At the end of 2 weeks in Japan staying at modest, well-appointed 3 star hotels we decided to splurge for our last night and stay at the Richmond in Sendai. According to Rakuten (which I am aware is rated by customers) this is a 5 star hotel, but it was in no way superior to the other places we stayed on our trip and in many ways it lacked by comparison. It cost as much as where we stayed in the centre of Ginza! The service was next to non-existant, and the room was tiny!!! On checkin we had to talk to the receptionists, confirm our booking and then walk over to an automated checkin machine adjacent to the desk. This was simply bizarre, and seemed to serve the purpose only of trying out a new gadget, unless the staff here were particularly offended by handling cash?
Although the hotel offers baby cots, there was no way we could fit the cot in to our room without causing a fire exit hazard. The room was by far the smallest I have ever stayed in, and I have stayed in many hotels in Japan. The bed was pushed against the wall and this left less than 1 metre between the other wall and the other side of the bed. The foot of the bed was cluttered with furniture, and in general the effect was claustrophobic. Noise from the street below, including the incessant beeping of the traffic lights, was high, especially considering we were on the 10th floor.
On the plus side, the complimentary breakfast was very pleasant, although again it was not staffed. It seemed as if this hotel was doing all it could to not offer service to guests.
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