Andaz Adds A New Destination: We’re Off to Tokyo!
For those of our Keyed Into Hyatt readers who have not yet been to Tokyo, it is a vibrant, creative city of extremes, from Tokyo Bay to the bright lights of Shinjuku. It is a place where industrial skyscrapers stand tall next to ancient temples and millions of people make their way through the city against the backdrop of a sea of neon lights, all under the shadow of Mount Fuji. And now, this bursting megacity is also home to Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills, which officially opened its doors today.The hotel is located in the 52-story Toranomon Hills tower, between the Tokyo Tower and Imperial Palace, offering easy access to the Ginza shopping district, the city’s financial and center, and numerous cultural attractions and sites. First-time and repeat visitors will be able to enjoy a deeper and more meaningful experience in Tokyo, due in part to the Andaz brand’s commitment to delivering quality service to each and every guest that walks through its doors.
High quality service and the relationship between a host and guest is nothing new for the city of Japan – in fact, hospitality, known in Japan as “omotenashi,” has been intertwined in Japanese life longer than any other country. We did our homework, and centuries ago in Japan, during the Daimyo Gyohretsu,”Processions of the Lords,” hundreds of stations sprang up to service Lords on their journey to and from Edo (Tokyo). This was the start of traditions designed to provide the quality of service that would meet or exceed the expectations of emperors and shoguns. And as Andaz Tokyo opens its doors, it especially important that the hotel reflect the customs and traditions of high quality service that are integral to Japanese culture.
To help you get a bit more acquainted with the neighborhood, check out this fantastic video that was put together by the Andaz Tokyo hotel team.
New beginnings are not only starting with the Andaz brand in Tokyo, but also with the hotel’s General Manager Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry. He says the adjustment from being General Manager of Andaz Liverpool Street to Andaz Tokyo is a welcome learning curve and he can’t wait to explore even more of the city. It is his mission, in a country where Hyatt is already well respected, to create a story with the positioning and launch of the Andaz brand in Tokyo.
We sat down with Arnaud to talk about the opening of Andaz Tokyo and his thoughts on Japan in the short 10 months he has been there!
Describe Japan in three words.
Welcoming. Respectful. Sophisticated.
What is so special about this country and its people?
The notion of hospitality, which is called “omotenashi,” makes you feel welcome everywhere in the country. The people of Japan have a strong respect for each other with a real community mindset. The food is amazing, always fresh and diverse. Nature is admired and valued as a part of their lifestyle. Even in a big city like Tokyo, you find beautiful Japanese gardens in the middle of industrial buildings, which allow you to relax and unwind amid the craziness. Seasons are very important in Japan and are always celebrated. I believe that everyone should definitely visit Japan several times a year to experience the beauty of the country and its culture!
Why is it important to have an Andaz in Tokyo? What does it mean to the brand, to Hyatt?
Tokyo is a very international and creative city, which as of today, has not yet experienced a real lifestyle boutique hotel concept. It is the perfect location for a brand looking to attract the creative class at a time when Tokyo is regaining momentum in the world. Attracting more than 10 million visitors in 2013, Tokyo is looking forward to hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. Tokyo is an essential new location for Andaz, which will complement our well-established and recognized Hyatt sister-properties in Japan, as well as Andaz hotels around the world.
What has been your favorite discovery about Japan?
Japan has always been a fascinating country with a unique culture. As a foreigner, you always feel extremely welcome, even though you don’t speak the language. Tokyo is one of the safest cities I have lived in and although it is a large city, there are so many different districts, each with a distinctive ambience and atmosphere. When it comes to the rest of Japan, I have not had much time yet to explore, but it is definitely on my list of things to do after the opening of Andaz Tokyo!