In December 2018, on my birthday, I checked into the King Bed Room at Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo, which is discreetly situated along the up-market Namiki Street in famous Tokyo luxury retail district Ginza. The almost one-year old Tokyo property has the distinction of being the first Hyatt Centric in Asia, a brand which prides itself on its boutique hotels being well-steeped in the art, culture and history of their respective neighbourhoods in both sensibility and design. The 164-room hotel not only serves as a perfect launchpad for both hardcore retail therapy (or window shopping) as well as endless exquisite dinner, dessert and drink experiences in the Ginza district, but is also conveniently located minutes away from major metro and railway stations.
(I went for drinks at the famous Bar High Five which was just steps away, and my Tabelog-approved omakase meal booked prior to my arriving in Tokyo happened to be on the same street as well.)
The UTW (“Under Ten Words”): Stylish, contemporary Ginza hotel serves up functionality and convenience.
The must-dos (if any): Enjoy the vibrant hotel lobby and NAMIKI667 experience.
HYATT CENTRIC GINZA TOKYO
It is easy for a passerby to be intimidated by the hotel, in part due to the understated dignity of its facade and also given how the property shares the street with neighbours such as Louis Vuitton, Rolex and Versace. However, once you pass the classy bonsai-esque trees flanking the entrance and take the elevator to the fourth floor, the hotel makes apparent its warmth and sociable sensibilities.
The lobby adopts a pop-art approach to its aesthetic, from the bold palette of red, yellow and monochrome to the abstract paintings on the sliding screens behind the reception desks (which change throughout the day) and the artfully mismatched lobby seating. The decor throughout the hotel – from the elevator interiors to the lift lobbies of the room floors – references not just the Ginza district but also the building’s history as a space formerly used by the Asahi Shimbun Company, a national newspaper publisher. The expansive lobby appears to extend not just upwards towards the high ceiling but also downwards, as the lobby floor directly overlooks the third-floor restaurant and bar, NAMIKI667.
In terms of facilities, the hotel is fairly compact, offering a modest 24-hour gym as well as a humble lobby library. It is the only hotel within the radius of Namiki Street in Ginza, and you can expect a fair share of fellow guests to be crazy rich shoppers with large, blocky paper bags, who likely maximised to full potential the hotel’s proximity to the endless rows of major and designer luxury stores within the busy, upscale shopping hub.
KING BED ROOM
The entry-level 35sqm King Bed room plays it all Instagram-worthy bold and bright colours (the base being a deep ochre yellow) as well as hypnotic, optical illusion-esque tessellations. The comfortable daybed overlooks a view comprising buildings, charming zinc rooftops, air-conditioning units and wavy piping.
There are USB ports on both sides of the bed, with more options for electric juice at the functional multi-purpose desk as well as the room’s central worktop. The room makes ingenious use of its modest space – part of the central worktop can be raised to reveal a ceramic sink, and a sliding door helps partition the bedroom from the resulting newly-formed bathroom area, where mirrors (both the vanity and the movable magnifying ones) as well as the hairdryer are available for use. On the other side of the central worktop, you can access the Nespresso and TWG tea facilities as well as the mini-bar and refrigerator. The room comes equipped with a Bose Bluetooth speaker for a bass-y in-room music experience.
The modestly-sized bathroom comes with a rainfall shower as well as a bathtub, and bath products are from sustainable brand BeeKind.
I would like to take a moment to compliment the team for their birthday set-up. Within minutes of my settling into the room, the team delivered to me a plate of fresh Amaou strawberries as well as a cake complete with lit candles. It was a wonderfully thoughtful gesture.
The hotel serves breakfast at NAMIKI667, the hotel’s signature restaurant and bar which offers both indoor as well as outdoor balcony terrace seating. Like the lobby floor, NAMIKI667 maintains an informal and sociable atmosphere with its mixture of individual and communal seating (I was seated at a massive monochrome table with a rather naked tree centrepiece). The restaurant focuses on the use of fresh local and regional ingredients across its menu, which includes various oven-based, slow-cooked specialities.
Aside from a modest selection of the usual suspects you would expect from a luxury hotel buffet breakfast such pastries, fresh fruits and Western breakfast elements, a variety of Japanese selections are also available – think kinako and matcha warabi mochi (I gobbled about two bowls of each like a ravenous budget-conscious family at a Holiday Inn breakfast buffet), tuna sashimi cubes and tofu with your choice of condiments. Even the beverages on offer are decidedly Japanese in persuasion – I observed oolong and acerola teas, Tokyo milk as well as Komatsuna (Japanese mustard spinach) green smoothies amongst the selection.
At the egg station, I opted for a dish intriguingly titled “Fried Egg – Tama Egg from Tokyo”. I received sunny-side up eggs.
The adjoining bar section, accessible via a grand staircase from the lobby floor, showcases Japan’s Roku craft gin across its cocktail menu. (I must say that NAMIKI667’s happy hour pricing is one of the more competitive ones in the Ginza area.) The cosy and primarily bar-seat section is not just open for libations – guests can enjoy coffee/tea, sweets as well as signature menu items from the restaurant.
Whilst the hotel is clearly meant more as a functional experience than an experientially immersive one (more Andaz Singapore than Grand Hyatt Singapore), its memorably stylish aesthetic and convenient location makes the hotel an appealing option for both visitors who expect to be exploring the city throughout the day as well as those who want a taste of the bustling dining and nightlife scene in Ginza.
Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
6-6-7 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tokyo, Japan, 104-0061