The Ascott, Marunouchi, Tokyo

The Ascott, Marunouchi, Tokyo

Robert Ettinger, CEO of Ettinger, told us about one of his favourite hotels in the world. 

Street level entrance. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

Street level entrance. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

For me, Tokyo is wonderful, unique and often reveals its charms unexpectedly. It has a culture and atmosphere that permeates every street corner to even the most ubiquitous shopping mall, a total sense of place. I am taken by a business colleague to tiny traditional restaurants, hidden in the back streets, where delicious, fresh food is expertly cooked, right in front of me and immediately served in small selections. A friend suggested I visit her temple and I arrive at a large temple complex just outside Tokyo, unknown to tourists but a hugely important place of pilgrimage to the Japanese. The neon lights of Shinjuku blur my vision and the footfall of Shinjuku station begs belief, but I love the cultural and historical heart of Ueno. So much to do and so much to see but alas I am always working in Tokyo, with so little time for leisure.

The lobby at The Ascott. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The lobby at The Ascott. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

Less than half an hour from Haneda international airport, I am welcomed into the calm lobby of The Ascott. Perfectly located as from here it is just a ten-minute walk to Tokyo station for the Shinkansen to other cities and a five-minute taxi ride to Ginza, the major shopping area and the location of our importer distributor. In a country where it is not just important but essential that you arrive at any business meeting exactly on time, this saves so much waiting around. I can also easily access the Yamanote line, the important loop train line much loved for its ease by tourists and myself, outside the congestion of rush hour.

The apartment. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The apartment. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The hotel’s well-designed apartments have every convenience. Their functionality allows for long days out without fuss. The sufficient storage space for both my wife’s and my own personal and business possessions allows for a degree of order that enhances marital harmony. We travel light, yet we are so often forced to live out of our suitcases, never finding anything and cluttering up what was once a beautiful hotel room.

The kitchen & dining area. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The kitchen & dining area. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The apartments also have a fully functional kitchen and dining area, not that I am into self-catering, but it does mean that there is a chance to get breakfast before very early starts and to make a snack when you just do not feel like going out after a very long day. The washing machine is a bonus, but does require a level of intelligence to operate, which way surpasses my own. However, the bright and willing staff are always at hand to come to my assistance.

Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The kitchen & dining area. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The views over Tokyo from my room are expansive and if I am lucky of Mount Fuji in the distance. The garden terrace perched high above Tokyo, is a great place for an informal, quiet business meeting over coffee. The hotel is always peaceful, probably due to the number of long stay guests.

The garden terrace. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The garden terrace. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

But what really makes these apartments so convenient is that you have all the facilities of a full-service hotel at hand which has everything from a pool and gym to a restaurant.

The pool & gym. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

The pool & gym. Images by The Ascott Hotel.

If time allows in early morning or evening, I will take a ten-minute stroll to the atmospheric Imperial Palace with its huge stone walls, parks and gardens for some air and exercise, or cycle on the circular cycle path. Other times I will just take a relaxing walk to the next block to a Belgian deli for early breakfast and other essentials.

The Imperial Palace. Image by

The Imperial Palace. Image by 

This hotel is modern but the attractive design, the calmness of the public spaces and the welcome promote a sense of wellbeing. The convenience of the location makes long working days less tiring, evening meetings easier to access and social dinners more enjoyable. Being able to walk to catch a bullet train means I do not have to allow extra time to get there on account of possible traffic congestion and makes early starts and late returns easy. If I ever visited as a tourist, which I would love to do, I would stay here as I cannot think of a more convenient and comfortable base from which I can explore and enjoy all that Tokyo and Japan have to offer.

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