The bright lights and big-city feel of Tokyo are celebrated in the sleek, modern Gate Hotel Tokyo in the heart of ritzy Ginza. A two-storey glass atrium lobby opens to the high rises and buzzing streets outside. Beyond the lobby, wood panelling and strategic lighting create a mood of repose. The Gate is an elegant urban retreat with impeccable service.
Traveller: Joanna Tovia
Room: Classy Twin
Address: Yurakucho, Ginza
Date: September 2019
Best for: Couples, singles and business people seeking a touch of luxury in a well-located, contemporary hotel. The hotel offers a quiet, restful retreat to return to after a day of shopping, sightseeing or meetings.
The Signature factor
Sipping a glass of Taittinger Champagne in the lobby’s double-storey indoor-outdoor atrium that opens to the city skyline, live grand piano music in the background.
This contemporary hotel opened in December 2018. It has 164 rooms and suites on 13 floors, beginning at the fourth-floor lobby. The main gathering areas are the fourth-floor lobby lounge, bar and restaurant, and the 13th floor has a premium lounge, elegant Teppanyaki dining room, and well-equipped fitness room.
Mood lighting and tasteful decor create a hushed, elegant ambience. Rather than compete with the striking city views, the refined surrounds are subtle enough that the views are allowed to take centre stage.
Room 916. My ‘Classy Twin’ room was spacious and modern, spotlessly clean and quiet. It comprised two supremely comfortable beds (double bed-size), a chaise lounge and armchair area by the window, and a bathroom with double vanity, separate Japanese-style toilet, and traditional wet room with bath and shower. All-natural shampoo, conditioner and body soap from GemiD provided in eco-refillable dispensers. Nespresso coffee maker and mini-fridge, adjustable air-conditioning, 40-inch TV, well-designed lighting and charging set-up (including USB port by the bed).
At 73 square metres in a city that’s tight on space, The Gate suite on the hotel’s top floor is the epitome of luxury. An outdoor terrace and Jacuzzi with incredible views of Shiobome’s skyscrapers and bright lights adjoin an elegant lounge and dining area, separate twin bedroom and spacious ensuite.
On my plate
At breakfast, a selection of organic salads and fresh juices (plus the usual cereal, pastries and yoghurt) allow you to start the day off right. Guests choose a main breakfast dish from three offerings: French toast, pancakes or eggs benedict. At lunch and dinner, the restaurant offers a small menu of beautifully presented French-inspired dishes.
The Gate Hotel Tokyo is designed as a base from which to explore the city, rather than a place to linger the days away. Free Wi-Fi and helpful front desk staff make planning a day out easy.
As well as world-class shopping (Gucci is opposite the hotel, Bally is next door), the hotel is around the corner from a charming restaurant precinct built under and around the railway bridge. Humble, authentic restaurants offering delicious Japanese fare (some specialise in ramen, others in sushi, gyoza or barbecue) make dining here a delight. Just don’t be surprised to find yourself sitting on an upturned milk crate to devour your meal. The subway entrance is directly outside the hotel, providing easy access to the city’s many attractions.
We spent two nights at sister hotel The Gate Kaminarimon in historic Asakusa, before accepting the hotel’s offer of a free taxi transfer to The Gate Tokyo in Ginza for an additional three nights. The two hotels are in two distinctly different areas of Tokyo, and staying in both gave us the chance to explore each in depth.
Green thumbs up?
Solar panels gather enough energy to power the hotel’s hot water, and the main lobby area has been designed to reduce reliance on air-conditioning thanks to an efficient ventilation system.
Room for improvement
Yukata (pyjamas/loungewear) are provided for guests in rooms, but they are far too small to fit anyone whose clothing isn’t size extra small.
The breakfasts were a little more varied. The same three main dishes are offered every day. There is no room service at the hotel, so a more extensive breakfast and bar menu would be welcome.
I loved this sleek and well-run hotel. It may only have four stars (no doubt because of the lack of room service), but it had a five-star feel and delivered an upmarket stay that was comfortable and restful. Its location in the middle of Ginza made getting around easy, and the friendly and efficient service was appreciated.