Establishment neighborhood
The Peninsula Tokyo
1-8-1 Yurakucho, Chiyoda-ku
Tucked between the neon of the Ginza and the gardens of the Imperial Palace, the ten-year-old Peninsula Tokyo is a combination of old and new. Guests are still transported to the hotel in one of its traditional Rolls-Royces (including a pristine 1934 model that, like all of the hotel’s cars, is painted the company’s signature Brewster Green), white-suited bellhops still greet you at the entrance, and the Peninsula afternoon tea is stately enough to make a monarch to feel at home. But there are modern accents as well, including fully automated (and surprisingly spacious) rooms with controls for lights, windows, and even humidity. Not to mention thoughtful, if ridiculously decadent, touches, like a two-way compartment that lets housekeeping collect room service dishes without making you lift a finger, and something every hotel should have: in-room nail polish dryers.
Palace Hotel
1-1-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku
The Palace Hotel has 290 rooms, seven restaurants, three bars, a pastry shop, and the first Evian spa in Japan. This is actually the third hotel to sit on the enviable chunk of real estate next to Tokyo’s Imperial Gardens—the first hotel, the Teito, was demolished and replaced in 1961 by the first Palace Hotel, which was subsequently razed and replaced by today’s Palace in 2012. The new Palace retains some of that old-world glamour (lobby staff clad in kimonos, the same bar from the original Palace) while upgrading it with all of today’s modern conveniences, like coffee makers and the most beautifully scented, nontoxic Bamford bath products in the suites. If you have the chance, be sure to book one of the rooms with a balcony—you’ll be one of the few people in Tokyo with your own private outdoor space.