The back story
Hoshino resorts opened its first villa back in 1904 in the Japanese Alps and from these humble beginnings the operator has grown to become one of the largest in Japan. The group has, impressively, maintained a sense of intimacy in its resorts and its latest opening is a case in point. At just 17 stories high, Hoshinoya Tokyo may be literally dwarfed by big-hitters on the luxury hotel scene but it offers something the others don’t – a thoroughly modern shake up of the ryokan model (a traditional Japanese inn) that provides a luxurious alternative to western hotels in the city.
Slap bang in the middle of the Otemachi business district and close to the Imperial Palace with tranquil gardens you can get lost in.
Sharp-suited Tokyo salarymen, Minimalism lovers and interior design buffs looking for something properly different.
Hoshinoya is the first five-star ryokan in Tokyo, which keeps some traditional Japanese elements, updating them with modern luxuries. There are six rooms on each of the 17 floors, with a lounge on each level serving free miso soup and green tea.
The experience begins as soon as you remove your shoes, store them in the bamboo lockers and step onto the crisp tatami mat. Soak in the piping hot rooftop onsen, with spring water pumped from 1,500m below ground then wrap up in a cotton kimono. In the cave-like basement restaurant, up-and-coming chef Noriyuki Hamada serves a fusion of Japanese and French cuisine termed “nouvelle ryokan”.
Encased in woven metal cladding with a design traditionally found on kimonos – the Japanese aesthetic is everywhere: from the chairs sculpted by craftsmen to wafer-thin paper shoji screens.