The Journal The Authority on Global Business in Japan

On June 11, 2015, Andaz Tokyo, located in the recently completed Toranomon Hills complex, will mark its first anniversary. It is an important transition for the brand, from introducing the new hotel concept into Japan, to witnessing how guests stay and relax at the hotel as if they are at home.

“A year ago, it was all about delivering to the guests the philosophy behind Andaz,” General Manager Arnaud de Saint-Exupéry explains. “Today, it is our guests who are defining the brand—each experience is driven by their personal style and preferences, creating a strong emotional connection with the brand, team and location.”

Connecting with Andaz as a life-style brand introduces guests to three key concepts: unscripted, indigenous, and inspiring.

The unscripted environment at Andaz eschews formality. A host, or employee at Andaz, can express his or her personality and ideas freely, in accordance with the brand’s overall aims, while interacting with guests and colleagues.

Thus, when an Andaz host suggested providing guests with yuzu (citrus) to use in the bath during the winter solstice, an idea inspired by local practice, it was immediately accepted and implemented. The fruit had an accompanying hand-written note explaining the tradition.

For Andaz, a collaboration of two designers—renowned creators Toni Chi from New York and Tokyo-based Shinichiro Ogata—has been critical to fulfilling its approach of merging local culture with design. The pair completed the hotel’s interior design by harmonizing unique and detailed perspectives of Japanese style.

Reflecting Japan’s cultural emphasis on beauty and purity of form, both designers have used natural materials such as washi paper, walnut wood and granite throughout the spaces.

Traditional fittings, such as shoji paper screens, have been transformed into modern partitions that create harmonious spatial sequences without physical barriers.


“By creating a community within a Japanese-style environment, and enabling guests to constantly interact, touch, and enjoy the beautiful, locally inspired designs, we provide a space where our guests have an emotional connection with the brand,” de Saint-Exupéry says.

To be indigenous, moreover, means being rooted in the local environment and culture. Last spring, Andaz celebrated the hanami (flower viewing) season—a popular tradition in Japan—by unveiling a pop-up sakura (cherry blossom) garden on its rooftop terrace, which features stunning views of Tokyo.

For their 1st year anniversary, Andaz Tokyo will host a one-day only Andaz Summer Festival. In line with the personal style concept, a variety of live music performances including jazz, classical music, and Latin music will be held on the rooftop.

To complement the anniversary celebrations in June, the main dining—which is called Andaz Tavern—will offer an anniversary menu composed of dishes selected from its inaugural year, a complementary glass of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, and its signature canapés.

AO Spa & Club at Andaz Tokyo will also offer four special treatments inspired by jazz, classical music, Latin music, and DJ musical styles to complement the live performances at the Andaz Summer Festival.

Looking to the future, de Saint-Exupéry is optimistic. With Japan’s in-bound tourism increasing year-on-year, he says, Andaz Tokyo is well positioned to provide one-of-a-kind lifestyle experiences for all its guests and visitors in a location at the heart of Tokyo.


 Unveiled the refreshed Rooftop Bar

 Opened authentic Sushi counter “the SUSHI”

 Started the Valet parking service

 Anniversary dinner menu at Andaz Tavern from June 8

 Seasonal, musically inspired treatments at AO Spa & Club