Club on the Park, Shinjuku
I can’t help feeling that if Scarlett Johansson’s Charlotte had just gone to her hotel’s spa, she wouldn’t have been so sulky through "Lost in Translation." She was staying, after all, at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, and after an afternoon in its sky-high luxury spa, I am happy to report that it’s hard to feel anything but relaxed there.
The facials and body treatments at the Club on The Park (COTP) have long been available only to hotel guests and club members. But with the Park Siesta packages, anyone can enjoy a leisurely day of pampering that includes a choice of three dining experiences.
I chose to combine an aromatherapy massage with afternoon tea at the Peak Lounge. (Jet-lagged, I was afraid I’d fall asleep midway between the cocktails that come with the evening New York Bar package, and I’m not enough of a morning person to properly enjoy the sumptuous Healthy Living breakfast package at Girandole.)
I was greeted by name in the serene, pale green 45th-floor lobby of the COTP and presented with a menu of music for the massage and herbal infusions for rehydrating afterward. I stashed my shoes in a cubby and got a quick tour of the refined space, with its soaring view of the city on all sides. I was left alone to enjoy the whirlpool, sauna and spacious relaxation room for an hour before my treatment.
If you’ve ever dreamed of stripping down and hopping into the tiled fountain in the middle of a Roman plaza, the giant whirlpool here is the next best thing. The private showers, some with rain showerheads and full body side jets, are stocked with shampoo and conditioner from Australia’s Aesop brand. There are three saunas, one with a cleansing eucalyptus aroma, and a cold plunge bath.
Soaked into a relaxed state, I slipped on the thick, white robe that was hanging in the locker and settled into a leather lounge chair with a glass of cold tea and some dried fruit. I barely had time to browse the art books and fashion magazines before my therapist, Ms. Sakamoto, came to get me for my massage. In the subdued lighting of the cozy treatment room, she explained the benefits of each of four Aesop aromatherapy oil blends. I chose restorative rosemary. The natural water soundtrack I’d chosen burbled gently as I nestled face down on the white terrycloth-covered bed. Ms. Sakamoto then began undoing the damage that 20 hours of airplanes and departure gates had done earlier in the week. She started with hot towels pressed against the bottom of my feet (ahh), spent a long time working the oil into my back and limbs, and put me into a weightless trance with a scalp massage. The aroma blend was sweet and subtle. (My fears of smelling like a rotisserie chicken were entirely unfounded.)
She brought me back to my senses with a refreshing whiff of peppermint oil.
Some of the other treatments that can be included in the package—a facial, a Swedish massage, and a mineral stone massage—use Budapest’s Omorovicza line of spa products, some of which leave a powdered gold sheen on the skin.
She led me back to the relaxation room and soon brought the seasonal herbal tea I’d requested (more rosemary) in a glass pot that showed off the blend’s flowers and whole leaves.
After a little time to sip and readjust to gravity, I had another soak in the whirlpool and then got dressed and dabbed on more Aesop skin and hair products in front of a row of mirrors straight from a Hollywood dressing room.
I ordered the Afternoon Tea set, which has three tiers of treats: a plate of savory sandwiches, two scones with sweet sauces and clotted cream, and three rich mini-desserts at the bottom. The Sweet Tea set has a selection of pastries all created for the Pastry Boutique bakery downstairs. But this is only the beginning. For as long as you’re there (as long as you like up until 5 p.m.), servers bring around trays with an unlimited supply of more sweet and savory morsels. The selection changes frequently. I enjoyed salmon mousse, split pea puree, skewers of fresh mozzarella and tomato, and breaded triangles of fried cheese. The dazzling sweets tray included a coupe of apple jelly and panna cotta as well as a selection of pound cakes, perfect for dipping in the berry compote or the mango chocolate sauce designated for the scones. You may also try as many different pots of loose tea as you’d like—work through a variety of blacks, greens and herbals. And though your English friends might blanch, you can even choose from the coffee menu.
With its combination of impeccable service, amazing views and delicious luxury for all five senses, the Park Siesta is a wonderful re-entry into some of the best parts of Tokyo living—and a pretty decent cure for jet lag.
Address: Park Hyatt Tokyo, 3-7-1-2 Nishi Shinjuku, Tokyo
Open: Daily, 6 a.m.-10 p.m. (treatments available 9 a.m.-9 p.m.)
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