Built in 1915, bombed in 1945, rebuilt after the war then completely renovated this century, this distinctive red brick hotel has an eventful history. Modern Tokyo has grown up around it which means that views from the standard rooms are blocked by the raised tracks of the Chuo Line. However, rooms in the north and south atriums offer fascinating glimpses down on the hustle and bustle at the gates of Tokyo station, and the other side faces the sleek twin Marunouchi shopping and restaurant complexes. The Imperial Palace is just a short walk in that direction and Tokyo station can be directly accessed from the hotel for a dozen subway, overground and bullet train lines. With interior design by Richmond International, the lobby restaurant has the character of an English living room and there are great period piece mirrors and other touches in the rooms. The corridors must be the longest in the city though so we recommend splashing out on one of their mid-building maisonettes, near the ingeniously converted glass-roof attic breakfast room.
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