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Hotels, Restaurants & Leisure

VIP-favorite Okura Tokyo back in business with $650 average rooms

Hotel's storied history includes stays by US presidents and Princess Diana

 The lobby of the new Okura Tokyo's Prestige Tower harks back to the old hotel. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

TOKYO -- A renowned Tokyo hotel across the street from the U.S. Embassy will reopen next Thursday after a four-year renovation, offering rooms with Japanese-inspired interior design and rates averaging about 70,000 yen ($655) a night.

The Okura Tokyo, renamed from Hotel Okura Tokyo and the flagship of Hotel Okura Co.'s network, showed off its new look to reporters Friday.

The interior seeks to stand apart from foreign hotel chains' locations in the capital. Design elements for the premium side of the new accommodations include translucent shoji-style screens and engawa-porch-inspired seating.

Hotel Okura Co. President Toshihiro Ogita said last year that the rebuilt hotel's room prices would be set at "the highest level in Tokyo."

The old hotel opened in 1962 in Minato Ward, the capital's embassy district, and welcomed many world leaders and royals over the decades, including U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama as well as Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana.

A room in the Heritage Wing of the new Okura Tokyo looks out on Tokyo's embassy district. (Photo by Konosuke Urata)

It ranks among Tokyo's most prestigious accommodations, alongside the Imperial Hotel Tokyo and Hotel New Otani Tokyo.

One of new hotel's two main structures, the mid-rise Heritage Wing, houses guest rooms on the sixth to 17th floors under the top-of-the-line Heritage brand.

In the high-rise Prestige Tower, guest rooms occupy the 28th to 40th floors, with rates expected to average about 50,000 yen a night. The Imperial Suite rooms on the 39th and 40th floors cost around 3 million yen.

The tower's main lobby features lantern-style ceiling lights from the original hotel. The high-rise's eighth through 25th floors will serve as office space, acquired and managed by Nippon Steel Kowa Real Estate.

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