I've just returned to Chicago from an amazing press trip to Tokyo and I've got so so so much to blog. To start with, the unbelievable hotel I stayed at, The Peninsula Tokyo, which opened last September. Architect Kazukiyo Sato and designer Yukio Hashimoto truly blend contemporary design with Japanese tradition seamlessly.
The lobby is chic, chic, chic. The walls are ivory with wooden lattice, but it's hard not to walk into the lobby and not completely fixate on the chandelier made from over 1300 crystal LED light bulbs. It is designed to resemble a cloud of fireworks (or hanabi). Once I stared at that for a solid 20 minutes, I turned to an amazing bamboo sculpture by designer Keisen Hama of a Chinese zodiac dragon lying over the universe. Spectacular.
Due to recent building codes in Tokyo, all buildings must have an empty enclosed atrium section (I think for earthquakes). While most buildings leave them undecorated and out-of-sight, The Peninsula commissioned sculpture artists Ben Jakober and Yannick Vu to create an unbelievable installation titled "The Void". 24 stainless steel cones are suspended by cables and wrapped with glowing glass fibers. It's an incredible view when you get out of the elevator and see these light sculptures hanging between the 8th and 23rd floors.
The rooms ($600-$8500 per night) are luxurious as expected, but also the most technologically-forward hotel rooms I've ever seen. I actually joked to Matt that the room was my Tokyo boyfriend because it was so attentive. I would walk toward the toilet (which deserves its own post all together—heated seats!), and the lid would open. I would walk towards the phone (which also deserves its own post, because it turns into your own personal mobile via bluetooth synchronization) and it would light up. There were in-room humidity controls, a private fax machine, steam-free mirrors, a nail dryer, mood light buttons, ambient music buttons, buttons for everything!
I almost forgot about their Michelin star-rated restaurant, Peter! It takes up the entire 24th floor and has stunning views of Tokyo and the Imperial Gardens. The restaurant was designed by the Yabu Pushelberg architecture and design team and I really love the layers and lights and use of the color black. The design is sleek and sexy, like Tokyo, with a touch of 80's glam to it—which goes really well with the skyline views. If you ever make it to Peter, be sure to order a "Tokyo Joe" cocktail, their signature drink that's quite good. For more info on the hotel, click here.