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Tokyo Christmas: love, diamonds and a $130,000 suite
TOKYO (Reuters Life!) - Straw in a manger it is not: a Tokyo hotel is offering a Christmas suite, including a small tree decorated with diamonds, for $130,000 a night in Japan's latest super-luxury promotion directed at a growing class of newly rich.
Two thousand years after the original birthday boy was born in a stable, guests of the Mandarin Oriental can slip into a bath with fresh roses, sip vintage champagne and breakfast on truffles, following a Japanese tradition that embraces Christmas as an occasion for romance.
"When we created this, we thought mostly Japanese would be interested in this package," a hotel spokeswoman said. "But we've also had a lot of inquiries from international guests."
The Mandarin Oriental's package includes a limousine service, diamond jewelry worth almost 12 million yen ($108,000) that the guests can keep, a spa treatment and a gourmet dinner served in the dining room of the 250-square meter presidential suite.
So far, no one has booked the Christmas suite, which rounds off a year that has seen the launch of a $15,000 diamond martini and a $108 hamburger in Tokyo, inventions reminiscent of Japan's 1980s "bubble economy" when the nouveau riche showed off their wealth with fast cars and lavish parties.
As Japan's economy recovers from a decade of stagnation, demand for luxury goods is still largely flat. But the market for super-expensive clothes, cars and holidays is doing better since it targets an elite that has not been affected by the 1990s slump, according to a report by consultants Bain & Company.
Christmas, the most popular foreign festival in Japan, centers around expensive gifts and romantic dates rather than family gatherings.
"In the festive season, people like to see luxury," the spokeswoman said. She said the presidential suite, which usually costs around 800,000 yen a night, is regularly booked by Tokyo residents who like to be pampered in a luxurious hideaway.
(Editing by Miral Fahmy)
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