It is noticeable that many Park Hyatts seem to have amazing views – at Park Hyatt Chicago you overlook architect William Boyington’s 154-ft tall Water Tower (how its yellow Joliet limestone has lasted, since put in place 1869). At Park Hyatt Shanghai you can look down across to The Bund from 100 Century Avenue, on the 92nd to 94th floors; at Park Hyatt New York some rooms look north to Central Park, at Palacio Duhau Park Hyatt in Buenos Aires old-mansion rooms look across the gorgeous garden to the new block (and vice versa). Going for lunch in Park Hyatt Tokyo’s magnificent 52nd floor New York Grill, the gal is once again transfixed by the panorama – see the view, above. Chefs busily working in the glass-walled kitchen have a sensational view of Mount Fuji, on really clear days.
And if you prefer to look around you within, or your table is not near the kitchen, look up at one of Bologna artist Valerio Adami’s murals of New York. Yes, every meal here is a special event, full of memorable touch points. In the middle of the day, not surprisingly ladies-who-lunch, mostly clad in black, are there in droves, as are senior businessmen, dark suits, dark ties. There is a buffet to start and finish, and you choose your main course. Kagoshima is the best sirloin, the waiter assured me, so that is what I had, and it was, well, so juicy and tender I did not need the knife, which was such a beautiful work of art I just gazed at it. Hervé Mazella, the immaculately-dressed GM here, says provocatively that only France, Italy and Japan truly understand craftsmanship – so here I was, sitting with a Frenchman, eating off an Italian plate (Ginori) and eulogizing this Seki knife, specially forged with 65 layers of Japanese steel in a Damascene pattern.
Hervé Mazella is highly creative himself, and instead of jotting things down on his smartphone, as is becoming the norm for many hoteliers, he writes longhand, in beautiful script, in a proper notebook, black cover of course. We spoke about the current Masters of Arts programme, pairing chocolates made by hotel pastry chef Pascal Cialdella with calligraphy by a New York guy called, amazingly, Aerosyn-Lex Mestrovic. We talked about forthcoming saké pairings with Katsuyama Brewery, running from March 25th to April 2nd, 2017. He shared his appreciation of the local-member Club on the Park, which tomorrow was being fêted here, by the hotel, with raffle prizes including Air France Business Class tickets to Europe, with stays at Park Hyatts in Milan and Paris.
I wonder if the fact that Hervé Mazella started his hotel career in small Relais & Châteaux auberges in the south of France has anything to do with his creativity? Somehow when it is a smaller team running very few rooms everyone has to be more of a Jack, or Jill, of all trades, which requires flexibility and imagination. He is certainly showing that here, at the luxury Tokyo hotel that is the lodging of choice of one of the best known peripatetic travellers who just happens to be columnist for a global newspaper. Ideas abound – all April, for instance, the hotel’s three restaurants put vegetables as centre of the plate, in a Nose to Tail promotion – protein merely plays a supporting role.