Luxury Hotels

JAPAN – 17

Yuji Tanaka, above, is GM of Tokyo’s Bulgari Hotel – also called Bvlgari. He’s a movie buff who saw over 500 film as an early teenager and later worked in a hotel to earn money to study production in the USA. Except he didn’t. He stayed in hotels.  He opened The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto and now he has opened this splendid 98-room hotel, on the top five floors of a 45-floor Mitsui Fudosan tower in Midtown near Tokyo Station. The district is Yaesu, named for a 17th century Dutch explorer Jan Joosten van Lodensteyn, known in Japanese as Yayōsu.

Tanaka-san has actually done five openings as a GM. A Ritz-Carlton is more formal, Bulgari stresses being true to yourself.  He’s certainly true to his self, he’s bubbling over with energy. Girlahead wants to know why there are so many American tourists around, often with enthusiastic pre-teenage kids. Tanaka-san talks about manga, any-age Japanese comics, and about the Ghibli Museum of adorable cartoons, in the Mitaka area of Tokyo. There are also two Team Lab digital art museums in Tokyo, one in Azabudai Hills and one in Toyosu. It’s easy to see why kids, and their parents, are excited. The art is absolutely charming and attractive to any age.

And now it’s time to talk bedrooms, or rather suites. Suite 4411 was lovely, with all-wall windows looking over Tokyo River and round to the Imperial Palace gardens.  Elm floors and some wood wall panels complemented statement convex ceilings in both the bedroom and the sitting room. The soft-orange felt-feel chairs in the sitting room had crimped edges (like sealing an old-fashioned pie crust). A large Bulgari coffee table book sat on – a coffee table.

It is essential also to talk bathrooms. This one is beautiful, primarily because of the ‘bits’, the containers and holders for soap, toiletries and the like. Here they are china, soft blue and grey with ‘real-look’gold spotted in a deliberately ad hoc alignment. They are covetably gorgeous, handmade in Bali for Bulgari.  Oh and do not let Girlahead overlook the minibar, below. Yes, it’s Krug. Bulgari style.