Aman Resorts are some of the world’s most prestigious hotels and resorts. Aman properties are legendary for architecture that takes cues from the local area, respecting the environment instead of insisting themselves upon it. The only thing better than the smart design is the incredible level of service. Aman’s target customers are some of the most discerning in the world, those who spend big bucks for a quiet, serene experience.
I’ve previously stayed at Amanpuri in Phuket, Thailand, taking advantage of some cheaper rates due to it being rainy season. Cheaper, not cheap, mind you.
How I ended up in Tokyo when the country was still closed
This August I made my way to Japan on a work trip, holding one of the elusive Work Visitor visas which was one of the few ways for non-Japanese to visit the country at the time, due to the COVID pandemic. Japan has since reopened to visitors.
I had spent a week in Sydney and three nights in Singapore before my three nights in Tokyo, featuring days full of meetings and plenty of meetings overnight with customers and colleagues back in the USA. By the end of the trip I was exhausted! I wanted to make my last night in Asia special and relaxing, so I checked out rates at some of the luxury hotels around the Chiyoda area of Tokyo, near the Imperial Gardens and found that they were incredibly cheap! I guess that made sense, since so few tourists were there at the time.
Four Seasons, Peninsula, they are all in central Tokyo…but one hotel caught my eye: the Aman Tokyo.
There were no points to use, this would be paid for out of my pocket. Normally, rates at the Aman Tokyo start at $1350/night. When I was looking? It was half that. I had to stay there, since I predicted rates would go back up when the country reopened (they have).
How I tried to make my trip cheaper
I tried to make it a bit cheaper by using my American Express Platinum card’s Fine Hotels & Resorts benefit. Not only does the FHR program come with general benefits like early check-in, late checkout, and complimentary breakfast, it also includes property-specific benefits, in this case a $100 food/beverage credit. The American Express Platinum card also comes with a $200 credit for FHR stays.
By my math, I would’ve spent around $100 on dinner at one of the on-property restaurants, probably $50-75 on breakfast, and there was the $200 credit on top of all that. So my $700 room, already half-price compared to normal rates, ended up effectively costing me around $350. I’ll take that.
I made my booking, finished up a wonderful work trip with treasured colleagues in Tokyo, and made my way to Otemachi Tower, a new and imposing skyscraper in a city full of them. Otemachi Tower is the headquarters of Mizuho Bank, one of Japan’s megabanks, and Aman Tokyo occupies the top six floors of the tower.
Otemachi Tower is easy to find, only a short walk from Tokyo Station. How does Aman create a peaceful environment when it’s located right in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities? It has a special entrance on the west side of the tower. You walk through Japanese gardens into a lobby specific to the hotel.
I checked in with an attendant in the lobby, who invited me onto an elevator to head up to the lobby of the hotel.
When the doors opened, I was greeted by another attendant and got my first glimpse of the most incredible hotel lobby I had ever seen.
A massive atrium resembled the paper walls famous in Japan, casting soft light down onto the lobby of the hotel while massive floor-to-ceiling windows invited natural light in, made only better by expansive views of the Imperial Gardens out of the windows.
I was invited to sit and enjoy a cool towel while we completed the check-in process. I could not believe the incredible architecture and couldn’t help but take more pictures of the warm evening light reflecting off the tiled columns at the cafe and bar area in the lobby.
My room at the Aman Tokyo
I was escorted to my room by a team member of Aman Tokyo. The room numbers do not correspond to the floor on which they reside, but the elevators are labeled with placards so you go to the right floor. I was in room 310, which I found after a brief walk from the elevator bank. The hallways were quiet and featured dramatic lighting to highlight the Japanese stylings.
My Room at Aman Tokyo
I walked into the room and was blown away. Hotels in Japan could be compared to hotels in other enormous urban cities like New York or London. None are known for large rooms, usually quite the opposite. But the Aman Tokyo’s standard room was probably bigger than most suites in other hotels!
The room had a king-size bed centrally placed in an upper area. A counter near the foot of the bed had containers of snacks and a hidden TV, which rose out of the ottoman at the touch of a button. I couldn’t block such a great view so the TV remained safely stored throughout my stay.
Everywhere you looked there were thoughtful touches that highlighted the Japanese design.
The restroom area was narrow yet incredible, probably the best bathtub I’ve ever seen,
As the afternoon began to give way to the evening, I took a closer look, down a couple of steps, at the sitting area.
There was a mini-bar near the sitting area, where all non-alcoholic drinks were complimentary.
As night fell, I loved seeing how the lighting in the room accentuated the various features.
I made my way down to the Italian restaurant in the lobby. I know I know, why didn’t I get sushi since I was in Japan, but I had been taken to separate colleague’s favorite sushi places for the preceding two nights and was ready for a little variety.
The restaurant was lovely and took advantage of the palatial ceilings in the lobby area with incredible views out over the Imperial Gardens.
(I tried to stay away from photographing any other customers’ faces, so my pictures from dinner weren’t the most thorough)
I made the decision to try and use all of my $100 food and beverage credit at the restaurant and the food was simply wonderful!
The appetizer was lovely, the bread was fresh and fragrant, and the pear and prosciutto salad was wonderful.
I went with a simple bolognese, which was served in an elegant dish. It was a small portion but it was packed with flavor.
Satisfied with dinner, and patting myself on the back for doing impromptu math that made the bill right around $92, and thus fully covered by my FHR food and beverage credit, I made my way back to my room to get some much-needed sleep.
But not before one last picture, I loved the way the light from the restroom area illuminated the wood floors in my room.
In-room Breakfast at Aman Tokyo
The gentleman who showed me around my room told me about the breakfast that was included with my rate and that I could enjoy it either in my room or in the cafe in the lobby. Since my morning would be kind of compressed (I wish I could’ve enjoyed the late checkout but I had to fly home out of Narita, which means a much longer commute to the airport), I elected for in-room dining. At the appointed hour (I chose 6:20 for some reason), my breakfast promptly arrived and was artfully displayed in the “downstairs” seating area of my room.
I was impressed not just with the quality of food but also the quantity!
Back to the Lobby
My time at the Aman Tokyo was coming to an end but there was one last thing I wanted to photograph: the amazing pool area. It was 6:45am, and the pool didn’t open for another 15 minutes, so I walked around the lobby a little more to take some more pictures of the incredible space.
I truly cannot say enough about the lobby, it’s truly the centerpiece of the hotel.
The incredible pool and spa at Aman Tokyo
Promptly at 7am the pool and spa opened. I booked it to the pool area so I could take pictures without any guests in them. I knew it was great but wow was I blown away.
It was granite, it was symmetrical and asymmetrical at the same time, just architecturally stunning.
Like everywhere else at Aman Tokyo, it had expansive views of the city thanks to immense windows. I wish I would’ve had time for a quick dip, but my flight left in only a few hours and I had to get to Narita. “Next time,” I lyingly told myself, since I doubt I’ll be in a place to afford a night here anytime soon since prices have returned to normal.
Overall thoughts on Aman Tokyo
What a perfect urban hotel! Aman has an incredible reputation and standard to live up to, and the Aman Tokyo does that and more. It managed to create a luxurious oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Tokyo despite being literally in one of the busiest buildings in the gigantic megalopolis.
I will never forget waking up and looking out over the Imperial Gardens while enjoying a great breakfast. From the size of the room to the authentic local stylings, everything about the stay was just wonderful. Well-worth the discounted rate that I paid, even though it wasn’t exactly repeatable. Even more, I loved the contrast between staying at Amanpuri on the lush coast of Phuket and an urban property. They were as different as could be but both were distinctly Aman.
If you ever get the chance, go stay at the Aman Tokyo!
Have you ever stayed at an Aman property? Tell me about it in the comments below!