The hotel has 314 guest rooms spread over about twenty floors. The corridors are not huge but they are well padded, and in any case the carpet cushions even the slightest noise. Of course, everything here is peaceful and Zen. The 'smallest' guest room is 54m2; the size of a decent city apartment! The decor is fairly simple and timeless: light-coloured carpet and walls in shades of greige (grey-beige). You have to look up to discover the woven cedar ceiling, just like you see in the temples. The doors are made of untreated chestnut, and the furniture of precious wood. A large double glazed double window covers one entire wall; the ultimate weapon against noise, which is then again somewhat hushed outside. In Tokyo it seems as if everyone, including the cars, makes the least amount of noise possible. The bed head is huge and almost touches the wooden slat ceiling, fashionable in Kyoto. Curious, on investigation you will find a fax and printer along with the desk (and free ultra fast Wi-Fi Internet access). Thrilled, on further inspection you will find a magnificent piece of cherry wood furniture (from Japan of course) with a minibar, Lavazza coffee machine, DVD player and other high-tech equipment without which life would be just that little bit duller. Fascinated, you'll notice the thermometer which gives the outside temperature, the wind speed, its direction, the humidity level etc...You'll also soon discover that the telephone gives the time in Tokyo and, a thoughtful touch, in your home country. The shutters are electric, and you just need to touch the control panel to dim the lights. The dressing room is immense, almost a room in itself. There is a double cupboard where you can collect and replace the newspaper delivered in the morning or your shoes in the evening, which are returned shined like never before.
Already astounded? Just wait until you see the bathrooms. Decorated in the onsen (hot spring) style, the fitted Japanese bath tubs are designed to overflow, with a special groove in the marble for the run-off. There is no visible tap; the water comes out of the marble and granite wall like a spring on the slopes of a volcano. You just need to press the 'Spa' button for the lights and music to dim and the 'Do not disturb' sign to light up. Bathing is a Japanese ritual, therefore a lot of time is spent in the tub: a television, telephone and Ipod docking station are all provided. Of course, there is also a separate shower stall and two wash basins. All that's left are the toilets, Japanese naturally, state-of-the-art and with no fewer than 19 functions. The seat even opens as you approach, and closes when you leave. Cool! We won't harp on about the number and quality of the complimentary toiletries, but we will mention the nail dryer - how could anyone live without one?
To ensure you have a room with a view of the Imperial Gardens, make sure to reserve a Park view. Lastly, if you want a glimpse of the Palace, choose the Deluxe suite with its 2 corner rooms - you'll feel like the Emperor's neighbour during your stay. Banzaï! (Long live the Emperor).