“Tokyo Stay Story” illustrates stays at Hotel New Otani Tokyo through the experience of featured guests. For the sixth installment of the series, we welcomed Seiji and Karin Inuzuka, celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary.
Under our “ZEN Exclusive Stay” package, the couple stayed in the Executive Garden Suite ‘Muso-an’ at EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN that has been honored by Forbes Travel Guide the highest accolade of five stars for the second year running in 2021. The spacious 115m² suite is decorated in gold, violet, and calligraphy ink colors, offering a luxurious yet soothing ambience inspired by Japanese Edo period (1600 – 1868) imagery and hues. Ceramics and glassware stylishly adorn the room under the traditional theme with an emphasis on natural materials. The living room window offers a vista of the iconic Tokyo Tower, as well as our Japanese Garden that is beautifully illuminated after dusk.
DAY 1 2:30 pm
Arrival and Afternoon Tea in the Suite
Seiji and Karin, both busy professionals, confess that they seldom have time to relax during the week. So, in honor of the celebration, they opted to take the day off and check in early in the afternoon to fully enjoy their stay.
“This is my first time staying at EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN. I was unaware and surprised to hear of the hotel-in-hotel concept with two dedicated floors. With the operation as well as the working staff being different, it’s like a completely different hotel. The overall feel and impression are even different compared to the in-hotel cafés and restaurants that I enjoy frequenting. This is a totally new experience”, says Seiji.
When they have settled down in the suite and made themselves at home, the ‘afternoon tea set’, pre-ordered through the concierge, is delivered by room service.
“The Food Presentation at the ZEN Lounge looked gorgeous and I am enthralled to enjoy it here in our suite. I am a lover of whipped cream and a big fan of Hotel New Otani’s cakes. Cantaloupes are in season at the moment, so I was overjoyed to see it included in the assortment”, reveals Karin.
“This service that enables guests to indulge in such luxury in the privacy and comfort of their suite is fantastic, and I would love to bring our child along with us next time”, she continued.
[NEW] Afternoon Tea in Your Room
Afternoon Tea items offered at the ZEN Lounge can be delivered to your room with a choice of beverage. Take advantage of this new service to enjoy the Food Presentation privately in the comfort of your room.
DAY 1 5:30 pm
A Pre-Dinner Drink
Before dinner, Seiji made his way alone to the ZEN Lounge to speak with the concierge about a bouquet of flowers that he was planning as a surprise for his wife.
“I had requested a bouquet to be placed in our suite while we are at dinner. My wife has distinct preferences, so I did my best to identify her favorite colors and tastes, and entrusted everything else to the florist”, explained Seiji.
When Karin arrived a while later in a lovely black dress, the couple sat down to enjoy some Champagne before heading out for dinner.
“The concierge here in the ZEN Lounge answered all the questions I had and made excellent suggestions for things that I can do during my stay. I feel I’ve never been in better hands. I was thinking of how great it would be if there was a children’s day-care center nearby that would allow us to stay as a family but also offer some private time between me and my husband. Then I was informed that such a facility already exists on the third floor. I shouldn’t be surprised but I pleasantly was. I’m told that reservations are required in advance, but having this kind of service within the hotel is marvelous and so parent-friendly”, Karin said enthusiastically.
Designed with inspirations from a traditional Japanese porch, the ZEN Lounge grants guests a place of comfort outside of their rooms and suites. Exclusively reserved for guests of EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN, the Lounge offers a delectable Food Presentation six times a day and a stunning vista that includes the Akasaka Palace (State Guest House), the Shinjuku skyscrapers, and even Mount Fuji under clear skies.
DAY 1 7:00 pm
Anniversary Dinner in Private at Senbazuru
The “ZEN Exclusive Stay” accommodation package selected by the Inuzukas includes a choice of dinner at either renowned French restaurant “Tour d’Argent Tokyo” or authentic Japanese restaurant “Senbazuru”, a “ryotei” style private-dining establishment, making it a perfect option for celebratory occasions. Seiji and Karin decided on Senbazuru for dinner.
“It is nice to enjoy traditional Japanese cuisine in this kind of formal setting to celebrate such significant moments of life. Dishes incorporating foods of the season, the exquisite tableware, the hanging scroll decorating the room -- everything is immaculately selected to make the overall experience a memorable one. And there’s something in the atmosphere that makes you want to carry yourself with poise and grace; a kind of overwhelming but pleasant air of dignity”, Seiji commented.
“The first course was particularly impressive. Topped with a real cherry blossom, its aroma beautifully complemented the delicate flavor of the clam broth. It even felt like I could taste the spring air. From the appetizers to the crab and sashimi, from the Kobujime (kelp-wrapped fish) to the rapeseed greens, each item was delicious and I cleared every plate. The room gave us privacy and we were able to relax without having to be too mindful of our surroundings. The spacious room was a luxury for just the two of us, but we were also saying how great it would be to come again with our families or friends”, said Karin.
ZEN Exclusive Stay
An accommodation package inclusive of a night’s stay at the five-star EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN along with dinner at renowned French restaurant “Tour d’Argent Tokyo” or authentic Japanese restaurant “Senbazuru”. Mark that special occasion with a stay at EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN together with the finest cuisine.
A reservations-only authentic Japanese kaiseki cuisine restaurant, where all tables are situated in private rooms.
DAY 1 9:30 pm
The Surprise Flower Bouquet
Upon returning to their suite after dinner, the bouquet of flowers that Seiji had ordered through the concierge was placed in the suite as requested, in the bedroom. Seiji picks up the bouquet and carries it over to the unknowing Karin who was seated on the sofa. As he sits down beside her and presents her with the bouquet, Karin’s face lights up in surprise and excitement. The secret mission is accomplished!
“I did wonder that if the bouquet was in plain view as we entered the suite, it might reduce the element of surprise. But it was deliberately placed in the bedroom, out of sight from her but easy to find if you’re looking for it. The thoughtfulness and care they displayed in assisting me to create the ideal moment signified the impeccable standard of concierge service at EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN. I am truly grateful”, marvels Seiji.
And what did Karin think about the surprise?
“I was already more than excited to be staying in such a grand suite. On top of that, I get flowers too? I am overjoyed. The striking red blossoms set off by radiant green highlights are simply gorgeous, and I am amazed and moved by how well he knew my taste. It even goes perfectly with the color scheme of this room. I absolutely love it!”
Dedicated Concierge Service
The ZEN Lounge concierge is dedicated solely to serving guests of EXECUTIVE HOUSE ZEN, attending to various needs to make their stay as comfortable and pleasurable as possible, including planning for special occasions.
DAY 2 10:00 am
A Morning Stroll in the Japanese Garden
After breakfast, Seiji and Karin sought advice from the concierge on what to do with their time until check-out, and were informed of an area with blooming cherry blossoms that was within walking distance from the hotel. The day was nice and sunny, so the couple decided to make their way through the hotel’s Japanese Garden and to this recommended spot.
“I often visit the hotel’s cafés, but I rarely get a chance to go out to the Japanese Garden. It’s been a while since I last took a nice stroll, so I was very pleased today. The cherry blossoms near the hotel that the concierge told us about were in full bloom. It was breathtaking and romantic”, recalled Karin.
“On the day we officially registered our marriage, we went on a boat ride in Chidorigafuchi. The cherry blossoms were in full bloom that day too. Seeing the blossoms today, it took me back to that day and it had me reflecting on all the memories that we have created together in the five years since. This has been an amazing and unforgettable fifth anniversary for us and I’m so happy that we chose Hotel New Otani Tokyo for the occasion”, Seiji concluded.
The Japanese Garden
Landscaped with paths over and around the Seisen Pond, the Japanese Garden is a symbolic feature of Hotel New Otani Tokyo with beautiful seasonal blossoms, a waterfall, scarlet bridges, and historical stone lanterns. The ten-acre (40,000m²) garden has a history spanning four centuries with its roots dating back to the Edo period.
Founder and head of “KRMK / Kromack” (strategic consulting firm).
He also teaches design conception and innovation as an Adjunct Associate Professor at Shizenkan University (Graduate School of Leadership and Innovation) since 2018.
A public relations expert in the fields of fashion, beauty, and lifestyles.
Following a decade of experience at a start-up PR firm, she is now an independent PR specialist, working with known Japanese and global brands.
Photographer SAYUKI INOUE
Writer SAYAKA TAKAHASHI
Edited by ASAKO SHIMOJIMA (Creative Project, Inc.)