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“Dining Experience Nightmare”

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Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower
Ranked #12 of 78 Hotels / Ryokan in Chiyoda
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 4 May 2014

My finance and I had high hopes about dining at "The Sky" since we had read an article saying it had a great view of Tokyo. We made the reservation for a Friday night, and I was told (in writing) that the base price for dinner would be JPY9,505 per person. On Friday afternoon I had a work meeting and needed to change my reservation to the following night (Saturday).

We showed up on Saturday; view was ok but nothing great. Food was decent. Then the bill came. We were charged JPY 15,444 per person. When I pointed out that this was not what we had been quoted, I was told that this was the holiday price (effective Saturday but not Friday). I thought it was a bit unprofessional that no one had pointed this out when I changed my reservation but we decided not to let it ruin our night.

I gave the waiter my credit card, which was a Citibank American Express from Singapore. (we are expats living in Singapore). After awhile, the waiter came over and asked me to come and enter my pin. I told him, there is no pin because it's a credit card, not debit. He then said my card didn't work and we needed to provide another. My finance gave him her Citibank American Express card, also from Singapore (from her own account). She was also told her card didn't work. This was extremely strange to us since we had been using both cards the whole trip, all over Japan. We then each provided our Citibank Singapore Visa cards. They "did not work" either. When we said that we thought there must be a problem with the credit card machine at New Otani, and asked if they could manually key in the numbers or run it at another machine, our waiter became increasingly agitated and told us we needed to provide another card. He was repeating "Your card not working!" aggressively which to both me and my fiance felt like he was implying we had done something wrong or we did not really have money behind our cards, which could not be further from the truth.

At this point we had provided 4 cards. We had also stopped enjoying our dessert and coffee to come deal with the situation. It was embarrassing to us and many guests saw what was happening.

Another manager came back to our table and took a manual imprint of the card. We then left.

However, the following day, I got an email from my WORK COLLEAGUE based in Singapore. The New Otani had actually emailed my WORK saying that our cards still didn't work and the balance from dinner was outstanding. They asked my work colleague to ask if I could come back to the hotel and pay cash.

Now we were really infuriated. They got my colleague's work email from my away email address which said "for urgent / emergency matters please contact ____", and they had my email address because this is how I originally made my reservation. CLEARLY the dinner was a non-business matter and also a non-emergency matter; furthermore my cell phone was working just fine and that number was also listed on every correspondence I had with New Otani. Now my office has received emails which imply that my fiance and I don't have working credit cards. I was incredibly shocked that they would abuse my work "away" email auto message, particularly when they had my cell phone number and my cell phone worked fine. We called Citibank immediately who assured us all of our cards had ample credit and they saw no problem on their side.

The entire situation just ruined the end of our Tokyo trip and I will never be eating here again. For a 5 star restaurant and hotel, it's just unacceptable to me. The service was that of a 2- or 3-star. Employees not knowing how to use their own credit card machines or trouble-shoot situations professionally is not ok for how much you're paying.

On other notes the view is completely sub-par.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank sjb418
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 30 April 2014

Here for business. Service is excellent. Lots of stores in the complex. Airport bus stops here making it easy to get to and from airport. Expensive, but Tokyo is. For food, lots in the area or for the price difference, take a taxi.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled on business
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1  Thank Ralph301
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

This is a huge hotel complex, with numerous places to eat, drink and shop (although, in keeping with other hotel restaurants/bars, they are more expensive than going out). And because of the hotel’s excellent location it is very easy to go out for a drink or meal, as it is a stone’s throw from the Akasaka district (and metro station should you want to go further afield) where there are ample different restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets. To walk to the Akasaka area it is quicker to leave the hotel by the Garden Tower entrance rather than the main entrance as it saves a walk round the block.

Our room in the hotel (in the Garden Tower Block) was more spacious than I had expected in a Tokyo hotel, with enough room for storage and suitcases. It was clean, comfortable and well serviced with towels changed every day. The bathroom was also the best we had during a tour in Japan, with a showerhead that could change the direction of jet, bars of soap, small bottles of shampoo and conditioner plus face clothes – all of which were lacking in other hotels we stayed in.

Breakfast in the hotel is also good, with a reasonable selection of hot western style dishes, Japanese dishes and fresh fruit. (Although I found this never-varied selection was much the same in other hotels we subsequently visited and consequently became a little boring, but it was probably better here than other hotels we stayed at). Breakfast can be taken at one of several restaurants, but the main two for western breakfasts are the rooftop restaurant in the Garden Tower, and the central ground floor Garden restaurant (there is another Japanese restaurant if you want a Japanese breakfast). These open at 7pm and there is invariably a queue, particularly at the rooftop restaurant where great views over Tokyo can be had from window tables. If you want a window table here for an early breakfast you would need to get there by about 6.45, otherwise just before 7.30 when, although still usually a (shorter) queue, you will get the first arrivals starting to leave. The Garden restaurant is more airy and has a greater capacity, but again you should be there just before 7 for an early breakfast to get a table overlooking the superb gardens. For us, this was the more comfortable and relaxing of the two. (Incidentally, the attractive gardens and pools full of Koi carp are well worth walking round).

Drinks are expensive (1000 yen plus for a small beer). The lobby floor Capri bar (near the main lobby) is a bit soulless with more serving staff than customers when we went (I noted 6 attentive serving staff for us and another couple), while Trader Vic’s bar (the only other we tried) was equally pricey but had a better atmosphere being decorated out in a Disney-like South Sea Island style. It also serves snacks in the bar.

Overall we thought the hotel very good, reasonably priced for the size and style of hotel it is, and met our needs in all respects, although we did eat and drink out after the first night.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank malabarfly
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 April 2014

We stayed here for four nights as part of a tour of Japan. Our room was well equipped, had a view of the beautiful garden and it was hard to believe we were in the middle of a bustling city.
Breakfast was served overlooking the garden and was of a high quality as was the service. This hotel has a range of shops and restaurants and I would recommend it to anyone.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Ash3347
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 April 2014

I really loved this hotel.
The view is perfect, the staff super helpful and the breakfast buffet delicious.
The hotel is near the Akasaka-Mitsuke station, a 3 minute walk to get there.
If you're hungry but don't want to spend a lot of money I recommend the restaurants near the hotel.
I also recommend the 40th floor when having breakfast so you can have a beautiful view of Tokyo.
Oh and when making a reservation for a room, ask for the garden view. It's beautiful.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Meowsedi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 April 2014

Huuuuuge hotel. This hotel is a very old hotel. It's been around since the early 1900s.

Nice and with good service for the price that we paid. I noticed quite a number of complains in the reviews about the hotel being expensive but I beg to differ. The hotel is quite reasonable for the quality (And its cheaper than the hotels we paid for in Hakone!) It's also quite accessible, next to Akasaka-Mitsuke train station and 5 mins walk from Yotsuya station (one of the major train stations which gives you access to multiple lines).

We stayed on the 37th floor which afforded us an excellent view of Tokyo.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled with friends
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Thank Joel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 April 2014

We stayed for 3 nights in the New Otani. This is a very big hotel, avoid it if you have walking difficulties. The room was well appointed and very clean. Towels changed every day. There are a lot of restaurants in the hotel, but all very expensive. It is much cheaper to go to the Akasaka area, where there is a good variety of cafes and eating places. We had continental breakfasts in the Garden room. Very good and there are lovely views of the Japanese Gardens. A nice way to start the day.
This hotel is in the business district and not really near many tourist attractions. The Akasaka tube line is just out of the 'back' door and you can get anywhere in the city easily. A day pass costs roughly 4GBP.

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank poltney6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower

Address: 4-1 Kioicho, Chiyoda 102-0094, Tokyo Prefecture
Phone Number:
Region: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Chiyoda > Akasaka / Roppongi
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Spa Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#7 Spa Hotel in Chiyoda
#13 Romantic Hotel in Chiyoda
#13 Family Hotel in Chiyoda
#18 Business Hotel in Chiyoda
Price Range: £111 - £332 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower 3.5*
Number of rooms: 1479
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Also Known As:
Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower Japan

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