where to stay?
October 23, 2006 4:13 PM   Subscribe

I'm going on vacation to Japan for the first time next month. Can anyone recommend a nice hotel?

We'll be there for 11 days and are looking to spend up to $300 a night. Easy access to subways and restaraunts is a bonus.
posted by minimal to Travel & Transportation around Japan (14 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
posted by trevyn at 4:14 PM on October 23, 2006

Actually, if you're there for 11 days, you should spend at least a few days outside of Tokyo.
posted by trevyn at 4:16 PM on October 23, 2006

Response by poster: Whoops, sorry! Yes Tokyo will be the main base but we do plan to go to Kyoto/Nara as well.
posted by minimal at 4:23 PM on October 23, 2006

President Hotel, Tokyo
posted by londongeezer at 4:40 PM on October 23, 2006

We got a great deal at the Tokyo New Otani via Expedia. Fabulous hotel, very Western. If you go, stay in the Tower, not the Main bldg--much closer to the subway.

We went to Kyoto, Osaka, Hiroshima and Gunma Prefecture as well. You should definitely try a Japanese-style ryokan at least one night. Book via japaneseguesthouses.com, they are an amazing site that bends over backwards to help the English-speaking traveler (but book in advance, don't wait till you're there).

We spent one night in a capsule hotel in Tokyo, just because we wanted to say we had done it. It was incredibly memorable. It's tough to find capsule hotels that take women, but we stayed at one (the Fontaine Akasaka, I believe) that accepted women on weekends, though we had to stay on a different floor as the men.

In Kyoto, we stayed at the New Miyaki, which was fine and close to the train station.
posted by GaelFC at 4:50 PM on October 23, 2006

I recommend the Century Southern Tower at Shinjuku station. It's right next to the train station and a really nice hotel located on the top floors of a skyscraper. The views are fantastic.

In Kyoto I stayed at the Gimmond, which is a very, very ordinary business hotel, but much less expensive. I've heard good things about the Okura.
posted by clevershark at 4:50 PM on October 23, 2006

The Palace Hotel is nice, and they have some great restaurants.
posted by phatkitten at 5:23 PM on October 23, 2006

I really recommend The Tokyustay in Shibuya. A single is JPY 9400 a night for a short stay. It's got 100M ethernet (just plug in and it works), a small kitchenette, a washer and dryer, and is just down dogenzaka from hatchiko, which is a really major station. Depending on when you go next month, you may have trouble finding space as we are likely to fill it up at the end of November.
posted by mock at 7:00 PM on October 23, 2006

Incidentally you might also want to take a day trip to Hiroshima. Granted its memorial museum is not your average light-hearted tourist destination, but it's definitely worth a visit. Nearby is the temple island of Miyajima which I highly recommend; its ferry is accessible via the Hiroshima tramway.
posted by clevershark at 7:25 PM on October 23, 2006

I'll second the Tokyu Stay though if you have the budget I'd stay at the Shibuya shin-minamiguci (New south exit). It's nicer than the Shibuya, and just a right turn and 3 minutes walk from the Shibuya station new south exit.

They also have other hotels throughout Tokyo if somewhere else interests you.

However they're more business apartments than luxury stay places. Although they're all right in the middle of thing, they don't have big hotel things like bars, lounges, multiple restaurants.

Depending on the seasonal prices, check out the Cerulian It's very nice and convenient.

The Shibuya Excel is very nice, great views, and couldn't be more convenient(it's attached to Shibuya station.)

My experience with the level of service in Japan is that if you want to spend $300 or so a night, you'll get a very nice stay anywhere.
posted by Ookseer at 10:14 PM on October 23, 2006

Whoa -- $300/night upper limit? Way more'n I'm used to spending. To explore many options, and reserve online, try Rakuten or the Japan City Hotel Association. Or maybe just the JNTO.
posted by Rash at 10:39 AM on October 24, 2006

Are you saying $300/night because you're loaded, or because you think that's what it's going to cost to stay at a hotel in Japan? Clarifying that might help get better answers one way or the other.

Because that's what I thought too, and then I found that Japan is full of surprisingly affordable business hotels. I stayed at The Hotel Villa Fontaine in Tokyo and Osaka for under $100 a night in great locations. What I liked about this chain as opposed to Tokyu Stay and some of the other budget business hotels is that the rates are per room, not per person (a second person in the same room raises the price significantly at a lot of hotels). Service and room quality were better than any US chain I've ever stayed in. I can't imagine how much better I would have slept in a room that was $200 a night more.
posted by Gortuk at 12:14 PM on October 24, 2006

I'm not sure you can get a good rate at such short notice, but the cheapest room at the Park Hyatt can be less than $300. I has my vote as the best hotel in the world ever. Even if you can't get it for $300, I'd suggest booking a few nights there, and then staying somewhere else cheaper, like Roppongi Prince.
posted by roofus at 2:31 PM on October 24, 2006

You can get rooms at the Crown Plaza Metropolitan in Ikebukuro, Tokyo through Priceline. I paid about $90 per night for this hotel, counting tax. It's a big, Western-style business hotel just across the street from Ikebukuro station, on the Yamanote Line. They have fancy restaurants, a great sky-bar, and some English-speaking hotel employees. There are plenty of places to eat close by, too -- there are two gigantic department stores just across the street, each with probably 20 different restaurants and a supermarket, and the streets below have some late-night ramen shops, convenience stores, and bars. If you do try this hotel, make sure that you take the Crown Plaza exit from the station. Ask a JR employee if you can't find it. Ikebukuro Station is famous for its sprawling layout and many confusing exits, but after you've been through it once it becomes pretty easy.

I also stayed at the Shibuya Tokyu Stay that mock recommended. It's a good place, but be prepared to take a cab, because it's quite a hike from the station if you have a lot of luggage. Also, they may not have much in the way of English-speaking employees, so if English is important to you, I'd suggest staying elsewhere.
posted by vorfeed at 3:25 PM on October 24, 2006

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