the panoramic view - and the bathroom with spectacular rain shower, deep soaking tub and locally influenced toiletries (made for each season). As with all Andaz hotels, the soft drinks and snacks in the minibar are complimentary and we received a reasonable quality white wine as a diamond welcome amenity.
At 125 square metres, the Andaz Suites are a definite step up from the other rooms in Tokyo. A large living area complete with unique wooden desk for work or meetings leads to a spacious living room (we loved the telescope to examine the views in further details) and huge bathroom with dressing room with plenty of room for a stay of a couple of weeks! Mrs D2T likes to travel with a full wardrobe and even she would have plenty of space for clothes and shoes in the Andaz Suite wardrobe.
Interestingly, all suites at the hotel have 2 King beds, making this the perfect room for families or friends to share - in fact, with the amazing pool here, the Andaz could be the perfect family getaway and the suites, the perfect room.
Spa and Leisure
The leisure facilities, located on the 37th floor, are perhaps the best we have experienced in any city-centre hotel. From the gym with its range of up-to-date equipment, kept fresh by the ever-present attendant, to the absolutely fantastic wet facilities. We spent many a happy hour relaxing in the 20 m long swimming pool (we never had to share with another guest) and the wonderful hot jacuzzis. The views of the Royal Palace were stunning and although we had packed our own so didn't use the option, the hotel offers complimentary sportswear hire.
We also enjoyed a facial in the spa. Unique to the Andaz, the consultation starts with designing the foot scrub to be used at the start of the treatment, from fresh herbs and fruits - Mrs D2T really enjoyed her fresh ginger and rosemary exfoliation whilst Mr D2T relaxed with his cooling green tea and mint scrub. The facial itself was tailored to our skin types (even different brands were used) and the room was beautiful. Next time, we will be sure to book a romantic bath with a glass of champagne to enjoy the spectacular views from the curved glass windows over Tokyo.
This is what we've been waiting for. Brilliantly located, exquisitely designed, perfectly managed, with stunning bay views, an excellent range of eateries, possibly the best pool and fitness suite in Tokyo, what more can we say? At last, a Hyatt in Tokyo we can really look forward to returning to. It's not that the Park Hyatt is a bad hotel and there are many who love it but why stay there when you can have comparable rooms, superior leisure facilities and friendlier service for the same price? Unless you have to be in Shinjuku of course. The Regency is now looking very jaded indeed in this company. Wow.