In a town known for some pretty spectacular urban vistas, the one from my room at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu outdid them all. This towering, modern building houses 251 rooms as well as 14 suites — though the level of service will make you feel like you’re the only guest there. Upon entering the serene lobby (easily reached from the metro station directly under the hotel), my luggage was immediately whisked away. I didn’t see it again until I reached my room which was when I first glimpsed that incredible view.
STREET CRED: IT’S ALL ABOUT LOCATION
Located in Akasaka (conveniently close to Ginza’s high-end retailers), the hotel is surrounded by the city’s foreign embassies. From my window, which spanned the length of my room and went from the ceiling down to a wide ledge a few feet above the floor (the perfect place to perch and bask in the cityscape below), I could see the orange and white Tokyo Tower in the distance and the Hie Jinja temple directly below me. From a members’ lounge on the other side of the hotel, the view revealed the National Diet Building, home to the Japanese state government, and the Imperial Palace.
WHO HANGS HERE: IS THIS THE HOTEL FOR YOU
While the hotel is most definitely a home base for visiting diplomats and government officials, the Capitol is making moves to reach out to leisure travelers. Let’s call it a hidden gem that tourists have yet to discover.
THE STRAIGHT GOODS: WHAT’S IN THE ROOM
I’ll start with the one thing that every good hotel should be offering these days—a smartphone for guests to use during their visit. Nothing puts a damper on a vacation more than worrying about roaming charges while you’re relying on Google Maps to get you around an unfamiliar city. Next, the layout. The surprisingly large, Western-style room is ingeniously divided by a sliding Japanese-style door which allows you to open up or close off the room three different ways, giving you privacy in the bathroom’s deep soaker tub or cutting off the entryway so that you don’t have to look at your used room service dishes longer than necessary. A Nespresso machine and Illy coffee (the standard in Japan) are on hand above a minibar stocked with fancy treats from Tokyo companies. The king-sized bed features two types of pillows—down-filled and buckwheat. The latter is surprisingly comfortable.
The room’s shining jewel (second only to the view) is the bathroom with a large shower and a bathtub big enough for two. The personal amenities kit, featuring tea-scented bath products from Parisian company Themae, was one of the best-stocked kits I’ve ever seen.
BRAGGING RIGHTS: WHAT ELSE HAS IT GOT?
With the 2020 Tokyo Olympics on the horizon, guests will be impressed to find out that Kengo Kuma, the architect behind Tokyo’s new Olympic stadium, also designed the Capitol’s stunning entrance and interior lobby details.
GOOD EATS: COCKTAILS AND CUISINE
Under no circumstances should guests skip the morning breakfast buffet. Having sampled several dozen all over the country, the Capitol’s stands out. At a table looking out over the glass surface of a reflecting pool that mirrors the surrounding trees and elegant towers, I was treated to fresh-pressed juices, a wide selection of top quality Western and Japanese breakfast dishes, and (at a special chef’s station set apart from the rest of the buffet) smoked duck, thick, succulent slices of Iberian bacon, and the most delicious Vietnamese toast baked with sesame and honey. I’ll never look at France’s inferior toast the same way again.
A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS: WHAT STOOD OUT?
The indoor 14th-floor pool with its wood deck and lounge chairs is a zen-like retreat on a hot Tokyo day. Next door in the sun-soaked Jacuzzi room, the breeze flows in from the second story windows left open to the city.
PARTING SHOT: IF WE COULD CHANGE ONE THING
The Capitol’s dimly lit check-in counter is a comfort for travelers battling jet lag, but it also means that it’s easy to get disoriented on your way from there to the elevator bank.
We found Deluxe Double rooms in September 2019 starting at €307 (US$345).
Take a peek at our review of the hip Warehouse Hotel in Singapore.
(Photo credits: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu)
Corrina stayed as a guest of the hotel. The hotel did not have editorial approval.