There aren't many grande dames in the Tokyo hotel scene, but with a history stretching back to 1947, Palace Hotel Tokyo is definitely one of them. Don't assume that means fusty and staid, though. A 2009-2011 rebuild has brought the property into the modern age while preserving its connection to the past.
The new building still features the famous shigaraki ceramic tile exterior of its predecessor and has preserved the long, black counter from the erstwhile Royal Bar. The same goes for some iconic artworks that decorated the suites and a white Steinway piano once played by Ray Charles.
Now, though, the hotel's 290 warm, earth-toned rooms feature plush modern furniture, open-plan baths, and the high-tech gadgetry that Japan is so famous for. More importantly, more that half of the rooms have balconies, which are almost rarer than diamonds in Tokyo. The top-floor Chiyoda Suite in particular offers panoramic views from its wrap-around terrace. It also has a unique izu stone bathroom that turns from grey to green when wet.
Palace Hotel Tokyo is home to 10 restaurants, including Michelin-starred French dining at Crown, a collaboration between Chef Manabu Ichizuka and Patrick Henriroux of La Pyramide in Vienne. Four Japanese cuisines, kaiseki, tempura, teppanyaki and sushi, are available at Wadakura in several atmospheric dining areas, including private tatami rooms.
The hotel is also famous for having Japan's only evian® spa, an Alpine-inspired space with adjacent fitness centre and pool. Try the Vitalizing Signature treatment to experience Japanese seitai pressure point massage.