After taking a long-haul flight, two things happen to me on arrival. Firstly, I drink too much. Secondly, my entire body aches.
Sometimes the former cures the latter. And when it doesn't, I go and get a massage, usually a regular $20 footrub. If you're in Tokyo and the Suntory whisky isn't working, head over to the fifth floor of the sparkling new Armani Ginza tower where the designer has opened his first-ever spa. I admit, this isn't a treatment for those tight either of budget or of time. No £8 bikini waxes here; prices soar up to $600 for the longest treatments.
Even for the capital of luxe – which Tokyo indisputably is – this spa is swanky. The black-and-gold décor and whispery can-I-bring-you-a-pomegranate-juice service made me dizzy with indulgence. And the massage? Well, I can honestly say it was the best I ever had. There are only two options: the 'Armani Ceremony' for the face, or for the body (my choice). From the moment I was ushered into a black-lacquered boudoir where I changed into an Armani robe (don't mind if I do), to the preparatory washing of my feet (ditto) to the 90-minute pummelling of my entire body – using both Shiatsu and Swedish techniques – this was a treatment far beyond any other I've tried. The massage bed, slab of dark brown leather, was king-sized. The massage oil was infused with a volcanic mineral that Mr Armani himself dug up from his holiday home on the island of Pantelleria (not sure if I got that bit exactly right) and, post-massage, you're given fancy Armani beauty products so you look a bit less greasy when you step out onto the chic Harumi-Dori street. I left refreshed, dazed and unable to lift so much as a slither of fatty tuna to my lips for, like, minutes afterwards.
Appointments tel. +81 3 6274 7004