After spending five nights at the Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier, including waiting out a moderate typhoon that passed over Tokyo on September 16, I can say that I was very pleased / satisfied with my stay. However, there are a few aspects of the hotel that merit consideration before booking.
Starting with the positives. The rate I was able to obtain through a third party booking site for a single room in a great Tokyo neighborhood was phenomenal. That one can book a hotel room in the Aoyama district of Tokyo with FREE in-room wi-fi, breakfast included in the room rate, and with a washing machine (includes a drying cycle, so no need for a separate dryer) with nominally priced detergent available at the front desk), and a microwave and refrigerator for less than $125 US per night is amazing. Adding to this is that the wi-fi is very simple to set up and is very stable and sufficiently fast. There is also an in-room safe, and body wash, shampoo, conditioner and hand soap are provided as well. The only negatives on the in-room amenities are that the towels are thin and the toilet paper is not "top of the line." I was in room 2010 and had some road noise, but nothing out of the ordinary. The hotel is near a busy intersection and whenever an ambulance went through, they used a loud speaker to warn cross traffic (great idea, by the way) and that was audible from the room. There are English language instruction pages for the washing machine, the safe and the air conditioner remote control (which you will need, if you are not familiar with typical Japanese hotel a/c set ups).
The other overwhelming positive was the neighborhood around the hotel. Excellent choice of dining in all cuisines. There are several restaurants in the Aoyama Passage at the foot of the hotel. I found a Britsh Pub on the road to Meiji Jingu Stadium (less than 10 minute walk from the hotel). There are two Starbucks within five minutes of the hotel, and three more on the walk to Shibuya Station (not to mention the world's busiest Starbucks at Hachinko Crossing outside Shibuya Station). There is a Family Mart around the corner and a 7-11 across Aoyama Dori. There is also easy access to the Gaiemmae Station (G-03) on the Ginza Line. More on that below.
Two aspects that I would consider positive but not to the same degree as above. I found the hotel staff to be helpful and polite (and English speaking) but the overall level of common area amenities was sparse (one vending machine, hidden just off the check in lobby on the 13th floor). One pays for one's stay at check-in.
Breakfast is in the Architect Cafe in the same building on the second floor (so outside of the hotel area which is floors 13-25). At check in, one is given coupons for breakfast, otherwise the charge is 1,200 yen. Note, bring the coupon with you. Your room card / your room number means zip / zilch / nada to the Cafe crew. The cafe has sufficient seating, but is overall a bit cramped (not a lot of "personal space"). The selection of food is OK, but may feel limited to those with western preferences. There is a good selection of beverages, including - for breakast - iced black tea, iced oolong tea, and iced coffee. Of the three differenent hotels I've stayed at in Tokyo over the years, while the this hotel is the least expensive, the breakfast is also the most limited. Of course, it is included in the room rate.
The one negative is the size of the room. Single A guest rooms are described on the hotel's website as 17 m2. That is about 185 square feet. There is no room to spare and the room felt cramped. It rained hard on September 15 in the morning and then Typhoon TS 1318 passed over on the 16th, and I was most glad to be able to get out of the room when the weather cleared in the afternoon both days.
A few suggestions / observations for guests planning on booking a stay.
1) The hotel has an excellent website. Search for "Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier" and you should easily find a link to an English language version of the hotel's website. Check this out before booking.
2) The hotel is intended as an "extended stay" hotel. If you are staying more than six nights, be sure you understand the hotel's room servicing policies.
3) The hotel is the tallest building in the neighborhood, and the elevator lobbies have good views of the Shinjuku highrise district and rooms xx07-xx16 (at least that is the case on the 20th floor) have views of Mt. Fuji and the hills west of Tokyo on clear days. I would imagine the views of central Tokyo from east facing rooms are equally good.
4) This hotel has very easy access to the Gaiemmae station (G-03) on the Ginza Line. Enter and exit via Gate 1A and you will be within a two - three minute walk of the hotel entrance. I have been in Tokyo previously, and had tried (wisely) to avoid Tokyo subways at peak hours. I did not have a choice this time on two occasions and misjudged the end of morning rush hour on another occasion. The Ginza Line gets quite crowded at peak hours - and that is an understatement. The most crowded stretch is between stops G-05 (Akasaka - Mitsuke) and G-08 (Shimbashi). However, crowding can extend all the way to Shibuya (G-01) through Nihombashi (G-11). Just be forewarned, because unless you are willing to walk a bit, your "first kilometre" and "last kilometre" of public transit access to and from this hotel are going to be on the Ginza Line. Also, Gaiemmae is the station for the Yakult Swallows stadium and the national rugby stadium. I did not use the station during peak crowd arrival or departure times, but I imagine it can get hectic. Otherwise, I found it a fairly quiet, easy to navigate station.
Overall, I think this is a great value in Tokyo lodging with a lot of positives. But do consider room sizes, servicing on longer stays and the subway access before booking.
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- Also Known As:
- Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier Hotel Minato
- Tokyu Stay Aoyama Premier Tokyo, Japan