Hoshinoya Hotel Tokyo – a brand new old-style Ryokan

The Hoshinoya opened in 2016

Today’s post is once again influenced by my love for Japan, Tokyo and the amazing buildings that you can find there.

Riddle me this: You do construction work in a multi-million people city and find a natural hot spring. What do you do with it?

Answer: You do some more construction work and put a multi-million-yen building on top of it, call it a traditional-yet-modern Japanese Inn and connect the hot-spring up to the 17th floor.

This is very close to what really happened in downtown Tokyo very recently. The result is the magnificent Hoshinoya Hotel right smack in the middle of Tokyo’s business district Otemachi – a 5-star treat with a real Japanese flair.

The Telegraph describes the interiors:

“A clever addition to Tokyo’s hotel scene, the city’s first luxury ryokan fuses contemporary design and traditional craftsmanship with high-tech touches. The tower is encased in a black metal grid repeating a traditional Japanese kimono motif.

Inside, there is a dramatic double-height genkan entrance with a seasonal flower display, indigo walls, sliding paper screens, expanses of aromatic Japanese wood and modern-style cotton jersey kimono outfits for guests.

The 84 guestrooms are split into groups of six on 14 floors – with each floor resembling a self-contained ryokan inn, with its own Ochanoma lounge. Here, at a communal wooden table or on low sofas, staff serve o nigiri rice balls, coffee, tea or seasonal sakes.”



Hoshinoya is good at hospitality and excellent service, because that is what Japan is good at. In the style of a tradition al Ryokan (Guesthouse or Inn) the staff takes care of the guest and makes sure that he or she longs for nothing. This concept is known as “omotenashi” in Japanese and it is truly lived to its fullest potential.

Omotenashi - long-for-nothing at the Hoshinoya.

Omotenashi – long-for-nothing at the Hoshinoya.


What does it cost to whatch your dreams on a fluffy futon, after soaking in the Onsen, enjoying a dinner delight of the most delicious traditional Japanese cuisine and staff bringing you tea and slippers before bed time? It will be in the region of $590 to $1000, depending on season and room options. But remember: When you are there, you must take off your shoes at the entrance and show your best manners.

Sliding washi screens and tatami mats with soft futon beds make up the standard room at the Hoshinoya Hotel.

Sliding washi screens and tatami mats with soft futon beds make up the standard room at the Hoshinoya Hotel.



Venturing into luxury fashion’s sensory branding: From BOSS candles to edible Birkin Bags



Venturing into luxury fashion’s sensory branding: From BOSS candles to edible Birkin Bags

When teaching fashion branding, I often like to look into futuristic topics, picking up on the latest trends. So recently, my class and I ventured into the world of sensory branding of the luxury fashion world.


Imge source here.

For those of you who are new to the term, it basically “is a type of marketing that appeals to all the senses in relation to the brand. It uses the senses to relate with customers on an emotional level. Brands can forge emotional associations in the customers’ minds by appealing to their senses. A multi-sensory brand experience generates certain beliefs, feelings, thoughts and opinions to create a brand image in the consumer’s mind.” (Wikipedia)

Specifically in fashion, the POS (point-of-sale) such as the flagship store is the most suitable place where all senses can be triggered. Students went out to the shopping district in Munich and examined flagship stores such as Louis Vuitton, Hugo Boss or Max Mara and others on Visual, Tactile, Auditory, Olfactory, Gustative elements.

Overview Men´s Floor Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost Opening 23.04.2103 Foto: Louis Vuitton

Overview Men´s Floor
Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost; Foto: Louis Vuitton

Facade Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost Opening 23.04.2103 Foto: Louis Vuitton Louis Vuitton Mesh Design Foto: (c) Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton Maison München Residenzpost; Foto: Louis Vuitton

They came back with very interesting observations: The luxury stores have a thoroughly and very specifically designed interior, which caters to the visual and tactile sense by using luxurious materials and subtle colours (as well as lighting). Furthermore, the background music is soft and elegant, because this makes one linger longer in the store (as compared to loud and fast music which also shortens the time a customer spends in store).


Image source here.

When it came to the olfactory sense or simply put smell, my students became highly interested in the topic. How is smell integrated in the flagship stores? There is actually an entire industry catering to boutiques of all sorts, supplying fragrances for the so-called “ambient scent branding” which makes us feel relaxed and enchanted when we enter the premises. The big names of today’s scent manufacturers are Givaudan, Firmenich and IFF as well as Symrise. But this is actually nothing new: Singapore Airlines was one of the first companies to use a signature scent inside their cabins way back in the 80s. And in 2015, Hugo Boss has a signature ambient fragrance which they also let you take home in the form of a scented candle.

Scented Candle Tambodi Wood by BOSS

Scented Candle Tambodi Wood by BOSS; Image source here.

The last sense left to cover is taste. It is not something that immediately makes sense when thinking of luxury fashion. However, marketers have not been ignoring it and came up with a clever idea: The flagship stores now boast a cafe, restaurant or bar.

For example, Armani has the Armani Caffé in Munich and Burberry has followed the trend closely by opening a Café at its Regent Street flagship store this past summer. If you happen to be in Shanghai, there is the 1921Gucci is a fully-branded restaurant at the top of its store and in Tokyo the Maison Hermes Le Cafe will serve a coffee with miniature chocolate Birkin bags.

Thomas's - Burberry Café London

Thomas’s – Burberry Café London

Gucci chocolate

Gucci chocolate – Image soure here.

Hermes Birkin Bag chocolate

Hermes Birkin Bag chocolate – Image source here.

So what is next? – one wonders. How can fashion tempt us by reaching us on all physical and emotional senses? Have you eveer explored the topic of sensory branding? What do you ebvision for the future?

Originally posted on Worn Through:


Spa CHANEL au Ritz Paris


Image source here.

Here’s fantastic news, as first seen on my fellow-blogger’s page “I love green Inspiration”:

Chanel will be taking up it’s long history with the Ritz in Paris by creating a day-spa full of Chanel beauty products. What a lovely idea!


Image source here.

“The Chanel/Ritz partnership makes sense for many reasons. Coco Chanel herself was a fan of the Place Vendôme hotel and lived there for more than three decades in what is now called the Coco Chanel Suite. In fact, the famous Chanel No. 5 perfume is in a bottle reportedly inspired by the architecture and design of the Ritz. And although Chanel has been selling beauty products, from sunscreen to lipstick, for many years, this will be their first attempt at having an entire spa stocked with their branded products and treatments.

Le Weekend De Chanel

Le Weekend De Chanel

Image source here.

So far, the French luxury brand is keeping mum about any specific offerings or prices, but we can already hear spa-goers from around the world frantically looking for good flight deals to Paris. Meanwhile, the Ritz’s website will reportedly begin taking new reservations as early as next month.” Source here.

And here is some history, icluding the roots of Ritz in Switzerland:

Source by I love green Inspiration: Spa CHANEL au Ritz Paris

Brunch at the Victorian House Munich

Today my Singaporean friend Howie and I went to the Victorian House in Munich for some lovely late brunch.

The restaurant is really special, as it serves authentic British food and has about 20 different classic British breakfast dishes. It’s located opposite the old market place called “Viktualienmarkt”. Whenever I feel like I really miss London, I come here and treat myself to some eggs benedict, pancakes or just a nice “cuppa.”

They actually have 4 other locations in Munich which you can check on their site here.

The Viktualienmarkt in Munich on a Sunday is rather unspectacular...

The Viktualienmarkt in Munich on a Sunday is rather unspectacular…

Outside the Victorian House

Outside the Victorian House


In deep thoughts with my historic friend....

In deep thoughts with my historic friend….

Just in case you were wondering about the fashion: The purple leather Jacket is by Amaya Arzuaga and the bag is a small Gucci Boston bag.

He is too funny!

He is too funny!

It really feels like I am back in Britain, when I look at the lovely interior....

It really feels like I am back in Britain, when I look at the lovely interior….

Pankaces and fruit - only at the Victorian House

Pankaces and fruit – only at the Victorian House

A lovely bowl of fruit

A lovely bowl of fruit