The Peninsula Tokyo: Kon’nichiwa luxury!

When in a strange land, having some place comfortable and safe to lay your head can give you real peace of mind and when that place is crazy luxurious you may have found yourself in the Peninsula Tokyo.  Set in the business district of Ginza the hotel offers class beyond compare, a central location, transit options from within the hotel, and impeccable service.  My initial Tokyo plans did not include the Peninsula, however with the 4th night free offer with the AMEX Fine Hotels I thought it would be a great addition to what was sure to be a great trip.  When I read you could also access the train from the basement of the hotel while also being just minutes from the Imperial Palace the scales tipped in the Peninsulas favor.

 

 

 

 

 

 

While I am a big fan of the Peninsula Chicago for their lovely high tea service, this was my first time staying at the Peninsula hotel. After some sickness on the plane and an hour ride from the airport, the welcoming staff was definitely a site for sore eyes.  As expected the lobby areas were beautiful, although much more compact from the sprawling Peninsula Chicago that I was used to.  After moving up to my room, however, I could care less what was the lobby dimensions as the room was simply amazing.  From the large walk-in closet and dressing area to the opulent bathroom to the huge master suite and sitting area with expansive views of the city around I was in love.  I would be doing a disservice if I did not mention my favorite part, the toilet.  No bidets are not the rage in America, but this one was something special.  I have seen nice ones, but a toilet that automatically lifts the seat when you walk in, has a warmer, spray settings for both front and back targets and even a dryer (Yes a dryer) literally blew me away.

As with most great hotels the extras are where you lose any lingering regrets you may have about the price. Including simple amenities that are a lot more important when you are far away from home like Q-tips and slippers, tvs and radios in the bathroom, Oscar De La Renta soaps and shower gels all add to a wonderful and luxury experience at a hotel.  These things you can’t qualify but also can’t duplicate at a hotel that is not on par.  For instance after noticing one guest was a mini, we came back to the room with a special baby basket and kids robe and slippers for my one year old Bronx.  Now this is class at its finest.

My next biggest concern with a hotel is always location as I like to hit the pavement in a new city no matter where that is in the world. The hotel is centrally located and close to the shopping in Ginza, the Imperial Palace by foot and the incredibly efficient train stations to get you to most of the highlights in Tokyo with ease.  The staff did a great job in arming us with site and transit maps before we headed out on our way.  The one drawback for me was in reading about the transportation options online before arriving.  When we went to book the basic car service I thought would be a free, first come first serve service, we were told it was only associated with suites in the hotel and could not be accessed.  As the trains were so convenient it wasn’t a sticking point, but some places such as Tokyo Tower, are still a bit cumbersome to get to with the transit system.

Without question the comfort and luxury found in the Peninsula hotel could have you spend your entire vacation in the 500 sq. ft. of a room and love every second of it.

Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach Hotel Review

fort-lauderdale-vacation-4Sleek and cool is a great look in South Florida and an exceptional look when it comes to the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach.  My first priority in South Florida is always the beach so being located directly by the water was my first priority when searching for a hotel.  With a prime time location right off the Intercostal the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach provides easy access to shopping, restaurants, the airport and freeway and most importantly the beach.

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Upon arriving from our drive from Orlando I wanted to catch the last remaining hours of fun in the sun beach time that I could. This is a great example of where it pays to join the hotel’s loyalty program.  These programs are usually free and come with some great bonus features such as upgrades, early check in and free drinks.  With the Sonesta Travel Pass I was able to capitalize on two at the hotel so while other guests where in a room holding pattern.  Quickly I headed up to my room and was pleasantly surprised at the great view of the ocean from the room.  The lobby and rooms offer a modern vide and don’t give you the old South Florida switcharoo where the lobby is amazing and the room falls short of the high expectations set.  With a quick pit stop in our lovely room we headed to the beach which was just across the street.

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The fact that I love luxury hotels is no secret and the Sonesta Fort Lauderdale Beach showcased why the little things matter so much in this distinction. Having fruit infused water waiting on you are a great poolside bar serving up cocktails are just some of the features that really define value for me in a high end property.  In between beach fun and trips to Las Olas I found the location and vibe of the hotel great for a weekend getaway and a perfect home base for exploring Fort Lauderdale.

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