I agree with all other reviewers -- this place is about (and maybe only about) location.
It's right on Shinsaibashi, the busiest covered shopping street at the heart of Osaka. The hotel is 3 minutes' walk from exit #1 (and 1 minute walk via the basement of a commercial building, if you know the short cut). You can walk to Doutonbori in about 10 minutes, 15 mins to Namba, 20 mins to Kuromon market. There's even a 24-hour supermarket called Foodium on Sakai Suji (about 5 blocks east and then 5 blocks south). The 4-storey 100-yen store Daiso is also a couple blocks north of the hotel. You can really shop and drop your goods in your rooms before heading out for more shopping or dinner or karaoke session. It's THAT convenient.
First off, you have to understand it's a business hotel at a rather frugal rate. It makes no sense to compare it with 5-star establishments. The rooms are small, tired and in need of a face lift. The wall paper is stained. There isn't a wardrobe in the room, but only hangers and a (rusty) rail. There aren't many sockets in the room, but the hotel is thoughtful enough to include a small power strip so that you can at least charge your phone while boiling water and blowing your hair. (Yes, there's a water kettle and a hair dryer in the drawer.) The mattress is nice, but the pillow so-so. The toilet and bath is pre-fabricated in one piece, so that it's the same size as those in Toyoko Inn or other business hotels (i.e. very small). I personally think Toyoko Inn hotel chain is better maintained, but probably also a tad less roomy. Not to mention their less convenient locations.
The room rate includes breakfast with mostly Japanese fare -- a stew, boiled eggs, coleslaw, deep-fried chicken, croquette, meatballs, grilled fish (mackerel and salmon), miso soup, steamed rice, sandwich bread, milk, coffee, orange juice. Most food is cold, but still a good deal if you want to save a few hundred yens on breakfast. The breakfast is better than Toyoko Inn hands down.
We didn't experience any problem. Check in and check out were efficiently done. And in fact, a lady at the front desk helped us to switch to a smoking room late at night. She did speak good-enough English for the purpose.
If you come to Osaka to take it easy and you need roomy space to unwind, this space is not for you. If you just want a bed and won't be in your room other than sleeping hours, you should seriously consider this place. If you're price-conscious and don't mind the less convenient locations, the Toyoko Inn chain may actually work better for you. I do think you get what you pay for at this price. I won't hesitate to give 4 stars and will stay here again.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Fontaine Shinsaibashi