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Review: The Capitol Hotel Tokyu

MARK HARADA checks into a hotel in the political heart of Japan. But cold bureaucracy couldn’t feel further away from this property.

PM’s office and residence


Looking down from The Capitol Hotel Tokyu’s 27th floor club lounge, as we check in, a few buildings stand out. Assisting us, the softly spoken and elegant Ms Hashimoto points out the structures are the Japanese Prime Minister’s official residence, PM and ministerial offices, and not far away, Japan’s National Diet Building (‘Parliament’). When your neighbours are the leaders of Japan, you know you’re in good company. 


Around the hotel, the hustle and bustle of hectic Tokyo makes way for a literally guarded quiet. And this lends itself beautifully to a relaxing stay at the Capitol Tokyu. 


Upon arrival at the hotel, an exterior shaped by sharp lines gives way inside to the sound of water features and gentle music, the sight of decorative art and ikebana, and a scent I later discover is the signature hotel aroma. 




Bypassing the lovely main lobby, my partner and I are whisked to the Capitol’s Sa-Ryoh (Library) Lounge, where we meet Ms Hashimoto. One of a seemingly majority female workforce at the hotel, she runs through the guest services (in detail you’ll only find in Japan) as well as a welcome menu that stars champagne and even salted kelp (it’s delicious, if you’re wondering). 


At other times, the intimate lounge serves up tasty treats from cold prawns and pea soup to savoury cheese platters and sweet pumpkin puddings. Adding to an extensive list of beverages, the club lounge also boasts on-demand matcha tea and Capitol Tokyu-branded coffee (both intricately prepared in front of guests). 


The charm continues in our Club Deluxe King room, which uses mostly modern elements to create a stunning abode. But there are nods to Japanese tradition here too, most notably in the long, sliding shoji screen door that separates the main room from the beautiful bathroom - with its THEMAE toiletries - and ‘powder space’. Particularly appealing is the effect of showering beside a shoji, a first-time experience for this long-time visitor to Japan. 



Another standout in the room are the near floor to ceiling windows, which afford views revealed by automated curtains and shades. Elsewhere, there’s a large LED TV, bluetooth speaker, Nespresso coffee machine, minibar, automated bidet toilet, complimentary mobile phone (loaded with data and free calls to Australia) and free wifi. 


Downstairs, breakfast takes place in Origami restaurant, which overlooks gorgeous greenery. Reflecting its mostly international clientele, it’s a largely western affair, with a choice of buffet, continental, American and a la carte breakfasts. But if you want to start the day like a local, chefs will whip up a delicious and nutritious Japanese breakfast, which also happens to look amazing too. 


However, more than the egg white omelette with cottage cheese, freshly squeezed OJ, and even Japanese bento, the highlight of the breakfast (and arguably any breakfast I’ve ever had) has to go to the sweet/savoury ‘steamed toast with French fermented butter’. Made to order at a special station, this dish alone is worth a visit to the hotel. 


‘Steamed toast’ station


For those who desire finer dining, the hotel also offers kaiseki (small plate dishes), sushi and other Japanese fare at Suiren, and Chinese cuisine at the swish Star Hill restaurant. Or if you’re just after a drink, there’s the classy Capitol Bar and Origami Lounge, the latter of which looks over amazing water features and gardens.  


Not to be outdone, health and wellness facilities at the property are on par with the food and beverage, with a fully equipped gym, sauna, jacuzzi and 20-metre indoor pool available to all adult guests (sorry, no children). A water baby at heart, I’m keen to make use of the incredible wet areas and find its use of designated lanes for walking, swimming slowly and quickly effective. Just be sure to wear a swimming cap (available for rent, free-of-charge) when you hit the pool, a requirement in many Japanese hotels.  


Elsewhere, the Capitol Tokyu boasts a business centre and meetings facilities, beauty salon and barber, photo studio and florist, and the Carju Rajah Tiado spa. And when you drag yourself out of the hotel, there’s plenty to see and do outside - and who knows, you might even get a glimpse of the PM.


The writer was a guest of the hotel. For more information on the Capitol Hotel Tokyu, click here.


The shoji shower


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 11 January 2019

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