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Saturday, 23 June 2007

Luxury isn't Lost in Translation in Tokyo - Page 4

Written by Scott Haas
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Tokyo has more luxury hotels than any city I’ve ever been in—and not just landmark properties like the Plaza Athenee in Paris or the St. Regis in New York, which are like rich, dependable aunts who take you in and help you forget that you’re in the middle of hubbub.  No, what Tokyo has are ultra-modern hotels with lunar colony-like architecture that tower over the city and appear to have been cut out of anime comic books and pasted into the skyline.  They are more like rich cousins in fast cars that drive too fast, but provide an exhilarating ride.

INTRAVEL: When did the hotel open?


RICCO DeBLANK: On March 30th at 9 AM.  This used to be where the Department of Defense Ministry was, but then Mitsui Real Estate bought it and the department was relocated.


INTRAVEL: You’re Dutch, but you’re in charge of a Japanese hotel.  How did that happen?


RD: I was at the Ritz-Carleton in Osaka for three years and have some knowledge of the country and language. Ritz


INTRAVEL: Who comes here and why?


RD: I’d say that Japanese are our #1 customer—they like the Ritz brand—but we also have international, high-end travelers.  And we’re hosting celebrities and doing movie premieres.  We had the Spiderman 3 opening here, for example.


INTRAVEL: What effect has the property had on the Rappongi neighborhood with its funky shops and clubs?


RD: A number of the so-called hostess bars have closed.  Things are getting more upscale.


INTRAVEL: Who are your regular clientele at this early point?


RD: We have ladies coming in for breakfast and the spa.  And in the evening, we have a leisure-seeking crowd that enjoys our restaurants.


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Last modified on Sunday, 16 December 2012

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