Serviced apartments are gaining attention these days as we move through the transformation of lifestyles caused by the COVID pandemic. Serviced apartments have become spaces that meet a wide variety of needs for those who travel between city and suburbs, or for those looking to be refreshed from working from home. Three people who know Roppongi Hills well have stayed at its serviced apartment recently. This is what they have experienced.
Photo by Kohei Omachi
TEXT by Akane Maekawa
Edit by Jun Ishida
Translation by Yoshiko Kogi
Masako SHIMAZAKI / Office worker
“I often go to Roppongi Hills to watch movies with my child,” says Masako Shimazaki. Shimazaki, a former publicist for a luxury brand, has worked at the forefront of the fashion industry and is now a mother raising a mischievous four-year-old. “After the movie, we go straight to Roppongi Hills for an early dinner. Most of the restaurants have menus and cutlery for children. I get the impression that the entire facility is friendly to people with children.”
Choosing a hotel for a trip is always a challenge for her as there are many things to be careful of when traveling with a child. Therefore, when she goes on vacation to Hawaii, she chooses to stay in a residence with kitchen and laundry facilities instead of a hotel.
For this report, Shimazaki and her family stayed in a 67-square-meter room with a living and dining area with a kitchen and a bedroom. Each space is arranged around a bathroom designed in the center of the room, creating a continuous floor plan.
“The rooms are designed in such a way that they are not separated from each other, making the space feel very spacious. There is a movable wall between the living room and the bedroom, so after putting the child to bed, I can gently move the partition to make it a private room. I love the fact that I can relax and have a drink in the living room. When you have a child, it’s surprisingly difficult to have time for yourself while traveling. If the bedroom were completely private, my son would feel uneasy about being alone, and if it were a studio, he would have no choice but to sleep with me (laughs). Also, as a Japanese person, I was happy that the bathroom was spacious and had a separated tub and washing area.”
One of the privileges of staying at a serviced apartment is that you can use HILLS SPA, a members-only spa and fitness club. The spa offers a wide variety of service, including sauna, pool, jacuzzi, beauty treatments, gym, and massage. Shimazaki also experienced a body massage with aromatic oil at the spa during her stay. “The treatment I received used a natural essential oil called “YON-KA” from France. I was able to choose from four different scents. It was very relaxing. The spa is located in a building across the street, but the entrance was unobtrusive, so it felt private. The space inside is designed as you don’t have to face other customers. I thought it was very considerate. There is also a rental service for clothes, shoes, and swimsuits, so you can go with empty hands when you have free time. It makes it easy to use.”
The spa also has a dining room. The customers can enjoy meals with organic vegetables and carefully selected ingredients prepared by the dedicated chef. Breakfast service here is included for residents of the serviced apartment. “The vegetables and fruits were very fresh and tasty. The atmosphere was very cozy. I could see some people who had come straight from using the spa. It seems everyone was making good use of the benefits of the residence. It felt very at home having meals here with my family, as we were on vacation even though we were right in the middle of the city”, says Shimazaki.
For Shimazaki, as a family stay resident, the presence of a health consultation room exclusively for residents seemed to be one of the most reassuring facilities among the many services available. Affiliating with Jikei Medical University Hospital, the Health Consultation Room has bilingual nurses on call 24 hours and doctors available 2-3 days a week to help with everything from health management to dealing with illness. “The most difficult thing to deal with when traveling is when you suddenly get sick. I have a child, so having a place where I can immediately get consulted makes me feel very secure. I think this is a unique and reliable service, especially for guests from abroad,” says Shimazaki.
The COVID pandemic has made it difficult for people to travel abroad or to the countryside. Shimazaki says that staying in a serviced apartment was a true experience of living and enjoying a vacation. “My husband said he wanted to stay here when he wants to concentrate on his work. At home, I have a lot of things to think about, but with all the basic services, I can concentrate on my work without worrying about other things. I also have access to a spa and gym, so I can get myself refreshed. My son also enjoyed exploring the Hills. There is also Sakurazaka Park nearby, looks to be an exciting place for children. Now that I can’t travel far, I think that spending an extraordinary vacation while working in Tokyo might be a new lifestyle. It’s also nice to be able to go home anytime if I have to (laughs).”
(*Fees will be charged for beauty treatments, massages, personal training and yoga lessons at HILLS SPA.)
Worked as a publicist for an overseas luxury brand for 11 years. Using the experience she gained as a publicist, she is now currently working for a fashion-related company.
Address 6-12-1〜4 Roppongi Minato-ku Tokyo Access a 5-minute walk from Roppongi Station (Hibiya and Oedo Subway Line) and a 9-minute walk from Azabu-juban Station (Namboku and Oedo Subway Line)
In addition to the Roppongi Hills Residence, Mori Building has serviced apartments in three other locations: Atago Green Hills Forest Tower, ARK Towers, and the Prudential Tower Residences.
MORI LIVING SERVICED APARTMENT
Contact Mori Building Co., Ltd. Residential Department
Tel 0120-52-1806 *JAPAN ONLY.