The Four Seasons Marunouchi gave a perfect ending to our three-week magical vacation through Japan. We were a couple taking my niece around Japan for her 16th birthday. Naturally, we wanted her to be left with fond memories of this trip, little did we know that the Japanese standards of service and manners would magically delight us at every turn. The Four Seasons, however, took out a magic wand and bombarded us with surprising treats and touches. Staying there was more like having a very high-end flat in an exclusive residential building with amazing services at our disposal. In order to be fair to the work that this wonderful little hotel is doing, I will break down my review to different categories: staff, aesthetics/physical experience, amenities, location, and service.
Excellence in this hotel begins and ends with the staff. They are simply superb. They have managed to find a way of not getting on your way, yet being there moments before you realize you need something, which they will offer before you even ask. Then, as suddenly as they appear, they do their thing and disappear to leave you with your peaceful stay at their hotel. There are many high quality hotels with amazing service around the world, especially in Japan. But the staff at the Four Seasons Marunouchi's know how to leave you with a genuine experience of having been valued. That sets them apart from others. To boot, they speak good English.
English Language Skills:
The Japanese hospitality industry in general does not seem to pre-occupy itself with making English their first language. We accepted that as another expression of the Japanese celebration of their own culture. But at the Four Seasons, every staff member spoke English well, a few of them in perfect Queen's English. Even the cleaning staff spoke English. That certainly caught our attention.
AESTHETICS AND PHYSICAL EXPERIENCE
As other reviewers have said, the reception and public area of the hotel is smaller in comparison with other hotels. This small boutique hotel feels more like an exclusive residential building. Commensurate with that approach, the lobby area is elegant with quiet but high design furniture. The reception desk is a small counter, tucked in the corner near the entrance, with one or two staff members in clean white suits greeting you. There is no sign of the "business" operations of the hotel on display, which we found to be a tasteful and elegant touch. The decor is clearly Japanese inspired, but executed in a modern, clean, fresh look using high design furniture, natural materials, and clearly top notch workmanship. Then the elevators take you to your floor where the same design approach explodes into finer details.
We had taken a deluxe premiere suite. Contrary to the small lobby, our suite was large and airy. The door opened to an entrance/foyer space, followed by a hallway, with a beautiful dressing and closet area with a fine blond wood finish went floor to ceiling, including large closets, drawers, a three-piece foldable full length mirror. On the other side, conveniently facing the dressing area, the bathroom was huge, with the sink, toilet, shower, soaking bathtub sections separated by frosted glass walls and doors, providing privacy in each section while maintaining the overall experience of the large, spacious bathroom. The bathroom was stocked with top of the line herbal bathing products and all the male and female grooming necessites. Individual fine bathrobes, plush slippers, pajamas, Japanese comfort outfits for around the suite were provided for each family member.
Then there was the amazing room itself. One side of the length of the suite was an expansive glass wall with views of the city's skyline and the amazing Shinkansen bullet trains curving on the side. The suite was fully soundproofed and no outside noise was ever heard. There was a spacious sitting area, consisting of a gorgeous couch and two very comfortable, yet sublimely designed (maybe Scandinavian) chairs, a well stocked tea/coffee/drinks area, with the necessary tools and serving necessities. A slender desk agains the glass wall, equipped with a concealed compartment of all the electronic connections one could imagine and a comfortable office chair continued along the wall to make an entertainment console under the large HD TV connected to the wall with an an adjustable connection allowing us to rotate the TV to any side of the room we wanted. The TV and sound systems were amazing. They had a selection of English speaking channels, which became handy later when my niece wanted to chill before going to bed. The beds were very comfortable, complete with duvets and high count pressend cotton sheets. There was an abundance of electric outlets in the most convenient locations, useful to today's travelers, who will each have several electronic devices needing to be charged and recharged in locations near where they want to hang out.
SEVENTH FLOOR AMENITIES
Despite being a small boutique hotel, the Four Seasons Marunouchi still provides excellent amenities. On the 7th floor of the building, they have a 24-hour gym, male and female spa areas, complete with the most beautifully designed traditional onsen Japanese baths, showers, dressing areas, fully equipped grooming areas, and relaxation areas. The spa provides a list of fantastic treatments that may be received in private treatment rooms or on your suite. The 7th floor also includes a restaurant as well as a tea room/bar/lounge area with spectacular views and exquisite furniture. The optional breakfast includes a set Japanese option, an American option, or a combination of their a la carte options, all of which are divine and served at a table in the restaurant.
Being steps away from the Tokyo Central station, with a variety of long distance and subway train lines, buses, and taxi cabs right there outside the door, the Four Seasons Marunouchi is perhaps in the most accessible location in Japan. More like Mid-town Manhattan than the village, the Ginza area where the hotel is located contains an array of shops, restaurants, and most important sights, including the Imperial Palace and Gardens. Other entertainment destination are just a subway or JR train ride away.
SRVICE! SERVICE! SERVICE!
Instead of using more superlatives to explain the quality of the service in this hotel, I will give two examples, which should tell the story.
Example 1 (Delight):
At the time of our arrival, the check-in staff overheard that this was a trip to celebrate my niece's birthday. They said they would like to send us a complimentary cake and asked how and where we would like to have it. Later a pleasant lady showed up at our door at the time we had requested to deliver the cake. Well, it was much more than a cake. There was a beautifully handwritten birthday card, which every staff member in the hotel had personally signed. Imagine my niece's delight to get that. The lady then set up a beautiful little spread, including a gorgeous fresh fruit topped cake and other snacks. Then she asked if she may take a photo of the three of us, which we agreed to do. At check out time, they surprised my niece once again by handing her a print of the photo they had taken, framed beautifully in a Japanese frame and attached to a fine Japanese card with hand-painted watercolor markings and another personal message to my niece.
Example 2 (Unreal):
Our departure flight was scheduled for early evening. Before checkout, , as normal, we called the frontdesk to arrange for our luggage to be stored in the hotel for the remainder of the day while we would do some final shopping and sightseeing. At the pre-arranged time, a staff member showed up with a cart and carefully arranged our luggage in a way that our bags containing our fragile gifts were protected. He asked what time our train to the airport would be leaving. Then he asked us to be back at a certain time to be sure to catch our train on time. When we returned to pick up our luggage, another person in clean formal uniform and white cotton gloves had already prepared our luggage on a smaller more compact cart. We thought he was going to bring the luggage out to the sidewalk or something like that. But no, he wanted to make sure we got to our train on time. He graciously pushed our luggage through the confusing maze of the Tokyo Central Station, used his own subway card to get through the various pay-gates, and walked us right to the train. When we proceeded to take our luggage, he wouldn't have it! He personally put our luggage in the luggage compartment of the train, made sure we found our seats, then he bowed, thanked us and left. Oh, by the way, they don't accept tips in Japan and he wasn't hustling for tips. This is just what they do at this hotel. We were astounded!
No wonder the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Marunauchi keeps making number 1 on TipAdvisor's list of Tokyo hotels! We will be telling everyone we know that, if in Tokyo, they should consider staying there.
My family and I would like to thank the staff at the Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo at Maranuchi for making our last night in Japan our best night there and making this one of our most cherished and memorable trips ever.
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- Also Known As:
- 4 Seasons Hotel Tokyo At Marunouchi
- Four Seasons Hotel Tokyo At Marunouchi Japan
- Four Seasons Chiyoda
- Chiyoda Four Seasons