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Grand Hyatt Tokyo

Larry Olmsted
From the Print Edition:
Kurt Russell, May/June 2006

Sprawling across nearly 30 acres, Roppongi Hills is massive even by Tokyo standards, a city-within-a-city that has become a modern new urban heart for the vast metropolis. The largest redevelopment project in all of Japan, it sits in the center of Roppongi, Tokyo's entertainment district, and includes a shopping mall, office skyscrapers, a performing arts center, museums, residences, parks, shrines, a cinema complex, a TV production facility, an observation deck, subway stations and dozens of restaurants. But there is only one hotel: the stunning Grand Hyatt Tokyo. And it is one of only two places in all of Roppongi Hills that sell cigars. Many visitors choose the Hyatt simply for its one-of-a-kind location, with easy pedestrian access to a stunning array of dining, shopping and entertainment options, where most merchants and staff speak English, still a rarity in Tokyo. Several subway stops also make it a simple commute, and the welcoming feel is enough for many customers, but the hotel has much more to offer.

The accommodations in the three-year-old, 21-story building are high-tech all the way, with flat-screen TVs, DVD players and breathtaking bathrooms featuring huge walk-in rain showers, soaking baths and another flat screen as well as automated toilets. The private Grand Club Lounge on the 10th floor rolls out cocktails and hors d'oeuvres to accompany the panoramic views of the city, and, on a clear day, Mt. Fuji. The spa and health club is renowned.

But it is the restaurants and bars within the Grand Hyatt that steal the show. Of the seven restaurants and two bars, all of high quality, none is as tempting as the Oak Door steak house. The glass-walled meat aging room not only displays the real Kobe beef, but other coveted Japanese cuts, including Hokkaido, Sendai, Matsuzaka Sirloin and the exquisite Kumomoto Red Beef, which many experts consider superior to Kobe. Not so carnivorous? Choose from the formal French eatery, two Japanese choices, or Chinese and Italian restaurants. Three have outdoor seating, and the entire hotel, with its green spaces, atriums and outdoor areas, enjoys an escapist feel even in the world's most frenetic metropolis.

When you're ready for that cigar, check out the lobby's well-stocked Cigar Club and its 200 selections, including every major Cuban label, in a walk-in humidor. You can pick up a "passport" and try to work your way through the daunting list.

Purchases can be smoked upstairs at Maduro, the number one power nightspot in all of Tokyo. Widely known as the place to entertain on a budget, it features live jazz plays and a deep selection of both Scottish and Japanese whiskies, as well as a tableside humidor.

Visit www.hyatt.com or call 888-591-1234.

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