TOKYO — The ritziest shopping area in Japan’s capital finally has a hotel to match, one that encourages guests to get outside and explore the city. Last week, Hyatt Hotels opened the first Hyatt Centric property in Asia, in the heart of Ginza.
Located on prestigious Namiki Dori with neighbors such as Versace, Omega, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Louis Vuitton and the Rolex boutique Lexia Ginza — the latter two share a building with the hotel — the Hyatt Centric is positioned to welcome guests who come to Tokyo partly to take advantage of its top-notch luxury shopping scene.
General manager Tadanori Uchiyama said he wants to offer these customers an experience they can’t get from other area hotels. “We are providing to guests exactly what they require for exploring the area, the city, the town and perhaps the country,” he said. “It’s very, very important to connect with and showcase the area where the hotel is located.”
The hotel aims to bring the surrounding area in with its four design pillars: fashion, entertainment, landscape and media.
Reflecting Ginza’s place as one of the world’s most famous shopping districts, the hotel’s decor features intricate designs made from everyday items such as buttons and shoelaces, as well as beautiful kimono textiles. Sake cups, rice ball molds and lacquerware dishes — underlining Ginza’s hospitality and entertainment offer — are also on show while some of the floors feature giant maps of Ginza.
It’s the media theme that seems to be most prominent throughout the hotel, which happens to be located on the site of the former Tokyo headquarters of a Japanese newspaper company. Vintage typewriters and paperback books decorate some floors, while printing blocks are used for room numbers and public spaces. An entire wall in the bar and lounge area is covered in stacks of colorful paper, upcycled newsprint once used for color testing before printing the day’s papers. They came from the newspaper’s printing facility in nearby Tsukiji.
Uchiyama said the hotel is mainly targeting the leisure market, and that he expects around 80 percent of guests to be inbound travelers from outside Japan. The hotel caters to what it calls “Millennial-minded” customers.
“All of these things that are considered to be ‘Millennial behaviors’ are spread out [across generations], even up to people who are 60 years old,” he said. “So I don’t want to say that we’re only targeting the Millennial market or generation. Basically, we are targeting people who are looking for new inspiration, people who want to be inspired.”
There are 164 guest rooms spread across eight floors, as well as a spacious bar and restaurant, Namiki 667. Aside from breakfast, Uchiyama said he expects the restaurant and bar areas to be frequented by locals, attracting a very different crowd from the hotel itself.
Rooms at the Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo start at 40,000 yen per night, with the spacious Namiki suite running at 340,000 yen. Uchiyama said that in addition to selling the space — which includes a large balcony, both indoor and outdoor lounging and dining areas, and a kitchen with a full-sized teppanyaki grill — to guests, he is also hoping that some of the area’s luxury brands will use it for in-suite events such as trunk shows and exhibitions. In addition, he said he thinks the balcony off the third-floor bar and restaurant would make the perfect runway for a fashion show.
“We plan to work with [luxury brands] very closely, and I hope they would like us to. There’s so much potential for us to do events and business together. We’ve been really close with Chanel and Louis Vuitton, since company-wise the Hyatt has a global contract with both of them, and also locally we have a very close relationship with them,” Uchiyama said. “We can do so many things together, not only in the hotel but also in their shops, such as catering for their events as well.”
But even more than bringing in the luxury fashion of the surrounding area, Uchiyama said the Hyatt Centric’s goal is to get guests to go out and explore the city themselves.
“Even though we have a lot of art pieces [inside] that connect to Ginza, we really encourage guests to go explore,” he said. “Not only Ginza, but Tokyo. The hotel is like a launchpad for them to go outside and enjoy the city.”
The next Hyatt Centric property planned for the Asia region is slated to open in the central Japanese city of Kanazawa in June 2020.