Japan is known for its service culture. Spend a week in the country and you will find yourself returning the bows of doormen, clerks, waiters and strangers. In that culture creating a hotel that stands out for its service seems like a daunting challenge, but that is just what the Capitol Hotel Tokyu is doing. I admit my experience at Japanese hotels is limited but, even though I was decidedly underdressed compared to the business men who frequent this 5 star hotel, the service was consistently respectful, attentive and pleasant.
I should point out that I am not misspelling “Tokyo” in the name of the hotel. The hotel is not named after the city but after the railroad company “Tokyu” that owns this and over 50 other hotels and resorts in Japan. The Capitol Hotel is the flagship property of the company. The company has had a hotel at this location, near the residence of the Prime Minister of Japan and south of the Imperial Palace, since the 1963. The Beatles stayed in the Capitol Hotel when they visited Japan. But in 2006 the original hotel was torn down and this newer larger hotel was constructed. The new hotel opened in 2010.
While the Beatles had to be content with a penthouse on the 10th floor, the current hotel offers a penthouse suite on the 29th floor that is fit for visiting rock stars and royalty alike. If you have to ask what the suite costs… you are not the demographic they are targeting. The penthouse has a bedroom, office, kitchen and large living and dining areas. With only the one bedroom you will probably want to book a few other rooms for your retinue, entourage or posse.
For those of us with fewer gold records, or simply less gold, a regular room is impressive enough. In a country known for its small hotel rooms these rooms are spacious, comfortable and stylish. A typical room is divided into an entry way, bathroom and bedroom by sliding screens.
The bath room has a smaller room for the toilet and a Rockingham Glass walled stone shower and bath area. The glass wall between the large shower and bath area and the bedroom can be screened off but probably indicate that this room would be better for a romantic stay (or a business trip) than a family outing. I do miss the spacious shower / tub area and a large shower head that made me feel like I was standing under a waterfall.
The toilet has more controls than were needed to put men on the moon. After your business is completed the toilet can wash, massage, dry and “power deorderize” your nether regions. The best feature in the middle of the night is that the toilet seat is heated. This should not surprise me as I find many buildings in Japan in Winter are also kept a few degrees warmer that what I am used to.
Since the Capitol Hotel Tokyu is a five star hotel I was not surprised that my room came with bathrobes. Since it is a Japanese hotel it also has slippers. I must say that the pajamas were a bit of a surprise. The bathroom also contained a supply kit with a toothbrush, hair brush and many other items you might have forgotten. If you don’t use any of the items they ask you to turn in the green “coin” in the kit to indicate you are saving the resources of Japan. Don’t do what I did and put the coin in your pocket only to discover it in the next city on your trip.
The hotel includes 3 restaurants and a bar. I was most impressed with the sushi bar. I should preface this that I don’t tend to like fish so I don’t eat sushi at home. I joined the rest of the group for a sushi dinner more out of politeness than preference, but I was quite surprised how good the meal was. Our group included a few other non-sushi fans but also one woman whose husband is a sushi chef and all were impressed. The sushi I ate cost 5000 yen (almost $60) so the hotel restaurants are not for budget travelers but then neither is a 5 star hotel.
I visited the hotel as part of a press trip sponsored by ANA (All Nippon Airways) to celebrate and publicize their new route from San Jose, California to Tokyo, Japan.