The Westin Sendai recently played host to the opening sessions of the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit 2012.
Before decamping to Tokyo, delegates were treated to world-class hospitality in this thriving metropolitan destination which, just a year after an earthquake and tsunami struck the region, is bustling with guests once again.
Here Breaking Travel News takes a look at what is on offer at the property.
A destination known throughout Japan as the City of Trees, Sendai combines the bustle and energy of a regional economic centre with the natural beauty of its scenic surroundings.
With its riverside oases and zelkova-lined streets, delectable cuisine, fine local crafts, and a history that dates back over four hundred yeas to when the daimyo Date Masamune chose this location for his castle, the city offers many attractions for international and domestic visitors alike.
The prefectural capital of Miyagi, the city is just an hour and forty minutes from Tokyo by bullet train.
The Westin Sendai opened in August 2010 as the first internationally branded hotel to serve the Tohoku region.
Occupying the upper floors of the landmark Sendai Trust Tower, the property offers panoramic views of the Aobayama hills and Zao mountain range to the west, and the city centre and Pacific Ocean to the east.
Westin Sendai is just minutes from the central train station, and the heart of the city is easily within walking distance.
Its location is also a convenient starting point for excursions to Matsushima Bay and other famed sightseeing spots in Miyagi, as well as places of interest further afield in the Tohoku area, such as Hiraizumi in neighbouring Iwate, named a UNESCO World Heritage site for its temple architecture, gardens, and archaeological digs.
Inside Westin Sendai
The interior design of the Westin Sendai blends today’s cosmopolitan modernism with elements that hard back to the city’s founding four centuries ago.
An artist and a scholar, Date Masamune was among the most internationally minded figures of his time; his appreciation of European aesthetics is a legacy that lends a distinct cachet to Sendai’s arts and culture today.
Today gold and black, along with rich vermilion accents and motifs that recall the imported aesthetics of old, are incorporated into the contemporary décor of the guestrooms and common areas.
In the soaring entrance foyer guests are greeted by an immense and subtly textured gold screen, a striking blend of European and Eastern opulence.
Each of the 292 spacious and luxuriously appointed guestrooms is furnished with Westin’s proprietary Heavenly Bed for maximum comfort.
Dining options include Symphony, the main restaurant, which offers a broad-range menu for meals from breakfast to dinner. Horizon, a lounge and bard, and Ichimuan, a Kyoto-style Japanese restaurant located on the tower’s uppermost floor, are also on offer.
From the sensory welcome of soothing music and wafting scents of white tea upon arrival, to instant assistance at the touch of a Service Express button through a stay, the Westin Sendai offers all the comforts preferred by discriminating travellers worldwide.
Facilities and Westin Sendai
Guest rooms at Westin Sendai offer cutting edge technology, including flat-screen televisions, a well-designed work area and the signature Westin Heavenly Bed and Heavenly Bath.
For further pampering, guests and residents are able to choose among a menu of relaxing treatments at The Heavenly Spa by Westin – situated on the 25th and 26th floors of the Sendai Trust Tower.
Eight treatment rooms welcome guests, as well as a sauna, wet area with whirlpool bath and a relaxation lounge.
Additional facilities will include two restaurants and a lounge, five banquet rooms, a wedding chapel, fitness centre and more than 5,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and function space.
The Westin Sendai anchors a mixed-use development located in what is the tallest building in the northern Kanto region.
Known for its beautiful scenery, tree-lined streets and museums, the fast-growing city of Sendai also offers visitors a wide selection of world-class restaurants, sleek shopping malls, arcades and traditional markets.
Leading area attractions include the many islands of Matsushima Bay, hot springs and the annual Sendai Tanabata Festival.
Starwood currently operates five Westin hotels in Japan, as well as seven Sheraton properties.