I just spent six days in Tokyo and stayed at the Park Hyatt Hotel in Shinjuku. This is the hotel in which a large part of the movie “Lost in Translation” happens. I loved the movie, and so, instead of staying at the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi Hills where I usually stay, I decided to give the Park Hyatt a shot to see if it would capture some of the magic.

Did it ? Yes in a strange way… This a top class business travelers hotel. The design, the rooms, the famous pool, the even more famous bar, the service, everything is definitely up to the best standards. One definitely feels well taken care and nothing is out of place.

This is where it captures some of the movie’s feel : you walk in on the second floor (main) entrance. You then take an elevator to the 41st floor where the lobby is situated. You must then walk through lobby, restaurant, and book-filled hallway to get to the front desk and do your check-in. Then you take another elevator to your room (higher up). “Lost in Translation” starts kicking in. You have a view over all of Tokyo, you’ve got serious jet lag, you’re floating and you’re away from home. The design is perfect but cold. Japanese relaxation DVD is playing on the huge flat screen. Not the slightest item out of place in the huge room, everything there for a reason. You are away from home. And the Shinjuku location doesn’t help either because though relatively central and very upscale, the dimensions are of the kind that have huge towers in their own grounds and you do nothing on foot. You ARE away from home and it all starts becoming a little lonely. I can just imagine how a scenario such as that of “Lost in Translation” could come to mind in place like that and yes, it is the place where actors stop when they come to do promotion in Tokyo. I crossed Antonio Banderas at the pool on friday morning.

Tokyo is a strange place… Not beautiful. Compelling. Does the Park Hyatt add to the experience ? I don’t know… For some maybe. For me, next time, I’ll be returning to the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi, center of Tokyo nightlife, where one feels all in all less “lost in translation”.