Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
Andaz, which is a Hindi word meaning ‘personal style’ is the luxury lifestyle brand from Hyatt, the concept of bringing elements of each location into the property is at the core of the seventeen Andaz hotels worldwide. We’ve been lucky enough to experience this unique style at Andaz Fith Avenue and Andaz Wall Street in New York and also at Andaz Liverpool Street in London, we were therefore extremely excited to check in to Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills and find out first hand just how good Tokyo’s premier luxury lifestyle hotel really was.
Check in is informal and refined, with no waiting in line at a reception desk, instead you are asked to take a seat in the Andaz Lounge and offered a drink whilst the check in process takes place in an effortless manner. We were then taken to our Andaz Tower View King Room which is one of 164 modern, stylish and sophisticated rooms available that include the ultimate in luxury and extravagance if you choose one of only 2 Andaz Sky Suites. All rooms boast luxury furnishings and bespoke bathroom amenities which change on a seasonal basis, guests can also enjoy a complimentary mini bar with a variety of soft drinks and snacks during their stay.
The Vegan Food
During our stay we enjoyed breakfast and dinner in The Tavern – Grill & Lounge and also wine and canapes in the Andaz Lounge. Both spaces make the most of the natural light that flows from all sides of the building and the views from The Tavern and very impressive, we loved the relaxed atmosphere throughout and every member of staff that we encountered were professional and courteous.
The breakfast buffet was not vegan friendly but the staff team and the chef were incredibly vegan friendly, this meant that we enjoyed a plant based breakfast that was both nutritious and delicious as well as looking amazing! Of course the buffet was extensive and extravagant with so many options but many of them included hidden animal derived ingredients meaning they were not suitable for us, however we certainly didn’t miss out as chef delivered a selection of vegan delights to our table. The most beautiful fruit salad looked even more impressive due to the photogenic bowl and a duo of Indian style curries served with rice were flavour packed and delicious. Avocado, asparagus, roasted peppers and salad leaves may sound simple but it was seasoned perfectly and the ingredients were of the highest quality. Our breakfast experience at Andaz Tokyo just goes to show that it’s all about communication, once the staff were aware that we were vegan they went above and beyond to ensure we had a memorable start to our day.
Early evening at Andaz Tokyo and the place to be is the Andaz Lounge, where the relaxed and informal atmosphere is just perfect for enjoying a couple of drinks accompanied by some snacks whilst catching up with yourself after a busy day exploring Tokyo; what made it even better was the fact the wine on offer was from Torresella and all of their wines are certified vegan friendly. There were a number of food offerings including some chilled tofu cubes which were tasty but we didn’t eat too many as our dinner reservation in The Tavern was calling…
Shojin Ryori, translated as ‘food of devotion’ is the traditional cuisine of Buddhist monks in Japan and has been enjoyed and celebrated since the 13th century, the Tavern at Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills gave us the option to experience this style of dining when we made our reservation and we jumped at the opportunity.
Our Shojin Ryori meal started with our first taste of Japanese koya tofu which we instantly loved, koya tofu has been dried and then rehydrated, giving it an amazingly firm texture. The whole dish had a delicious broth made using kombu seaweed and shiitake mushroom, and the other vegetables were simple yet perfect, changing our perception of taro forever. Our next course was a small mountain of vegetable tempura, this made our hearts sing because we’re in Japan getting to eat delicate and delicious tempura. It was served with lemon, salt and soy, meaning of course we are confused. What goes where? Which condiment is best? Why have the rest of the world got tempura so wrong? A sprinkle of lemon and salt on advice of our waiter, who rightly tells us that this way allows you to truly taste the vegetable and we happily delved into the mountain of light, crispy, deep fried delight.
Other courses included the softest and most tender eggplant with rich miso soup, pickles which added saltiness and sourness, rice which was just perfect and our meal ended with a selection of fruit including the most divine tasting figs. One thing we really loved though is that our waiter asked us how we feel about our food. Not, “How is your food?”, or “Was everything ok?”. The waiter at The Tavern wanted to know how we feel. And we told him, we felt happy, very happy.
The Vegan Essentials
The bathroom amenities were Andaz own brand so we were unable to confirm if they contained animal ingredients so we used our own. Our bed was divinely comfortable and the duvet was feather free, it was lower than a standard bed in line with Japanese tradition meaning that it created a much less imposing impression on our room.
The spa was one of the most serene, relaxing and incredible spa spaces we’ve ever had the opportunity to experience. AO Spa and Club really is an “urban retreat nestled in the heart of the city” and we loved it so much we didn’t want to leave, ever. Literally everything about it was sleek, sophisticated and state of the art which all combined to create a perfect oasis, can we please stay here for ever?
The Vegan Food Quest Verdict
Check in to Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills to experience understated luxury in an urban environment, expect a personal and professional service from the staff team who will go out of their way to ensure your stay is special. Make sure to book a Shojin Ryori inspired meal at The Tavern and enjoy the subtle flavours and textures of an ancient Buddhist cuisine. Did we mention AO Spa and Club? I think we did and we are sure that once you set foot inside this relaxation nirvana you will never want to leave…
We were guests of Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills but please rest assured that their generosity in hosting us didn’t influence our views.
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
Telephone: +81 3 6830 1234
Cost From: £460 / $600 (Oct 2018)