Just five years old and located just around the corner from Tokyo station, the Shangri-La is a strong contender for Tokyo's best hotel. It has gold but not glitzy touches such as the chaise longes in the lobby and some of the generously appointed rooms. The interior design is warm and luxurious but not ostentatious. It is a calm but not too quiet haven of luxury, popular with the fashionable set of Japanese ladies who lunch, but with evening canapes and cocktails appealing to western guests. The Italian restaurant and its new chef Andrea Ferrero are excellent, as is the Japanese restaurant Nadaman. All rooms offer superb city views from the comfort of a king bed, particularly the corner rooms and Horizon Club floor with its refined lounge. Have a complimentary swim in their 25m pool with views, and call on their excellent concierge to help arrange your time in Tokyo. Every facet of this hotel enhances its charm, warmth and sense of calm, and its location in the upper half of a skyscraper only adds to the sense of an oasis in the big city.
To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.Bill Bryson