The DNA: The two towers may appear unwaveringly modern at first sight, but they fail to tell the whole story. Originally known as the Hotel Okura Tokyo, it was built in 1962 by a team of architects led by Yoshiro Taniguchi (just in time for the 1964 Tokyo Olympics) as a showcase of modernist design and quality Japanese craftsmanship. Its owners made the controversial decision to demolish its main building in 2015 – home to a famous and much-loved lobby – to make way for a new, more modern and earthquake-proof structure, a move which sparked a chorus of protests around the world among creatives and historians alike. Fast-forward four years and the latest carnation of the hotel – The Okura, Tokyo – opened its doors to two shiny towers (again, just ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics), with swathes of interior designed by Yoshio Taniguchi, the son of the original architect. Despite the high-tech facades of the two towers, inside there are countless craftsmanship and design details which have either been relocated from the original building, painstakingly replicated by artisans, or echo its past, from vast wall panel artworks to signature geometric motifs on screens and carpets. Not to forget that lobby: recreated in impressive detail – from its iconic hexagonal pendant lamps and its intricate hemp leaf motif screens of hinoki wood, and the chairs arranged around laquerware tables like plum blossom petals, it comes surprisingly close to evoking the original, thanks to Taniguchi’s sensitive touch.
✅ free Wi-Fi • size matters: 508 hotels & suites (50-730m2) • hotel opened: September 2019 • architecture: Yoshio Taniguchi • G.A ✅ free on-site parking • no pets allowed • 24-hour front desk • wheelchair accessible