Just how good a stay one has at the New Otani really depends on the room one gets, and to some extent, the time of year one stays there. At it's best, this is an exceptionally good hotel; at worst, the experience is average.
For a recent visit to Tokyo, I stayed at the New Otani for the first time in several years. Prior to that previous visit, I had occasion to stay at the New Otani perhaps 30 times over a 20 year period. Most previous stays were during business trips, but this last came at the end of a long trip of a personal nature. In most previous stays, I made very specific instructions regarding my rooms, but on this trip the booking was made with a view to obtaining a good room rate. The result, predictably, was a twin room on a lower floor of the garden tower that was in serious need of updating. Rooms in the garden tower can be a bit cramped, and this feeling is magnified by the layout of the twin rooms. Also, rooms between the 21st and 27th floors tend to leave one spending a great deal of time waiting for elevators, especially in the morning when there is a rush of people trying to get to the restaurant on the top floor for breakfast.
My stay this time was adversely affected by a couple of other factors. First, it was the beginning of Spring Break in Japan, and the hotel was quite crowded. Second, the hotel management had decided that this would be a good time to rebuild some of the elevators. On the morning I checked out, it took over 30 minutes before I could get an elevator from the 22nd floor, by which time a small crowd of guests piled into an elevator going up, so we would at least be part of the pack in the lift going down.
All this said, there is still much to recommend about the New Otani Tokyo. It is an enormous hotel with rooms in the Main and in the Garden Tower. There is a long concourse connecting the two and each has its own reception. It does take a few minutes to walk from one end to the other. There are a large number of shops, bars and restaurants in the New Otani complex, and the Garden Tower end is only a few minutes walk from the Akasaka entertainment district. The nearby Akasaka Mitsuke subway station is served by 4 or 5 of Tokyo's subway lines, and it is a 1500 or 1600 yen taxi ride from Tokyo Station for those who do not want to drag their bags onto the subway. In short, few hotels are better located, whether for business or pleasure.
Service at the New Otani is impeccable. I will give it 4 out of 5 for the current visit only because of the situation with the elevators. The staff are about as well trained as they come. An example: a few years ago, I stayed at the Four Seasons Shanghai; by the time I reached the reception counter at check in, the woman at the counter had my registration sheet ready, and greeted me by name with a smile and a bow. It turns out she had previously worked at the New Otani and remembered me.
The breakfast buffet in the Tower Restaurant and in the Garden Buffet were always as good as they come. I did not avail myself of it this time, in part because the cost of the buffet was not included in my room rate and it is rather pricey. Still, on walking by the Garden Restaurant in the morning, it appeared that the spread has lost none of its excellence.
Internet is free, but rooms in the tower only allow access by LAN cable which is a problem if your computer does not take a LAN cable (such as the MacAir). Wifi is available in the lobby.
I will happily stay at the New Otani on future visits, but I will remember to be more specific about the room requirements.
- Also Known As:
- New Otani Tokyo Garden Hotel
- New Otani Hotel Tokyo
- Hotel New Otani Tokyo Executive House ZEN & The Main Japan
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