×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Off the Lot: Mandarin Oriental Celebrates a Decade in Tokyo, New Opening in Milan

Staying at a five-star luxury hotel is meant to be an experience, even if it’s for a business trip, and the Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year ranks as one of the best in the world — and one of the chain’s standout properties.

Towering 38 stories above the city, providing stunning views of Shinjuku and the Imperial Palace, as well as of Tokyo’s perpetually blinking red lights at night, thanks to floor-to-ceiling windows, the Cesar Pelli-designed hotel reflects themes of wood and water with 178 large guest rooms, impeccable spa and a unique collection of restaurants, including a pizza bar, that branch out from the sky lobby like a living tree.

“We have views of the entire city from our guest rooms, be it North, South, East or West, as well as perhaps one of the largest (number) of individual restaurants in any Mandarin Oriental,” which has helped attract business travelers but also Hollywood’s executives and celebrities since its opening, says Anthony Costa, general manager of Mandarin Oriental Tokyo.

The MO Tokyo’s location — on the city’s version of 5th Avenue, in the Nihonbashi district, near Ginza — is also the name of the hotel’s signature, vodka-based cocktail, the “Nihonbashi” ($17.35), created by Yukiyo Kurihara, bar manager of the Oriental Lounge. It features Belvedere vodka, Dover yuzu, Midori, Blue Curaçao and grapefruit juice, and has been on the hotel’s menu since its doors opened.

“Being a gateway city, Tokyo was appealing to Mandarin Oriental as it would establish our brand in the home of the second-largest economy at the time,” Costa says. “As the group set out its goal to having 10,000 rooms globally, the opportunity to have a hotel in Tokyo and in one of the most famous districts made sense.”

During Your Stay: In addition to spending time enjoying the scenery in the Oriental Lounge, reserve one of Tapas Molecular Bar’s eight seats for a memorable 20-course dinner. The two-hour experience is well worth it.

MO Tokyo has long been a draw for its restaurants. When it partnered with Danish eatery Noma and its chef Rene Redzepi for a limited residency, the hotel ended up having a waitlist of over 60,000 people. “It truly captured the imagination of not only the Japanese but globally as well as inspired our wonderful colleagues,” Costa says.

As it raises a glass to toast its anniversary in Tokyo, Mandarin Oriental is readying to open a new property in Europe as it shutters one in the U.S.

Featuring Italian decor and signature Asian touches, the 104-room MO Milan, steps from the city’s La Scala opera house, will feature restaurants by two Michelin-starred chef Antonio Guida, and a large spa inside its 19th century home.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, the company is bidding farewell to the 11-floor, 158-room financial district highrise it has owned for 27 years — sold to Loews in February.

During Your Stay: In Milan, shop the luxury stores on Via Montenapoleone; in San Francisco, stop by Brasserie S&P, which boasts the largest collection of gins in the city — and perhaps even the country — and sample a flight.

Off the Lot is a regular section covering the latest in travel that runs in the pages of Variety.

More Scene

  • Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce

    Mj Rodriguez, Nico Santos to Announce GLAAD Media Award Nominations

    Mj Rodriguez and Nico Santos are set to announce the nominees for the 30th annual GLAAD Media Awards. The “Pose” star and “Crazy Rich Asians” funny man will make the announcement during a live-stream hosted by AT&T and from the AT&T Hello Lounge at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday, Jan. 25. “The images and stories recognized [...]

  • Emile Hirsch, Matt SmileyEmile Hirsch hosts

    Emile Hirsch Hosts Smiley Face Art Opening at Mondrian Hotel

    Despite the rain on Wednesday night in West Hollywood, there were plenty of smiles inside the Mondrian hotel thanks to artist Matt Smiley‘s Refresh exhibition. Not only is Smiley his real last name, but several of his paintings and other pieces in the exhibit feature smiley faces. “I’ve seen more smiley symbolism lately, and I’ve [...]

  • Randall Park, left, and Constance Wu

    Constance Wu Wants Her 'Fresh Off the Boat' Co-Star Randall Park to Host the Oscars

    While the Academy may have decided to go hostless for this year’s Oscars, that doesn’t mean the rest of Hollywood has stopped thinking about who would be a good choice for the emceeing gig. Former host Whoopi Goldberg recently suggested Ken Jeong. Jeong said, when he was a guest on “The View,” Goldberg told him [...]

  • 'Schitt's Creek' Stars Reveal Dream Guest

    'Schitt's Creek' Cast Reveals Dream Guest Stars: Oprah, Beyonce and ...

    “Schitt’s Creek” has big dreams. Dan Levy, who stars as David on the series, says his wish list of guest stars includes Oprah, Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Gwyneth Paltrow. “All for different reasons, none of whom we’ll get,” he cracked at the Critics’ Choice Awards. For those who haven’t caught on to the “Schitt’s Creek” [...]

  • Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bundchen

    Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen to Be Honored at UCLA Science Gala

    Science can be very glamorous. It certainly will be during Oscar week on Feb. 21 when the UCLA Institute of the Environment & Sustainability (IoES) honors Barbra Streisand and Gisele Bündchen for environmental activism at its annual Hollywood for Science Gala. “When I moved to LA, the air was unbreathable. Rivers were catching fire in [...]

  • Don Cheadle and Andrew Rannells Black

    Don Cheadle, Andrew Rannells Talk Snorting 'Coke' on 'Black Monday'

    “Black Monday” show creators David Caspe and Jordan Cahen divulged an intriguing detail to come later in the first season of the new Showtime comedy at its world premiere, held at the Theatre at Ace Hotel on Monday night in Los Angeles. “The fourth or fifth episode opens with a sexual harassment seminar, which very well [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content