Where to Stay
Michael Taylor was flown to Tokyo, Japan, by United Airlines. This is the sixth in a series of traveloques based on his trip to the Japanese capital.
I spent six nights in Tokyo, Japan. During the first three, I was housed at the Conrad Tokyo, which is located in the city's trendy Shiodome District. Shopping, dining, and transport are all within easy walking distance of the hotel.
The Conrad Tokyo has 290 rooms and suites. Some rooms have city views and others have views of Tokyo Bay and the historic Hamarikyu Gardens, which are located practically at the hotel's doorstep. My room had the bay view, and it was breathtakingly beautiful.
Click on the following link to read more about Hamarikyu Gardens: A Stroll Through Hamarikyu Gardens.
Michelin Starred Dining
The Conrad Tokyo has five food and beverage outlets. Not surprisingly, there is a fine dining Japanese restaurant, which I reviewed on 20 August 2012.
Click on the following link to read the review: Restaurant Review: Kazahana at the Conrad Tokyo.
Two of the hotel's food and beverage outlets are Michelin starred. What IS surprising is that Kazahana is not one of them. Gordon Ramsay at Conrad Tokyo, which serves continental cuisine, and China Blue, which serves Chinese cuisine, were apparently what impressed the French trained food critics most.
Cerise by Gordon Ramsey serves an international menu in more informal – yet still stylish – surroundings. TwentyEight, which serves cocktails and snacks, is the hotel's lobby bar.
The evening I enjoyed mojitos at TwentyEight, I was serenaded by a very talented Brazilian guitarist. What a very pleasant change of pace to hear Brazilian jazz liltingly sung in Portuguese rather than the bands playing the same stale covers that I usually encounter during my frequent forays into China.
Spa and Fitness
I like doing laps when I stay at five star hotels and resorts, and the indoor 25 meter long swimming pool at the Conrad Tokyo did not disappoint. The pool is bathed in natural sunlight during the day light hours thanks to the floor to ceiling picture windows and the strategically placed skylights.
The attractive green, blue, and silver tile mosaic at the bottom of the pool provided relaxing visual stimulation as I made my way up and down the lanes. Before I knew it I had been swimming for 60 minutes.
I enjoyed a soothing massage at the Mizuki Spa. Covering 1,500 square meters, it is the largest hotel spa of its kind in Tokyo. There are 10 private treatment rooms including two couples rooms and the Mizuki Room, which has a hinoki bath and panoramic views of the city from the 29th floor.
There is also a fitness room and an aerobics room. I wasn't blown away.
I was lucky enough to enjoy access to the Executive Lounge, and this executive lounge was one of the best I've encountered. It had an intimacy that made you feel more as though you were staying in someone's home than in a five star hotel.
The lounge had an open kitchen, and the breakfast buffets were sumptuous. I especially liked that the freshly squeezed fruit juices were stashed in a large double door refrigerator rather than being set out on the buffet table. It was a nice, homey touch.
Concierge Recommended Tours
If you plan on doing some sightseeing while you are staying at the Conrad Tokyo, make sure to have a talk with the hotel concierge. I was given a set of recommended tours, which included maps, directions, photos, writeups of key attractions, and information on hours and admission charges.
I wasn't able to do all of the recommended tours, but I've saved them and plan to do others on my next trip to Tokyo.
Visa Privileges for Infinite Cardholders
Visa Infinite, Visa Signature, and Visa Platinum cardholders in Hong Kong are eligible for a collection of hotel privileges and services.
From now until 31 May 2012, for example, Visa Infinite cardholders can enjoy instant Hilton HHonors Gold Membership status for one year. Benefits include earning both points and miles when they stay at one of th 3,750 hotels in the Hilton Group worldwide as well as airline miles with more than 50 partner airlines.
To Be Continued