I recently had a surreal vacation where I got to travel around Asia for two weeks (my first time on the continent!) and the trip started in Tokyo. This is the first of more than a dozen travel guides we have planned on where to stay, what to do, what to eat, etc. so be sure to check back over the course of the next few weeks for detailed itineraries and the like.
For the three nights that we were in Tokyo, we stayed at The Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku and we loved every minute of it. This hotel is beautiful and in an amazing part of town that will give you access to all the sightseeing you want to do. Just some matters of practicality — once you land at Narita airport, take the airport limousine shuttle as it is about $35/head for the two-hour drive into Tokyo and it will drop you off at The Hyatt Regency, which is one of the only hotels it stops at. (If you were to take a taxi, it would deb several hundred dollars per head.)
My great experience with the Hyatt started before we’d even landed in Tokyo. For weeks before our trip, I had been emailing with their concierge for planning help and they went above and beyond in scheduling everything from restaurant reservations — including Jiro (!!) chronicled in this blog post — to helping us figure out train schedules and the like. They were immediately responsive and always had amazing recommendations that helped us maximize our time in Tokyo.
When we walked into the Hyatt after a 13-hour flight and no sleep, my spirits were immediately lifted. The hotel was decked out in Christmas decorations and absolutely sparkled. They have these decadent chandeliers hanging from he ceiling that are the focal point and really set the tone for the stay. They hotel is truly grand with giant glass elevator banks and polished checkered floors and rich oak.
We then went up to our room and I had heard from friends who had visited Tokyo and also read online that typically Japanese hotel rooms are very small. But, our room was the perfect size and we didn’t feel cramped at all. The bed was comfy and we had ample room for all of our luggage (we did not travel lightly).
From there, we headed out for the night and I loved that the hotel had a great proximity to each part of Tokyo we wanted to visit. They have a cab stand on premises, which was convenient. But even more importantly, they were walking distance to two major subway lines, which is primarily how we got around each day since the trains are clean, fast and efficient and the taxis are super expensive. Being so close to the train stations allowed us to see so much more of Tokyo than we would have from he backseat of a cab.
While we had most of our meals out, the food and drink we had on the premises were both great. One day after an eight-hour sightseeing whirlwind, we came back to the hotel to change and relax before dinner and we decided to unwind with a glass of wine at one of the restaurants. They had a great wine list with California and Australian wines (a bit hard to find in some places Japan). Also, one morning after a very long night of karaoke where we might have been over served, we ordered room service pizza at 10am to help us regain our strengths. Room service was nice enough to make pizza that early for us and it was truly our saving grace.
Between the amazing service and location (also the price was very reasonable for Tokyo) I would absolutely stay at The Hyatt again. It’s a wonderful launching pad to see the city. PS: up next are our Tokyo intermarries and food guides, so be sure to check back.