09 Dec 2014
‘I think today might be a day off. A hotel day?’ Said David looking up from the morning paper, the Japan Times.
‘Oh that would be perfect!’ I agreed immediately snuggling deeper under the doona. I’d only managed four hours sleep last night.
‘We can go to the gym, use the pool, have a drink in the bar…’ It sounded like the perfect way to get over jet-lag. And it’s days like today that make extended travelling more relaxing and less tiring. Besides it’s such a nice hotel; we should enjoy it.
The Park Hyatt is a little confusing to navigate but there is always someone there to escort you on your way. It occupies the top few floors of three glass and steel towers. To get to the gym we caught the lift from our room (on level 47) to the gym and spa reception (on level 45) where we were directed to different lifts to access the gym on Level 47 in the adjoining tower.
At the gym we were greeted by friendly staff who showed us around, gave us towels and water, explained the equipment and then left us alone. The equipment faces the floor to ceiling windows with amazing views of this huge city, so while my body was busy working-out, my eyes roamed over the city and my mind wandered.
After a good hour and a half in the gym we decided it was time for a dip in the pool. Back in our room after showers we dressed in our swimmers, bathrobes and fluffy slippers and returned to the pool. Scuffing through the plush jade green hallways dressed in our robes I couldn’t help remember a scene from Lost in Translation where two characters do the same thing.
There was a little ritual required before entering the pool. The friendly staff escorted us to a pair of poolside loungers, and gave us swimming caps and goggles along with more towels and bottled water. There is a poolside shower facility where you must wash yourself before entering the pool. After swimming a few laps we rinsed off the chlorine and lazed by the pool reading and writing. Ah, to be on holiday. I watched idly as a brave man cleaned the angled glass roof of the adjoining tower.
Later that afternoon we headed down to the bar for a cold beer and to watch the sun set over Tokyo. Cool pastel light giving way to a warm golden glow. People came and went around us as we sank deeper into our lounge chair, nibbling nuts and shooting the breeze. Late afternoon is the time that heavy-lidded jet-lag creeps upon us: back to the room for a sneaky snooze before the dinner reservation.
The New York Grill is up on the top floor, the 52nd floor, and offers jaw dropping 360 degree views. We were shown to a table by the window and inspected the menu. I ordered a Japanese steak and David had an American Rib-eye. I asked for it to be cooked as the chef recommended and it was melt-in-your-mouth delicious. It was sliced about 8mm thick and blue. I’m not usually good with raw steak but this was so perfect. It was the texture of tofu and had a wonderfully smoky grilled flavor. Wow. The carrot side dish was delicious too. The meal was seriously expensive but for an exquisite meal [best steak of all time] and with an amazing view, it was worth it!
The perfect end to a perfect day.