In the three decades since first opening its doors, the ANA InterContinental Tokyo has become an instantly recognisable part of the city’s skyline—and a key piece of the fabric that connects business, government, tourism and social activities in Japan’s capital.
Michel Chertouh, who worked for five years at the InterContinental Hotels Group’s Bali property, arrived in August as the new regional general manager for Tokyo and Okinawa. He told BCCJ ACUMEN that he intends to build on the heritage that the hotel has established over the years while simultaneously evolving its offerings to meet the constantly growing needs and desires of guests.
“The hotel’s location, its range of facilities, its selection of guest rooms and suite accommodations, its extensive restaurants and bars, its reputation for fine service and the global appeal of the InterContinental brand all form the basis of its popularity”, he said.
“Looking to the future, as our markets and customer audiences—both here and abroad—continue to change, our exciting challenge will be to ensure that the offerings of ANA InterContinental Tokyo also evolve to ensure their relevance”, he said.
Room to relax
Underlining this commitment to provide the very best services and facilities was the introduction in November of brand-new Club InterContinental rooms, which offer a “distinctly enhanced experience” and are accompanied by the Club InterContinental lounge experience for guests.
The design of the rooms was inspired by the spirit of kintsugi, the Japanese art of using gold to repair broken pottery to transform it into a new thing of beauty.
The new rooms feature king-sized beds with luxury linen and have been designed to make the most of the breathtaking views of the city. Guests can enjoy Ferragamo amenities and a THANN Spa upgrade program, and can also request a range of services—including Tokyobike rentals—that will give them a unique interface with the city.
For foodies, a two Michelin-star breakfast designed by renowned French chef Pierre Gagnaire or a sumptuous afternoon tea experience in the Club InterContinental Lounge overlooking the city is a wonderful way to relax.
“This is all quite unique and has been designed to very much connect our guests with the city and the very best that is available in Tokyo”, Chertouh said.
And with the city gearing up to host the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Chertouh believes this is the perfect time to be in Japan.
“This is a hugely exciting environment, and there will be a lot going on in the coming months and years—which is rather a contrast to my previous post in Bali, where every day was a Sunday for our guests, the vast majority of whom were holidaymakers”.
“For me, both professionally and personally, it is a fantastic time to be in Japan, with economic growth, a strengthening position on the world stage, and an impressive special events calendar that includes the Rugby World Cup and the Olympics.
“I firmly believe these elements will serve to amplify the vibrant destination appeal of both Tokyo and Japan, and I am looking forward to working hard with my team and our local partners here to extend this appeal well into the future.”
And the potential of the ANA InterContinental Tokyo, he believes, is immense.
“Through product and service innovation, we will ensure that the hotel’s venues play a leading a role in the city’s dining, events and celebrations market”, he said. “At the same time, continued capital investment in the physical product will ensure that our guest rooms and public spaces contribute to Tokyo’s destination appeal, both through direct experience and through our international marketing efforts.
“We can already see that happening and it is a pleasure to be part of it”.
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