Tokyo Marriott Hotel – A Review By Punam Mohandas
The Gotenyama Tower and the Tokyo Marriott, housed within the same complex, has an extremely interesting and colourful past; the building stands on a hilly incline that once housed a shogun’s villa (1604-1651) and a famed tea house (1579-1647.)The hotel building dates back to 1990 and was renovated in December 2013. This property is a fairly recent addition to the Marriott portfolio.
Since the office tower and the hotel are connected, the entrance can be a bit round-about if you’re walking up from Shinagawa train station (not too far off.) Taking the escalator, one finds oneself in a somewhat austere lobby, with an expanse of dark wooden flooring that leads to two check-in desks. The grey carpeting throughout the hotel has the famed cherry blossom motif.
The Tokyo Marriott has 249 rooms, basically divided into the Deluxe Standard (king and twin beds) and Executive Deluxe (king and twin) all at 38sqm each. Apart from this, there are four suites: the Gotenyama at 82sqm, The Royal suite at 76+38sqm and the Junior suite at 70sqm. The Presidential is the largest, obviously, at 108sqm. (It cannot be denied that there is some noise disturbance from the trains that permeates through to the rooms.)
The Deluxe room is very well appointed, with wide windows that give on to a fair view of the Tokyo skyline.Sober but pleasing interiors, with a big, white cabinet that houses the minibar and tea/coffee maker and an unusual, curved diwan in fawn with geometric designs for the backrest that is offset by lavender and mustard square-shaped pillows. Deep lavender coloured bedside lamps flank the bed. The writing desk is circular in shape. This room also has a balcony. The beds are exceedingly comfortable, it must be said.
The Gotenyama Suite has an absolutely stunning carpet in grey and mustard with the cherry blossom motif and is complemented by some delicate Japanese artefacts. The six-seater dining table is long and narrow, while a round-shaped table serves as the work desk. There is a really long sofa and a single arm chair, facing a low, round-shaped coffee table. The bed has an elegant, eye-catching runner in black and dull good, offset by an unusual, hanging bedside lamp. The bathroom here is of course more spacious, done up in light grey marble, with double sinks and a separate cubicle for the bathtub and shower area.
All rooms are equipped with large screen TV’s, espresso machines, tea/coffee makers, two complimentary bottles of drinking water, electronic safes, iron and ironing board and bathrobes and provide only the prestigious Thann brand of toiletries from Thailand. The water bottles, although plastic, have a lovely etched design on them, in the manner of cut-glass tumblers. Japanese technology makes its presence felt in the bathroom, in the form of blessedly heated potty seats and a push button control panel for the bidet, flush etc.
At the moment, F&B options are limited to the 200-covers, all-day dining, Lounge and Dining G. It has an unusual ceiling, with crisscrossing steel pipes and beams; a design concept that was popular in the ‘90’s. There is a small section here for the patisserie, popular with customers from the adjacent office tower. A separate dais from across this restaurant is the small lounge area, with a grand piano; outside this is a patio that can seat 50 and serves items from the lounge menu only. The patio can be used for lunch, cocktails or dinner but of course, this only when the weather is good. Plans in the pipeline are to open another restaurant – probably Japanese – later this year.
Apart from this, the Executive Deluxe room guests (21st floor and above) have access to the Executive Lounge. This is currently on the ground floor, near the lobby and the plan is to relocate it to the rooftop subsequently. The Lounge serves light refreshments through the day and finger food during the evening cocktail hour, until 7.30pm. There is plenty of seating here and guest workstations too, however, the atmosphere and seating is such that guests pretty much keep to themselves and don’t mix much.
F&B staff are busy and kept on their toes, but are courteous, especially the junior wait staff. The Executive Lounge staff, on the other hand, need to unbend a bit.
The Front Office team could be more welcoming, especially as this is the first interaction guests have with the hotel. Housekeeping definitely needs to pull up its socks. They require repeated reminders to replenish amenities or clean the room.
Convention and banquet facilities include thirteen rooms of differing sizes, including the 895-sqm Gotenyama Ballroom that can be partitioned into two halls. My absolute favourite is the Garden View Banquet Room; a quaint-shaped space rather like a meandering brook, with wide windows that give on to splendid views of the Japanese garden outside.
That’s right – the tower has its own 6,800-sqm garden, ubiquitously Japanese in design and well worth spending at least half a day in, exploring the Forest Chapel as well as the Ujian Tea House. It ought to be a spectacular sight when the cherry blossom trees are in bloom.
Other recreation facilities include the Laforet gym with sauna, indoor pooland outdoor tennis court on the premises, however, this is not a Marriott brand, although Marriott and SPG (Starwood Preferred Guests) have access to it. Quite a large gym too, with plenty of equipment. While Basic members may use the gym only, Silver, Gold and Platinum members can use the pool as well. Hotel guests who are non-members of either of the two loyalty programmes need to pay a fee to use the facility.
A most blessed convenience is that there is a frequent shuttle bus service to and from Shinagawa station, ten minutes away and one of the main train stations of Tokyo. It is very busy and very big, with a lot of shops, cafes and therefore walking, within the station itself! From here, you can access Ginza, Asakusa, Harajuku, Shibuya, Shinjuku and many other popular areas of Tokyo, with no difficulty. Different train lines/service providers have differing fares. Shinagawa itself is notable for being the gateway to Edo Castle.
Almost every major airline flies into Tokyo. Haneda international airport is closest to the Tokyo Marriott; it is just 25-minutes away and the fare is 410 yen, one way. Narita international airport is much further off; 85-minutes by the airport limousine bus.
TOKYO MARRIOTT HOTEL
TEL: +81 3 54883911
FAX: +81 3 54883910
Punam Mohandas asserts her right to be identified as the author of this work. Any views or opinions expressed in this review is that of the author.