By opening the Andaz at the ambitious new Toranomon Hills lifestyle complex, the Hyatt group seem to have pitched two of their hotels against each other in a competition to be the coolest in Tokyo. The Park Hyatt with its top floor swimming pool in downtown Shinjuku is an established Ampersand favourite, but it doesn't have the open-air skyscraper-top bar and yoga space of the Andaz. The Andaz Tavern with its floor-to-ceiling windows and swirling 'birds in the forest' abstract sculpture is as stylish as the Park Hyatt's New York Grill, but where the Park Hyatt's band play jazz standards the Andaz employs a more experimental range of local musicians. It suits visitors who like the party to start in their hotel, with the resident mixologist's signature cocktails and Veuve Clicquot in abundance.
Situated in the very top six floors of the skyscraper, the views offered from Andaz are awe-inspiring especially as it directly overlooks the Tokyo Tower. Glowing among the flickering lights of the sprawling urban landscape under the cover of darkness, this iconic landmark is a mesmerising sight – many well-heeled locals visit the rooftop bar for this reason alone. This excellent view can be admired from the higher category rooms, as can other impressive sights from the other rooms in this hotel, including SkyTree and Tokyo Bay. Truly, these are rare sights to behold from the comfort of one’s own bed.
The Andaz Tokyo’s residential-style rooms are generously sized and conceived as social spaces with large sofas and communal touches, including speaker systems which can hook up remotely to smart phones and tablet devices. The interior design is fresh and clean with sleek lines and pops of colour. Certain elements pay homage to Japanese aesthetics – the washi paper lanterns and traditional latticed wooden fittings sourced from Hokkaido lend a particularly authentic feel.
Plenty of amenities can be found in this hotel, from the atmospheric 20-metre pool overlooking the Imperial Palace to the well-equipped gym and AO spa – all with panoramic views over the city. Constant Wi-Fi access is offered during a stay here and the Andaz also provides guests with complimentary wines, drinks and canapes during a civilised ‘evening hour’.
The only glitch in its conception is the lack of local nightlife beyond the admittedly great selection of restaurants on the lower floors of the complex itself. The Park Hyatt seems safe at the top of the pecking order for now, but time will tell – especially as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics is set to bring much more international recognition to Andaz Tokyo.