Sleepover: The Park Hotel

A bed for the night in Tokyo
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The Independent Travel

The location

If you like skyscrapers and fancy a taste of Lost in Translation, you'll love the Park Hotel, sited on floors 25-34 of the Shiodome Media Tower - one of the tallest buildings in a forest of high-rise concrete and glass in Tokyo's new Shiodome district. You reach the 25th-floor reception by way of an express glass lift and check in against a mind-blowing backdrop of steel, concrete, railways, miniaturised people and, on a clear day, Mount Fuji.


The Park, which opened last September, claims to be Tokyo's first design hotel. It is soothingly stylish, following a familiar formula - warm lighting, leather Italian furniture and dark, natural wooden fittings - that is offset by the dramatic 120ft glass atrium and those scintillating views. In quirky Japanese fashion, the Park offers a free pillow-stuffing service to all its guests. A trained expert will measure the length and angle of your neck and devise the perfect pillow for your stay. There are many varieties to choose from, including pillows stuffed with tourmaline - a negative ion-releasing mineral that aids sleep, so they say.

The comfort factor

The standard double room is very small - remember this is Tokyo. The Park has paid a lot of attention to the sleeping arrangements and the tenderly sprung beds synchronise perfectly with your personally appointed pillow for a wonderful night's sleep.

The bathroom

Standard rooms come with en-suite shower; superior rooms have full-length baths. The toiletries, from the Gilchrist and Soames Spa Therapy range, are infused with everything from aloe vera to sea kelp. The lavatories are a wonder of the modern age, with heated seats and mini nozzles that hose down your privates at the touch of a button.

The food and drink

There are two restaurants - the Japanese Hanasanshou and the French Gastronomie Francaise. Both serve as much seasonal and organic produce as possible. Hanasanshou provides superb sushi and has an excellent selection of sake (dinner from £23) and can prepare Bento lunch boxes (from £17.50) filled with sashimi and various goodies. Gastronomie Francaise is guided by the hand of Paris-based Japanese chef Yoshiaki Takada and offers freshly baked bread (a rarity in Japan), a divine truffle laced risotto, delicate veal filet and a thorough wine list (dinner from £17.50). You have a choice of Japanese style - rice, grilled mackerel, miso - or a Western buffet - eggs, toast, bacon, cereals - for breakfast.

The people

As in most hotels in Tokyo there are a lot of businessmen eating in a way that could seem boorish to a Westerner, and getting drunk. However, there's also a reasonably high quota of trendy media types and even the odd gaijin (foreigner).

The area

The main shopping district, Ginza, is on the doorstep, as is the Tsukiji fish market, Japan's largest. Rise early for the highlight of a visit to Tsukiji - the tuna auctions, beginning at 4.30am.

The damage

Doubles start from 27,000 yen (£144) per night.

The access

All common areas are wheelchair-friendly and one bedroom is designed for visitors with disabilities. Some facilities for infants are provided, but high-chairs are not available in the restaurants. If you want a spare bed for an older child you will be charged an extra Y3,000 (£16). For more ideas contact the Japanese National Tourist Board (;

The address

Shiodome Media Tower, 1-7-1, Higashi, Shimbashi, Minato-ku, Tokyo, 105-7227 (00 81 3 6252 1111;

Andrew Spooner travelled to Tokyo courtesy of Finnair (0870-241 4411; Until May, the airline is offering return fares from £570.