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Tokyo: New Palace Hotel, FS Marunouchi or Pen

Tokyo: New Palace Hotel, FS Marunouchi or Pen

Old Jul 15, 12, 11:46 pm
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Tokyo: New Palace Hotel, FS Marunouchi or Pen

Business is likely to take me to Tokyo later this month. I'm debating between these three properties.

The Palace Hotel is brand new and from some limited accounts from locals, seems to be the one to beat.

I'll only be there one or two nights.

Any thoughts between these properties? All are convenient to where I need to be.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 1:11 am
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Originally Posted by NYBanker View Post
Business is likely to take me to Tokyo later this month. I'm debating between these three properties.

The Palace Hotel is brand new and from some limited accounts from locals, seems to be the one to beat.

I'll only be there one or two nights.

Any thoughts between these properties? All are convenient to where I need to be.

Thanks.
I can say without doubt that The Peninsula or Four Seasons Marunouchi would be better choices than The Palace Hotel.

FS Marunouchi and The Peninsula have effectively the same location from a convenience standpoint. Four Seasons has a slight edge in this regard due to direct access to Tokyo station, although for most travelers this difference would probably be negligible.

If you are looking at lead in room categories at both hotels, IMO Peninsula is clearly the winner (at least until FS completes its light renovation). Even a Deluxe room at the Peninsula is spacious and very comfortable, with all of the technology and appointments one would expect from Peninsula. The bathrooms are great, and unlike many other hotels in Tokyo even the lead in rooms have proper sitting areas with sofas and tables to enjoy room service dining. Higher category rooms have essentially the same design as the deluxe rooms, but some have corner locations with windows in the bathrooms, while the Grand Deluxe Rooms are more spacious and have full views of Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace gardens.

The Peninsula is also the choice if you value a swimming pool, and want to have multiple in hotel restaurants to choose from. In my opinion Peter and Hei Fung Terrace are excellent. For Japanese cuisine Tsuruya is also good, but quite frankly there are much better choices off property for Japanese cuisine.

FS Marunouchi is a wonderful hotel as well, and it is definitely worth considering, especially if you choose a Premier room or higher category. This is a boutique hotel on the first seven floors of the Century Pacific Place building, and the view from the lobby/restaurant/bar, as well as the suites and some of the rooms, is of Tokyo station and its surrounding skyscrapers.

As a small boutique Four Seasons Hotel, the service and privacy here are excellent. The public space feels very relaxing and residential, and the one restaurant Ekki Bar and Grill, also provides the room service for the hotel. The restaurant specializes in grilled Japanese beef and sea food, and has a good wine selection. There is a lot of good comfort food on the menu such as the Wagyu hamburger and the Linguini pasta with sea urchin cream sauce.

Having just one in hotel restaurant is not really a drawback, because the concierge can direct you to many excellent restaurants in the area. FS Marunochi has no swimming pool, but does have Japanese style furos in the spa/fitness area.

The Palace Hotel is not far away either, and I plan to check out some of its interesting restaurants in the near future, however I do not think it makes sense to take a risk when one can be assured of a great stay at either the Pen or FS Marunouchi.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jul 16, 12 at 4:30 am
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Old Jul 16, 12, 10:12 am
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Not much to add to what Mike says, but wanted to throw out that we love Marunouchi. Haven't stayed at the others, though.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 10:47 am
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The Palace Hotel isn't new, it's just newly renovated in a serious way that closed it for some time. It's a slightly worse location than the other two IMO.

Pre-renovation it was a four-star business-oriented hotel in a good location with pretty minimal facilities in a modern box building probably from about 1960. Rooms were small and VERY dated, worn and faded, with disappointing small bathrooms.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 6:51 pm
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It's still the Pen. Palace will be a slightly ritzier version of the Okura. FSM is fine, but I think on balance, better facilities at Pen, particularly if you are there on business.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 7:12 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
I can say without doubt that The Peninsula or Four Seasons Marunouchi would be better choices than The Palace Hotel.

FS Marunouchi and The Peninsula have effectively the same location from a convenience standpoint. Four Seasons has a slight edge in this regard due to direct access to Tokyo station, although for most travelers this difference would probably be negligible.

If you are looking at lead in room categories at both hotels, IMO Peninsula is clearly the winner (at least until FS completes its light renovation). Even a Deluxe room at the Peninsula is spacious and very comfortable, with all of the technology and appointments one would expect from Peninsula. The bathrooms are great, and unlike many other hotels in Tokyo even the lead in rooms have proper sitting areas with sofas and tables to enjoy room service dining. ...

The Peninsula is also the choice if you value a swimming pool, and want to have multiple in hotel restaurants to choose from. In my opinion Peter and Hei Fung Terrace are excellent. For Japanese cuisine Tsuruya is also good, but quite frankly there are much better choices off property for Japanese cuisine.

FS Marunouchi is a wonderful hotel as well, and it is definitely worth considering, especially if you choose a Premier room or higher category. This is a boutique hotel on the first seven floors of the Century Pacific Place building, and the view from the lobby/restaurant/bar, as well as the suites and some of the rooms, is of Tokyo station and its surrounding skyscrapers.

As a small boutique Four Seasons Hotel, the service and privacy here are excellent. The public space feels very relaxing and residential, and the one restaurant Ekki Bar and Grill, also provides the room service for the hotel. The restaurant specializes in grilled Japanese beef and sea food, and has a good wine selection. There is a lot of good comfort food on the menu such as the Wagyu hamburger and the Linguini pasta with sea urchin cream sauce.

Having just one in hotel restaurant is not really a drawback, because the concierge can direct you to many excellent restaurants in the area. FS Marunochi has no swimming pool, but does have Japanese style furos in the spa/fitness area.

The Palace Hotel is not far away either, and I plan to check out some of its interesting restaurants in the near future, however I do not think it makes sense to take a risk when one can be assured of a great stay at either the Pen or FS Marunouchi.
Thank you for this detailed comparison.


Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The Palace Hotel isn't new, it's just newly renovated in a serious way that closed it for some time. It's a slightly worse location than the other two IMO.

Pre-renovation it was a four-star business-oriented hotel in a good location with pretty minimal facilities in a modern box building probably from about 1960. Rooms were small and VERY dated, worn and faded, with disappointing small bathrooms.
Thank you MSPE. I recall the Palace's pre-renovation standing. At least from the photographs they've posted online, it looks like a very, very different hotel post-renovation.


Originally Posted by grumbler View Post
It's still the Pen. Palace will be a slightly ritzier version of the Okura. FSM is fine, but I think on balance, better facilities at Pen, particularly if you are there on business.
Hi grumbler - are you making reference to the new incarnation of the hotel which just opened in May? It looks wildly more advanced than the Okura!

* * * * *

Several of my Tokyo-based colleagues have really raved about the re-opening Palace Hotel. Perhaps this is just because it is so new and significant better than before.

I think I drop the FS-M, and just focus on the Pen or the Palace. Let me grill my colleagues a bit further. The Palace's website shows a very attractive hotel, and I know it is in an ideal location for me (the Pen is fine, too)...I may be willing to be the guinea pig and try it out...though the option to simply retreat to the Pen, where I know everything will be fine, is also compelling.

Decisions, decisions...

These are good problems.
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Old Jul 16, 12, 8:01 pm
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Originally Posted by grumbler View Post
Palace will be a slightly ritzier version of the Okura.
I agree with this assessment of the Palace.

This thread got me thinking about the Palace, so I went yesterday and ended up having dinner. The hotel is newly renovated and has a great location, interesting design aspects, and some great restaurants (many of which are tenants, which is typical of Japanese hotels), but from a service perspective this hotel does not by any means compare to The Peninsula.

This is not at all surprising, as without foreign management companies such as Four Seasons and Peninsula, the Japanese quite frankly have no clue about luxury hospitality and the type of service necessary to achieve it.

Last edited by MikeFromTokyo; Jul 16, 12 at 10:39 pm
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Old Jul 16, 12, 8:08 pm
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Originally Posted by NYBanker View Post
Thank you for this detailed comparison.



Thank you MSPE. I recall the Palace's pre-renovation standing. At least from the photographs they've posted online, it looks like a very, very different hotel post-renovation.



Hi grumbler - are you making reference to the new incarnation of the hotel which just opened in May? It looks wildly more advanced than the Okura!

* * * * *

I am sure it is more advanced than the Okura - but I think it will remain a Japanese business hotel, though at the high end of that scale. Not to knock it, and I certainly would try it, especially if rates are competitive.

Several of my Tokyo-based colleagues have really raved about the re-opening Palace Hotel. Perhaps this is just because it is so new and significant better than before.

I think I drop the FS-M, and just focus on the Pen or the Palace. Let me grill my colleagues a bit further. The Palace's website shows a very attractive hotel, and I know it is in an ideal location for me (the Pen is fine, too)...I may be willing to be the guinea pig and try it out...though the option to simply retreat to the Pen, where I know everything will be fine, is also compelling.

Decisions, decisions...

These are good problems.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:24 am
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Originally Posted by MSPeconomist View Post
The Palace Hotel isn't new, it's just newly renovated in a serious way that closed it for some time. It's a slightly worse location than the other two IMO.
They tore the old building down and built a completely new one. The only thing that isn't new about The Palace Hotel is the name.

Originally Posted by NYBanker View Post
Several of my Tokyo-based colleagues have really raved about the re-opening Palace Hotel. Perhaps this is just because it is so new and significant better than before.
I've never stayed there, but I've had breakfast there twice, and all I've seen in the restaurant and lobby was truly excellent.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 12:49 am
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I have been a die hard park Hyatt Tokyo fan for years. I stayed recently at the Peninsula tokyo for the location and loved it. The service was terrific and the location perfect. I missed the PH views, their Japanese restaurant, and their pool ( although there is one at the Pen), but the Pen was great, and many great restaurants in the area. I stayed a few years ago at FS when I needed to be in that area, and thought service good, but liked the Pen much better.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 1:22 am
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Originally Posted by Larkin View Post
I have been a die hard park Hyatt Tokyo fan for years. I stayed recently at the Peninsula tokyo for the location and loved it. The service was terrific and the location perfect. I missed the PH views, their Japanese restaurant, and their pool ( although there is one at the Pen), but the Pen was great, and many great restaurants in the area. I stayed a few years ago at FS when I needed to be in that area, and thought service good, but liked the Pen much better.
Not too surprising since the GM of the Pen was previously the long time GM of the PH!
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Old Jul 17, 12, 1:59 pm
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Originally Posted by MikeFromTokyo View Post
This is not at all surprising, as without foreign management companies such as Four Seasons and Peninsula, the Japanese quite frankly have no clue about luxury hospitality and the type of service necessary to achieve it.


I completely agree with you. The same can be said for hotels in Korea and China.

I must however admit to a certain fondness for the Okura in Tokyo.

PS - Doesn't the Palace Hotel have views of the Imperial Palace which makes it rather unique ...
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Old Jul 17, 12, 2:41 pm
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The Pen is just across the street from the Imperial Palace compound which means it would at least have views of the grounds (I remember the GM telling me they couldn't build higher because the Imperial Household Agency didn't want them overlooking the buildings in there).
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Old Jul 17, 12, 2:48 pm
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Also the Ritz-Carlton, club level.

Palace did go out and hire a number of staff from pen,ritz, hyatt but at the end of the day it is targetting the Japanese market more than the international one. Will stay there next month, however location is not ideal as my office is in Roppongi.
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Old Jul 17, 12, 2:51 pm
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Some rooms in the Imperial have Palace views too, although both the Peninsula and the Imperial are at the far side to the Palace, while the Palace Hotel is on the other side, but looking from the same direction, and closer to the main buildings in the Palace grounds.
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