This hotel would have to be my least favourite in terms of customer service. For a hotel of this magnitude I was expecting a bit more. Being our first trip to Japan and Tokyo itself, we didn't exactly get the friendliest of welcome from their staff, not something you need in the morning after a very long flight. Apart from the level of customer service not being up to scratch, their english was also not so great. Especially when I asked not one, but a few of their staff a really basic question and when they couldn't give me a straight answer I was really quite shocked. In the end, I managed to figure out the answer to my own question, without their help.
We stayed in the Garden Tower for four nights. The twin room here was quite spacious and modern. We had a nice view of the the skyline at night and when the day cleared we were pleasantly surprised that our room also had a view of Mt Fuji. This was by far the most expensive hotel we stayed in on our Japan trip and the only one that did not offer either free wi-fi or internet access. Although I knew this prior to booking, it got me thinking that if the other hotels which I stayed at, where we paid much less for, were able to either provide us with free wi-fi or computers to access the internet in the lobby- why can't Otani? This is something very handy when you're trying to look for something in Tokyo and communicating with the staff is just way too frustrating.
I chose to stay in this hotel because it seemed to be located in the centre of all the places we were planning to visit, plus my friend wanted to see a beautiful Japanese garden and express check-in is offered to their members. On the morning we arrived, all the rooms were fully booked, there was a wedding on that day and it was during cherry blossom season, so it was understandable that we couldn't get express check-in. (FYI: If you do plan to stay here, sign up for their free membership card, it helps, a little).
In terms of location it is not so bad. To access the hotel we used the Akasaka-mitsuke station, which is a short walk from the Garden Tower. On the orange Ginza line it was the G5 stop and the on red Marunouchi line it was the M13 stop (note: these lines are the Tokyo Metro line which are not covered by the JR pass if you intend on purchasing one). The station is near other shopping and dining areas such as Roppongi Hills, Tokyo Midtown and if high-end designer label shopping is your thing, Ginza and Ometesando are not far from this station. However, if you're on a budget or you just want to be located in the heart of the action, then you are best to base yourself in either Shibuya or Shinjuku which is exactly what I'll do next time I'm there. These places are amazing at night and have a great energy to them. Plus there are plenty of restaurants, shops and entertainment to choose from in contrast to the neighbourhood around Otani which is rather quiet with a demographic of mostly business workers.
Sure, the hotel has it's own restaurants, but if you haven't made any reservations then you could always go for a little explore into your neighbourhood like we did for dinner. We ate at Akasaka Square Dining, the food there was pretty average as reflected in the price. We also had a rather healthier version of the American buffet breakfast at the Garden Lounge located at Otani's Main Tower. This lounge had really nice views of the garden and we could imagine how spectacular it would have been had the cherry blossoms been in full bloom, but unfortunately at the time, they were just beginning to bud.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel New Otani Tokyo Garden Tower Japan