Understated in its public areas, Mercure Hotel Ginza in Toyko springs a surprise in its rooms, writes Zalina Mohd Som
AFTER an intimidating ride in Tokyo’s maze of subway trains to Ginza-Itchome Station, I thought Mercure Hotel Ginza would welcome me with a grand French entrance. After all, this is a French hotel brand with over 700 properties all over the world.
But there’s only a small entrance with a dome awning. No driveway, no concierge and not even a front office counter.
Oh, maybe there’s a much grander entrance. I walk past this and head for the corner of the building. But I decide to turn back and give the small door the benefit of the doubt.
According to a small notice, not visible from the walkway, the reception and restaurant are located on the second floor which is accessible via the elevators or stairs.
The elevator divides the floor into two sections — the reception and the hotel’s only F&B outlet.
The reception is kept simple with a couple of chairs and ikebana-inspired potted flowers. Art deco items give it character and personality.
On the opposite side, the simple ambience of Le Bistro de L’Echanson oozes elegance and comfort.
I am still not entirely impressed as I am hoping to check into a more urbane hotel and this is located in the heart of fashionable and expensive Ginza.
But the modest Mercure Hotel Ginza prefers to save the best for a more private viewing. There it is — a line of red doors along one side of the softly lit walkway that is rich in shades of grey. Adding depth to this combination of hot and cold colours is stencil art a la French in a nude, off-white colour.
The surprise continues behind the red door. The atmosphere is intimate — not as small as a typical Japanese hotel room but not as spacious as a Malaysian older-generation hotel room either.
Colours are pastel but pinches of red cherry here and there give the intimacy a profound sophistication.
French-inspired wallpaper and paintings inject an international feel to the room. If not for the Japanese TV programmes that keep me awake at night during my stay, I would never have felt that I am in the heart of Tokyo!
Mercure Hotel Ginza,
2-9-4 Ginza, Chuo-ku,
Tokyo 104-0061 Japan.
Website: accorhotels.co.jp or www.accorhotels.com
From Narita International Airport, take the JR Narita Express train to Tokyo Station, then a five-minute taxi ride to the hotel. Or take the Airport Limousine Bus from either Narita or Haneda airports to the Tokyo City Air Terminal which is only 10 minutes away from the hotel by taxi. The adventurous can take the train from Tokyo Station or Tokyo City Air Terminal — the hotel is less than a five minutes’ walk from the two train stations.
It’s not big on first impression but big on lasting impression. Each time I think of Mercure Hotel Ginza, the line of sexy red doors in a dim walkway comes to mind.
208 rooms of superior single, superior and deluxe queen, superior and deluxe twin, and suite. All rooms are well-equipped with standard facilities but what tops it all are the Simmons beds that come with two choices of pillows per person. Women staying at the dedicated Ladies Floor will get special amenities for ladies in the room.
The only outlet, Le Bistro de L’Echanson, offers an exciting dinner experience in a bistro atmosphere. The all-day dining outlet also offers a great wine selection to give diners a taste of France in the heart of Tokyo.
Friendly and impeccable.
PLACES WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE
The hotel is 200m from Ginza’s main street and is surrounded by a handful of departmental stores and international brand boutiques like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Bvlgari, also hundreds of bars and restaurants. Being in the heart of Ginza means within walking distance of Kabuki Theatre, Tsukiji Fish Market and Tokyo International Forum. With the subway station only a five-minute walk away, the hotel has direct and easy access to the city’s attractions.