When traveling with a family of four, it’s often difficult to find hotels that can or are willing to accommodate all four in one room. Often the choice is between booking two standard rooms or a larger suite (which is a nicer arrangement and bigger space).
We originally booked a 4-person room at the Sheraton Tokyo Bay, but later realized that it was not very central to downtown or anything except for Disneyland Tokyo. Since we wanted to visit the Fish Market early, we selected a much more central option – The Peninsula. The Peninsula Hotel in Tokyo sits at the corner of the Imperial Palace grounds and is known for its luxurious amenities and attention to detail. From the moment you walk into the lobby with its mesmerizing half dome chandelier or its wooden shrimp / nautilus-like sculpture, it’s a feast for the eyes. Our swanky, ultra-modern room had a gorgeous view of Tokyo, 2 double beds, an adjoining sitting room, a walk-in closet area, and a bathroom complete with a jacuzzi and Japanese toilet–which, needless to say, our girls found utterly fascinating. Extra fun amenities included a his and her kimono, snacks and toys for our 2 little travelers, and everything from your dop kit you may have forgotten at home. One of the highlights was the amazing 25 meter pool on the 6th floor. Swim caps are provided (and required). A wall of sheeting water adorns one wall, while an adjacent hot tub features a bench seat so that you can enjoy the view of the Imperial Palace grounds. If that’s not enough, you can sit outside on a small deck overlooking the grounds. The staff is very friendly and attentive, including the bell hop / rotating door pusher. They go out of their way to point you or take you in the right direction. While it is connected to the Yurakucho subway station, we found ourselves walking to the Ginza line more often. The Ginza station is surprisingly large and spread out. From the entrance off the street, we walked about 180m (500 ft) to the platform. The Ginza neighborhood is filled with small Japanese restaurants down crowded alleys.
Navigating the subways has become a little easier with bilingual signs. The automated ticket machines are straightforward, but do not appear to accept anything but cash. Some of the smaller stations have not been upgraded with the bilingual signs yet, so you may have to ask someone or use a map. If you want to ride in style, you can take the hotel’s Rolls Royce to or from the airport (for a few hundred dollars). When not in use, the RR is parked out front as a symbol of elegance.
As a first stop, the Peninsula has set a high bar for the rest of our trip. Let’s see how the others stack up!
Happy RTW Travels!