The most enjoyable thing I did last month was to check into the Diplomat Suite of the iconic Park Hyatt Tokyo. This beautiful hotel changed the idea of luxury for the hospitality industry when it opened. Back in those days, the world had never seen a hotel as modern and stylish as the Park Hyatt Tokyo. This, it was the hotel to see and to be seen in. Everyone who was anyone made sure to check in or to book a table at the famous New York Grill.
DESIGN OF THE PARK HYATT TOKYO
Every room in this hotel is designed in a contemporary classic way. Interestingly, the hotel has remained its original look since its opening. So most of the rooms have been maintained to a very high standard, but these have retained their decor from Day 1.
Even the public areas are exactly the same as I remember it, when it first opened. Everything from the entrance to the details in the elevators, to the lobby filled with greenery and the corridors filled with books are unchanged. It was pure deja vu to see the same prints and interior accents that I saw decades ago.
WHAT’S IN THE DIPLOMAT SUITE
One of the most famous suites at the Park Hyatt Tokyo is the Diplomat Suite. It is a large and tasteful suite with a grand piano, a corner bathroom with amazing views, and a living room with shelves full of books I could spend weeks reading. The books are arranged very thoughtfully too. The library in the living room contains travel books that feature exotic destinations everyone would really like to visit. Meanwhile, the library in the bedroom contains only cookbooks and books about food.
There are many hotels that artfully leave coffeetable books lying around, partly as decor and partly to entertain guests. The Park Hyatt Tokyo is not one of these. The hotel literally has thousands of books. However you never get the feeling that someone had just walked into a bookstore and bought out the store, just for decor.
HOW TO ARRANGE A LIBRARY
Here, I feel like every book was chosen with care and arranged according to real interests. How else to explain the fact that all the books on Russia and the former Soviet Republics are all on one shelf? As are the photo books on Africa, or all the literature on French cuisine.
There is methodology here and it is obviously arranged quite regularly. I imagine that I am not the only guest of the Diplomat Suite who has taken out a dozen books to read by the bedside and then left them there. So someone is arranging the shelves to perfection each time. I am sure this is not an easy task.
INSPIRATIONS FOR BATHROOMS
Then there is the corner bathroom of this suite. It’s made for spending time in, as you will see most of Tokyo from its windows anyway. Frankly, you will check in here and you will love the interiors immediately.
However, when you see this bathroom, you will probably cancel your plans for the day and start running the bathtub. It’s beautifully done and the Aesop toiletries so generously provided to occupants are an added treat. I think they’ve ordered a mini version of the entire beauty line for this suite.
Of course, suite bathrooms are always gorgeous. Perhaps this is partly why room rates jump up when you start looking at suites vs. regular rooms in any hotel. But the bathroom of the Diplomat Suite is particularly nice because the designers have made the extraordinary decision to place it in the corner that is usually reserved for the living room or the bedroom.
THE LOST IN TRANSLATION HOTEL ROOM
Of course, the Diplomat Suite has hosted many of the VIPs of the world. However, at the same time, it is perhaps most well-known as the suite where Sofia Coppola shot the movie “Lost in Translation.” Most of the hotel room scenes of this cult film, which has won many awards, took place in this suite.
At that time, the suite was divided into two bedrooms for the movie. One for the character played by Scarlet Johanssen and the other for the character played by Bill Murray. By the standards of those times, the movie was edgy and very indie in theme. It shows a side to Tokyo that’s so different from the usual traditional Japanese culture. Many people credit Lost in Translation for sparking their interest in contemporary Japan.
Knowing this fact, I simply had to have my own “Lost in Translation” moment.
“Do you have the movie on DVD?” I asked Park Hyatt Tokyo General Manager Herve Mazella. Fortunately, they did have a copy available for loan. So I got into my pajamas and ordered room service. Curry with rice, to be exact. Real comfort food. Then I dimmed the lights slightly and settled down to enjoy “Lost in Translation” in the exact suite where it was filmed. It was happily surreal, to say the least. I’d watched the movie while seeing the nooks and corners of my suite in it in real-time.
I think few people will be able to say they have done this. But this is just the kind of thing I love doing when I am living a Travelife.
Read more about the best hotels and resorts in Japan in Travelife Magazine.