Interestingly, there are single men in the Tokyo area who move into Park Hyatt Tokyo for a weekend staycation, all alone (this is the first time the gal has heard of this solo-guy hobby). They like this particular luxury hotel apparently as it is not as floral as the norm. The colours are strong, or rather predominantly avocado bathed in endless natural light – see the 47th floor wellness ‘conservatory’ above. This is certainly a timeless place for anyone, any age, any nationality, to feel better, whether the lure be Keno Tange architecture (he won the Pritzker in 1987, seven years before this 178-room hotel opened). The pull can be John Morford interiors, or food, or entertainment or more.
I was definitely there to feel better, and, indeed, I had a couple of excellent work-outs up there, or rather down there as my room was a 48th floor corner suite – to get to wellness required an elevator down to the 45th floor, walk along an avocado corridor and take another elevator up to the 47th. And oh my dinner in gorgeous New York Grill, on the 52nd floor, was as magical as ever. I was with Tom Angerer, the Austrian chef here who is moving on to be F&B at Grand Hyatt Tokyo, and we talked suppliers, products and so much more. Using the easy-read, A3-sized main menu, I composed a Hokkaido meal, starting with Hokkaido burrata made by an Italian expat, Giovanni Graziano, at Fattoria Bio Hokkaido: this came with Miyagi tomatoes, basil pesto, and toasted pine nuts.
Hokkaido appears to be a main food basket of the nation – it is certainly Japan’s leading producer when it comes to dairy and beef. I went on to a 180-gram sirloin from one of Hokkaido’s famous Akaushi, Bos taurus, animals, one of four breeds that make up Japan’s wagyu family (the others are Japanese black, Japanese polled, Japanese shorthorn). Tom Angerer’s team buys through local Tokyo agents, who bid at auction and then butcher the carcass to what he specifically wants. I am not sure if the mushroom and spinach sides I chose had come from Hokkaido, but I do know that the 32-times tempered Damascene-pattern steak knife was specially made for the restaurant in the sword-making area of Seki, in Gifu Prefecture. And the Eola-Amity Hills 2014 Pinot came from Oregon.
The meal continued, finishing with lemon cheesecake, using Hokkaido cream and Hokkaido berries for a cassis compote. At the breakfast buffet, the big bowls of yoghurt were labelled Hokkaido. The products here are amazing, says Tom Angerer, and he accepts that supplies are so limited that sometimes suppliers just cannot meet the demand. Yes, I did feel even better than ever being back at this luxury hotel, still a favourite of Monocle founder Tyler Brûlé and many other world travellers. Yes, this is an oasis of consistency and style but it also continually surprises. For the first time I was totally bewitched by televisions’ ‘hotel channel’, all too often a ghastly loop of selling-the-hotel shots of happy couples or restaurant tables but here a 46-minute scenery film by Pony Canyon, currently, through the end of March, celebrating winter. And I loved the just-introduced local Shinjuku-area map, specially produced for Park Hyatt Tokyo by Hiroshi Watatani, principal illustrator for leading fashion publication Popeye Magazine. AND NOW SEE VIDEOS OF WALKING THROUGH THE 41ST FLOOR LOBBY, AND SUITE 4808