Festive offerings at Tokyo hotels

As the Christmas season approaches, hotels warm up the mood with sparkling illuminations and gorgeous tree decorations, and prepare a variety of seasonal events and culinary offerings. Here are some of those special Christmas offerings that Tokyo’s premium hotels have this year. Find your best way of spending this festive season with your loved ones.

Champagne dining specials

At The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo, French fusion restaurant The Dining and Chinese restaurant China Shadow will prepare a special Christmas dinner, accompanied with a glass of champagne, from Dec. 22 to 25.

The Dining offers original fusion-style cuisine that introduces the flavors of Italy and Asia to a traditional French base. The special course include a glass of champagne, amuse-bouche, smoked tuna carpaccio with caviar, sauteed foie gras with taro potatoes and truffles, crispy sauteed turbot and lobster tortellini, grilled “wagyu” beef filet, Christmas special dessert, and coffee and mignardises.

China Shadow’s special dinner comes with a glass of champagne, smoked duck and scallops, steamed Christmas dim sum, shark fin soup, deep fried prawns with fruits, roasted sirloin, seafood fried rice and special Christmas dessert.

The courses are ¥12,000 and available between 5:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. at The Dining and between 4:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. at China Shadow. For Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, dinners start from 6 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.

The Strings by InterContinental Tokyo is located in the Shinagawa East One Tower, a one-minute walk from the Konan Exit of Shinagawa Station. Tel: (03) 5783-1111.

Christmas at home

The Hilton Tokyo will focus especially on extended takeaway menus, helping home party organizers make this year’s festivities special.

The Takeaway Christmas dinner comes with traditional roast turkey with stuffing, four kinds of hotel hors d’oeuvres, buche de Noel and a variety of gingerbread, priced at ¥20,000 for two people or ¥38,000 for four people.

The ¥200,000 Luxe Hamper comes with a one-night accommodation voucher for two in a Deluxe Floor Tower Suite and is packed with a bottle of Dom Perignon, foie gras, caviar, black truffles and a Christmas sweets assortment, including stollen, colorful macaroons and festive chocolates.

The Friends Hamper, designed for a more casual party, includes Christmas stollen, gingerbread, chocolates, macaroons and various Christmas ornaments, priced at ¥5,000.

Roasted turkey, ham, Christmas cakes and sweets are sold individually as well.

The takeaway menus are available until Dec. 25 at Checkers Patisserie Counter and Chocolat Boutique Tokyo. Reservations are required one week in advance for the Takeaway Dinner, the Luxe Hamper, and roast turkey and ham.

The Hilton Tokyo is a two-minute walk from Exit C8 of Nishi-Shinjuku Station or a 10-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station. Tel: (03) 3344-5111.

Refreshing treatment

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo’s Spa & Wellness Joule will offer a Christmas Spa Package, which heals you during the festive but busy season with a luxury champagne bath, from Dec. 1 to 25.

Before receiving the 75-minute Dermalogica Advance Facial treatment, you will have 45 minutes to relax in a private bath in the treatment room, filled with Moet & Chandon Brut Imperial and fresh rose petals.

Before and after the treatment, you can also enjoy swimming and fitness exercises for free (until 9 p.m.).

The treatment is available from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is a nine-minute walk from the West Exit of Shinjuku Station; there is a direct connection from Exit A7 of Tocho-mae Station. Tel: (03) 3348-1234.

Early Italian dinner course

For those who want to celebrate the season a little earlier than others, the Four Seasons Tokyo at Chinzan-so has prepared an Early Christmas — La Vigiglia dinner course.

The authentic Italian Christmas full course is prepared from Dec. 1-21 at the hotel’s Il Teatro Italian restaurant.

The course includes bacalao pate with zampone and lentil salad; pumpkin cream soup with ravioli; guinea fowl lasagna with buffalo mozzarella cheese; scampi lobster saute eggplant parmigiana; roasted veal fillet with black truffle mustard sauce; special desert Christmas Tree Ball with grilled panettone and red wine and chocolate mousse; and coffee, tea or espresso.

The course is available from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and costs ¥18,000.

From Dec. 22-25, the restaurant will prepare a “Natale” course for ¥24,200.

The Four Seasons Tokyo at Chinzan-so is a 10-minute walk from Edogawa-bashi Station on the Yurakucho Subway Line. Tel: (03) 3943-6936.

Christmas afternoon tea

The Shangri-la Hotel Tokyo, which is celebrating its first Christmas, will introduce a special Christmas version of afternoon tea at the Lobby Lounge from Dec. 1 to 25.

Christmas Afternoon Tea, ¥3,900, will feature seasonal delights presented in festive colors with specially blended flavored teas. A Champagne Set is available for an extra ¥2,000, which comes with canapes and Champagne in addition to the Christmas Afternoon Tea menu.

Moreover, from Dec. 19 to 25, guests will receive a special gift of flavored tea sachets by Leafull.

Afternoon tea time is from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The Shangri-la Hotel, Tokyo, is a five-minute walk from Tokyo Station. Tel: (03) 6739-7888.

Eat as much of what you want

The ANA InterContinental Tokyo will prepare a Christmas Dinner Buffet at the 2nd-floor Cascade Cafe from Dec. 19 to 25.

The buffet offers major Christmas dishes, including roast turkey, as well as a range of European and Japanese foods. Under the theme World’s Christmas Cakes, cakes of a variety of colors and shapes will decorate the desert counter.

The buffet is ¥7,500, ¥6,000 for those over 65 years old, and ¥3,750 for those 4 to 8 years old. The two-hour buffet is available between 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with starting times from 5 p.m. or 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 19, 20, 23 and 24.

The ANA InterContinental Hotel Tokyo is a five-minute walk from Tameike-sanno Station. Tel: (03) 3505-1111.

Put some soul into Christmas

The Grand Hyatt Tokyo will treat soul music fans this Christmas with its popular, annual disco event, Club Chic, Dec. 25.

The special Christmas version of Club Chic, filled with music and dancing to the greatest ’70s hits and classics, features a mini live show by popular soul music singer Bro. KONE, and soul music dance lessons by Michael Tsuruoka, otherwise known as the “King of Soul.”

The event is held in the 3F Grand Ballroom from 8 p.m. to midnight (last entrance 11:30 p.m.).

Prices, including unlimited drinks, are ¥23,000 for VIP tickets and ¥13,000 for regular tickets. Minimum age: 20 years old. Dress code is semiformal; jeans and sneakers are prohibited. Please refrain from coming by car.

The Grand Hyatt Tokyo is a three-minute walk from Roppongi Station. Tel: (03) 4333-8838.

Dance the year away in style

Once Christmas is over, it is time to count down to the New Year.

The Royal Park Hotel suggests a good way to welcome 2010 with its New Year’s Eve buffet, countdown dance party and “hatsumode” traditional Japanese New Year’s custom after the party.

After enjoying a dinner buffet from 10 p.m. at the Crown Banquet Room, enjoy dancing in the Royal Hall with ’60s to ’80s R&B and disco classics performed by oldies cover band Scar Face Project and DJ Inaba. Professional dancers also will take the stage.

After the party, which runs from 11 p.m. through 12:30 a.m., the hotel will provide free buses that go to popular hatsumode site Sensoji Temple in Asakusa for those who want to pray for health and happiness in the new year.

The party is ¥10,000 for adult and ¥5,000 for children ages 4 to 12, including the buffet and drinks.

The Royal Park Hotel is at a five-minute walk from Ningyo-cho Station; there is a direct link between the hotel and Suitengumae Station. Tel: (03) 3667-1111.