The sprawling megalopolis that is Tokyo offers a variety of accommodations, from cheap capsule hotels to those staffed by robots to neon-lit love hotels. Then there’s Tokyo’s sea of luxury hotels, which are in a league of their own. Expect to forever find the very expensive Aman Tokyo at the top of every “The Best Luxury Hotels in Tokyo” guide. And if you choose to stay at the famed Park Hyatt mostly to reenact Lost In Translation scenes on TikTok, we get it.
But for your next trip to the Land of the Rising Sun’s capital, consider switching things up. How does staying at a towering Kengo Kuma-designed urban oasis that delivers some of the best views in all of Tokyo sound to you? Or what about an affordable artsy boutique that’s hidden away on a Shinjuku backstreet? Whether you prefer your luxury hotel rooftops to feature a steamy onsen (hot spring), an Instagrammable infinity pool or a buzzy foliage-filled cocktail bar, Tokyo has something for everyone. We’re here to narrow things down.
A newly opened, stylishly serene city escape (with an infinity pool!) overlooking Yoyogi Park
Many of Tokyo’s luxury hotels span the top floors of cloud-brushing, sleek skyscrapers in neighborhoods packed with glitzy shopping complexes. But there’s nothing glitzy about TRUNK(HOTEL) Yoyogi Park, a dreamily designed boutique that recently opened its doors in Tomigaya, a laidback enclave dotted with indie boutiques and trendy cafes just minutes away from the head-spinning Shibuya Crossing. Housed in an easy-on-the-eyes low-rise building and perfectly placed right in front of verdant Yoyogi Park, this tranquil retreat — and the third TRUNK(HOTEL) in Tokyo — feels like it was plucked from a secluded onsen town.
Inside, there are 25 easy, breezy, beautiful Japandi-style rooms — the hotel was designed by Tokyo-based Keiji Ashizawa Design and Danish design studio Norm Architects — with lofty windows that deliver sublime park and city views. Many rooms feature greenery-spilling balconies. All feature warm, nature-inspired hues, handcrafted furniture and washi paper lighting. The cloud-like bed deserves an award. So does the top-floor Owner’s Suite, which comes with a bathtub, private balcony and panoramic park views.
Be sure to dine at Pizzeria e Trattoria L’Ombelico, the hotel’s all-day ground-floor restaurant. And don’t forget your sunscreen when heading to the sixth floor, where you’ll find the real “wow factor” — a heated infinity pool. Accessible only to hotel guests, the enchanting oasis and Tokyo’s newest hotspot, TRUNK(POOL CLUB), also features a jacuzzi, fire pit, oyster bar and, of course, stunning vistas of Yoyogi Park. In short, a perfect hotel does exist.
A crazy, sexy, cool hideaway in the sky
Don’t judge a hotel by its neighborhood. The hippest hideaway in town — that’d be legendary hotelier and Studio 54 co-founder Ian Schrager’s The Tokyo EDITION, Toranomon, which opened in 2020 — commands the top floors of a shiny 38-story skyscraper in the business district of Toranomon. The mixed-use tower is located a stone’s throw from the Kamiyacho station, so expect to weave through suited commuters during the work week to find the discreet ground-floor entrance.
Checking into the Kengo Kuma-designed hotel happens on the 31st floor at the colossal lobby terrace, where a wall of windows offers mesmeric views of central Tokyo. Flooded with sunlight and overflowing with more than 500 trees and plants, hanging out in this urban jungle in the sky feels like you’re living inside a postcard. After you gather your jaw off the floor, you’ll want to experience the hotel’s stellar drinking and dining scene. Climb onto an emerald stool at the palm-fringed lobby bar and rub elbows with a fashionable crowd. Enjoy a sun-drenched breakfast or afternoon tea at the foliage-filled retro-glam eatery, The Blue Room. For dinner, dive into the decadent menu from Michelin-starred chef Tom Aikens at The Jade Room + Garden Terrace. For late-night fun, it’s all about the ground-floor speakeasy, Gold Bar, where a well-dressed crowd (and the occasional celebrity visitor) enjoy fancy cocktails poured by tattooed bartenders, izakaya-style bites and lively DJ sets.
As for the 206 sky-high guest rooms? They are soaked in a soul-soothing palette of pale oak, ivory, silver and cream and feature low-slung platform beds with fluffy faux fur throws and spa-like bathrooms with big bathtubs and heated bidet toilets. (Speaking of spas, the hotel is home to a heavenly one. Plus, a swanky fitness center and a moodily-lit indoor pool.) Warning: you will find it difficult to not include a #roomwithaview hashtag when Instagramming your room, especially if it faces the red and white Tokyo Tower, which glitters in the evening. If you’re in the mood to splurge, opt for a suite with a private roof terrace. Just be sure to prepare for an emotional comedown after checking out of this crazy, sexy, cool oasis in the sky.
What It’s Like to Spend a Weekend at Tokyo’s Best HotelIn the cradle of the city’s “Tiger Gate,” find a stay that’s comforting and mesmerizing
Live inside a studio apartment-sized edgy art installation
Booking a room at BnA STUDIO Akihabara feels like staying at an impossibly edgy art collector’s loft. The five immersive (and affordable!) art studios are designed by local artists, and each occupies its own floor and is equipped with kitchenettes and washer-dryers. Feel like a kid again in Ryohei Murakami’s ATHLETIC PARK, complete with furniture that looks like zanily colorful playground equipment. Sleep while engulfed by a trippy 360° mural in RESPONDER, which was produced by 81 BASTARDS, an artist collective comprised of painters, tattoo artists, videographers, photographers and DJs. The most Instagram-ready accommodation is ZEN GARDEN, a top-floor studio produced by 51.3 G-WAVE. A violet fluorescent light depicting the Japanese kanji symbol for “zen” hangs above the bed. There’s a low Japanese table with floor cushions in the living room and an outdoor Japanese rock garden lines the floor-to-ceiling windows. Sounds totally soul-soothing, right? We forgot to mention that a metal fence divides the living room from the bedroom. It’s all very zen-gone-wild.
Nestled on a hilly, quiet side street, BnA STUDIO (which stands for Bed & Art Project) is positioned slightly off the tourist trail. For a sensory overload of an experience, take a five-minute walk to the dizzying Chuo-dori, Akihabara’s main shopping avenue. It’s awash with manga shops, electronic stores, video arcades and maid cafes. Then return to your art-filled Airbnb-style studio and pretend like you’re a Tokyoite until it’s time for check-out.
A stunning ryokan-style hotel featuring a rooftop onsen and a no-shoes policy
Tranquility-seeking travelers will find it impossible to leave this unique urban resort. Located in the skyscraper-clogged financial district of Otemachi, you’ll realize this is not your average luxury hotel upon entry. Inspired by ryokans — traditional Japanese inns often found in rural settings — guests are asked to leave the city chaos behind and enter a hushed-out, zen-luxe world. They’re also asked to remove their shoes at check-in; all the hotel’s floors, including the elevators and hallways, are covered in tatami mats.
The hotel has 84 rooms and six rooms per floor. Each floor is designed to feel like small, individual ryokans, and each has its very own tea room where complimentary Japanese teas and snacks are provided. Inside the rooms, guests will find their zen, as well as low futon beds, shoji paper sliding screens and deep soaking tubs.
In true five-star hotel form, the Hoshinoya is home to a fantastic restaurant and spa. But the most surreal and serene of showstoppers is the top-floor, open-air onsen, where glistening baths are filled with mineral-rich hot spring water pumped from 5,000 feet below the ground. In other words, hello heaven. (The higher the rooftop onsen, the closer to God?)
The most luxurious new kid on the block
The Bulgari Hotel Tokyo opened with the biggest of bangs in April. The glamorous opening fête of the Italian jewelry brand’s first Japan hotel featured an appearance by Academy Award winner and Bulgari ambassador Anne Hathaway. Other big names in attendance included everyone from the Governor of Tokyo and the Italian ambassador to Japan to actors Ken Watanabe and Tomohisa Yamashita. The posh property, which spans the top floors of the new 45-story Midtown Yaesu ultra-skyscraper located right across from Tokyo Station, has quickly become a favorite for many well-traveled, well-heeled guests. Inside, a bold and beautiful blend of Italian-meets-Japanese design elements abound, from the Japanese yuzu trees and Italian lemon trees that dot the rooftop terraces to the framed vintage Bulgari ads and beautiful bed throws crafted by Kyoto-based kimono textile producers that are found in the 98 guest rooms.
The cloud-piercing, sprawling accommodations are uber elegant (and very expensive), as expected from a famed luxury Italian fashion house. They feature a warm, earthy palette, to-die-for beds, wooden tables crafted by Fukuoaka-based Ritzwell, silver Bulgari candle holders, black granite-clad deep soaking tubs, floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping skyline and Imperial Garden views, and the elegant etcetera.
Bulgari Hotel Tokyo is the total luxury package. It has a spa with an exquisite indoor pool, a fireplace lounge, a gym, a chocolate shop and two all-star restaurants — the intimate sushi counter spot, Hōseki, and the airy and atmospheric Michelin-starred Il Ristorante-Niko Romito. Then there’s the swanky rooftop Bulgari Bar, a magnet for designer-clad Tokyoites. Enjoy tipples, killer views and some of the best people-watching in town.
For an uber-affordable, no-frills stay in the heart of iconic Shinjuku
They say good things come in small packages, and that is especially the case at this cozy, charming and downright cheap hidden gem. Formerly an inn that was rebuilt in the ‘70s, this 30-room boutique is hidden away on a winding, narrow Shinjuku lane that’s scattered with homogenous low-rise apartment buildings. Apartment Hotel Shinjuku’s retro red tile roof spices up the residential street where, besides the humming of passing bicycles, things are perpetually oh-so-quiet. If you stayed put, you’d never guess you were an alley length away from the heart of the ever-electric Shinjuku. Shinjuku Station and endless eateries, arcades and convenience stores are just a five-minute walk away. Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden — a must-visit during cherry blossom season — is also walkable.
Important note: pack light! There’s no elevator (reminder: very old building), and the rooms are no-frills, closetless and shoebox-sized. But they’re stylishly spruced up with bright paint, vintage desks and funky light fixtures. Plus, they come with a mini fridge, a single electric burner and compact bathtubs. Basically, all of the essentials are provided, unless you require a bidet toilet with heated seats and Le Labo bath products. Apartment Hotel Shinjuku isn’t for everyone — there’s no lively on-site restaurant or lobby bar — though the antique-filled reception area doubles as a hip art gallery. But the location, eccentric charm and backpacker hostel-like prices are five stars.
A design-forward boutique with deep soaking tubs and reasonable prices
Looking for an intimate design-centric boutique hotel that’s reasonably priced and located in a cool neighborhood? Meet the 33-key Tsuki Tokyo, which is tucked away on a quiet street near the old grounds of the iconic Tsukiji Market. Opened in 2019 and designed by Torao+Hsieh architects, it’s set in a skinny, striking steel tower whose textured aluminum cast exterior resembles crinkled paper. (In fact, handmade Japanese paper was used to make the mold.) Guests enter the reception area on the ground floor for check-in and lots of sake! The small space doubles as Table Tsuki, a stylish sake bar where guests gather around a long, communal wooden table for sake, tea and small bites like spicy squid, smoked quail eggs and scallops with cream cheese.
Experience what it’s like to visit a sentō (public bathhouse) without ever leaving the hotel: Tsuki has two mini, sentō-style spaces on the second floor, featuring fragrant cypress furos (deep soaking tubs). If you’re the shy type, make sure to book a room that comes with its own divine cypress tub. Post soak, throw on a fluffy robe and sink into a crazily comfortable bed. Just don’t forget to set your alarm, as you don’t want to miss the hotel’s delightful breakfast bento boxes. Absolutely oishii.
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