Elevator doors opened on the 34th floor of The Ritz-Carlton Osaka and the Sybaritic Single glided into a sparkling glorious club lounge. He’d normally avoid hotel club lounges but keeping in mind that it’s close to impossible to get a table in the ever-busy lobby lounges in Japan, he decided to give it a try.
Reminiscent of an 18th-century British residence with sweeping views of the Osaka skyline, the club lounge wasn’t an example of Japanese zen as one would hope – for one particular reason: champagne. The hotel’s eponymous bubbly brand (non-vintage) was flowing there all day long, from breakfast to nightcap, resulting in the lounge getting busier than the nearby JR Osaka station. At peak hours, the “exclusive setting with locally inspired experiences” resembled a standing finger buffet for 500.
And yet the temptation was too strong. On one occasion, the Sybaritic Single lost count of time and ended up spending a whooping five hours watching sunset and feasting on Pierre Hermé sweets.
A little research revealed that the bubbles were actually produced by the third generation independent growers Nomimé Renard from Villevinard (south of Reims) and Wine Spectator awarded them 91 points: “Firm and focused, with a rich, smoky hint of tosted brioche carried on a lively bead and layered with more subtle notes of white peach, spun honey, lemon confit and pastry.”
Thankfully, he didn’t stay at the hotel for too long to cause severe damage to his health. Rigorously chic, he could still fit into the latest Dior look and walk straight as the bellboy wheeled his Louis Vuitton luggage down the hallway – carrying a paper cup filled with champagne in his hand. One for the road, they say!