TEXT MERYL KOH AND LUI SI YING
Tokyo has always been known for its sleek five-star hotels more than traditional ryokan, but a spot of zen has now opened in the Otemachi business district between Tokyo Station and the Imperial Palace. The 14-storey ryokan hotel Hoshinoya Tokyo is the latest by Hoshino Resorts – famed for setting up traditional inns in beautiful natural surroundings, such as amid Karuizawa’s green mountains. Hoshinoya Tokyo’s metropolis location has not diluted the age-old concept – guests still slip off shoes at the genkan (entrance), and the interiors are kitted out in soft Japanese woods and swathes of washi paper. On the top floor, a golden-walled onsen offers a relaxing dip with an unobstructed sky view. To keep the intimacy of traditional inns, each floor is also designed to replicate a standalone ryokan, with tea rooms where staff in uniforms serve onigiri (rice balls) and soothing cups of hot tea.
1-9-1 Otemachi, Chiyoda-ku. Tel: +81 50 3786 1144.
“Luxury travel in the sense of splendid isolation from the cares of the world (often in Third World countries) is increasingly unsustainable.
The wanton wastage and mass consumption that this type of tourism creates is going away in favour of travellers who need to be sensitive to the world around them.”
LOH LIK PENG, HOTELIER
CARVE OUT TIME
It’s a popular adage in today’s hyper fast world – one thing you can’t get back is time. So why spend precious hours on the plane when you can be soaking up the sights? Private jet chartering company L’Voyage has released a study reflecting the time saved travelling via private flight versus commercial.
When it comes to exotic destinations, those transit breaks and time spent on multiple flights add up. Here is a list of It countries and the time saved travelling from Singapore. If only the luxury of privacy can be quantified, too.