For Tokyo residents, the Oakwood Premier Yokohama is the perfect staycation hotel amidst the pandemic. It was near enough to Tokyo — half an hour by car or by train to the glitzy new bayside area of Yohomaa — but different enough to feel like a proper holiday somewhere new for families who could not travel. In particular, the two-bedroom apartments are most people’s idea of a modern dream home.
WINDOWS THAT MAKE ALL THE DIFFERENCE
Each apartment has a view that can mesmerize for hours, no matter what the angle. Best of all, in spite of being an apartment hotel within a high-rise, the Oakwood Yokohama actually has windows that open and terraces that are big enough to prompt guests to consider moving to Yokohama.
This has more impact that one would imagine, especially when you consider that Tokyo and Yokohama are full of steel-and-glass skyscrapers but most of them don’t have access to fresh air. The lack of windows that open can make or break a long stay, of course.
However these days, with virus worries literally in the air, the real windows and terraces can make the decision to check in so much easier.
This is exactly how we felt, on that weekend that we packed our bags to take a breather from Tokyo. The hotel, which accepts both short-term and long-term residents, is spanking new and the epitome of minimalist modern.
VIEWS OF YOKOHAMA
The first thing that strikes you is the space, as there is so much of it. The four corners of the reception floor are actually completely bare save for ultra-modern pea pod-shaped benches that can double as art installations. So hotel guests and the general public can take the elevator up to this floor and enjoy Yokohama from every angle.
On fine days, you can easily see Tokyo in the distance on one side and the perfect silhouette of Mount Fuji on the another side. Meanwhile, the sea and the massive Yokohama port — one of the largest ports in the world — beckon on yet another side.
DREAM APARTMENT DESIGNS
For those who travel light, the two-bedroom units at the Oakwood Premier Yokohama are perfect. It’s really a proper apartment with a foyer and two decent-sized bedrooms, plus the kind of combined living room with a dining room and kitchen that make inviting friends over so enjoyable.
The kitchen is compact, of course, but it has everything needed to cook a proper dinner — color-coordinated appliances included. The layout is so well thought out that you pretty soon don’t notice the fact that it’s basically an L-shaped set-up with an island counter. It’s fully equipped and it comes with a view that will make washing dishes pleasurable.
HOW TO DESIGN A LIVING ROOM
The living room with the corner views was conducive to writing articles too. “This is the perfect work-from-home set-up,” I told myself. “The social distancing and occasional bouts of lockdown don’t seem so bad from way up this high.”
Indeed, watching the sunset from my sofa settee, which was all neutral and nice, as I caught up on emails on my phone, I could’ve sworn that the pandemic was over and life was wonderful again.
The clean lines and bright colors gave the apartment/ suite a fresh feeling, but the best things were really the windows that could open and let fresh air in, and the balconies that made all the difference. Oh yes, the cool designer kitchen appliances certainly made our day.
THIS HOTEL IS GREAT FOR…
Families visiting Tokyo or Yokohama, executives on business trips, Japan-based expatriate families wanting a change of scenery, anyone celebrating a special occasion.
The pizzas in the Italian restaurant on the same floor as the lobby are absolutely delicious.
Bring a notebook, sketchbook, camera or laptop. Anything that will encourage you to capture the views or your thoughts. The living room is so conducive to creativity.
The one we stayed in. A spacious two-bedroom corner apartment with a proper foyer and a living room/ dining room large enough to dream in.