THE PRINCE GALLERY TOKYO KIOICHO, A LUXURY COLLECTION HOTEL
SPACE’s Tonje Odegard has looked at the interiors of Marriott’s first luxury hotel in Japan’s capital, The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel, with its elevated, dream-like theme…
Situated on the top seven floors of the new 36-storey Tokyo Garden Terrace, a distinguished mixed-use development designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, the hotel opened its 250 rooms in July 2016 after five years of planning and construction.
Right in the middle of the prestigious Kioicho neighbourhood, the hotel occupies the geographic centre of Tokyo, seamlessly aligning with the city’s historic marvels and ultra-modern infrastructure.
Offering a large and varied selection of guestrooms, four unique restaurants, a spa, fitness centre and meeting spaces, the Rockwell Group, Madrid, responsible for the interior design, went for a dream-like theme, inspired by the hotel’s elevated position in the tower.
Throughout the hotel, this theme is apparent in design features that create the illusion of levitation, such as transparent, translucent and reflective materials. Essential to creating this ethereal, dreamy environment, was to carefully articulate the boundaries between the interior of the hotel and the sky that surrounds it. Both public areas and guestrooms display different kinds of prosceniums that interact with the breath-taking views and surroundings.
Overall, the hotel is rooted in traditional Japanese culture, presenting indigenous flavours and colourful character in a contemporary way. This is, for instance, obvious in the selection of art on display throughout the hotel. Original artwork by young and emerging Japanese artists has been used, and the interiors have been designed as an art gallery to complement the ‘Gallery’ part of the hotel.
Japanese craftsmanship was also honoured in a modern way at The Prince Gallery. Working with local artisans, the design team has made use of nature-inspired elements to create an undercurrent of surrealism in the soaring glass tower.
The dramatic two-storey lobby on the top floor offers panoramic views of the city with its spectacular nine metre sky lounge and reception area. Not only does the double-height space create a grand sense of arrival, it reminds you of the hotel’s airy and dreamy theme.
Arriving through three lower entrances, the concept of framed views visually connects the design of the entrances and the sky lobby. An elongated sculptural bar designed by Rockwell Group allows guests to gaze out on the Tokyo skyline.
The hotel’s signature bar is also located in the lobby. Illumiid is characterised by soaring floor-to-ceiling glass windows framed by a heroic art glass installation, depicting a fairy tale-like waterfall by renowned Japanese artist Mari Noguchi. After dark, the glass waves glow in a seductive turquoise, portraying evening clouds. With reflective panels in the ceiling, the pattern is extended to the ceiling, shimmering over the saffron-coloured animalistic carpet and golden chairs.
Tucked behind the signature bar is a smaller, more intimate bar area defined by tufted leather walls and ceiling panels. The reception area is next to the atrium and features a central fireplace, creating a welcoming, residential feel to the space, a style also recognised in the nearby lounge, which offers further views of the city.
Dressed in shades of gold, bronze and white marble, the area is luxurious and elegant. Hovering over the reception desk is a dark and playful Alexander Calder-inspired lamp and behind the desk a beautiful embossed floral piece in crisp white. Contrasting the sharp edges of the lamp, is a light silver art installation hanging opposite the reception desk, above the fireplace, framed in strong golden structural columns.
According to Eva Longoria, co-creative director of Rockwell’s Madrid office and the design lead on this project, it was important to the designers to create a lobby environment that reflected and highlighted the local culture to bring a level of authenticity to the hotel.
Bringing traditional touches with modern amenities into the design, Rockwell Madrid created four guestroom types – Standard, Deluxe, Junior Suite and Suite. The multifunctional rooms are designed with thoughtful and creative touches.
Really wanting to maximise the breath-taking views the hotel offers, Eva Longoria explained how each guestroom features a portal window to immediately encourage guests to have a look at the skyline. In some rooms, Rockwell has also installed a comfy windowsill bench, excellent for dozing and observing the busy Tokyo below.
The bathrooms are encased in transparent walls, giving guests the opportunity to gaze out the large windows when having a bath or a rain shower while staying true to the airy design theme.
Kioi Spa offers a large indoor pool, yoga rooms, spa treatments, a sauna and also a retail space. A wavy wooden wall leads guests into the spa and frames the retail area. Entering the reception, a marvellous wall of vertical golden strips forms the back of the reception desk. Hung in the ceiling are a number of calming art pieces in glossy volcanic grey, depicting spa stones. The pool, located just inside the entrance, is inspired by mist and the concept of levitation. The area is blue, bright and spacious, helped by the floor-length mirrors on the structural columns. Portals visually connect the treatment rooms, gym and locker rooms, while the use of wood and translucent materials brings back the idea of floating elements.
The hotel’s four restaurants and bars include Oasis Garden, Washoku Souten, Levita Sky Gallery Lounge and the signature sky-bar illumiid THE BAR.
Oasis Garden, located on the same floor as the lobby and sky bar, has been designed to create the illusion of being in a garden in the sky. Delicate, dehydrated plants arranged in rectangular frames on the walls provide an atmosphere of a garden forest within the surrounding clouds. Stainless steel tree trunks, a magnificent, golden, Venetian plaster ceiling that illustrates treetop foliage and a fragrant vertical herb garden all contribute to the restaurant’s immersive garden experience.
Washuku Souten, a Japanese restaurant also on the 35th floor, has based its interiors on the characteristics of ice to emphasise the freshness of food. Transparent sake cellars and acrylic bases create the idea of ice and levitation in contrast with the opaque wooden teppanyaki and sushi counters. Particularly eye-catching are the bright lamps hanging over the counter, representing giant ice blocks.
The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho is an elegant, beautifully designed and intriguing hotel with a strong and apparent story. Rockwell has taken full advantage of the hotel’s surroundings and elevated position in the skyscraper, cleverly convincing visitors of being high up in the air, making The Prince Gallery a must-see destination in Tokyo.