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“Good except for the service”
3 of 5 bubbles Review of Hotel Taikanso

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Hotel Taikanso
Saitama, Japan
Level Contributor
60 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Good except for the service”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 21 July 2014

I booked one sea-side room (Western/Japanese style) at Zuishokaku, the main building where the front desk is located. We, a family of 5, stayed for 2 nights from July 19, one of the buiest weekends in summer.

Room -- Enough space for 5 adults. The view was great. The equipment was adequate. The decor was out-dated, but clean. My major complaint was that if you sleep on futon, on the tatami mat, the morning sunshine comes almost directly through shoji. I couldn't sleep well after the sunrise (4:30a.m.).

Amenity -- A bit too basic for a four-star hotel. I especially disliked the thin towels. The futon(comforter) was too thick for summer.

Service -- disappointing. I assume this is an issue shared by many hotels and restaurants in Matsushima area. Probably because of lack of workers, many of the staff in this hotel (and restaurants in this area) seem to be part-time workers who are students. Those staff members have a badge hand-written "kenshusei" (meaning trainee), but obviously they haven't been trained enough. One of the "trainees" showed us to our room after check-in, and waited us in the buffet-style restaurant at dinner-time. We had to ask for a glass of beer three times. (If you are a Westerner, you may not be treated by a "trainee" because I doubt those "trainee" speak English.)

Meal -- good except for the trainee waiters. At dinner-time, a Filipino singer sang songs such as "Let It Be," "Change the World," and "Let It Go," as he was playing the piano. We really liked it. Food was good; Japanese, Chinese, Western, and Kid's. Although it is buffet, the chefs cooked steak and other dishes by order of guests.

Public bath -- good experience with a great view over the bay. Unlike some of the hotels in Matsushima, this hotel doesn't have hot springs, but it was not a problem.

Location -- on a steep hill, near the station, Matsushima-kaigan. We felt very safe. Shuttle buses take guests to/from the 2 railway station, the town, and the terminal of sightseeing boats every half an hour during the daytime. There shouldn't be any trouble.

Good: Food, Location, and View.
Bad: Service, and Amenity.

If it had not been one of the busiest weekends of the summer, our experience might have been different. But I don't think I will choose this hotel again.

Room Tip: Choose a room on the sea side.
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  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank bunicchi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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194 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Traditional) first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Any
English first
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
771 reviews
135 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 792 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 May 2014

I booked a three night stay through Japanican as it was the only site with explicit room details. I wanted a view and beds rather than futons and got one through paying extra.

The hotel is slightly dated but they get away with it. English is limited but they get by. Check in was warm and helpful. Staff and very organised and know how to deal with non-Japanese speakers. Public areas are spacious and most have fantastic views of the bay and islands. The ocean view Western/Japanese room on the 5th floor was spacious and practical but the big negative was it's smoky smell. We had the air purifier going for 3 days and a can of room freshener until it finally faded. I liked everything else about the room except the urinal in the toilet area which needed to be removed! I guess the modular bathroom was a little bit pokey although very clean.

It's slightly out of town but has an excellent complimentary shuttle service which operates half hourly from 8.30am till 6pm. This shuttle goes to both train stations (Matsushima-Kaigan is closer) and through the main street so most sites are covered. We had to take the half board rate as walking to town after 6pm is pretty well out of the question. There's a large free car park however and the hotel is well utilized by tour groups.

We dined in the buffet restaurant once and the French restaurant (top floor) twice. The Chinese restaurant was booked out. The French Restaurant was excellent - great service and beautiful food with a fantastic view. Breakfast offered a great variety in a busy atmosphere but staff were plentiful and helpful.

There was no internet in rooms but it is fast and free in the foyer.

There was plenty to do over our 3 days stay. There's a Tourist Information office at Matsushima-Kaigan station which will give you a map of the town in English.

I'd have given the hotel a score of 5 but for the smoky rooms and old urinal. Apart from that we were very happy with our stay.

Room Tip: Pay extra to have a view. Well worthwhile.
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  • Stayed April 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Canberra_Traveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bonsall, California
Level Contributor
345 reviews
133 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 619 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 April 2014

This is the largest hotel in Matsushima and is located on a hill with beautiful views over the bay. Definitely book a room with a view since that is the primary reason for coming to this town. The hotel consists of several different buildings constructed at different times, so some rooms are naturally going to be in better shape and more modern than others. We booked the least expensive twin room with a bay view, which was in the main building where the front desk is located. The room was very large with a foyer, huge bathroom, sofa and two twin beds. The wood floors were nice as was the wall to wall picture window overlooking the bay. However, I don't think this room has been updated since the hotel was built. The decor is extremely dated and the drapes were absolutely caked in dust and filthy. Otherwise, the room was clean, but I don't think I've ever seen drapes this dirty in my life. The beds were like a mattress on the floor, so I kind of think a Japanese room with futons might actually be more comfortable.

As with most hotels in Japan, the air conditioning was not turned on. Luckily it wasn't hot and the windows open, so it wasn't a problem, but I don't think hotels should advertise air conditioning when the guests can't choose when to use it. There is no internet in the rooms, but wireless is available in the lobby. The amenities in the room were what you expect to find in Japan. The bathroom had a separate shower and a huge soaking tub.

The staff is very welcoming and made a big effort to make us feel comfortable and to speak English. I never expect anyone to speak English to me in a foreign country, but it does make it easier. We were given an English printout of dining times, asked what time we wanted our room cleaned, and other pertinent information.

When you book here you have to choose which restaurant you want to dine in. The price depends on which one you select. There is a buffet, which is what I booked, a French restaurant, set menu Japanese, and Chinese. The buffet was very extensive and the staff made a huge deal of my partner's birthday without making a spectacle of it. I had mentioned it when I booked through JAPANiCAN, but didn't say anything at the hotel. We really appreciated the effort they put into it. The food is very good and includes western and Japanese foods. Same with the breakfast buffet. The food is high quality and the restaurant is very nice. The only issue is that they often ran out of utensils and dishes at breakfast, but the food was kept stocked.

Our room was non-smoking and there was no smell of smoke anywhere we went in the hotel except right outside of a smoking lounge.

There is a free shuttle bus to and from the station, so you don't have to walk up and down the steep hill to town unless you choose to. It isn't very far to all of the attractions and all of them can easily be visited in one day. The town is charming and the people are very nice, so if you have time you should try to stay two days to really get a feel for it. There is a tourist information window to the left as you exit the station. The staff there spoke English and were eager to help. There was someone outside to point us to the hotel shuttle bus, too, but I'm not sure he is always there, so ask at the information window. Taxis are always lined up there, too.

Room Tip: Be sure to book a bay view.
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  • Stayed March 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank davegidd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Albrighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
34 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 February 2014

I had a magical Autumn Visit to Matsushima, famous for its bay with its cedar tree laden islands and its ranking as one of Japan's three most scenic views. This large and grand Onsen hotel treats its guests like royalty, with high standards of hospitality.

Japanese inn/ ryokan style rooms were very generous in size, with a tatami mat area, futons, blankets and pillows that would have been sufficient for a very large group. Facilities included tea for all. The rooms were also clean and comfortable. Hotel rooms were stocked with Gaijin sized yukatas and sandals to be worn to and from the baths and optionally for meals!

Smart and clean restaurants offered a wide range of fusion inspired international cuisine and more traditional Japanese dinner and breakfast options. The evening meal was accompanied by demonstration cooking and a pianist.

The spa offered quality and value services. The Onsen itself was a real highlight of the visit. The sunset and dawn views across Matsushima Bay are particularly beautiful- a wonderful contrast and break with metropolitan life. The choice was whether to be glued to the view from the bedroom or the view from the Onsen!

  • Stayed November 2013, travelled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Salopianb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level Contributor
381 reviews
137 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 221 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 December 2013 via mobile

We opted for the Western / Japanese room facing the see, queen bed, western chairs and table plus Japanese tatami (畳) area with low table and seating for the other half of the room. Not to mention the small kitchen area, bathroom and toilet. Wonderful views across to the bay and islands with changing mist and burn off in the morning.

Booked via JAPANiCAN website described as Ocean View Japanese/Western-style Room/7sqm / 75sqft, Ocean view. The concept of a non smoking room isn't something that features on the booking for this company. Assumption may be that all Japanese people smoke heavy or you just wouldn't smoke in a room with a tatami mat in it. I JAPANiCAN and asked in two instances for non smoking as an option since it wasn't listed as as booking option. It was explained that there were no non smoking room but they would ask for the room to be deodorised - all was good no smoking odour.

This is a very large and grand Onsen hotel where quests get treated as Royalty. Essentially the dinner and breakfast plan provided Japanese dinner of the most Japanese emersed sort and breakfast Western / Japanese. Buffet breakfast and set intimate dining in the evening in one of the small Japanese restaurants that they have. We had two nights in one restaurant and two in another. Saka always aids the passage of raw fish. Obviously the JAPANiCAN booking gave us this profile of plan others would be available.

Internet is in the large lobby / bay area and is free. You can walk to town and the station so you can leave the car parked up for local site seeing. Decided Sendai would be too busy for a day out by car so took the train. The coast can be explored by car plus rambling up to viewing spots which was rewarding. We didn't do the boat trips.

Very pleasant and relaxing stay.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank LondonTell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Aomori, Japan
Level Contributor
311 reviews
111 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 263 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 19 August 2013

Bottom line up front: comfortable and commodious lodgings and amenities and tasty food, located on a picturesque bluff overlooking Matsushima Bay.

Details: son and I stayed overnight in August 2013. Arriving at Matsushima via train from Sendai, we caught the twice-hourly courtesy bus. Hotel Taikanso is reasonably big. The staff was very courteous, and were gracious in connecting to visitors like us who lacked Japanese language skills. A staff member escorted us to our spacious room. It overlooked the Bay and its many cedar-filled small islands.

We enjoyed a delicous multi-course prix fixe dinner at the on-site French restaurant Shiosai (other dining options are available, too). It was fun and tasty to sample the fusion of French and Japanese cuisines. Service was great. The following morning, our included buffet breakfast was extravagant in the range and quality of its offerings. For American travelers: think Courtyard Marriott and incredibly well beyond!

Taikanso's public baths (inside and outside) were pleasant as well. Our hotel room stocked yukatas (summer-weight kimonos) and sandals to be worn to and from the baths and optionally at meals. How fun -- just give in to the force and do it!

Our holiday-period overnight tariff for two travelers (one large twin room, dinner, and breakfast, was approx. $320 (not including a bottle of French wine at dinner)). Dirt cheap? No. Reasonable? I believe so, if you factor in the quality of furnishings, service, and amenities.

IHotel Taiksanso is a good choice for travelers who look to spend the night in Matsushima.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Andrew1234
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Tokyo, Japan
Level Contributor
7 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 July 2013

I came here with my family (85-year-old grandmother, sister, and Canadian brother-in-law) at the end of June 2013. We booked two separate rooms in the Annex Building (Combined Western/Japanese Room), but probably could have just booked one, as the room that I shared with my grandmother had two beds and then a tatami mat area with enough futon/blankets/pillows in the closet for at least three more people. The rooms were both very spacious, clean, and comfortable. Although we had the "Forest View" room, there was still quite a spectacular view from the large windows. Although there are nice public hot baths, each room also has a nice private bath/shower unit, etc.

The only downside was that the bed was quite short (just big enough for me to fit at 161 cm).

The dinner (my grandmother and I ordered the "Japanese Full Course Meal" and my sister ordered the "French Full Course Meal") was also wonderful, and the breakfast buffet was good. The hot public baths were also clean and big. The baths outside had a spectacular view.

Room Tip: Though you may be worried about getting a "Forest View" room instead of a "Sea View&q...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tolivegreens
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Hotel Taikanso

Property: Hotel Taikanso
Address: 10-76 Matsushima, Miyagi-gun, Matsushima-machi 981-0213, Miyagi Prefecture
Region: Japan > Tohoku > Miyagi Prefecture > Miyagi-gun > Matsushima-machi
Amenities:
Free Parking Shuttle Bus service Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 21 Hotels / Ryokan in Matsushima-machi
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Hotel Taikanso 3.5*
Number of rooms: 237
Reservation Options:
TripAdvisor is proud to partner with TripOnline SA, Traveltool, S.L.U., Booking.com, JAPANiCAN and Ctrip TA so you can book your Hotel Taikanso reservations with confidence. We help millions of travellers each month to find the perfect hotel for both holiday and business trips, always with the best discounts and special offers.
Also Known As:
Taikanso Hotel Matsushima Machi

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