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Reviewed 14 November 2012

The Westin Osaka, with its spacious rooms and excellent service, easily ranks as one of the best stays in the dozen or so times that I have visited the city. I had high expectations of this hotel, and I did not leave disappointed.

The service at hotel is excellent, staff are helpful and attentive. There was nary a need for me to even lift a finger the moment I stepped into the hotel. All my luggage was taken care of, and the check-in process was smooth. Special requests, such as leaving an extra card key at the front desk for one of my family members to collect later in the evening, were readily accepted by the staff. While the bell staff at the entrance were always greeting guests with sunny smiles, I did notice that some of the other members of the staff, while still very attentive and polite, tend to wear a serious, almost stern expression.

We stayed for three nights in a regular room that was enormous by Japanese standards. Even though we stayed three adults to a room, there was ample space to move about and did not feel cramped. If you plan to book this room on a single or twin-sharing basis, it would feel pretty luxurious. The design and decor, while luxurious by regular hotel standards, would rank a notch lower compared to the top-tier hotels such as the nearby St Regis Osaka. I would have loved if the room had a bit of a theme to it, but the plush and very comfortable furniture makes up for this.

I especially liked the large work desk, the comfortable armchair with matching ottoman, and the large picture windows that look out to downtown Osaka and the Yodo river. The bathroom facilities were equally luxurious, and I especially liked that the bathroom was divided into two chambers, an outer chamber with two basins, and an inner chamber that houses the shower stall, toilet and full-length bath tub. My only gripe with the room was its rather small closet, and the lack of an enclosed space to put my luggage away out of sight.

If you are looking for quality rest, the beds will not disappoint. The twin beds in our room were almost queen-size, while the third single bed would comfortably fit an average adult. The bed linen were heavy, with a soft, luxurious feel that offered a great night's rest.

The only thing I did not like about this hotel is its location, which, unfortunately, is something that cannot be changed. Even though it is located in the uptown Umeda shopping district, the Westin Osaka is actually situated in a relatively inaccessible part of town. If you are going to the hotel from Osaka station, head over to the station's Sakurabashi exit where the hotel's free shuttle bus service makes its stops. This very convenient service, however, ends at about 10pm daily. Without the shuttle bus, getting to the hotel by foot can be a daunting task.

The fifteen-minute walk to from Osaka station to the Westin Osaka includes making your way through a long outdoor underpass that would be freezing in winter and extremely dark at night. I did not feel safe walking through that underpass after dark, as it is surrounded by either construction sites or the lonely train cargo depot that services Osaka station. Going back to the hotel the safe and easy way without the shuttle bus is by taxi, which would costs about 800 yen to 1000 yen if you board the taxi within the Umeda area.

Unlike the other Umeda area hotels nearby, the Westin Osaka is not located near any shopping malls. The only place of interest near the hotel is the Umeda Sky Building, which is just next to the Westin. Should you be looking for a cheap midnight snack, or need to withdraw money from an ATM, there are a few convenience stores within walking distance of the hotel. But as the streets are difficult to navigate, you might find yourself needing to ask the locals for some help point you to the right direction.

In conclusion, the Westin Osaka is every bit a luxurious hotel as it prides itself to be, and guests are likely to find staying at this hotel a good experience. However, it's location in a quiet, out of the way neighourhood makes this hotel more suited for business travelers or those who are looking to spend more time within the hotel premises. Getting to and fro from this hotel and the rest of Osaka can be quite time consuming. For people who enjoy the nightlife, going back to your hotel late can also prove to be expensive. Book this hotel if you want spacious, comfortable rooms, and are more of an early bird than a night owl.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
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6  Thank josada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 November 2012

The hotel is nice, clean, with spacious rooms and bathrooms (however, poor lighting in the bathroom), beautiful lobby, and a friendly, helpful concierge and check in staff. The location isn't so great...to get to the train station, you either have to wait for the hotel shuttle (about a 7 min trip), take a 10Y taxi or a 10 min walk. it just adds to your overall commuting especially if you are using this hotel as your Kyoto base. I wouldn't recommend that.

When I stay at starwood hotels for international travel, I like to choose one with an executive lounge, as from my experience, the international lounges are just fabulous, and they are great for evening relaxation before dinner and for quiet quick breakfasts in the morning (check out Shanghai Westin!). This lounge was a disappointment. I'm wondering if it's a Japan thing - but the starwood hotels that i stayed at during my vacation in Japan were pretty lame. The lounge did not offer any warm options during the cocktail hour and the cold offerings were limited to cheese and salad. They only offered wine for 1.5 hrs, and you were not permitted to serve yourself. They served you a glass of wine in a baby wine glass. each time you wanted a refill, you had to hunt down staff to pour you a glass. You got about two sips out of your glass before you need a refill. Also, although there was free internet in the lounge, you had to ask for a new password each day to access it. It was an ordeal to get the password, too. Breakfast in the lounge was fine. that was probably the only good thing about the lounge (besides the views).

Also, the welcome amenity for platinum guests was a 600y credit for a drink at the bar or for food. The cheapest drink at the bar was 1200y - so it didn't even get you a free drink. Meanwhile, my friend was a gold member, and she was offered a free drink as her welcome amenity - it must have been a glass of wine in a baby wine glass. She opted for the free internet for the room instead, and i took the standard 500 points.

Finally, i was upgraded to a suite for the first 3 nights of my 5 night stay. I was told that i had to check out of my room or pay the difference with additional points or yen if i wanted to remain in the same room for the last two nights of my stay because my friend, a gold member, was using her points to pay for the last two nights. We opted to just take a standard room for all 5 nights. what a pain. Marriott does not do this for guests, and i honestly have not run into this issue at any other international starwoods. And of course, I was denied lounge access for the last two days of my stay regardless of the fact i was a platinum member at the hotel.

Would i stay at this hotel again? Probably not. Should you? Only if the price is right.

Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled with friends
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1  Thank Blondelaw
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2012

I stayed at this hotel for 7 nights and was very dissapointed with the property. The rooms are old and smell like an ashtray. The beds are very uncomfortable and nothing like the well-known Westin beds. The hotel location is quite inconvenient and the shuttle to Osaka Station does not compensate this. I arrived at 11am and was told that my room was ready but that due to hotel policy I was not allowed to check in until 2pm. I was 'allowed' to wait in the lobby and order a coffe for €15 while I waited. The next shocker came when I wanted to use the pool for which the hotel charges more than €25 per day. Use the gym and you need to pay an additional €20. Mind you, this is on top of the €300 per night room rate. The rooms do not have wireless internet and the wired internet is extremely slow. You will have to search every corner of the room to find an electrical outlet that works and there is no iron. Breakfast is average at best and on Sunday morning you need to make sure you are downstairs before they close the buffet at 8:30 am. Saying that this hotel has the standards of a 'Sheraton' is an insult to Sheraton hotels everywhere. The hotel simply does not offer value for money and I would not recommend it to anyone.

Room tip: Book a room in another hotel
Date of stay: October 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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Thank Travelista-EU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 November 2012

I have stayed here a couple of times on business and though it just about satisfies my needs it does little more. On the plus side the hotel is reasonably well located with some good restaurants within a short walk and rooms are relatively large. The negatives here are that the rooms are in need of renovation, the room service food is extremely expensive and the gym is abysmal - old, worn and small. To make matters worse there is charge for the gym which was only reluctantly refunded and I was warned "but next time you will have to pay"...needless to say there was no "next time". Others have mentioned the internet charge which is annoying but not uncommon in Japan. This is probably priced at a small discount to the Ritz Carlton but it is a much worse hotel. For one night in a bed it is fine, for any more then the RC is a better bet.

Date of stay: September 2012
  • Trip type: Travelled on business
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Thank DC_UKtraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 November 2012

I stayed at the Westin for 4 nights and it was ok. I had chosen the Westin expecting something better than the usual standard Sheraton, but was rather disappointed. However, based on recent stays at Westin properties worldwide although the brand as a whole appears to have dropped its standards. Check-in was relatively efficient as was the checkout on departure. The concierge were helpful and both them and the reception staff had good English.
The lobby and bar were good places to meet but I wouldn't recommend buying a drink at such outrageous prices. I know Japan is expensive but some prices are ridiculous. Wi-fi worked well in the lobby and I had no problem in the room. Charges do apply for the Internet access. I had a room on the 22nd floor overlooking the river. The room was a good size with 2 queen size beds, decent wardrobe space separate bath and walk-in shower. One annoying detail is that there is no safe box in an room which is a crazy idea and leaves guests with nowhere to keep valuables other than at the front desk.
Breakfast was in the restaurant on the ground floor and can become chaotic when busy. There is little room to pass moving about the buffet which can only be described as average at best.however, the staff do try hard to please and assist where appropriate. One evening I was late back to the hotel not having eaten and tried to order sandwiches from room service but was told they had run out and only had fruit or curry which was bizarre!

The hotel is reasonably located for the city but if attending the convention centre as I was the distance is about 35-50 minutes depending on traffic and expensive by taxi. The hotel operates a shuttle to the rail station which is useful.

Date of stay: October 2012
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Thank Hudson0605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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