'I Think I'm Turning Japanese' in the Tatami Suite at The Kitano
Hawaii may have plenty and San Francisco a select few, but who could have guessed that New York would be harboring a traditional Japanese guest room in Murray Hill? At the Japanese-owned Kitano Hotel on Park Avenue, an 805-square foot room on the 17th floor takes center stage as "Manhattan's only authentic Japanese Tatami Suite."
Prevalent throughout hotels in Asia and not just in Japan, a wa-fu room, or Eastern-style accommodation, means all the comforts and serenity that one expects from Japanese life. Since New York's Kitano often hosts discerning travelers as well as homeland celebrities in this room starting from $715 a night, no detail is overlooked for authenticity. Expect futon beds, sliding shoji screens as room dividers, complimentary green tea and a separate tea ceremony room for drinking it. We can't forget about the marble bathroom with its Shiseido toiletries, soaking tub and heated toilet!
It may be the perfect place for impressing foreign clients or taking a self-imposed breather from the city, but you need not stay here to have the experience. The hotel boasts two traditional Japanese restaurants: Hakubai and the Garden Cafe.
Reserve a private tatami dining room at Hakubai and order up a 10-course Kaiseki dinner presented over three languorous hours to truly unwind with friends. Many a New York gourmand will be thrilled to hear that the Kitano occasionally offers up fugu, or poisonous blowfish.
Since this economy isn't doing anything for our future Tokyo plans, we just might find ourselves hitting up The Kitano for some exotic food tasting.
[Tatami Suite Photo via Kitano Hotel]