This is an update to my last review (04 May 2009) of this hotel.
This is our contract crew layover hotel while in Narita. I stayed here again on September 22, 2009
As noted, this is mainly a “transit” hotel. I’d venture to guess that nearly 90% of the guests are either just arrived or departing tomorrow type passengers.. Due to it’s distance- over 90kms from Tokyo proper, it’s not the most convenient for those with business in town or wish to sight-see.
Like any airport hotel, one of the good things about it is the location.. It's about 10 minutes away using the hotels free shuttle van. You can take either of two local service trains to the hotel-- but this now means you'll have to carry your luggage up flights of stairs and down again—escalators and elevators are not as convenient as you’d expect in Japan train stations- especially in the smaller sized locations... Walking to the hotel is not practical as there really is no safe walkways (sidewalks) to get to/from the airport on foot.. So-- take their free shuttle..
Due to it’s proximity, there is not much to see/do immediately near the hotel.. But, there is Narita town-- which is compact mid-sized Japanese town. There is a large mall, the Aeon Narita Shopping Complex [a good overview website here: http://www.chiba-tour.jp/narita/shop/shop_top.html] with multiple shopping and dining options (including the Narita branch of the famous Hard Rock Café chain)--you can easily go explore.. The town is very walkable and many things are in English, which makes getting around easy. Other ideas are the local temple and even the local golf course (clubs are for rent).. Do know that going into Tokyo proper will take you at least 53 minutes travel time by taking the limited stop, high speed express train-- called N'EX-- from the airport terminal or a few minutes less from the adjacent Narita town station.. The cost for a round-trip ticket on the NEX near US$60 R/T.. so most guests I met simply stayed at the hotel or went into Narita town for their adventure [http://www.jreast.co.jp/e/nex/]
The hotel itself is divided into two inter-connected buildings.. The main building houses most of the guest rooms and most of the hotel facilities.. The hotel has almost every amenity that you could think of like: beauty salon, spa, small enclosed shopping arcade, travel center, outdoor swimming pool, tennis court, etc.. Food options are Japanese, Chinese and western.. Surprisingly, the room service is not 24/7 (I recall it was closed at 23:00)-- odd for an airport hotel-- but NRT has a curfew for flight departures so the airport goes silent late at night until early morning.
My room-- Very nicely appointed.. As normal, I get a basic twin and it was in the new "south" building.. I saw some of the rooms in the main building as I was walking to the south wing and noticed that the main building rooms were a bit smaller-- and in Japan “small” means really SMALL... The room was nicely appointed with every imaginable amenity that you could think of.. A pair of room slippers, full length bath robe, pants press, wall-mounted hair dryer, personal-sized coffee/tea maker.. The bed was nice and semi-soft-- a nice change from the norm in Asia of oh-so hard beds.. A nice feature for those who need to sleep during daylight hours was the "black-out" drapes- when properly the room became nearly pitch dark-- even with midday sunshine. There is a medium sized work desk with decent lighting and electrical outlets for charging your equipment. My room had free high-speed internet access as well (a nice free touch).. The bathroom was near full sized with tub/shower combo and a good selection of toiletries are provided as well..
Our contract rate was just under JPN11000 (about USD$125), and I was given a courtesy, space-available "upgrade" for free due to the early time of my check-in. I consider JPN11,000/night a very reasonable rate-- for an airport hotel and in Japan, where rooms can easily run over $500/night..
I found their service to be typically Japanese-- flawless in execution and planning... Everything in my room was well cleaned.. didn't even find dust on the lamp and nothing was inoperable.. The staff is unfailingly polite and will literally bend over backwards to accommodate you and tend to your needs..
My verdict? I'd stay here again 'on my own dime' if I needed an airport hotel.. It's true that you can find a few places cheaper in Tokyo-proper, but then you have to add in the cost of transportation (which can be over $60 r/t) and the time to get to/from downtown Tokyo.. So, all things considered this is a very good place to just sit back and decompress!
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