Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills to open its doors this summer, inviting guests to experience Tokyo like a localAndaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills has announced that it is now accepting reservations and plans to officially open its doors to guests and locals on 11 June 2014. The opening will mark the twelfth hotel to join the Andaz brand and is the first Andaz hotel located in Japan. Easy access to Ginza, Marunouchi and Akasaka, it will be centrally located between the Imperial Palace and Tokyo Tower and will accommodate business and leisure travellers alike.
As with all Andaz hotels around the globe, Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills will create inspiring experiences and offerings through the city’s rich history and culture, helping guests to know their surroundings more intimately and leave feeling like a local.
“We are thrilled to introduce the Andaz brand to this exciting city to become a bridge between Tokyo’s fascinating past and dynamic future,” said Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry, General Manager of Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. “We look forward to offering the boutique lifestyle hotel concept to both guests and locals, which is something quite new for the Japanese hotel market. The Andaz brand is deeply rooted in local culture, and we are committed to providing an unscripted, Japanese-inspired experience to guests that will help them feel truly connected to the heart and soul of Tokyo.”
Andaz Tokyo is located on floors 47-52 of the 52-story Toranomon Hills tower, which has been developed as part of an innovative urban engineering project integrating central Tokyo with the bay area. Stretching directly outward from Toranomon Hills tower is a 14-kilometre (8.7-mile) looped road development set to become one of the most popular boulevards in Tokyo. The road will feature a tunnel running underneath the tower, creating open spaces on the ground-level where locals and tourists can walk and absorb the beautiful scenery that Tokyo has to offer.
Two renowned names, Tony Chi of New York and the Tokyo-based Shinichiro Ogata, have overseen the hotel’s interior design, each lending their unique perspective on Japanese style. Reflecting Japan’s cultural emphasis on beauty and purity of form, they have used natural materials such as washi paper and Hokkaido walnut throughout the spaces. Traditional fittings, such as shoji paper screens, have been transformed into modern partitions that create harmonious spatial sequences without physical barriers. The Japanese penchant for authenticity of material and textures will translate to simple yet sophisticated interiors where guests can both energise themselves and unwind at ease.
The Andaz experience will begin the minute a guest steps into the Andaz Lounge on the 51 floor. Replacing the traditional lobby, this convivial space is the heart of the hotel where dedicated Andaz Hosts combine the traditional roles of doorman, receptionist, concierge and bell attendant, the Andaz Hosts will engage with guests, offering them a coffee or a welcome drink while checking them in and providing the best recommendations and suggestions for exploring Tokyo like a local.
The 164 spacious guestrooms, including eight suites, will be located on floors 47-50. Standard guestrooms average 50 square metres (540 square feet) and will offer unparalleled views of the Tokyo skyline. The bathroom is a key feature of the room design, equipped with deep soaking tubs inspired by Japanese bath culture. In true Andaz fashion, all non-alcoholic mini-bar drinks and locally inspired snacks will be complimentary, as are local telephone calls and wireless Internet access, making a stay at Andaz Tokyo Toranoman Hills as seamless and barrier-free as possible.
In a dramatic setting on the 51 floor next to Andaz Lounge is the main dining venue, Andaz Tavern, with five-metre (16-feet) floor-to-ceiling windows offering stunning views of the city. Striking wood sculptures by UK artist Charlie Whinney will hang from the ceiling, punctuating this stylish contemporary space. The Andaz Tavern, which can seat 212, features a dining area, as well as a cosy lounge and bar. The menu serves refined European provincial cuisine cooked with Japanese produce.
Crowning the hotel on the rooftop of the 52nd floor will be a modern take on a Katsura Rikyu villa, the quintessential example of Japanese architecture and garden design. Here, the Japanese garden is transformed into an unprecedented open-air setting high above the city; the shrine is reinterpreted as a contemporary chapel, and the traditional tea house is re-envisioned as the Rooftop Bar. The personal study is revisited as the Rooftop Studio.
Tokyo’s highest stand-alone chapel will offer breath-taking views of the city and has already registered prospective brides and grooms for their upcoming weddings. It is designed with the same copper roofing and shingling of a traditional Shinto shrine. The Rooftop Bar overlooking Tokyo Bay will offer both indoor and open-air seating and will include a Japanese tea counter inspired bar, a lounge, and a lively cocktail bar featuring green tea and seasonal fruit cocktails, and fine sakes.
Andaz Tokyo guests will enjoy access to the AO Spa & Club on the tower’s 37 floor, including the fitness center and locker rooms. Softly lit by paper lanterns, the 1,350-square metre (14,530-square feet) spa harmoniously unites nature and water with a 20-metre (65-feet) pool overlooking the green expanse of the Imperial Palace grounds.
The Andaz Tokyo experience will also extend to the street level, where the casual eatery BeBu will serve burgers and local draught beers. The Pastry Shop will offer both sweets and savouries, for eat-in or takeout.
One of Tokyo’s oldest districts, the prestigious Toranomon area (which means “gate of the tiger”) was one of several key points along the outer moat of Edo Castle, the social and political centre of Japan during the 1603–1867 rule of the Tokugawa shogunate. A number of such gates, or fortified bridges, as well as temples and shrines, were strategically placed in the capital to ward off evil spirits, and the tiger gate of Toranomon was one such symbolic protector. Historical landmarks such as the Atago Shrine, Zojoji Temple and Hamarikyu Gardens, as well as traditional craftsmen’s workshops, remain in the area today.
The present-day arterial Loop Road No. 2 (Kanjo Dainigosen) now being completed in front of Toranomon Hills tower will become Tokyo’s answer to the Champs-Elysées and will also lead directly to the 2020 Olympic village. Now more than ever, Toranomon serves as a bridge linking the past and future of one of Asia’s most dynamic cities. Passionate and knowledgeable Andaz Hosts will go beyond the typical concierge role to share inside knowledge and tips about the capital and its famous new/old duality. Connecting with the city in ways that are attuned to their own interests, first-time and repeat Andaz visitors will be able to enjoy a deeper and more meaningful experience of Tokyo.
Like its sister hotels around the world, Andaz Tokyo will also showcase Andaz Salon, a series of local cultural events and partnerships with emerging talent in areas such as music, fashion, food, and film. Conducted in the hotel’s flexible spaces where barriers dissolve and interaction and conversation thrive, Andaz Salon provides a way for like-minded individuals to share their passions, become inspired, and connect with up-and-coming cultural insiders who share their world, their interests, and knowledge of their industry. The Andaz Salon allows guests and locals to learn something new, spark their personal creativity, explore their own talents, and fuel their passion for life.
Andaz Tokyo will be hosting regular Andaz Salon events.