TOKYO -- Hotel Okura said Monday that its flagship Tokyo property will reopen in early September 2019, as competition intensifies for customers seeking luxury accommodations.
The new facility, originally set to open next spring, will begin operations in time for the 2020 Summer Olympics. It will be rebranded as The Okura Tokyo and consist of two buildings with 508 rooms total, about a third more than the original.
The 41-story Okura Prestige Tower will feature 368 rooms with a standard size of 50 sq. meters and offices on lower floors. The 17-story Okura Heritage Wing will have 140 rooms of about 60 sq. meters with widths of more than 8 meters.
The average price of a guest room in the smaller and more upscale Okura Heritage Wing will come to 70,000 yen ($639) per night, 250% higher than before. President Toshihiro Ogita said the price will be "the highest level in Tokyo." Rooms at the larger Okura Prestige Tower will run an average of 45,000 yen to 50,000 yen a night. The building will also contain banquet, wedding and fitness facilities.
The historic Hotel Okura Tokyo opened in 1962 and closed its doors in August 2015 for demolition and rebuilding. Considered one of Tokyo's classic "big three" hotels, along with the Imperial Hotel Tokyo and Hotel New Otani Tokyo, the Hotel Okura Tokyo towered above these rivals as the city's poshest establishment.
The expanding upper class, including in Asia, and increase in travelers to Japan has fueled demand for upmarket lodging. Upon reopening in 2012, the Palace Hotel Tokyo raised prices 120% to about 52,000 yen -- a level even above the big three -- and saw occupancy rates improve.
Hotel Okura also has more than 20 locations abroad, the most out of the big three. "Our name is growing abroad," said Ogita on the reasons behind the rebuilding.