[Hotel Review] The Ritz Carlton, Tokyo

Ah the because-last-night splurge of my trip!

After so many days of running around for work and clocking too many steps for leisure, I figured I deserved a splurge for my last night in Tokyo. To be honest, it was between this and EDITION but I picked this in the end because CLUB LOUNGE.

Address – Tokyo Midtown 9-7-1 Akasaka Minato-Ku, Tokyo, Japan, 107-6245. Website.

Contact – Tel: +81 3-3423-8000. Email: rc.tyorz.frontdesk@ritzcarlton.com

Location – Occupying the top nine floors of the 53-story Midtown Tower in the Roppongi District, the property is in a rather business location with nothing really touristy happening around it. Other than the fact that the property is connected to Midtown Toyko which offers some super expensive

Price – My 85k Free Night Award from my Bonvoy Brilliant card came just in time and I booked for a Deluxe King room as soon as it was available, with a top up of 13,500 points as the room was going for 98,500 points per night. The lowest I’ve seen this property go for is 86,000 points but that didn’t price out for my stay dates. I’ve also seen the rate go past 100,000 points which will make my 85k FNA ineligible for use for that matter so yay?

Prior to arrival – I reached out to the property to get a quote for club access and was quoted JPY38,380 (~SGD350) per room (regardless of occupancy 1 or 2pax) which I accepted, because what’s a Ritz stay without trying their club? Heh.

Prior to my stay, I was able to see in the app that my room has been upgrade to the Club King courtesy of my cash upgrade. I also decided to try my luck at asking for a Suite as part of my Titanium benefits via the app chat and I was told it will be placed on request.

Getting There – I grabbed a cab from Indigo Shibuya and it took me 20mins. I’m also quite sure that the property is somewhat connected to a metro station but I didn’t attempt to figure that out as I wasn’t intending to head out. Upon arrival at the driveway, a staff came to assist with my luggage and I entered what seems to be the street level lobby with a manned reception desk. The staff checked my reservation and invited me to the Club to complete my check in while they manage the delivery to my room. What a great start!

Check In – Upon arrival on level 53, the staff at the Club was already expecting me and I was ushered to pick a seat while they prepare my check in (more on the club itself later). I was offered a peach tea as a welcome drink but I was really wanting some my first proper champagne of the trip hah!

You know it’s great service start when the staff goes on her knees beside me to process the check in – I was given apologies for not having a Suite available (which checked out on the app so that’s fine) and brought through the formalities. I was also invited to pick my welcome gift as a Titanium member from a printed list: while I considered trying breakfast in the main restaurant, I eventually picked the bottle of bubbles instead and it was brought to my table while I took lunch – it’s also useful to note that this welcome bottle is different from what is served at the lounge: a RC branded Frerejean Frères champagne.

I was also given a printed welcome note, as well as the Club info sheet.

Room – I was so happy to be assigned the same floor as the club lounge – shorter time from room to bubbles!

And in fact, a Suite may have been too much space as my room, 5306 (52SqM), was more than perfectly fine for a 1-night stay. Even the longish hallway leading into the room proper was spacious. I do have to say the room is indeed old school RC but super well maintained of course and I would have happy to spend more than one night here if I had more cash to burn.

The bathroom to the left was incredibly spacious and it was the first time I saw a double sink layout split into 2 completely different separate sections. There is of course the quintessential bathtub, a separate shower, and a separate toilet space. Toiletries were Diptyque as all RCs are these days (I kind of miss my Asprey Purple Water though!), and amenities laid out tastefully in cabinets below the sinks.

The mini bar here is opposite the bathroom entrance and quite generous with 6 Nespresso pods, a tea set with complimentary biscuits, and atas looking bottled water. The cabinet is also well stocked, alongisde a fully stocked fridge.

The main bedroom space is a classy homely spot containing a proper work desk + chair, a cushy king bed flanked by good-sized bedside tables with lighting blinds / controls,

Laid out against the window is a sofa with coffee table containing more welcome biscuits, 2 separate wardrobe spaces which includes pajamas, and a TV nestled in between them.

The view from my room was rather nice, offering a glimpse of the urban neighborhood especially at night.

During turndown, housekeeping left a note and a ‘sweet dream’ card alongside a bottle of ESPA (the same brand used in their spa)’s bath and body oil which was a nice touch!

Ritz Carlton Club (7am-10pm) –

I’ve seen so many pics of this Club and couldn’t wait to see it in person!

Ascend to The Ritz-Carlton Club and experience elevated luxury. Welcome to a luxurious ‘residence,’ featuring four distinctly unique spaces – Reception, Garden Terrace, Dining Room, and Library Lounge – each created with a different atmosphere for morning, day, and evening. Whether you are having a quiet moment in the library, or savoring an exclusive afternoon tea at the Club Lounge, we are ready and waiting to create an elevated experience for you

From official site

The Club is really quite a gorgeous space with plenty of natural lighting, offering expansive views of the surroundings which made the multiple window seats especially popular. Look at these views!

The first area you enter is the Reception area where manned desks are, followed by the Garden Terrace, a living room-esque set up with a champagne bucket set up at the entrance. There are also some sweets set up in another corner of this area if you so wish. I thought it was interesting that they even had a chessboard set up on one of the tables.

The next area is the Dining Room, seemingly demarcated with blue carpeted floors – this area is closest to the F&B and comprises mostly of 2-seaters (but tales can be combined if need be), as well as a window ledge seating. The Library Lounge is next up, separated with a different carpeting and where the all-daybar is, and offers cushy and cosy sofa seats where bigger groups can be accommodated. While views are available from most sections of the lounge, the last section of this area is especially attractive due to the double panels.

Lastly, a worthy mention that a live harpist performs at the Club every weekend (a few hours on Fri-Sun if I’m not wrong) – I think I’m suaku but I’ve never seen a live harpist performance before and I was utterly enthralled by it. I felt it was such an elegant addition to the start of the weekend at the Club.

All-day Bar – I thought it was worth talking about the all-day bar where guests can indulge in alcohol ALLDAY. Yay. The bar is set up in the Library Lounge area where you may self-serve but the staff is of course happy to serve you if they can. Drinks on offer were 3 types of red, 3 types of white, 4 types pf beers, a sparkling sake (Dassai 45 Sparkling Junmai Daiginjo), as well as champagne (PM Champagne Brut Reserve). I am no fan of the wines but the sake was completely addictive!

I also later found out later in the night that they actually have a club beverage menu including two RC-Tokyo-only bottled cocktails – they amusingly call it “Bocktail” – Bottled Cocktails. On offer is The Ritz Spritz (found this old article about it) and a Cognac Old Fashioned. There also a list of cocktails but the staff is happy to do anything off-menu of course.

With drinks out of the way, lets get into the food and famous RC 5 meal presentations!

Breakfast (7:00am-10:30am)

I actually thought this session was surprisingly basic for a RC club – the usual international fare alongside some Japanese touches of tamago, grilled fish. There is also a live egg station where eggs can be made to order.

The hot stuff:

The cold stuff:

I was also given a printed menu offering some ala carte choices – I picked the braised beef cheeks in red wine cheese omelet and it was alright though the beef cheek was salty for my liking.

Light Lunch (11:30am-1:30pm)

I enjoyed 2 sessions of this during my stay and thought they were decent enough to be lunch as it includes a choice of hot soup, cheeses, sushi, sandwiches, cold cuts, salads, breads.

Yoghurts and fruits were also available in the fridge, alongside other stuff:

One fun fact about this session is that they have a ‘secret menu’ (they literally call it that) which the staff will proactively offer you – both sessions saw a hot soup thingy of sorts with meats and veg in it – it was a comforting enough addition to what was mainly cold choices.

Afternoon Tea (2:30pm-4:30pm)

I only partook in one session of this as the menu did not change, strangely enough. This is served as a tierd set and comes with a printed menu of what is on offer. The items were done up rather interestingly and taste was okay – but the scones were disappointing – they didn’t taste like scones at all. Boo.

Hors d’oeuvres – (5:30pm-7:30pm)

This was the most anticipated session for me! Hot and cold items were laid out in different sections in the Dining Room area and were sufficient as dinner for me.

For hot stuff, I saw oden, fried rice, ramen station, quinoa, and grilled fish – taste was okay but I thought the selection was a little pedestrian for a RC Club. The ramen broth was also super salty.

The cold section looked more interesting, but also because of the shiny kitchenware they used. There were multiple small bites including crab salads, salmon & scallop tartare, cold cuts, cheeses, salads, a selection of desserts, and breads. Preferred this selection over the hot stuff.

Cordials (8:00pm-10:00pm)

I didn’t stay long enough for this session but I understand it to be the same dessert spread + drinks sans food from the above session.

Main lobby – just a quick note to highlight that the main lobby is located on the 45th floor of the building which means you have to change lifts to get to the mall or ground floor from the guest room if that matters – this is also where non club guests check in/out. The lobby was teeming with activities every time I pass through, including those who are there just to dine at the Lobby Lounge.

Facilities – the Fitness Centre and Pool are located on the 46th floor but they are rather strict with the no-picture policy at these spots so unfortunately, I have nothing to show for here. I can only comment that the both are more than decently sized and I’d think anyone will be able to get a workout here.

I was happy that in-house guests have access to the wet facilities at the spa (website) even without booking a treatment – they call it the “hot & cold experience”. Bookings are not required – you simply show up and quote your room number and the staff will escort you in and introduce the facility. I had a very enjoyable 1hour in the very classy jacuzzi, steam room, and relaxation lounge indeed following my afternoon tea session. For those are concerned

Do note though that the jacuzzi, steam rooms (and sauna) area is what the staff calls the “naked area” ie you do not need to be in swimwear to use these and can just use the towels they offer. Hence, the no-photo policy also applies here.

Service – As expected of a RC and especially a RC Club, service was excellent! Every staff I encountered was faultlessly polite, and the Club team addressed me by first name even at first encounter as a default which is always nice. At the Club, staff are always happy to help no matter with finding a seat, lemon slices for my sparkling water, and getting that drink for me when they see me self-serve (or are they secretly plotting to not let me drink so much?!). But it should be so considering a club room would have cost around JPY150,000 if paying cash.

What was unexpectedly generous and completely blew me away was being gifted a bottle of the Ritz Spritz by the ever-obliging Charlie after he found out how much I liked it during my evening – Charlie even handwrote a note to accompany the gift. Then at check out, I asked the affable Johnny if the sparkling Dassai can be easily found at the airport as I really liked it. When he reappeared after going away to process the formalities, he came back with a bag containing a bottle of the Dassai – he said he checked that they had stock so here’s one so you don’t have to go around looking for it. Wow.

Lastly, I sent some garments for pressing as it was a Club benefit and it was a relatively refined affair as well. The staff came to pick them up promptly after my call to guest services, asked when I would like them back, and asked if they should knock or leave outside the door when ready. I picked the latter and at the agreed upon time, I opened my door to see this. I was merely expecting a bag of pressed garments hung on my door handle so this was a much grander affair than I imagine!

Check Out – a seated experience at the club, seamlessly sorted while I indulged in more sparkling sake and thoroughly enjoying the harpist performance. And feeling sad that I have to leave to go home.

In Summary,

Best use of my 85k FNA ever! NO REGRETS about my choice and now I want to go back again. Or is it time to check out RC Fukuoka/Perth heh?

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