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Tokyo luxury hotels (newer consolidated thread)

Tokyo luxury hotels (newer consolidated thread)

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Old Jan 21, 19, 2:22 pm   -   Wikipost
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Reviews of Tokyo hotels to be found in dedicated threads (If you review another Tokyo luxury hotel, put it in a thread and add a link here, thanks!)

Aman Tokyo (not a formal review but as detailed as one) -- https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...ferrerid=14479

Mandarin Oriental Tokyo -- https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...ferrerid=14479

Peninsula Tokyo -- https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...ferrerid=14479

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho -- https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/show...ferrerid=14479
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Old May 24, 18, 9:34 am
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Tokyo luxury hotels (newer consolidated thread)

Since the old thread, which is located here

Tokyo Luxury Hotels (consolidated thread -- older thread, now closed)

has been around for more than 10 years and is quite long, I am closing it and opening this new thread for discussion going forward.

RichardInSF, moderator, luxury hotels and travel

Edited to add: As suggested by a number of members, reviews of individual Tokyo luxury hotels were each put in a dedicated thread. Wiki above has links to those threads.

Last edited by RichardInSF; Jan 21, 19 at 10:20 pm
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Old Jun 1, 18, 10:21 am
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As requested by @chinmoylad and @bhrubin in the Aman thread, I'm just going to post a quick review of my stay at Hoshinoya (I didn't plan on making it a review so I don't have a ton of pictures and they are also not great - my apologies).

I booked only one night at Hoshinoya and stayed there earlier this week. I had very high expectations coming in.
Hoshinoya is a "wannabe" urban ryokan, I'm saying wannabe because it does have a lot of the ryokan experience but it's also missing quite a lot as well.

It is just 2 blocks away from Aman, in Ōtemachi. A lot of people say that the neighborhood is not the best, and yes it is mostly a business area. However, I found it to be quite convenient as it's a very short walk from Tokyo Station, so you can hop on basically any train from there whether it's the local JR, the subway or the Shinkansen.

The building exterior is quite striking, it's very elegant and modern.
Upon entering the hotel, I was welcomed by a staff member who took all my luggage right away, and asked me to remove my shoes.
I gotta say, there's something REALLY nice about walking around in a hotel with no shoes on .

I was whisked upstairs, and arrived in the reception area with its massive, gorgeous desk.


I was asked to sit and was brought a refreshment while they were checking me in. Something I find usually frustrating in Japan is how long it takes to be checked in and checked out. I waited a solid 10 minutes, and even if it doesn't show on the picture at some point there were 6 staff at the desk. Japanese bureaucracy .

Anyway, I was finally brought up to my room on the 6th floor. I had booked a Yuri room (Corner Deluxe King), which is their highest category before the Executive Triple. Each floor has only 6 rooms I believe, and a lounge. And each guest is self contained to its own floor; you cannot access any other floor besides the reception and the public bath and spa all the way up. This is how the hallway looks like on a room floor:



The lounge:



I'm not going to lie, upon entering my room I was a bit like... meh. It was much smaller than what I was expecting, and also it kind of lacked the wow factor I was expecting. It is very pretty for sure, and tastefully designed, but somehow I was expecting something more. There were 2 low armchairs and 2 coffee tables, a big dresser, and a fairly small glassed bathroom (the glass frosts at the push of a button). There is a separate toilet room as well.

Upon entering the room:


Towards entrance of the room:


The bed:


The bathtub:


I have to say one thing: the bed is INSANELY comfortable, which is a striking difference with Aman... The comforter is so, so fluffy, I took pictures of all the labels so I can recreate this at home. Honestly it was tough to get out of it in the morning .

Something to be aware of is that Hoshinoya is not in a skyscrapper, and it's also surrounded by office buildings. If I opened the paper screens, I could basically have a sign language conversation with the office drones working across the street . There are no views whatsoever, but I knew that coming in so it was a disappointment.

Anyway I settled in, and after changing to a yukata I started feeling a little better about it and appreciate the environment.
I went to hang out in the lounge. They provide tea and coffee all day (it's self serve), and some very tasty snacks. There are various salty crackers, and sweets as well as ice cream balls. Some of those snacks stay there all day, some of them gets rotated depending on the time of the day.

I hung out there for a while to respond to some emails and also basically had a snack based lunch since I got lazy and didn't want to go out .

Again, I really started digging the whole atmosphere, and enjoyed myself and relaxed.
Something to be aware of: I was the only person on my floor. That helped a lot. Quite frankly if all the rooms were occupied, and if everyone decided to hang out in the lounge, it would most likely be a bit of a zoo. There is not enough sitting for a full occupancy and we would be all piled on top of each other.

A lot of people have reviewed very positively the spa and public bath upstairs, so I decided to head up there. As usual, it is sex segregated so you can't hang out there with your better half if you are in a heterosexual relationship . The bath has an indoors and an outdoors area connected by a small tunnel. The outdoors area is the one that is in pictures everywhere, but I found it a little underwhelming. When I arrived there there were 2 loud American bros, which was very annoying (they make it clear that you're not supposed to have loud conversations in there). Then another guy arrived, and was also completely clueless about the whole process as he kept rinsing his towel in the water, etc. So I got annoyed and left .

Later on I ordered some in room dining. Your only other option is a restaurant downstairs, but it is a very high end one and I believe it needs to be booked in advance. I had no interest in that as I was already booked for Sushi Yoshitake 2 days later and just wanted to chill in my room anyway. The food was good, nothing special.

Other than that, service was nice and attentive. Something noteworthy is that there is a good amount of activities organized on property, some are free, some are not. The only paying activity I took part in was a tea ceremony, which was pleasant as there was only one other guest with me. The only thing is that I found it grossly expensive (nearly USD100). It lasts 40 minutes or so, and you get to try making matcha yourself.

Then I did 3 other free activities.
The first one was a sake "happy hour" with a short Japanese show. You get to taste 4 different types of sake while watching a performance by a Japanese artist. In my case, it was a lady doing tricks, clown style (I actually found it to be a bit off with the overall atmosphere of the hotel as she was super loud, but whatever).
The second activity was learning how to properly wear a kimono or yukata, and also learn how to move, sit, and do everything gracefully while wearing it. I enjoyed it, especially learning about all this etiquette stuff and being horrified at how I didn't do any of this before .
The last activity was a breathing workshop in the evening (it's at 10pm), where they teach you breathing techniques to help you relax. I believe they also do it in the morning, with other techniques to invigorate yourself.

Finally, a light breakfast is included with every rate. You can pay more and have a full breakfast if you prefer. Free breakfast is 2 rice balls with some tea or coffee.



So my conclusion: there were a few disappointments initially, but after several hours on property I was really happy to be there. I completely forgot that I was in a city during my stay. If you are planning on staying there several days, I'd recommend planning at least a full day just to stay on property and relax. But I can't stress enough that I also enjoyed my experience because I was the only guest on my floor. At full occupancy, this would probably not have been as fun.
Also, you can score really nice discounts if you book early, and the longer you stay the cheaper it gets. From 6 nights, you can stay there for less than $300 a night which is a GREAT deal (I paid roughly twice that).
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Old Jun 1, 18, 11:41 am
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Sorry to come to this thread empty handed as regards photographs, but a few notes on the Aman. Overall, we'd probably go back but it is not up to the breathless editorial it has received.

First impression was outstanding - warm welcome, dramatic lobby, huge suite (corner) with spectacular views and that whole zen decor thing going. After a few days, reality set in and we found:
-not one person seemed to know our name or room number anywhere (something we are used to at Amans), though the staff was very friendly. Certainly no management interface.
-the room is classic style over substance: I simply got sick of all the wood. Ash toned wood everywhere and a lot of hard edges. As well, storage wasn't great - no drawers in end tables, the lighting controls in the LR were at the far
end of the room (!) and many of the areas did not have enough light for reading. We also found the bed hard.
-bathroom is beautiful with a soaking tub and killer views. The Spa is excellent and the swimming pool very special.
-service in the restaurant was challenged, so we only went for breakfast. One morning we asked to eat a light breakfast, rather than the full breakfasts included that were groaning boards of food. Pancakes took 35 minutes, despite
only 4 covers in the house. We actually had to leave. To add insult to injury, we were charged a supplement for ordering ala carte although both the price and volume were lower than what was allowed. Of course, any decent
place would have comped the breakfast anyway, given that one of us had our food 30 minutes before the other. It was taken off the bill at check out, but was irritating and unnecessary.

At this price point, we hoped to love this hotel as much as many others do, but it just seemed to lack something. The location works well for us and the views are special, so we might well return. But I think that expectations
should be kept a bit in check, as, for us, anyway, not the perfect haven it appeared to be upon first glance.

We didn't use the concierge service at all, other than trying for one restaurant which they said did not allow them to make reservations. I am not sure how I'd feel about this place during a very busy period, with the combination
of a full house plus people stopping in for tea, etc. as it is an attraction for many on its own.
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Old Jun 2, 18, 11:16 am
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Someone has the Prince Gallery email?
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Old Jun 2, 18, 3:08 pm
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If you want the concierge try this. [email protected] Helpful last year although in the end through no fault of the hotel.
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Old Jun 3, 18, 3:49 am
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Originally Posted by flapland View Post
If you want the concierge try this. [email protected] Helpful last year although in the end through no fault of the hotel.
Thank you
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Old Jun 3, 18, 2:23 pm
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Thanks for the review @bhrubin.
I enjoyed reading all your reviews.

How did you manage to get a rate of $234?
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Old Jun 3, 18, 3:41 pm
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Originally Posted by dolceguess4 View Post
Thanks for the review @bhrubin.
I enjoyed reading all your reviews.

How did you manage to get a rate of $234?


Thanks. I originally had used 35K points until I noticed the SPG.com rate had dropped to $350-400 or so. That was low enough for me to not want to use points. I managed to find in Dec 2017 on agoda.com a rate of 33,165.18 JPY and submitted, for my first time ever, a Best Rate Guarantee claim to SPG. That was approved a few days later (with another 20% discount for being approved) to a final rate of 26,532.14 JPY. That at the time came to $234, but today it’s $242.

That was the first and only time I’ve ever submitted a BRG claim. I always search now whenever I use a paid rate...but in the USA I most often find the AAA rate is better than almost any other published rate on even discount sites. I’ll have to see if that continues once Marriott fully takes over in August.
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Last edited by bhrubin; Jun 3, 18 at 3:47 pm
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Old Jun 6, 18, 8:37 am
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Originally Posted by bhrubin View Post


Thanks. I originally had used 35K points until I noticed the SPG.com rate had dropped to $350-400 or so. That was low enough for me to not want to use points. I managed to find in Dec 2017 on agoda.com a rate of 33,165.18 JPY and submitted, for my first time ever, a Best Rate Guarantee claim to SPG. That was approved a few days later (with another 20% discount for being approved) to a final rate of 26,532.14 JPY. That at the time came to $234, but today itís $242.

That was the first and only time Iíve ever submitted a BRG claim. I always search now whenever I use a paid rate...but in the USA I most often find the AAA rate is better than almost any other published rate on even discount sites. Iíll have to see if that continues once Marriott fully takes over in August.
Current FHR rate for entry level (?) room is > 60,000Y for September visit. Skipped in favor of 4/3 deal at MO. Mandarin Grand King @ 51000Y net.
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Old Jul 13, 18, 11:44 pm
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What would be the most affordable/cheapest 5 star hotel in Tokyo? From my research it would be Prince Gallery using a third party website?
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Old Jul 14, 18, 12:56 am
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I have to say that PH Tokyo probably should lose a few notches in this forum. The way they behaved on my last stay was more akin to 3* star than anything resembling one of the finer hotels in the world. I had a serious peanut allergy related F&B incident and they didn't offer any service recovery beyond a bland apology. This is a hotel and brand that prides itself on making 'luxury personal' and allegedly knowing their guests better than they know themselves.

I should have been less trusting and scrutinized everything I ate but usually they were pretty good at making substitutions and warning me about peanuts. They used to ask about tree nuts just to be careful. It was precise, diligent service that was keeping PH Tokyo in the Tokyo luxury hotel game but if that's gone then all they're left with is big, 25 year old rooms.
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Old Jul 14, 18, 6:14 am
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Originally Posted by kzap View Post
What would be the most affordable/cheapest 5 star hotel in Tokyo? From my research it would be Prince Gallery using a third party website?
If staying 4 nights or more, they're running a 4th night free deal, combinable with SPG Luxury Privileges - message a SPG Luxury Privileges member agency on here to make the best use of it.
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Old Jul 14, 18, 7:55 am
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Originally Posted by chinmoylad View Post
If staying 4 nights or more, they're running a 4th night free deal, combinable with SPG Luxury Privileges - message a SPG Luxury Privileges member agency on here to make the best use of it.
ah awesome, yes was looking at the 4th night free that SL and MO are also running. Confused which rate. Guess I'll inquire
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Old Jul 19, 18, 5:26 pm
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Any further comments on the Palace Hotel (esp. recent stays)? Thinking about trying the property out especially with FHR's 3rd night free promo.

Various posts from the old thread ([211] [690] [698] [700] [1059]) suggest very Japanese service (perhaps to a fault), near-top hard and soft product in Tokyo, and excellent F&B - although one third-party report that some others felt service was "weak". Several of these posts are a few years old.

In any case, I'm leaning towards giving the property a shot (despite admitting that overly-Japanese service annoys me) and will report back if I do.
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Old Jul 19, 18, 8:58 pm
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We just returned from the Prince Gallery. Posting photos would be redundant; the OP already posted great photos reflective of the property. While we did not receive the suite that the OP did, I truly was not disappointed in the least that we received a guest room instead of a suite because the room was so lovely. The view alone was worth the nightly rate, but all of the technology was a complete bonus.

The lounge was beautiful and we struggled each morning whether to have breakfast in the lounge or the restaurant because the offerings in the lounge were almost identical to the restaurant (except for the traditional Japanese breakfast). Usually the lounges have a sampling of what is in the restaurant, but this lounge was replete with almost every single item that the restaurant did, including a chef on hand to prepare the chef's egg (so delicious) or omelette, etc.

The service was outstanding on pretty much every level. Every last thing had been considered and offered with generosity and graciousness but in a modest manner.

We can't wait to return.
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