Luxury Hotels

JAPAN – 14

The first word that springs to mind when thinking about ‘The Peninsula’ is it’s predictable.  Okay the word could be replaced by reliable but in this instance Girlahead prefers the predictable as it is a two-way channel. The guest knows what to expect, and gets it and more so. And the purveyors, the hotel staff, think through and work out what will make that guest happy. They predict.

That is certainly the case at The Peninsula Tokyo. It made a stir when it opened in 2007, and it still does. There’s nothing extraordinary in the exterior, 24 floors high, but there certainly is inside. The central ‘well’, typically used for utilities, is left, here, as a void, at least from floors eight to 23, a space that is 70 metres high, and 137 by seven metres across.  In this void are 24 stainless cones on high tensile cables wrapped with special Schott side-glow glass fibres. The whole is an installation by Ben Jakober, 96, and his 81 year-old wife, Yannick Vu. Girlahead loves their work. At Mas d’en Bruno in Priorat, 90 minutes’ drive from Barcelona, there’s a Jakober-Yu wall-clock with a peripheral fringe of real books, held by their spines. The fringe rotates so the books open and close as they go through 360°, vertically.

Yes you can predict there will be  art, and unusual art, in a Peninsula.  Peter, the top floor lifestyle restaurant named for The Peninsula legend Peter Borer, is designed by Yabu Pushelberg. You enter flanked by a guard of honour of purple-lit stainless roads (see above). Inside, there’s a curvilinear stepped stage, ideal for those who want to say a few words, or sing. The menu’s full of old favourites, like tuna tartare. But they come with a twist. See below.

Predictable in the case of The Peninsula Tokyo means they truly understand what people want and gives it to them, with that twist. And they think of everything. Bedrooms have all imaginable and many unimaginable supplies (wonder what male tycoons think when confronted by electric nail varnish dryers?). ….