Yokohama’s Hotel New Grand has a special place in the history of US-Japan relations: Apparently it’s the hotel where General Douglas MacArthur, who ran the occupation of Japan, first stayed when he got there. Today, though, it’s more than a dusty museum: It’s a working hotel that still caters to guests both foreign and Japanese with the best service around–I know, I’ve stayed there at least 3 times! Let’s take a little tour.
This grand (get it?) flight of stairs is near the entrance, and is kind of the hub of the whole place. The last time I was there, we saw a wedding procession being led down those steps! While happy for the beaming couple, I couldn’t help but wonder how much the whole shindig probably cost them. Grand, indeed!
I guess the hotel was constructed with Western or European sensibilities in mind, but there are telling details that peg it as quite Japanese if you look closely.
The underside of those lamps, for example, look like taiko drums…I love the fins, a very dragon-esque touch!
Speaking of dragons, you can see more in this ceiling relief. These subtle touches actually extend to every aspect of the hotel even today.
The rooms are well appointed, with room service including a “Western breakfast or Japanese breakfast” option that has…everything! Having pancakes and bacon brought to your room on a silver platter is kind of neat.
…or intimate enough for two. The garden outside is quite spectacular, not to mention well-maintained. It’s Japan, after all!
No blog about The New Grand would be complete without mention of the top-notch bar (open until 12 I believe, your martini shaken, stirred or however you like it) and the divine coffee, all served with the attention and care that we’d expect from yesteryear but seldom see today. Go for the history and stay for the wonderful experience. Trust me, you won’t regret it!