I’ve been trying for the longest time to think of a way to describe the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on its own merits, but my strongest impression remains the differences between the Park and the Regency. So I’ve decided to just go with that.
To me, the Park Hyatt Tokyo and the Hyatt Regency Tokyo are two sides of the same coin. Both hotels were intended to be elegant escapes for well-heeled old money, and both are in the same relatively isolated sections of the city. While the Park has avoided the pratfalls of its successor and still lives up to its intended role, the Regency’s dated dreams of grandeur burst with the economic bubble of the 80′s. However, the Regency has successfully reinvented themselves as a champion of the people, providing quality lodging and excellent service at an affordable price, giving normal people a taste of the old money class.
The Grand Hyatt Tokyo is a completely different coin.
For starters, the Grand is located in the new Roppongi Hills complex, a city in the sky that never sleeps, and is the symbol of Tokyo’s new money. You don’t go to Roppongi Hills to get away from life, you go to Roppongi Hills to be thrown smack dab in the middle of it. From the finest shops, to the finest bars and restaurants, to the finest movies (where the stars themselves occasionally come to do PR work), there’s never a dull moment for the person that never sleeps.
But, for the person that does sleep, there is the Grand Hyatt Tokyo.
Centrally located in the middle of the complex, the Grand Hyatt tries not to blend in, but to make you take notice. In the spacious lobby, wood, rock, and marble all join forces to impart an aura of power and confidence. A salesman cannot walk through this hotel and not leave with the impression that the next big sale is right around the corner for the taking.
The self-confidence of this hotel manifests itself in its other facilities as well. While the Park and Regency try to impress with rooftop pools and windows inviting you to look at Tokyo from above, the pool in the Grand Hyatt’s Nagomi Spa complex draws you into its own esoteric environment, forged of rare red granite. Not content with a blasé rectangular pool, the circular jacuzzi juts into the swimming area, giving the whole thing the peculiar design of a small letter d. While the chairs at the Park Hyatt Tokyo are designed for maximal comfort, any comfort you experience in a Grand Hyatt Tokyo pool chair is purely coincidental, though the enhanced feng shui might make up for it.
There is a rooftop pool at this hotel, but it is for the exclusive use of one group: the guests of the Presidential Suite. While the Park Hyatt’s Presidential Suite excels with the highest quality furnishings and its own private butler (and the Regency seemingly gives up on making its Presidential Suite special, focusing on the more accessible Atrium Suites instead), the Grand Hyatt goes in a completely different direction with private gardens and an outdoor heated pool (the only suite with its own pool in all of Tokyo), all on its own private floor. While the Park Hyatt’s Presidential Suite is a discrete place to pamper those that have known wealth all their life, the Grand Hyatt is the place to go to skinny dip and nakedly scream “I HAVE MONEY!” at the world.
(Again, I must humbly admit that I have no first hand experience with any Presidential Suite. But if Hyatt would like to offer me a chance to perform an unbiased review of these rooms [or even a heavily biased review], I would grudgingly accept their offer.)
And I guess that, in a nutshell, is the difference I feel between the Grand Hyatt and the other two currently existing Tokyo Hyatt hotels. While the others make me relaxed and comfortable, everything about this one gets me all amped up to take on the world. That’s not to say that you can’t relax at the Grand Hyatt (this is the only one of the Tokyo Hyatt hotels where I’ve experienced a massage, and the experience was possibly the closest I’ve ever come to achieving a state of nirvana), but it is really designed to be enjoyed by those that take life by the throat and shake it down for all it’s worth.
Going to the Park and Regency feels like going home. Going to the Grand feels like going on a great adventure.
There are a lot of things that I want to talk about with regards to this hotel in more detail going forward, such as the aforementioned massage and spa facilities, the truly excellent food and staff of the Grand Club Lounge that competes for my attention with The Oak Door and many other fabulous restaurants (that themselves must compete with many other great restaurants just a few steps away), and some of the many, many things to see and do within the complex. Most of all, I’m looking forward to talking about the greatest non-suite room in all of Tokyo; the elusive Club Deluxe Corner Queen.
But I spend more time at home than on adventures, so this is still my least familiar of the Tokyo Hyatt hotels. If there’s something I’m missing or selling short, please let me know!