Posts Tagged ‘hotels’

Prince Hotels at Shinagawa and Shinjuku in Tokyo

Monday, October 4th, 2010

In the past year I’ve stayed at two different Prince Hotels in Tokyo. The Shinagawa Prince Hotel, and the Shinjuku Prince Hotel.

Shinagawa Prince Hotel

The Shinagawa Prince Hotel is right across the road from Shinagawa Station. A number of lines are accessible from here including the Yamanote Line which loops around central Tokyo stopping at many of the major stops. There isn’t much else of significance in the area, so if you stay at this hotel you will have to take the train to wherever you want to go.

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The hotel is part of a large complex containing several towers, an aquarium, cinema, restaurants and shops. I was staying in the main tower, and had booked a room on a ‘high floor’. That was defined by Expedia as being on the 28th floor and above.

The reception was very smart, and large. It needs to be to handle the thousands of guests who can stay here.

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The check-in was smooth and we were allocated a room on the 35th floor. There are express lifts for different floor levels so that it doesn’t take long to reach your room.

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Here’s the part of the room with a large bed, table and chair. Also note the size of the window. It goes from near the floor to the ceiling.

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Here is the bed from the other side. Very comfortable by the way!

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Both this Prince Hotel, and the Shinjuku Prince Hotel had a system (green linen service) whereby if you opted not to have your sheets and towels changed every day they’d give you vouchers to spend in the hotel shop. You just need to fill in a form, and tell reception.

Remember the window? Here is the view from it. This is looking North East from the main tower. The Tokyo Tower is visible on the left hand side of the photo. One of the best things about these Prince Hotels is the large window, and view it gives. It is definitely worth getting a room on a high floor.

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On the above photo you can see the busy Shinagawa Station. It has loads of different tracks leading to it, and there are trains constantly going in and out of the station.

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Back to the inside, here is the TV which is by the window.

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Instead of having a traditional ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign the Shinagawa Prince hotel had a ‘Do Not Disturb’ button. A nice touch and something that I wish the Toyoko Inn hotel chain would do.

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This is the bathroom, it is fairly standard for hotels in Japan. The fittings looked quite new and the shower pressure was good.

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Here’s the view from the window at night. Loads of tall towers with their twinkling red lights are visible across Tokyo.

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On the left is a photo of the main tower, our room was near the top :) And on the right is the entrance to the hotel.

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In the hotel complex are Japanese and Italian restaurants, as well as clothes shops and a convenience store right on the doorstep of your room. The restaurants aren’t the cheapest in Tokyo, but if you want a bigger selection you’ll have to travel, as there aren’t many other restaurants in this area.

Shinjuku Prince Hotel

The Shinjuku Prince Hotel is a 6 to 7 minute walk from Shinjuku station and is right opposite the Kabukicho nightlife area. Like the Prince Hotel at Shinagawa the inside is very smart, and the rooms have a giant window. The main difference between the two is the view you get. Again we paid for a room on a high floor which for this hotel meant a 20th floor room (this hotel isn’t as tall as the other one).

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The above photo is looking East towards Kabukicho, and the one below is looking South East over Shinjuku.

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Here is a final photo of the view at night. The giant red sign is for a pachinko parlour which was across the street.

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Other facilities

Both hotels put a free copy of the Daily Yomiuri (English language Japanese news) paper outside our room each day.

And both hotels had very expensive breakfasts available. But fortunately each of them had an empty fridge in the room, perfect if you want to buy some milk and cereal for breakfast.

You won’t find a coin laundry in either hotel which is a bit of a pain, as the nearest coin laundry to each is about 20 minutes walk away.

In conclusion

Both hotels are great if you want a comfortable room with a Tokyo view. Both are also very convenient for access to the Yamanote Subway line. I’d recommend paying extra for the high floor – make sure you get the high floor before booking if that is what you want.

Book a room at the Prince Hotel Shinagawa (on HotelsCombined.com)

Book a room at the Prince Hotel Shinjuku (on HotelsCombined.com)

Search for other Tokyo hotels… (on HotelsCombined.com)

Three hotels on Okinawa (Naha and Ishigaki)

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Here are some photos of the three hotels we recently stayed at when we visited Naha and Ishigaki (both part of Okinawa).

Hyper Hotel Ishigakijima

First up the Hyper Hotel Ishigakijima which is near the sea and the main city of Ishigaki. It is about 15-20 minutes from the airport by bus. No English was spoken on check in and the man insisted on seeing both of our alien registration cards (normally Japanese hotels only want the ID of the person whose name is on the booking).

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The rooms were clean and functional in a business hotel style with most of the usual hotel items. No fridge though.

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The bathroom was very generic with a usual Japanese electronic toilet, shower and bath.

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Free internet is available if you bring your own computer and LAN cable.

We got a room that faced the sea, but due to building works taking place across the road the view was less than sensational.

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A basic breakfast of bread, and rice balls was included in the dining area on the ground floor of the hotel. The hotel also has a coin laundry, very useful if you are travelling light.

Search for hotels on Ishigaki… (on HotelsCombined.com)

Hostel Burney’s Breakfast

Hostel Burney’s Breakfast was an interesting place. As it was a hostel the rooms were cheaper than staying in a hotel, but they were small. The room was almost exactly the same size as two mattresses.

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On one end of the room an old mattress placed on the floor touched three sides of the room. On the other side of the room was some modern looking lights and a computer. The place also has free WiFi if you bring your own computer.

The guy who was running the place was friendly, and spoke much better English than at most of the hotels we’d stayed at on this holiday. The check-in was very quick, and he didn’t seem bothered about seeing our IDs.

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Instead of being numbered the rooms had letters. Some of the electrical, plumbing and building work in this hostel looked very DIY! See the electrical connection on the ceiling in the photo on the left.

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Also in the room the curtain didn’t extend across the window. At least there was air conditioning. You can see where someone has filled in the gap in the window where the air conditioning pipe goes outside.

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As well as private rooms they have a capsule sleeping area, presumably even cheaper.

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There was a shared toilet and shower area, and laundry facilities were available too. This place is fine if you want somewhere cheap and want to be able to meet other travellers, but if you want something more luxurious you’ll need to pay more.

Search for hotels in Naha… (on HotelsCombined.com)

Hotel Rasso Naha Tomari

The Hotel Rasso Naha Tomari is another generic business looking hotel. The staff spoke no English, but we managed to check in with a little Japanese.

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The Hotel Rasso Naha Tomari is about 15 minutes walk from the Kokusai dori, and near to the port area for visiting Tokashiki Island. Be aware that there are quite a few Hotel Rassos in the area, so make sure you find the correct one.

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The rooms are smart and clean with free internet. There was no view, so the window served only to let in light.

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They had a breakfast in their dining room downstairs of rice balls and bread. But get there early, once the breakfast runs out they won’t bring more!

Search for hotels in Naha… (on HotelsCombined.com)