Tokyo

Claska

Rates from (ex tax)$210.38

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (JPY28,512.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Cool kid on the block

Setting

Metropolitan Meguro

RUNNER-UP: BEST BUDGET BOUTIQUE HOTEL – SMITH HOTEL AWARDS 2015

Claska hotel in Tokyo’s shop-stuffed Meguro district is part hotel, part gallery, part event space and part boutique, and it excels in each of its roles. The hotel even shares space with a fancy dog-grooming salon, DogMan, downstairs…

 

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

A half-bottle of sparkling wine. GoldSmiths also get free breakfast on each morning of their stay.

Facilities

Photos Claska facilities

Need to know

Rooms

18, including two suites.

Check–Out

12 noon, but flexible, subject to availability. Earliest check-in, 3pm.

Rates

Double rooms from $210.38 (JPY24,000), excluding tax at 18.8 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional local city tax of JPY200.00 per person per night on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (JPY28,512.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Breakfast is usually excluded; WiFi is free.

Also

Claska was designed by Tei Shuwa of Intentionalities and the British design firm Tomato, and was named Best Hotel at Wallpaper's inaugural design awards in 2004.

At the hotel

Gallery/design space and boutique, stash of CDs and DVDs for guests to dip into. In rooms: TV, CD/DVD player, iPod dock, minibar, Marks & Web herbal bath products.

Our favourite rooms

Opt for a Japanese Modern Room or a Tatami Room. The former occupy the fourth and fifth floors and feature plenty of dark wood, a masculine brown colour scheme and graceful bespoke furniture. Tei Shuwa, who also designed the restaurant space and hotel exterior, is responsible for these rooms' good looks. Room 502 has an abundance of natural light; 402 is a vast space with a terrace, so you can pretend you've got your own Tokyo apartment. Tatami Rooms are on the cerulean-carpeted sixth floor, which has a communal chill-out lounge, and were designed by Kaname Okajima, with pretty paper lanterns and contemporary furniture. 604 is popular with Westerners, thanks to its huge bed.

Packing tips

Leave room in your case for design-conscious knick knacks from Do, Claska's gallery and shop. Pick up Asahi beer from one of the local vending machines to leave in your fridge, ready for in-room sushi feasts from nearby Chiyoda Sushi.

Also

Smokers, rejoice: all bedrooms are smoking rooms, and you can light up in the restaurant. Non-smokers, fear not: any whiff of smoke will be erased by staff before you arrive, and the restaurant is reserved for non-smokers at at certain times.

Pet‐friendly

Nope, despite Dogman, the dog-grooming salon downstairs. See more pet-friendly hotels in Tokyo.

Children

This hotel is best suited to adults, but children can come too. Babysitting is available for JPY1,890 an hour; extra beds are JPY5,000 (plus service charge and tax), and there is a children’s lunch menu.

Food and Drink

Photos Claska food and drink

Top Table

Stake out the two tables overlooking the street and DogMan and smirk at the canines being coiffed.

Dress Code

Japanese denim; vintage frocks.

Hotel restaurant

Kiokuh (meaning 'memory') is the sleek white restaurant and bar by the lobby, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. The food fuses Japanese and Italian influences and ingredients: typical dishes include fritto misto with green-tea salt and Japanese citrus, and pizza with prosciutto and wasabina (a Japanese vegetable). Save some room for the Italian cheese plate and the interesting puddings: rosehip and hibiscus granita, for example, or apple mille-feuille with earl-grey gelato. 

 

Hotel bar

Sit on one of the honey-coloured couches in the vast lobby bar and do the following things: order cockails, inhale a round or two of nibbles, admire the stylish locals and wink at the DJ. Claska holds monthly parties in its bar (often to mark new exhibitions and shows), resulting in two of our favourite things: late nights; free drinks. 

Last orders

The restaurant/bar stays open until 11.30pm; order food until 10pm and drinks ’til 11pm. Breakfast is available between 7.30am and 11.30am; lunch is 11.30pm until 2.30pm and dinner is dished up between 6pm and 10pm.

Room service

Order food to your room between 7.30am and 11pm. The full restaurant menu is available during the restaurant’s opening hours; lighter snacks after that.

Location

Photos Claska location
Address
Claska
1-3-18 Chuo-cho Meguro-ku
152-0001
Tokyo
Japan

Planes

Narita International Airport (www.narita-airport.jp) is the closest, 80km (a 90-minute drive) away. This airport serves as the main international hub for Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines, as well as low-cost carriers Jetstar Japan and AirAsia Japan. Alternatively, Haneda Airport is a 40-minute drive away, and mainly handles domestic flights (www.haneda-airport.jp‎).

Trains

Meguro Station is just 1km away, a seven-minute drive. You can easily catch trains from here to Tokyo and other must-see cities (www.jreast.co.jp).

Automobiles

Not worth worrying about – it's easier to rely on public transport.

Worth getting out of bed for

Explore Meguro and see how the locals live. This untouristy district is bursting with tiny independent boutiques and local eateries and everyone in the area seems to have a dog or a fixie bike (or both); borrow bikes from the hotel to blend in. The main drags are Meguro Street (Claska’s street), which is full of amazing furniture shops that will have you itching to redesign your living room. This street is part of MISC – Meguro Interior Shops Community – a collection of over 60 shops. Be sure to visit Chambre de Nimes (http://chambre.innocent.co.jp), Geographica and Acme Furniture for antique treasures. The other main street is the pedestrianised road en route to Gakugei-daigaku Station; here you’ll find plenty of little restaurants and shops with no other tourists in sight. Look out for the jewellery shop Galica, off on a little side street. From Gakugei-daigaku Station (a 12-minute walk), you can get a direct train to the shopping hubs of Shibuya and Shinjuku. Meguro Station is less than a 10-minute cab ride. If you want a romantic stroll, ask staff to point you in the direction of Rinshi-no-mori Park, Himonya Park and Meguro Canal.

 

Local restaurants

Chiyoda Sushi is a take-away sushi outpost that serves some of the freshest sushi and sashimi we’ve ever clapped teeth on. Take a box back to your room for a snack or a casual in-room dinner. You might not expect to eat Californian cuisine in Tokyo, but Indigo (+81 3 3710 3399; www.restaurant-indigo.co.jp) at 1-12-6 Chuo-cho, Meguro is well worth having a sushi-pause for. Enjoy pre-dinner drinks at Wine Bar Indigo, just around the corner. Stop for delicious home-made noodles and fish and vegetables cooked in perfect tempura at Yukotu Soba. Sample Michelin-starred Japanese food at smart Kappou Suzuki (+81 3 3710 3696; www.kappou.jp) at 2-16-3 Takaban, Meguro, Tokyo.

 

 

 

Reviews

Photos Claska reviews

Anonymous review

This Mr and Mrs Smith are returning to Tokyo less than a year since their last visit. Why so soon? Because once Tokyo bites you, it’s hard not to be drawn back into the immense energy of a city that 37 million people call home and where cultures of all shapes and sizes constantly jostle for attention.

On this trip, rather than gravitate towards the shiny steel, bright lights and flagship stores of Ginza or Shinjuku, we're keen to sample Tokyo’s more subtle and contemporary beauty. It’s a protean city where culture, crowds and trends move fast and, for the past five years, Tokyo’s definitively cool boutique retail and furniture design scene has been creeping down off the hills of Daikanyama into Nakameguro and Ebisu. Claska sits right at the apex of this new cultural hotspot and, as it was opened in 2004, is in many ways a forerunner to what are now considered to be the coolest suburbs to be in Tokyo. This will be our basecamp.

Designed by Tei Shuwa (from the legendary British design firm Tomato), Claska is an exceptional new version of an old hotel. It rises like a Rubik’s Cube above the low-slung surrounding neighbourhood, making it easy to spot for weary and disorientated guests. We’re palpably excited as we approach, which might explain why the taxi driver asks if we are on our honeymoon.

Though modern in design, the service at Claska has all the hallmarks of traditional Japanese hospitality. Bags are whisked away before you know it and the ever-cool and attentive Katsu Shimizu-san at the front desk makes the effort to prepare our room, despite the fact we are six hours early. We are ushered towards the lobby café, which serves salted caramel and banana jam from heaven and coffee that can spike the energy level of even the most exhausted tourist. We watch the adjacent dog grooming parlour go about its lucrative business of providing the neighbourhood’s treasured pooches with fashionable haircuts and manicures. It’s wild, ridiculous and fascinating – we are definitely in Tokyo!

After a walk through the local park, where we watch everyone from grandparents to kids (and some tame turtles) making the most of a hot summer day and cool waterfall, we return to Claska, where our Japanese Modern Room is waiting. The colours are cool chocolate-browns, off whites and indigo-blue, the materials natural and the ambience so refined and relaxing that the long-haul flight is already a distant memory. The Claska design philosophy is most obviously at play in the hotel bedrooms, which are beautifully composed. The room is a harmonious sum total of parts, where objects like our stunning tea set perch perfectly on the type of modernist furniture that you can buy up and down Meguro-ku. It is timeless and tranquil, but in no way boring or generic.

The next two days are nothing but a dream for the Smiths. We make the most of the Claska in-room menu, which is artfully illustrated and provides a humorous A-Z of products to enhance your stay: we borrow iPods with bespoke playlists to enjoy while exploring the neighbourhood, we drink quaalude tea at night to help us relax before sleep and we take in epic views of the city from a rooftop terrace that’s blissfully free of other people. Best of all, we commandeer Claska’s free 'tokyobikes', that put us within an easy 10-minute pedal of the great experiences featured on Claska’s 'Tokyo by Tokyo' iPhone app.

As always, the departure from a great hotel is bittersweet. The joy of knowing you’ve discovered something special is offset by the sorrow of having to leave. We soften the blow at Do, Claska’s gallery and shop, which is the perfect place to buy gifts for all the people you love back home. I walk out wearing ‘Shoes Like Pottery’, which have soles that are fired in a kiln. I’ve also managed to fill a large bag with ceramics, clothing and daruma dolls that confer good luck on the recipient. The storm outside is biblical, but the youthful and energetic Taka-san braves the tempest to hail us a cab, provides us with an umbrella and gives the ageing taxi driver direct instructions for our onward journey. Just like Claska itself, it’s the best of old and new Japan at play.
 

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Claska’s Guestbook below.

We loved

The room and hotel were nicely designed and staff extremely helpful. Great food too! Hotel has great restaurant recommendations.

Don’t expect

To be in the hustle and bustle of Tokyo.

Rating

Stayed on 15 Nov 2016

We loved

Lovely decor both in the rooms and the lobby. Great, friendly service.

Don’t expect

Be prepared to have to catch a bus or a taxi to get to the closest subway. The location is its only downfall.

Rating

Stayed on 17 Nov 2015

We loved

The hotel's recommendations, the bar, the coffee!

Don’t expect

Luxury design, total comfort!

Rating

Stayed on 31 Aug 2015

We loved

Big and comfortable bed. Simple and elegant furniture. Quiet location in a cosy Tokyo area.

Don’t expect

Central location, closest metro station is 20 minutes away (on foot).

Rating

Stayed on 28 Aug 2015