Lost in Translation at Park Hyatt Tokyo
Do you have a film that has captured your heart and stayed with you what seems like an eternity?
Tokyo’ Park Hyatt has a starring role in one of my all-time favourite films, Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, which I first watched a dozen years ago – how time flies! Over the following years I have re-watched it from time to time, always discovering new little moments and pieces of dialogue, which I seem to have missed previously, and the sweet platonic relationship between Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob Harris (Bill Murray) has never failed to melt my heart.
After visiting Tokyo for the first time almost two years ago, I came to realise that Lost in Translation is a film you can truly understand (and find very amusing) only if you have visited Tokyo as a tourist: the language barrier, the culture clash, the difference of people’s appearance, etc!
When I returned to Tokyo for the second time this past March, I felt that staying at Park Hyatt and in my personal way reliving some of the iconic scenes in my own way was one of the essential new experiences in this metropolis.
I wanted to explore parts of the hotel where so much of Lost In Translation had been filmed: the rooms where Charlotte and Bob spend their time either contemplating life or spending a few happy moments together; the swimming pool where Bob does his daily laps inadvertently clapping his eyes on middle-aged women doing their aqua aerobics; or the gym where he losses control of the Japanese-talking elliptical trainer; the New York Bar where Charlotte and Bob spend their evenings whilst listening to Saulsilito, a jazz band headed by the fiery redhead…
Park Hyatt Tokyo is known as one of the best and most luxurious hotels in the city, and temporary accomodation of choice for many a discerning traveller (or slightly-too-obsessed Lost in Translation fans like myself). The hotel is housed in the upper 14 floors of steel 52-storey Kenzo Tange tower, an oasis of calm on the edge of bustling entertainment district of Shinjuku. All of the 178 rooms are generous in size, offering panoramic cityscapes any which way.
On arrival, I was upgraded to the Park View Room, supposedly the best type of room to stay in unless you are splurging on a suite. The room offered soaring vistas in two directions with a deep soaking bathtub – my mind instantly flashes back to Scarlett Johansson’s character listening to a self-help audio book whilst submerged in it- that overlooks the city. When I entered the room, I was greeted by a bowl of scrumptious strawberries and a bottle of ice-cold Louis Roederer – I often joke that a way to my heart is through a bottle of champagne!
I have been lucky enough to have stayed in some of the best hotels in the worlds, and yet Park Hyatt managed to blow my mind! And not just because it was heavily featured in my beloved film. The rooms very unexpectedly spacious ( I believe that have been refurbished a little since Lost in Translation was filmed here in 2003). The bed was utterly comfortable, the linen felt like silk against my skin. The bathroom was filled with heavenly-smelling Aesop toiletries. The service was more than superb – from beginning to end it was efficient, courteous, and most of all extremely helpful (they even managed to safely and quickly retrieve my Maison Margiela boots from Palace Hotel!).
The New York bar was everything and so much more than what I had expected: the dark smoky atmosphere filled with the soothing sounds of jazz and delicious martinis.
I felt unusually sad to leave this fantastic place of lodging, but I am sure to be back!