Asia Adventures-traveling Tokyo and Hong Kong

  

Mount Fuji

Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel in Tokyo is a 5 Star Hotel as well an award winning property and member of The leading Hotels Of The World. Featuring understated luxury, traditional grandeur and a true sense of sophistication. This Hotel is truly stunning. Opening in May of 2012 this new Hotel caters to the international traveler. With 290 rooms and suites, located across the street from the Imperial Palace, and boasting amazing Palace garden views along with Palace historic centuries old moat side setting.

 

Palace Bedroom Suite

 

Palace Bedroom

 
This grand property is just minutes from the Tokyo train station. Designed with the business traveler in mind they have 8 multi purpose rooms, 1 formal boardroom that seats 28,and 2 meeting rooms. The main ballroom has wide windows overlooking the impressive Imperial Palace grounds. The Palace Hotel tailors each corporate event to the clients need and has hosted many high profile events.
 

Palace Hotel Sushi Restaurant

 
The 10 restaurants and bars in the hotel are first class and there are many private dining rooms for business dinners. Michelin 2 star Chef Shinji Kanesaka operates the sushi outpost within Wadakura a quartet of Japanese dining options. From sushi, tempura, and teppanyaki.

Palace Hotel Teppanyaki Room

I enjoyed a fillet mignon steak dinner prepared right in front of me in a small 10 seat Teppanyaki room. On the 6th floor the French Restaurant Crown is also a food lovers delight and has beautiful views of the cityscape below. 

Crown Restaurant wonderful Tokyo city view

On the 5th floor Amber Palace serves superb Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisines. Prive is perfect for a casual western lunch with indoor and outdoor seating. The hotels boasts 3 bars, downstairs the Royal Bar is for smoking cigars and enjoying mixed martinis the old fashioned way. My stay was in a Club Room which gave me privileges to the private Club Lounge on the 19th floor with amazing views of the city below and hosts wonderful breakfast. Cocktail hour in the Club Lounge is champagne, wine, and appetizers.

Palace Club Lounge cocktails and stunning view

Mixology night at Palace Club Lounge

Once a week a mixologist whips up some tasty drinks.. This private lounge and the hotel restaurants are a great setting to host a client or hold an informal meeting. The concierge can set up many private excursions throughout the city to meet you and your clients needs. To read more go to The Palace Hote Tokyol

Imperial Palace Gardens

I loved strolling the  historic Imperial Palace garden grounds and seeing the barracks where Samurai lived.

Elite Samurai Barracks

Lower Ranked Samurai Barracks

School Children visit Imperial Palace Grounds

A fun night excursion is the Robot Restaurant Show featured on CNN.

 

Robot Pre-Show Waitress

Here in an intimate theater you'll find a mix of beautiful sexy dancing girls, live music, followed by performers inside huge 10 foot robots dueling with swords and spinning around just feet from your seat.

Robot Show Drummers

Robot Show Sexy Dancing girls

The stage is just feet from your seat

Fun times at Robot Show

The closing number features a gigantic neon army tank parading out.

 

Robot Show Finale

After the Show Take Photos with your favoirte Robot

This show will dazzle your senses and put a smile on your face. To see video from the show go toThe Robot Restaurant

 
Seven airlines fly the 11 hour direct flight from LAX into Tokyo including American, Delta and United. Arriving at the Narita Airport which is an hour from the city. Most visitors then jump on the comfortable
Narita Express train for the hour journey to Tokyo station with its hundreds of new restaurants and shops located under the heart of the city. A stay at the 5 Star Shangri-La Hotel which is adjacent to the train station is ideal. This property was named the Number 1 Hotel among top 100 world hotels 2013 by Institutional Investor.

Tokyo Shangri-La Bell Girl

Upon arrival the Shangri-La bell man or girl will meet you right on the train platform as you exit and take you and your bags to the Hotel. Again doing  the same for your departure. This luxury 200 room Hotel opened in 2009 and is the first Shangri-La Hotel in Japan. They have 75 properties around the world.

Tokyo Shangri-La Lobby

Wedding and Banquet Room

This property catering to the international business traveler recently launched "Authentically Tokyo" a new 3 night 4 day package with extensive meeting rooms, facilities, lunches and dinners. Offering local dining experiences outside the Hotel and excursions to Hakone's hot springs, or bullet train to Kyoto for a memorable outing. Also shopping in Tokyo's world famous Ginza district, the vibrant restaurants of Marunouchi are all just a short ride from the Shangri-La Hotel which is located in the financial heart of Japan. The Hotel features two signature restaurants, Piacere serving authentic Italian cuisine, and Nadamen where I had a superb Japanese dinner. I had a soothing massage at their world class spa CHI, featuring ancient Chinese healing therapies. With it's 6 treatment rooms that are the largest self contained spa suites in Tokyo. Read more about this property at  Tokyo Shangri-La

Shabu-Shabu at Zakuro Restaurant

 
Around the corner from the hotel is Zakuro restaurant a great place for a Shabu-Shabu lunch or dinner with friends or clients. Here your kimono clad waitress will help you cook paper thin raw meat and chopped vegetables in a seasoned boiling broth, accompanied with dipping sauces. I thoroughly enjoyed my first Tokyo experience. They have 4 locations in Tokyo. To read more about them go to  www.zakurorestaurant.com 
 

Victoria Peak view looking down on Hong Kong

 
Only American and Cathay Pacific fly the 14 hour direct flights from LAX to Hong Kong. HK if you have never been before is divided into two half's, Central Hong Kong on one side of Victoria Harbour and Kowloon Hong Kong on the other side. My first stay was at the spectacular 565 room Island Shangri-La located in Central HK..

Horizon Club Lounge at Island Shangri-la Hotel

 

Deluxe Bedroom

 
Named best business Hotel in HK  by Business Traveler for the 3rd straight year. Opening in 1991 Island Shangri-La stands a towering 56 floors above the picturesque Victoria Harbour. The lobby features the largest mural in the world stretching up all the way to the 56th floor. Catering to the business traveler this property boasts 34 suites with privileges at the opulent Horizon Club Lounge located on the 56 floor with sweeping views. A perfect place for a casual breakfast/business meeting or cocktails at night. The Hotel offers one ballroom, 6 function rooms and a special function space called The Atrium. They can customize your business meetings and events, now offering a program 'Experience it' with go green coffee breaks and lunches featuring sustainable seafood and locally source cuisine. Also a guided green walk to nearby Hong Kong Park which has a spectacular atrium with over 200 exotic colorful birds. 
 
 

Hong Kong Park Atrium

 
Honored by Conde Nast Traveler as one of the best Hotels in the world for dining. Island Shangri-La's restaurant Petrus offers fine French Cuisine. I enjoyed an amazing traditional Cantonese dinner at their Michelin 2 Star Summer Palace. Both Summer Palace and their classy Japanese restaurant Nadamen offer private rooms as well for business lunches and dinners. To read more about this hotel go to Island Shangri-La
 
The best way to experience Hong Kong for the first time is to take a Gray Line Tour. I did the Deluxe Hong Kong Island 7 hour tour. Our guide arrived in a shuttle bus at my Hotel and a small group of a dozen of us were whisked off through the city streets to the Man Mo Temple built in 1847. Next stop was a ride aboard the scenic steep Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak. There you walk along the Sky Terrace the highest viewing platform in Hong Kong making for spectacular photos of entire city below.

Gray Line Tours Boat Ride

 
Later we boarded a small boat where we weaved through the floating Aberdeen Fishing Village where hundreds of fishermen and families live on their boats full time partly because Hong Kong boasts some of the worlds most expensive real estate and rentals.

Jumbo Kingdom Floating Restaurant

 
Our boat then docked at Jumbo Kingdom for a Dim Sum lunch., This huge floating restaurant has hosted the likes of Queen Elizabeth to Tom Cruise. Then it's off for shopping at Stanley Market and finishing at the Tse Sui Luen Jewelry Company. Gray Line offers many shorter tours as well. To see all their tours go to Grayline Tours
 

Aqua Luna Chinese Junk Cruise

 
In the evening I enjoyed  Aqua Luna,  a 45 minute cruise around Victoria Harbour on a traditional Chinese Junk Boat. Here you have spectacular views of both sides of Hong Kong with buildings along the waters edge lit up and bathed in neon lights. Many visitors and locals line up along the waters edge to eat drink and stroll as they watch the nightly 15 minute lazer show with orchestration music known as The Symphony of Lights. Others enjoy taking photo with the Bruce Lee Statue. Your hotel concierge can arrange your Aqua Luna tickets. To learn more go to Aqualuna Cruise
 

Hong Kong at Night

 

Lazer beams shoot across the harbour from buildings tops

 

Bruce Lee Statue on the Waterfront

 
The Shangri-La boasts a second wonderful HK Kowloon Property as well.

Stunning Kowloon Shangri-la Lobby

 
When entering the lobby of the Kowloon Shangri-La Hong Kong you are struck by the beauty of gleaming Statuario marble, glittering Viennese chandeliers, a two story marble fountain and two large murals. With 688 elegantly appointed rooms and 42 suites offering breathtaking views of Victoria Harbour below,
 

Beautiful sitting areas and city views

 
This Hotel is the winner of 'World Top Hotel Gold List' from 1997-2013 and ranked 3rd among all HK hotels 2011-2013 by Conde Nast Traveler. They have 3 floors of Club level rooms. Here you have access to the Horizon Club with private check in and late check out. The Horizon Club Lounge also provides an intimate complimentary breakfast and cocktail hour. But don't skip the main dining room buffet breakfast, it is simply one of the best I have ever been to. Enjoy the fresh squeeze juice station where you can choose from 15 or more exotic fruits to blend. they feature a full Chinese selection of amazing Dim Sum and cooked local dishes. In America we think of Dim Sum as lunch but in HK it is traditionally eaten for breakfast.  Accompanied  by a full western station to customize your eggs, omelette, and pancakes to your liking. They feature a vast selection of fresh baked breads, muffins, pastries and cakes. Like the Central Shangri-La everything about this sister property is big and classy, From their marble bathrooms, huge bay windows to see the spectacular Victoria Harbour below, to the 24 hour exquisite room service.
 

First Class Dining at Shangri-la Hotels

The Hotel also features many restaurants. The Michelin 2 Star Shang Palace seats 160 people and serves exquisite Chinese cuisine. I had an amazing dinner there. From the Peking Duck, to Beggars Chicken cooked in a clay pot that I got to crack open with a mallet. We sampled a dozen meat, fish and noodle dishes all top notch. The Japanese Nadaman restaurant here seats 138. They are fully equipped for meetings and banquets, featuring 6000 pillar-less space divisible into 3 separate function rooms. with 11 additional function rooms. They have live satellite conferencing via television that can be conveyed around the world. You can this property at Kowloon Shangri-La 

 
Just a 5 minute walk from the Hotel lobby is Nathan Street with its bustling shopping and restaurants. Here is a great place to get a custom tailored men's suite made to order. Just stroll down the busy street and the tailors will come out and approach you. Hong Kong is often called the New York of the east, and like NY it is a great walking city, so go out and explore.
 
   
 

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