The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo: Unrivaled level of perfection
Go to this spa with high expectations, for even then, I assure you that you will have an unforgettable experience that will further enhance your affection for this legendary hotel group in their Tokyo location.
The Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo is located in Nihonbashi, the historical heart of Japan that is now a prestigious business and shopping district close to Tokyo station, occupying the top nine floors of the 38-story Nihonbashi Mitsui Tower. Views are spectacular from all around the hotel, but especially so from the spa located on the top two floors. This spa is the only non-membership day spa of its kind in Tokyo, offering equal services to hotel guests and visitors alike. Yes, the prices are steep (even in comparison to other luxury hotel spas in this capital city), but it gives you much more than just the treatment on the menu.
For your “Spa Journey,” you are recommended to arrive at least one hour before the scheduled treatment time and welcome to stay afterwards for as long as you like, and the total experience can be like a mini-vacation away from everyday life. Guests spend an average of 2.5 to 3 hours here, and considering that the majority of them are busy business executives, it shows just how worthwhile the experience is. I imagine one can easily spend a whole day here, if only one had the time.
The spa visit begins at a cozy reception that has a boutique area offering one of the most attractive line-up of spa products in the world. The Mandarin Oriental is unique in having its own signature product line developed by Aromatherapy Associates, a coveted brand founded in the UK almost 30 years ago and considered a pioneer of modern-day aromatherapy. If you’ve ever tried this brand, carried in some of the most selective boutiques around the globe, you’ll know that it offers truly amazing therapeutic-strength products that are a different level than the rest. Aside from the hotel’s signature products and those of Aromatherapy Associates, you’ll find a wide range of carefully selected specialist brands such as Ivo Pitanguy (developed by the world-renowned Brazilian cosmetic surgeon) and Swiss Perfection to the Spa. All of them are used in spa treatments, so if you fall in love with a particular item during your session, you can pick it up at the boutique on your way home.
The high-ceiling locker room is a lavish surrounding made of organic materials of natural dark wood and stone. The distinct Oriental theme lends a special plushness to the modern interior. The Mandarin Oriental’s concept of upholding a “sense of place” in every one of its hotels can be seen in fine details like the bathrobe trimmed with textured fabric suggestive of a kimono. Amenities are ample, and the generous amount of Aromatherapy Associates skin products is delightful. Splash on some Rose Skin Tonic, breathe in the deep, rich scent and savor it as the romantic blossoms pervade your senses. When you enter the Heat and Water area beyond a glass door, you are met with a spectacular site. The pristine surface of the sparkling blue Vitality Pool is set against a wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling view out onto the horizon of glimmering Tokyo, including a perfect view of the new Tokyo Skytree landmark.
Press simple buttons by the entrance to make the Vitality Pool come to life, and step into the oasis of neck-deep warm water, and experience jet stream massages standing up, sitting down, or lying down. You can even swim a bit or tread water in the deepest spots. The Heat and Water area also has a serene cave-like amethyst crystal steam room, and a very spacious dry sauna also with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out toward the same direction as the pool. Despite the size and impressive glass wall of a window, the sauna’s temperature is just right and very effective to work up a good sweat. Out by the pool, there is also an ice fountain holding a mountain of fresh ice to use following the heat experiences to tone the skin and stimulate the immune system, the final step in a fulfilling rejuvenation ritual.
After a rest in the relaxation lounge, and perhaps a snack or two from the selection of freshly prepared fruit jellies, juices and other concoctions, it is time for the spa treatment. If you’ve booked a spa suite, your therapist will guide you up a spiral staircase to another floor higher, where it noticeably feels like an even longer way down to earth. The airy spa suites again have full-wall windows, offering views that are actually quite thrilling, so you may need some moments to calm down before the treatment! But once on the massage bed, with shimmering soft Oriental sounds providing the perfect background music and the comforting Mandarin Oriental theme drifting in from time to time, you will find it effortless to unwind.
Drawing on Chinese, Ayurvedic, European and Thai traditions, the treatments are unique and intense, performed by therapists whose expertise is utterly evident. I had the Oriental Essence body massage, which is designed specifically to relieve neck and shoulder tension. Using signature aroma oils to work wonders for this problem area as well as the whole body, the treatment is available in 50 or 80 minutes, and is highly recommended for those trying this spa for the first time. Another popular choice is the Time Rituals™, in 110 or 170 minutes, which is a completely customizable session; you can even have a facial combined with a body massage.
The spa treatments feel great, but also show real results. When I finally traded in the spa’s comfortable slippers for my high heels when it was time to go home, I was surprised that my own shoes had become a size too big for me.
This spa is a haven of luxury and unique style that transports you away to another world; truly a spa journey to physical and mental rejuvenation. I’m definitely a fan.
Oriental Essence 50 minutes/80 minutes - Weekdays 23,000 yen/32,000 yen; Weekends 25,000 yen/34,000 yen (plus 13% service charge).
Time Rituals 1 hour 50 minutes/2 hours 50 minutes - Weekdays 44,000 yen/66,000 yen; Weekends 46,000 yen/70,000 yen (plus 13% service charge).
“Legend of Spa” from Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok (Aug 4-26)
Ultimate spa therapists from the Mandarin’s mother spa in The Oriental Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok are coming to Tokyo for a limited time to offer authentic Thai treatments of “The Oriental Signature Treatment” and “Traditional Thai Massage” in the Spa Suite. Saves you a trip to Bangkok to experience these legendary treatments. The price of each 90-minute treatment is 42,000 yen (plus 13% service charge).
The Spa at Mandarin Oriental, Tokyo
2-1-1 Nihonbashi Muromachi, Chuo-ku, Tokyo, 103-8328
Hours: 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Telephone:+81 (3) 3270 8300