The Ritz Carlton Spa & Fitness by ESPA is one seriously elegant, world-class experience. Occupying the whole 46th floor of the Ritz Carlton hotel in the heart of Tokyo Midtown, it covers a vast 2000 square meters, making it one of, if not the largest luxury hotel spa + fitness facility in Japan. Spacious and airy, with exquisite classical details following from the rest of the hotel décor, this is the ultimate high-class destination to work out, relax, pamper, or beautify (or all of the above).
Right from the reception area, you get a glimpse into the ethereal experience to come—a pristine 4-lane, 20-meter pool area set against huge windows with a perfect view of the open sky and sprawling metropolis far below. You will discover this view again inside the inner spa area, in the zone for what the Ritz Carlton calls the “Heat Experience,” which they recommend before treatments. Exquisite pale beige granite sets a sacred temple-like tone for this tranquil space, where there is a dry sauna, steam sauna, cold bath, and the centerpiece, a perfectly circular oversized hot stone bath from which one gets a panoramic corner view of the city. Time seems to stand still while entranced in the ritual of the “Heat Experience,” so be careful not to be late to your treatment.
This spa was the first in Japan to team up with the elite British spa consultancy and products maker ESPA, and there is a wide selection of powerful and effective treatments on offer, based on solid spa science and aiming for results. There are even 6 and 12 series courses for those who want to continue the treatments periodically to get the maximum benefit. To note, a “Men Especially” menu, starting with their “Blissful Back Scalp & Face” treatment and various facials, draws quite a high ratio of men to the treatment rooms compared to other hotel spas.
Their lineup of ESPA Essential treatments of holistic massages (choice of 60 or 90 minutes) is personalized to address specific needs. Highlight picks are the “Intensive Muscle Warmer,” a unique massage that uses hot stones to release muscle tension, and the “Cleanse and Detoxify,” a massage using the special ESPA detox oil to eliminate toxins and excess fluids. Also on offer are “Jet-Lag Reliever” and “Immune Recovery,” as well as more conventional Swedish and Balinese massages. There are mini 30-minute therapies such as the “Instant Eye-lifter” facial and body scrubs that can be added on to your treatment of choice.
The nine treatment rooms (and one spa suite, accommodating two people) are luxuriously spacious and most are equipped with a shower room, which is necessary when getting a salt scrub. Although somewhat fussy, one can appreciate the level of customizing angles and cushioning of the massage bed that it is done to ensure that you are in the perfect position for the treatment to have the best effect. (Of course you can also tell them you want the bed simply flat the whole time too). I imagine even the most delicate person would feel secure and relaxed on these beds, and in the hands of the graceful and careful therapist. Locker rooms are softly lit and also generously spaced, with various ESPA skin care products lined up for you to use liberally.
Although the spa, including the pool and fitness, is open to hotel guests (use of locker rooms and Heat Experience requires a fee of 5,933 yen), it functions primarily as the prestigious membership-only Ritz Carlton Fitness Club. There is a members-only lounge on the spa floor, which is only for the Fitness Club members. (Please contact the hotel for membership rates. After hearing the membership fees, it may seem like a blessing to be able to use the spa facility as a hotel guest, even with the extra fees).
It is also possible for outside visitors (not staying at the hotel) to book treatments, but they will need to pay a day spa fee of 10,500 yen. But here is some info that is good to know: the spa periodically offers promotional day spa packages for outside visitors that start from 19,900 yen, which includes the day spa fee. It’s a great opportunity to get a taste of this gem of a spa without being a member or a guest at the hotel. Check the spa’s website or call directly for latest rates and info.
Ritz Carlton Tokyo
Tokyo Midtown, 9-7-1
Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-6245 Japan
Phone: +81 3 3423-8000
Fax: +81 3 3423-8001
Ritz Carlton Spa & Fitness by ESPA: +81 3 6434-8813