Is Staying at The Park Hyatt Tokyo Worth It?
Is the Park Hyatt Tokyo worth it? It’s not exactly cheap, but here is why I think it’s worth every single penny.
When most people think of hotels in Tokyo, they think of the film Lost in Translation. The movie was filmed at The Park Hyatt Tokyo and this film’s reputation is typically what lures people to this hotel.
In some respects, this place has turned into a tourist trap, but in reality, the hotel itself is an incredibly impressive place in terms of service, architecture, and design. This hotel is so impressive on its own that the movie Lost in Translation doesn’t even cross my mind when I stay there. I’m simply in awe with its design and detail. It’s the epitome of 5 star Japanese hospitality which is unlike anywhere else in the world.
To fully understand why The Park Hyatt Tokyo is worth the money (because it’s not cheap), you first need to understand that Japanese hospitality is a totally different caliber. It sets the standard of perfection in terms of service, detail, and design. It’s literally unlike anything else on this planet.
Wealthy Emirati can only wish they were on par with this level of service at a place like the Burj al Arab. Yet, I was profoundly turned off by this hotel in Dubai by the fact that instead of humility in design, you have an ostentatious display of wealth, diamond shops, and exotic car rentals. Japanese luxury is the complete opposite since it is far more polished and humble in its simplicity.
A ryokan is a Japanese Inn which is traditionally set in a natural setting as nature always plays a critical element in architecture and design. This reflects an inner zen or harmony that is in some way brilliantly cultivated or created.
The most impressive part of a true Japanese five-star ryokan is the fact that every single detail of the space is well thought-out. The design is crafted with perfect thoughtful intent. The space reflects a sensibility that is pleasing to all of your senses. No detail or light is misplaced or unintended. Yet, this profound creation is seemingly grounded in truthful principles of harmony and balance, or zen, and is complimented with a caliber of service and respect for all elements of the experience.
I’ve stayed at a lot of five-star Japanese ryokans and five-star hotels around Japan, but the Park Hyatt Tokyo is a truly stunning balance between traditional and modern architecture and design. More than any other form of architecture, Japanese modernism is my favorite as it incorporates elements of modernist architecture in a combination with principles of nature and balance. And for this reason, I will pay top dollar to stay at these kinds of properties.
This time around, I personally wanted to stay at a Ryokan in Kyoto but I couldn’t book one I wanted. Ryokan prices are not cheap as you can expect to pay anywhere between $600 and $2000+ a night for a high-quality ryokan experience. Most ryokan however come with Japanese kaiseki dinners (not my favorite, but everyone should experience this at least once). But, my husband has never stayed at a ryokan so I booked a night for us at the Park Hyatt Tokyo. Now I wish I booked two or three nights! This place is the closest thing to a ryokan in the city and unlike booking an expensive night at a purely luxury hotel like The Peninsula, you get so much more out of your experience here.
How Much Does it Cost to Stay at The Park Hyatt Tokyo?
This hotel isn’t cheap, but you have to remember that it’s not just a fancy place to stay for the night. If you truly appreciate design and high caliber Japanese service, it’s totally worth it to experience this at least once. I paid $520 a night which to be honest is a complete steal considering the fact that I was ready to book a ryokan for well over that in Kyoto.
Rooms here usually go from upwards of $600 a night. We had high tea, dinner, and I spent a pretty penny at The Club On The Park. My incidentals when I checked out were $700 for just a single night. I handed over my credit card though feeling somewhat surprised at the price, but totally ok with it because this was a phenomenal experience. My husband was happy too as I agreed to pay for the stay and call it his Christmas present.
Skip on the spa and dinner at the hotel if you want to save money. Set aside some cash for this trip and save money at some other stays to compensate for this one if you’d like to experience a true 5-star property in Japan.
The Club On the Park Spa
Like most luxury hotels and ryokans in Japan, the spa is the best part of the stay. The Park Hyatt Pool is pretty nice, but the spa is top-notch. Just like every other athletic or spa club you go to, The Club On the Park costs a small fee of around 4,000 yen to use the facilities. Of course, this fee is included in any spa service you book.
I personally really liked these facilities a lot and I found them far nicer than the spa at The Ritz Carlton in Roppongi, or nearly every other club I’ve been to. I’ve got this thing for super nice athletic club locker rooms though so this is always a plus for me. This place was pretty snazzy. The interior was lavish with this ornate green marble which really took on a life of its own. Theater light bulbs lined the mirrors of each vanity desk and Aesop products and essentials were provided for use. You can easily waste away an entire morning, afternoon, and night here. The locker room fee is for 24 hours.
The spa consists of a Hammam-styled tub in an octagonal room, lined with tiled mosaics. It also has three saunas of different temperatures as well as a cold water bath.
I also booked a modest spa session. I couldn’t decide between the reflexology or the head spa. Both of these were on the cheaper side of the services and I’m normally skeptical about getting massages at hotels, especially luxury hotels. You often pay top dollar but the results are usually hit or miss. I normally walk away feeling robbed about half the time.
But I went for the latter because the last time I had a reflexology massage, the masseuse told me I drank too much alcohol and that my liver was overworking itself. I don’t want to hear that! There’s just something overly vulnerable about the insight that these people have about your body and that gives me anxiety. It’s kinda like going to a psychic.
The massage was seriously one of the best I’ve ever had. She did a fantastic job and the masseuse clearly had insight into my physiology.
I also must recommend the high tea. I personally think this is the best high tea I’ve ever had in the entire world and this includes The Peninsula Hotel in Hong Kong and The Raffles in Singapore. The view is fantastic. You cannot get a better view of Tokyo. Try to schedule the tea for sunset and you’ll catch the traditional gorgeous blue sky. The tea itself though was phenomenal which is why I’m raving about it.
New York Bar
Of course, you can’t stay here without visiting the famous “Lost in Translation Bar.” I really like this bar, a lot. I frequently came here when we lived in Yokohama. The venue is gorgeous and is I think my favorite rooftop bar in the world. It’s tied with the Boom Boom Room at The Standard Highline in NYC. Both places are equally trendy with radiant views of the city. The bar bites menu is not crazy expensive, but I do believe there is a $40 burger on the menu so beware. If you’re not a guest, I believe the general rule is that you must pay a cover charge after 8PM.
If you’re traveling to Japan and plan on traveling outside of Tokyo, then you should look into a JR Rail Pass. It can save you money and time in the end. If so, please help me support this free content and buy a pass from my website.