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-   -   Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo (Autograph Collection), Japan [Master Thread] (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/marriott-marriott-bonvoy/1880641-prince-sakura-tower-tokyo-autograph-collection-japan-master-thread.html)

dcchi Dec 1, 17 9:49 am

Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo (Autograph Collection), Japan [Master Thread]
 
We recently had a 6-night (200,000 point) stay here. We were very pleased with our choice overall. One of the most critical factors in our choice of hotels was that it could accommodate our family of five (including 3 children ages 7-12). Thus, we were looking for something more in line with a standard US-sized room, rather than the much smaller typical Japanese hotel rooms. In addition, given the scrutiny of the # of guests in the room in Japan, I wanted to make sure the hotel was aware of and was okay with 5 of us in a room. In advance of the trip, I emailed several Marriott family hotels in Tokyo, including CY Ginza, CY Tokyo Station, and others. I initially thought Tokyo Station would work (they said we'd be okay assuming we paid extra, though they did say it would be quite tight), I ultimately settled on Prince Sakura based on favorable reviews of room size, extended email correspondence with the hotel to confirm they'd be okay with the five of us in the room (they didn't charge anything extra), decent reviews in general, and its location by Shinagawa station.

LOCATION
The hotel is located fairly close by Shinagawa Station, which is a major subway/rail station in Tokyo (something akin to Gare du Nord in Paris). If you are coming in from Narita, you can take the Narita Express directly here. It is simply the stop after Tokyo Station (note: the 12-car NEX train splits in two at Tokyo Station so your 6-car train will journey on towards Shinagawa and beyond). In addition, for the Shinkansen (bullet train), it is one of the few major stops on the fastest bullet trains. Thus, we used Shinagawa to take a trip to Kyoto. It is also on the JR Yamanote line, which is a circular subway line around Tokyo and so you can directly go to Shibuya, Shinjuku, and Ueno, all places with major attractions. In addition, you can take the Keikyu line directly from Shinagawa to Haneda Airport as well (there are varying numbers of stops depending on what level express/limited train you get on, anywhere from a single direct stop, two stops, to about 10 stops; in any case, the important point here is that it is cheap 410JPY, direct (no transfers needed) and fairly quick (as little as 16 to about 25 minutes). Note that, while you can access the Keikyu line as a transfer from inside the terminal, you can also directly access it from an exterior exit at the West Gate (which is what you would do if you were coming from the hotel).

When you arrive at Shinagawa from the airport, like any major rail terminal, it will be a complete whirlwind. You will want to head towards sign that say "Central Gate". You will need to use your ticket to exit the turnstiles. Once you've exited the turnstile, you will head left towards the West Gate, which is the Takanawa area. To get to the hotel, walk north (i.e., make a right when you get outside onto the street) about the equivalent of a NYC block, cross the major street at the crosswalk (where there is a 7-11, though not a Sevens Bank ATM), and head up the hill about the equivalent of a NYC block and a half. While this part of the walk is uphill, it is only somewhat steep and not overwhelmingly long, so we never really thought it was that hard (even on arrival with large suitcases of luggage to haul ourselves). In total, it will probably take about 8-10 minutes from the subway/rail platform to the hotel entrance.

The hotel is only one of at least 4 "Prince"-brand hotels clustered together. Three are located in the immediate area of the Sakura Tower (which also has a beautiful garden court in between them), while a 4th is just across the street to the south.

Across a small street to the south, there is a mall-type area. There is a Japanese-style food court on the 2nd floor there (with different storefront to order different types of Japanese food, from curry rice dishes to udon to ramen to other stuff, all from the ubiquitous ordering machines that).

While we never took taxis to/from the hotel because we used the subway/rail all the time, there was almost always a cab or two outside the entrance, where there was a designated cab line. (Actually, on one morning at 2:30am, I took a cab to the tuna auction at Tsujiki; as expected, at that hour there were no cabs at the hotel line, but it was extremely easy to walk down to the main road and hail a cab from there.) Of course, there is also a major taxi stand right outside the train station gate with taxis at all times.

LOUNGE
At check-in, we were given a little pamphlet with details about the lounge. The lounge access was via a separate keycard from the room key. The relevant English portions say:

*******************
Executive Lounge (1F)
Hours of Operation
6:30am-10:00pm
Breakfast 6:30am-10:00am
Tea Time 10:00am-5:30pm
Cocktail Time 5:30pm-7:30pm
Nightcap 7:30pm-9:30pm
-All complimentary
-Alcoholic beverages are available from 5:30pm to 9:30pm
-Hors d'oeuvres are available from 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Guest may be accompanied by up to three people and accompanying person is required to pay a separate fee
Breakfast Y3000 per person
Tea Time Y2000 per person
Cocktail Time Y3500 per person
Prince includes consumption tax and service charge.
*Please present your room key at the reception desk.
*All areas of lounge are non-smoking.
*Guests under the age of 13 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
*Please refrain from taking food and drinks out of the lounge.

******************
The lounge's decor was very nice. The single large space was essentially cut up into three separate "areas", with a main food spread in one area, and drinks and pastries in another area. The seating was spacious and comfortable, but there was only seats for about a total of probably 40 people at most. If you came early, that was not a problem. But, the first morning after we arrived, we came at about 9:00am, shortly before the end of breakfast. Not knowing that there was any particular correct procedure on how to make use of the lounge, we entered with our lounge keycard and proceeded to help ourselves to food. Apparently, however, (as we would learn later) there is normally someone welcoming you at the "reception desk" (she was probably away helping other guests right when we arrived) and when there are no seats available, they take your name and ask you to return later (or they might call you; it wasn't really clear to me). So, we ended up standing around for 20 minutes (unsure really of what the process was) until we were finally able to sit down somewhere after trying to ask what was going on (since we saw other people who seemed to come in later than us being seated before us). In any case, the remainder of our stay, we used the lounge much earlier and thus had zero issues with seating. However, be warned that there is likely to be waits as certain times (and that American-style overcrowding isn't how it works there!)

We ate breakfast at the lounge every day. As noted, we are a family of five, and there was no issue with all of us entering the lounge. The spread and food was pretty good, but not "bowl-me-over" good. There was typically bacon, potato wedges, sometimes sausage, a Japanese version of scrambled eggs (which was an odd consistency to me; though it tasted fine), smoke salmon, a salad bar-type area, fruits, a nice selection of pastries, rice, and other stuff. There was a self-help fridge with various cold drinks, including Coke products, including Coke Zero (for those of you, like me, who care about Coke vs Pepsi). We did end up hitting the lounge in the evening a smaller handful of days, and there were nice evening smaller spreads (think decent hor d'ouevres to tide you over, but not really enough to act as a dinner substitute).

SPA/GYM
The spa and gym are located on B1, one floor below the lobby. At checkin, we were given a little slip that send the following:
**************
Fitness Gym (B1)
6:00am-10:00pm
(Receiption closes at 9:00pm)
*These facilities may only be used by guests of age 18 or over.
*Proper fitness attire is required. Rental fitness attires are available for an extra fee.

Sauna & Whirlpool Bath (B1)
7:00am-11:00pm
(Reception closes at 10:00pm)
*Children ages 12 or under cannot use these facilities as a rule; however, children between ages 6-12 are allowed only when accompanied by a guardian of the same gender. Children ages 5 or under are not allowed.
*We are sorry to inform you that guests with tatoos (including body paint) will not be admitted.
********************
I did not personally use the spa or gym. However, my wife and older two children did use the spa a couple of nights towards the end of our trip. Suffice it to say, they were totally positive about their experience and really regretted not going earlier in the trip.

ROOM
Prior to the trip, I had emailed extensively with the hotel to ensure that the five of us would be permitted to stay in a single room (I didn't want any issues when we were halfway across the world). Our room was a 2 double bed room. The beds were the same size (as far as I could tell) as what we'd have the US. Perhaps because they knew we had kids, for whatever reason, they put bed rails on one side of each bed. It was a little odd, but actually worked out fine, so one period on that side of the bed could scoot over a little more without fear of falling off. We made do with it.

Room size was very good, like a standard US room size. The bathroom was of decent size, with both a shower (good water pressure) and a tub, and a single sink. The toilet was in a separate mini-closet and a separate door. The room had a sitting area by the window, with two comfy chairs and a small table. There was a desk area and a large flat screen TV, though the TV channels were largely Japanese language.

Wifi- To access the free wifi, you actually had to turn on the TV and scroll to a certain page where there'd be a code for your use. First time I encountered this method, and I had to ask after check-in to figure this out.

Room safe- there was a room safe. However, it was an odd shape; more of a box, and thus taller and not as wide, and not the typical size room shape that most of us are used to. Thus, it could fit smaller items such as passport holders and large phones, but could not hold a laptop.

Room decor- let me just start by saying that we were really happy with the room, as we don't place a lot of emphasis on the decor. It was clean, well-maintained, large, quiet, functional, etc. However, if one were to care about the decor, I'd say that you'd be disappointed. The best way to relay my thoughts were that the design (such as just looking at the walls/ceiling) made me think more "Courtyard" (if that) than Renaissance. In any case, I really have to emphasize that this wasn't important at all to us. The one downside to the room (in addition to the room safe) was that the lighting was not great (as is the case with many hotels).

By the bed there was a oldish panel that allowed you to turn on/off various sets of lights. It also had buttons to let the maid know to either make the room or "Do not disturb".

As a Plat elite, at check-in, was offered a choice of points or various gifts (you could choose two from a list of drink-type options and snack-type options). I initially chose water and chocolates; the front desk agent kindly noted that I could just get water from the lounge, so I changed to a half bottle of red wine, which my wife enjoyed!

The _Banking_Scot Jan 13, 18 3:32 am

Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo 5th to 7th Jan
 
Hi,

I had another excellent 2 night stay here ( in between 2 stays at the Conrad). I had booked a Tokyo Tower view room with breakfast ( the rate was about Y2500 pn more than the room only rate but paying for breakfast separately would be Y3400 per day so you save some money)

I arrived about 230pm and my room was ready. I was asked if i would like a late check out and as a Silver member I could have 3pm which was very impressive and accepted the time.

My room was on the 9th floor ( you press your room key against a pad on the elevator and your floor is selected) and was alrge and well maintained with a full on view of tokyo tokwer ( and below you could see part of the garden complex) . The bed was hughe, there was a fridge with 2 bottles of water and the cupboard had bathrobes and slippers. The bathroom was large with a jacuzzi bath and a separate walk in shower. The toilet is in a separate room across the hall. There is a Dulce gusto coffe machine with 4 capsules. An english paper was provided each day

Turndown service was excellent with a chocolate and a card detailing the weather put on your bed with slippers and a night shirt laid out. The view of the tower at night was excellent. Wifi speed was good.

Around 1 am Saturday morning I was woken up by a large rumbling sound that only lasted a few seconds. I did not feel any shainkg but then the pa system came on and announvced in Japanese ( then english and chinese) that there had been an earthquake but that the hotel was quake proof and there was no need to evacuate! ( a little bit of excitment!). Looking online later it was a 4.9 but the epicenter was well offshore and quite deep.
I fell back to sleep and woke up before 7 am ( I felt that I had a better sleep here than at the Conrad)
Breakfast was very good with a wide variety of western/japanese foods and omellettes can be made to order . ( You get a card to put on the table to indicate that it is occupied and you return it when you leave.) Across the hall through frosted glass you could glimpse the executive lounge. which seemed well appointed.
The garden is very nice ( saw quite a few couples getting their photos taken) and the lighting of the bell, trees and shrine seem to have improved since last year.
You can also walk to the Takanawadai metro stop ( Askausa line ) through the gardens and the prince hotels as well as going to the Shinagawa station ) which makes getting to Askausa and Oshiage ( for Tokyo skytree) easy.

On saturday night the tokyo tower had its diamond white lights on between 8pm and 10pm whcih were amazing.
The hotel bar weas reasonably priced ( had a whisky)
The gym ( last admission is at 9pm for a 10pm closure ) and whirlpool ( spearate for men and women- last admission at 10pm for 11pm closure) were both very good.

It was an excellent stay. Whilst not as modern or as luxurious as the Conrad it is an excellent hotel and the garden adds a special ambiance to the hotel and can be very good value ( for the weekend it was Y20k per night cheaper than the conrad sale price)

Check out at 215pm was quick, friendly and efficent and found the location to be fine ( unless you are staying in 1 area all the time you will probably have to travel anyway)

Regards

TBS

SkiAdcock Jan 13, 18 12:49 pm

Thanks for the reviews. Much appreciated.

Cheers.

bocastephen Jan 13, 18 1:26 pm

From the photos, the rooms look fairly similar in design and furnishings to the Marriott up the street. I am watching the rates to see if the Autograph gets to near par with the Marriott, but it would certainly save me that daily walk or bus ride as Shinagawa is my portal to the rest of Tokyo, and having the subway behind the hotel is an added bonus. How are Plats treated? I have yet to ever receive an upgrade of any kind at the Marriott, and during my last stay, the room was so small we had to climb over one another to get in and out of bed, so if the lounge and restaurant breakfast compares well with the Marriott, I might be open to try the Autograph.

The _Banking_Scot Jan 13, 18 1:52 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29288777)
From the photos, the rooms look fairly similar in design and furnishings to the Marriott up the street. I am watching the rates to see if the Autograph gets to near par with the Marriott, but it would certainly save me that daily walk or bus ride as Shinagawa is my portal to the rest of Tokyo, and having the subway behind the hotel is an added bonus. How are Plats treated? I have yet to ever receive an upgrade of any kind at the Marriott, and during my last stay, the room was so small we had to climb over one another to get in and out of bed, so if the lounge and restaurant breakfast compares well with the Marriott, I might be open to try the Autograph.

Hi,

Certainly both my rooms ( reported above and a city view in Jan 2017) were of a very good size with plenty of room around the bed. I'm not sure about upgrades ( you might get a tower view or a corner room) but they appear to understand the Marriott policies well. The breakfasrt was good ( compared well with the Conrad lounge) and I felt I slept better here ( even allowing for the earthquake one night) and for longer. At the conrad I seemed to wake up at 4, 5 then 6am but able to fall back to sleep whereas at the Prince I was sleeping to almost 7 ( the bed is huge and comfortable). The lounge (looking through the frosted glass as I am only a MR Silver now looked good)

Regards

TBS

carrotjuice Jan 13, 18 3:11 pm

I love the Autograph chain as they are boutique hotels with a quaint and at times whimsical feel. But when I last visited about a decade ago, The Prince Sakura was a large corporate hotel. How is it possible that itís in the Autograph chain?

bocastephen Jan 13, 18 3:25 pm

It looks like the difference in rate for me is about US$40 per night, so I might give it a try for a couple nights just to see what it's like. I assume a Plat member is free to choose their breakfast from either the lounge or the restaurant, and is not restricted to the lounge only?

Srisarin Jan 13, 18 3:30 pm

Instead of assuming anything, why not FIRST look at Sharon's sticky - you might find out some amazing data


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29289208)
I assume a Plat member is free to choose their breakfast from either the lounge or the restaurant, and is not restricted to the lounge only?


bocastephen Jan 13, 18 3:37 pm


Originally Posted by Srisarin (Post 29289232)
Instead of assuming anything, why not FIRST look at Sharon's sticky - you might find out some amazing data

I don't see a sticky...the first post is from Dec 1st, there is no sticky or wiki showing above it.

Srisarin Jan 13, 18 3:44 pm

Located above the threads (as this is the Marriott forum)


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29289254)
I don't see a sticky...the first post is from Dec 1st, there is no sticky or wiki showing above it.


bocastephen Jan 13, 18 3:54 pm


Originally Posted by Srisarin (Post 29289276)
Located above the threads (as this is the Marriott forum)

This is what is listed in the lounge thread:

* Tokyo / The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Autograph Collection / No Lounge; Breakfast for Golds & Plats in restaurant; Free i-net for all guests; free gym access for G/P to hotel gym; make sure get correct colored room key for both brekkie & gym; report there is an exec lounge as of 04/10/17; 04/18/17 update
So we know from the posts above, the lounge is now open, but what is not clear, and hence my question, is whether or not a Platinum member can still eat breakfast in the restaurant, or must go into the lounge only. If breakfast is restricted to the lounge, I will just stay at the regular Marriott which does not have this restriction.

Srisarin Jan 13, 18 4:03 pm

Now Iím amazed


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29289303)
This is what is listed in the lounge thread:


So we know from the posts above, the lounge is now open, but what is not clear, and hence my question, is whether or not a Platinum member can still eat breakfast in the restaurant, or must go into the lounge only. If breakfast is restricted to the lounge, I will just stay at the regular Marriott which does not have this restriction.


paulsalem Jan 13, 18 4:59 pm


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29289303)
This is what is listed in the lounge thread:


So we know from the posts above, the lounge is now open, but what is not clear, and hence my question, is whether or not a Platinum member can still eat breakfast in the restaurant, or must go into the lounge only. If breakfast is restricted to the lounge, I will just stay at the regular Marriott which does not have this restriction.

I just stayed here at the end of December. Free breakfast is available only in the lounge.

My colleague and I have all stayed at the CY Ginza and the Tokyo Marriott. We all agreed that this is our favorite hotel of the 3. The location is better than the Marriott, and almost as good as Ginza since you are a 3 min walk to Shinagawa Station.

SkiAdcock Jan 14, 18 8:07 pm


Originally Posted by paulsalem (Post 29289489)
I just stayed here at the end of December. Free breakfast is available only in the lounge..

Thanks. I've updated the exec lounge sticky.

Cheers.

Majuki Jan 22, 18 1:47 am


Originally Posted by bocastephen (Post 29289303)
So we know from the posts above, the lounge is now open, but what is not clear, and hence my question, is whether or not a Platinum member can still eat breakfast in the restaurant, or must go into the lounge only. If breakfast is restricted to the lounge, I will just stay at the regular Marriott which does not have this restriction.

Mrs. Majuki and I stayed here with the in-laws in December. We were pleased with our choice, and I agree with the reviews above.

As far as breakfast is concerned, there can be a bit of a wait for the lounge, and they implement the crowd control procedures. The benefit is that you'll always have a table when entering the lounge. While there is no choice between the lounge and the restaurant for breakfast, we were "upgraded" to the restaurant due to the lounge crowding on 2 of the 4 days there. While the restaurant had a few more options, such as cooked to order eggs, the breakfast spread in the lounge was extensive.


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