After a very smooth arrivals process, I hopped onto the Keisi Line to meet my good friend Mr M.
One of my favourite things about Japan is the ubiquitous presence of vending machines. For around 120JPY you can get a quick hit of caffeine in both cold and hot cans.
Given my boozy brunch, courtesy of OZ, I was in need of a can/bottle of ice cold black coffee to power through the journey to Tokyo.
The Conrad is technically located right by an underground station (as is pretty much everything in Tokyo). I would warn anybody planning on going by train to make sure that they pick the line and exit judiciously. It was pouring down with rain when I arrived. I ended up walking for about 15 minutes up and down exposed flights of stairs, getting drenched whilst carrying a suitcase and carry-on.
Once I found the Conrad though, the arduous mission to find it was soon forgotten.
From the moment you spot the first sign outside, you can see that the Conrad just oozes quality. Everything is immaculately clean and impressive.
As is the case with many high-rise hotels, there is a small “pre-lobby” at ground level, with the check-in taking place at a much larger upstairs lobby.
The lobby level has super high ceilings and an abundance of natural light which flows in from the floor to ceiling windows. The view is pretty special.
As luck would have it Mrs M works for Hilton, the 3 of us were able to get astonishingly good rates on our rooms. The rate included breakfast but no pool/health club access. However, given my Gold status, the hotel was happy to give us all pool/health club access too.
What makes a truly fantastic hotel stand out is the attention to detail, in particular when it comes to the communal areas. The lighting, finishes and placement of surfaces at the Conrad is fantastic. Straight lines are broken up to draw the eye and empty spaces are filled with sculptures and paintings.
The standard rooms, much like those in the Park Hyatt, are enormous by Tokyo standards.
In terms of aesthetics these have to be some of the nicest hotel rooms in the world.
We tried out the Western Restaurant – Cerise, for dinner, this is the same restaurant where breakfast is served in the morning. There is a choice of 3 restaurants at the Conrad, in addition to Cerise there is a Japanese option: Kazahana and the Michelin starred China Blue.
The ambience is Cerise is very sleek and cool and it is a good place to grab a relaxed meal, without the higher degree of formality that comes with multi course banquets in the Asian restaurants.
After dinner we asked for ice and glasses in order to drink a bottle of 2002 Lanson champagne that I’d bought in LHR. It wasn’t as good as the Krug we had with Dinner (gotta love that employee F&B discount!) but a pretty nice drop nonetheless.
The hotel’s champagne service was great, very nice flutes, a sleek and elegant bucket all brought out on a beautiful tray. Once again, excellent attention to detail from the Conrad.
Breakfast was fantastic, in typical Asian hotel fashion. Whilst there was a huge selection of buffet items available, my personal highlight came from the a la carte menu:
The eggs benedict were a thing of beauty, somehow they manage to maintain the oval shape of the eggs, keep a perfectly runny yolk and then bake the hollandaise into a hard shell over the top.
I went for seconds.
Followed by waffles from the buffet:
Overall, the stay was fantastic. The entire hotel feels like a modern art museum. The lobby bar is one of my favourite hotel bars in the world. In the interests of full disclosure though, I felt that Cerise was a little underwhelming. If we hadn’t received a 50% F&B employee discount, I would not have been happy with the price given the sometimes inattentive and unpolished service. The Kobe beef was delicious but the steaks were very thin, I can’t help feeling that better would be available elsewhere nearby even if you’re tired and it’s late. However China Blue gets some great reviews, so perhaps that’s an option for next time.