A kids’ club and a cuddly toy at registration are not what makes a family-friendly hotel. I mean sure, they’re nice, and much appreciated, but if you ask Raffles and Sugarpuff what makes a hotel kid friendly, it is friendliness … to kids. Pretty simple really, but also sadly infrequent. But the new Pullman Tokyo Tamachi is one of those rare beasts that gets it totally right.
Officially the AccorHotel Group’s 1000th hotel in the Asia Pacific region, we are lucky enough to be amongst the five-star stunner’s first ever guests, and it is love at first sight. Modern artworks splash their way wildly across the walls and ceilings of the hotel’s Japanese kabuki-inspired lobby. It’s just one of the quirky touches throughout a hotel that cleverly combines the modern and the traditional, just like the city itself.
One thing this family rates as vitally important in a kid-friendly hotel is location. And because there’s nothing fun about schlepping tired, whiney-arsed kids all over town after a busy day of exploring, we prefer to stay close to the action.
The Pullman Tokyo Tamachi is certainly that. Located just two-minutes by undercover walkway from Tamachi Station in one of Tokyo’s up-and-coming business districts – the 143-room hotel offers easy access to and from Haneda Airport, and is mere minutes from tourist destinations including Ginza, Shibuya, Shinjuku and Harajuku, via the Yamanote railway loop line in central Tokyo.
The 100% non-smoking hotel has 143 gorgeous guest rooms, including six family rooms and 16 connecting rooms.
It is so brand spanking new on our visit that the kids have the honour of being personally invited to be the first ever guests to jump on the beds, which they do, like a pair of rabid ‘roos.
But they’re faced with a conundrum!
Do they eat the elaborate cupcakes that have been left in their room first, or do they devour the divine chocolate bark left in mine before I can get to it?
Spoiler alert. They scoffed both before I even got a look in. But I am assured that the lovely looking selection of shards were fabulous.
The beautifully appointed Deluxe connecting rooms are roomy by Tokyo standards, with plenty of space to bust a move when the need arises. This proves handy given the kids decide to pump out some tunes for a two-person dance party from the Bose wireless speakers in our lounge. I leave them to get down and head for a not-so-quiet soak in the free-standing tub in my jaw dropping bathroom.
The bathroom also features a rain shower and a techno-loo, complete with butt warming seat, auto flushing, a disconcerting turbo-spray arse shower and so many buttons, the kids figured it could just about launch them into space. Me, I’d rather launch myself into one of the cloud-like Pullman Signature beds.
From breakfast to dinner, the food at The Pullman Tokyo Tamachi has Raff in culinary conniptions … no mean feat given this city is Raff’s capital of cuisine. The incredible breakfast buffet at KASA offers everything from deconstructed sushi bowls and miso to the finest French pastries and a la carte breakfasts including eggs cooked to order and a rocking Eggs Benny!
And donuts. Really, really good donuts.
But it is dinner at KASA that turns us into raving fans. Executive Chef Thomas (Raff’s new BFF) cleverly fuses Mediterranean style cooking with local ingredients and flavours.
A Yuzu cured Mt Fuji trout with nori powder, teppan grilled snapper with edamame salad and caviar, and marbled Japanese beef ribs are among his highlights. And a deconstructed lemon meringue tart sends his tastebuds soaring into the stratosphere.
For more casual dining, the Platform 9 indoor/outdoor rooftop bar also serves tasty Japanese-style tapas and a menu of clever cocktails, served up with sweeping views of the Tokyo skyline and the sights and sounds of Shinkansen snaking their speedy way along the train lines below.
When the kids aren’t sleeping, jumping or stuffing their faces, they’re all about the enormous, and oh-so-stylish, wooden ping pong table in the lobby which keeps them plenty amused while I amuse myself with a sake or two at the adjoining Junction lobby lounge.
When the kids invite me to join them it occurs to me that sake and ping pong are not a winning combo. Either that or I am just utterly crap at ping pong. My wounded pride is assuaged by more sake, which I must say makes for a pleasant consolation prize.
But for all its wonderful amenities, amazing food and brilliant location, what elevates The Pullman Tokyo Tamachi to next level family friendly is staff that are genuinely keen on making kids feel like VIPs. Indeed, even the General Manager, Darren, gets in on the action, making Raff feel like a VIThief as he aids and abets him in raiding a shelf full of lolly jars.
From the doorman and reception staff to executive Chef Thomas and good sport Darren, it truly is the people that work here that make a stay at the Pullman Tokyo Tamachi with kids a standout.
Pullman Tokyo Tamachi
3 Chome-1-２１ Shibaura,
Minato, Tokyo, Japan
Tel: +81 3-6400-5855
Disclosure: While we were guests of Pullman Tokyo Tamachi all in-room dancing, butt warming, train spotting and opinions are our own.