By opening the Andaz in 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 town. 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. Its residential-style rooms are generously sized and conceived as social spaces with large sofas, bluetooth speaker systems which can hook up remotely to Iphones, and some excellent views towards Tokyo Tower from the higher categories. There 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.
The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.Rudyard Kipling