The Best Western Shinjuku Astina in Kabukicho-1 wins the most points for its location, roughly 8 minutes' walk from the central transit hub of Tokyo. Although the neighborhood is a combination of London's Soho and Victoria areas, in Tokyo this brings all of the good and none of the bad.
The hotel is adequate if no-frills. The "Executive Lounge" is one long meeting table with 8 chairs and a free coffee maker; there is no business center, gym, pool, or spa. The television has one channel in English (CNN), and an unnecessarily complicated pay-TV system. Make no mistake: the hotel is squarely a Best Western (not Plus or Premier, either!), but it is perfectly 3-star.
The worst part of our stay experience was the hotel restaurant, Stella. We had both daily breakfast buffet (included in the room rate) and lunch buffet there, and they were borderline-disgusting. I had to force myself to find something nutritious each day, and was grateful that previous visits to Japan had given me a taste for miso soup and rice in the morning! I would have preferred to have the money for breakfast back in my pocket and purchase from the 24-hour convenience store on the ground floor -- which is exactly what we did.
The hotel has a convoluted system (designed to keep the cash in its account) whereby unused breakfast tokens can be used for JPY1000 off the lunch buffet (JPY1500, also not worth eating) or JPY1000 towards a purchase from the souvenir curio cabinet or JPY500 in the downstairs store. Skipping a day's maid service also gives you a JPY500 Best Western voucher that can only be used in the Shinjuku Astina towards lunch or tchotchkes, as above. Given that major Western chains (including other Best Western properties) compensate guests with cash off the bill or loyalty program points, this voucher system is unacceptable.
As expected in Japan, the staff are friendly and capable; collectively, their English-language skills are good (although individual variation is huge). They were essential to making the stay run smoothly.
For another stay in Tokyo at this price point, I wouldn't hesitate to book the Best Western Shinjuku Astina.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The JR Shinjuku Station which is only 8 minutes walk from the hotel,makes good access to all areas of Tokyo and suburban areas such as Hakone.Suitable for both business trips and vacations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Best Western Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo
- Shinjuku Best Western