The best hotels in Japan, from luxury suites to traditional ryokans

Linda Thompson finds places to lay your head on a trip to Japan

It takes about 10 hours to get to Japan from New Zealand. So if you’re after somewhere to put your head down, why not treat yourself?

In Tokyo you’ll find the tranquil and serene five-star Shangri-La Hotel just a minute from Tokyo Station. It was named best hotel in the world by Trip Advisor, and ranked five-star by Forbes.

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It’s well-named after the fictional land of peace and perpetual youth in James Hilton’s 1933 Lost Horizon novel – even though that was written about a hidden spot in Tibet – and you’ll find a copy of the book to set the scene in the bedside drawer of your deluxe room (about $1000+ a night).

The hotel occupies the top 11 floors of the 37-storey Marunouchi Trust Tower Main Building so there are views from everywhere. You can even spot the elusive Mt Fuji, sometimes.

After the craziness of Narita airport and Tokyo station, the room is a sanctuary with massive bed, orchids in the bathroom, gentle Japanese music and breathtaking views. The bathroom is massive, the shower like a gentle massage, the toiletries luxurious French L’Occitane. Yes of course I brought them home.

Chandeliers are everywhere, including one with 890 ginko leaves, the tree of Tokyo, in Czech crystal and another that looks like 10m of crystal raindrops dropping several floors. There are gold artworks on the walls and the hotel has its own spa called, appropriately, Chi, meaning peace.

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