tokyo: hotel koé opening

© stripe international / photography: kenta hasegawa

as a leading global hub, tokyo has its fair share of well-designed five-star hotels, but in the mid and lower segment, appealing options have been relatively few for a long time. but with the 2020 summer olympic games looming on the horizon, the japanese capital's hoispitality scene has been shaken up with the arrival of new establishments that tick all our boxes. the latest affordable property to open its doors in the popular shopping district of shibuya, is design-led hotel koé. it's owned by stripe international, a tokyo-based company with a varied portfolio of fashion brands, cosmetics, food brands and hospitality venues.

as for the latter category, the company has so far managed a café on the premises of its head office in harajuku and two koé green eateries in the greater tokyo area, but has now leaped forward by opening this high-profile, lifestyle and culture-inspired property. interestingly, it's linked to koé, one of stripe international's handful of fashion brands that offers timeless and understated men's and women's apparel, and this aesthetic approach has been extrapolated to create this hospitality format. making this very clear is a namesake flagship store that can be found on the second floor. it isn't coincidental that hotel koé has opened in the buzzing shibuya district as it taps into the neighbourhood vibe, blending fashion, culture and food, aiming to offer a fresh take on tokyo urban life.

the contemporary interior, designed by local practice suppose design office, is inspired by japanese culture. the branding, art direction and graphic design by creative agency artless lends the concept a modern edge. the sense of modern japan arguably is most evident in the rooms on. the aesthetic of each of the ten rooms takes cues from the tea ceremony room, a symbol of traditional japanese culture, but this has obviously been done without compromising on comfort and style. situated on the ground floor is the lobby area and reception desk, but also koé lobby, an all-day bakery-restaurant produced by satoshi kakegawa, chef at popular french bistro äta in daikanyama. the establishment offers an elaborate menu of tasty bites and drinks in an austere setting that makes clever use of the building's bare concrete shell and exposed utility pipes.

a giant wooden staircase leading to the upper floors ties in with the timber furnishings. as said, the koé shibuya store is one floor up, featuring apparel pieces, including store-exclusive items, in addition to lifestyle goods, and limited-edition items created in collab with artists. the very heart of the hotel koé concept is on the third where guests lay down their head. the guestrooms come in four categories, each in a diferent size and format. the overall design is understated yet welcoming, and oozes modernity with a strong japanese twist. at 100 sqm. [1,076 sq.ft.] the xl room is obviously the biggest one in the house, featuring a living area and a separate bedroom.

while the neighbourhood offers plenty of opportunity for jolly banter, hotel koé pitches in with some fun of its own. the so-called private lounge is a sleek and minimalist space that can be accessewd by hotel guests and members only, serving japanese green tea, powdered green tea and special drinks exclusive to the hotel, including original cocktails with a green tea base. additionally, on the ground floor, there's koé space, a versatile event space which allows the hotel to collab with the local creative scene on many levels. this means a rotation of special events offering sale items in collab with other brands, and regular dj parties during weekends. needless to say, hotel koé redefines tokyo's fun side on more than one level. location: 3-7 udagawa-cho [shibuya].

© stripe international / photography: kenta hasegawa