Hotel Toranomon Hills in Tokyo is All About Business With Pleasure

by Grace Ma
Photos courtesy of Hotel Toranomon Hills
08 Apr 2024

Tokyo’s new Hotel Toranomon Hills, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt gives plenty of reasons to linger after official work is over.

Connectivity and convenience – typically the top factors for business travelers when it comes to picking a hotel base in a city. But now, executives want more.

According to an April 2023 poll of 500 travel decision makers by credit card company Mastercard, the “bleisure” trend is here to stay and companies are allowing remote work and business trips that segue into personal vacations. Well-appointed hotels catering to corporate travellers and are at proximity to hyper-local cultural and dining experiences will be ideal bases. 

Ticking all these boxes is Tokyo’s new Hotel Toranomon Hills, The Unbound Collection by Hyatt, which opened last December in the emerging Toranomon-Azabudai business district. As I sat in the 11th floor lounge contemplating a stunning sunset through the six-meter-high floor-to-ceiling windows, I could not imagine a more relaxing place to work, rest, and recharge. The guest-exclusive space had comfortable sofas and well-equipped worktables, complimentary refreshments and even cozy sleeping pods and spacious shower rooms.

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Panorama Corner Suite with Tokyo Tower view
The Lounge

Panoramic views in all the 205 rooms and suites are a given here. The top-end Panorama Corner Suite King and duplex Toranomon Suite (which have dining and living areas on the lower floor) offer the most expansive jaw-droppers with the iconic Tokyo Tower in the soaring window frames. Even my Deluxe King room proffered unique perspectives, including an outdoor art installation at a neighboring building that twinkled in the night like hundreds of fireflies in a field. 

The room had all the amenities an efficient corporate traveler required, including a compact ironing board and iron, as well as a built-in water filtration tap, which is increasingly becoming a fixture at properties trumpeting sustainability credentials. Danish studio Space Copenhagen has imbued a soft warmth in the interiors of its first project in Japan, where serenity is embraced amid Tokyo’s chaotic energy. The corridors of the guest floors have a matte texture referencing red Japanese lacquer and are lit up by pearly shell-shaped wall lamps. Walking through them is like a journey into a peaceful retreat decorated with curved furnishings and minimalist Japanese-Scandinavian aesthetics.

Le Prestine restaurant
Le Pristine's signature seafood orecchiette

The hotel’s trump card though is its restaurants, overseen by Sergio Herman, a Dutch chef-restaurateur with Michelin-starred establishments in Netherlands and Belgium. This is his first foray into Asia and his team is hitting it out of the park. Casual fine-dining restaurant Le Pristine Tokyo is a foliage-filled space with fun “melted” disco balls on the walls. Ingredients from Zeeland and seasonal Japanese produce headline the contemporary European dishes, each meticulously prepared with flavors and textures that waltz harmoniously together. The signature Orecchiette Zeelandaise was a treasure trove of shellfish and crustacean delights mixed with orecchiette pasta and ‘nduja from Hokkaido. Savory, sweet, and tart notes came beautifully together in the pine robata-smoked venison, served with foie gras, mizkan-marinated quince, and a side salad of Japanese nashi pear and roasted buckwheat. The surprising addition of a Japanese sansho pepper and tonka bean oil turned what would have been an ordinary strawberry dessert into a taste marvel. After dinner, order an espresso martini at the lobby bar – the version here is laced with vanilla syrup, which elevates the usual recipe.

Hotel breakfasts will also no longer be the same after eating the ones at Le Pristine Café. It is mind boggling how a simple egg white omelet with spinach and sesame seeds and the Tamago Kake Gohan “Le Pristine” rice bowl of poached egg, pecorino, speck, and gremolata can be so tantalizing. Even the Stir-Fried Breakfast Noodles had the distinct Asian aroma of sesame oil and soy sauce down pat.

Outside the hotel, the neighborhood brims with fascinating finds. The hotel is housed within the 49-story Toranomon Hills Station Tower, where you can catch art exhibitions at Tokyo Node and shop and eat at over 70 retail stores and restaurants, including the hip T-Market Food Hall that has a microbrewery and a whisky bar. At the basement is the Toranomon Hills subway station, where the Hibiya Line takes you swiftly around the city, including Ginza or Roppongi within 10 minutes.

The building is linked by an outdoor bridge studded with quirky art installations to the Toranomon Hills Business Tower where there are more restaurants, shops, and a minimart. On the third floor is Toranomon Yokocho, a lively alleyway filled with izakayas and even a distillery making craft gin. It is the place to go for a taste of weekend Japanese revelry. In a fit of “yolo” impetuosity buoyed by the boisterous atmosphere, I took a counter seat at an Okinawan-Chinese izakaya and ordered an omakase set. Out came braised pork belly, tofu, sea grapes, and pig’s ears. Not the usual dinner, but delicious all the same, especially washed down with a lemon-infused awamori and soda.

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Just 10 minutes away on foot from the hotel is the Kikuchi Kanjitsu Memorial Tomo Museum, which holds regular exhibitions on inspiring ceramic pieces by local artisans. Nearby on a hill is the Atago Shrine, which gets especially crowded in the first few weeks of January with devotees queuing to seek blessings for the year. An old-school Coffee Embassy Kamiyacho café called out to me to have a leisurely coffee and cinnamon toast with clotted cream among leather seats, dark wood interiors, and jazz playing in the background. If Hotel Toranomon Hills is gently prodding its guests to bask in Tokyo’s charming rhythms, it has certainly succeeded.

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