Just returned from Tokyo and six nights at the Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo. Selected the hotel based upon TripAdvisor reviews and wasn't disappointed. Although the hotel is in a business district and located on the top floors of an office building, it was a great base for this senior mom/adult daughter team to explore the city.
HOTEL RESERVATIONS: The hotel offers a variety of discounts for booking online. I received a 30% discount for booking more than 30 days in advance. I booked approximately 120 days in advance. When I tried to book earlier than that the reservation system was not set up to accept the rate so I kept checking back every week or so. NOTE: The card you use to make the reservation is the card that will be charged upon check out. We wanted to use a different card (one with no foreign transaction fee) than the one used to make the reservation but found out (or at least were informed very politely) we could not switch cards because the hotel staff does not have access to the online payment system. Choose your card wisely before booking online!
FROM NARITA TO THE HOTEL: We used the Airport Limousine (AL) coach bus service to Tokyo City Air Terminal (referred locally as "T-CAT") and then took a taxi to the hotel. This route was recommended by the hotel, as the walk from the closest AL bus stop was farther than my mom and I wanted to negotiate in the dark, after a long flight, with our luggage (mom also uses a cane). The one-way fare from Narita was 2900Y per person and our taxi fare was approximately 800Y. The ride from T-CAT to the hotel was relatively short because we arrived on a Sunday evening and there was no traffic. If you take a taxi from T-CAT when traffic is heavier the fare to the hotel will be more.
CHECK IN: Reception is on the 15th floor and check in was fast and efficient, especially since all credit card information was already on file. The elevators have a security system; you will need use your room key to access your floor.
THE ROOM: Guestrooms are on floors eight through 14. We booked a non-smoking standard twin (two beds) and were very pleased with the room size and location (12th floor, overlooking Sotobori Dori, the street in front of the hotel). Very impressed with the soundproofing -- it was one of the quietest rooms we've stayed in. The room aesthetic consists of clean lines and calming effects. There was plenty of space for the two of us to each have our own "space." We invited two of my mother's university colleagues who are in Japan on sabbatical to see the room and we were informed that it was only a little smaller than their two-room university apartment! In addition to the two beds (each were the equivalent of U.S. full size bed with a firm mattress, and two pillows, one of which was half-filled with buckwheat or something similar), the room had an armless easy chair and matching ottoman, a wardrobe for hanging clothes, a wall desk unit with good surface space, a comfortable desk chair, a humidifier (which we used after a staff member showed us how to turn it on) and plenty of lighting. The sink and vanity were separate from the shower/tub combo and Washlet toilet. The tub is shorter and deeper (by U.S. standards) and the water pressure and availability of hot water is exceptional. The pictures on the website are very accurate as to the room layout and furnishing.
ROOM AMENITIES: Free wi-fi, two bottles of complimentary water every day. Small fridge in the desk unit (not a mini bar) and an electric kettle for tea (which is provided). If you want in-room coffee you'll need to bring your own instant, like Starbucks Via.Very nice green tea shampoo conditioner, and bath gel in large pump containers. They were always full, so we suspect the housekeeping staff refilled them every day. There are two drawers underneath the vanity filled with every toiletry and personal care item you could imagine. Be careful about using the moisturizers - they are very runny. When I opened a package the liquid squirted out of the package, ran off my hand, and onto my t-shirt. In addition to slippers, the hotel also provided each of us with a sleeping garment: a white waffle weave, robe-like garment with front buttons.They were replaced fresh every day.
HOTEL SERVICE: We experienced excellent customer service, from my email inquiries about transportation from Narita to our day of departure, when a reception staff member escorted us downstairs to the front of the hotel, went around the corner during a rain storm to hail a taxi, and stood over us with two umbrellas as we put our luggage and ourselves into the car. During the week I had transportation questions about using the train to get to destinations outside the Tokyo. I was provided with a detailed train map in English and Japanese and directions for correct train to take. The reception staff patiently wrote out a half dozen phrases in Japanese that we could show a taxi driver once we reached our destination. While our questions and requests were answered in English with varying degrees of fluency it was always with a uniformly high level of courtesy and willingness to help. We never saw the housekeeping staff but our room was always serviced by the time we returned (housekeeping service begins at 10:00 a.m.) and they kept our room meticulously clean and well supplied with water, towels, sleeping garments, and toiletries.
LOCATION: Perfect for our purposes. Easy access to the train (the north entrance of Tokyo Station is a three-minute walk; Tokyo Station is also a good place for a meal, as there are a number of restaurants throughout the station - try DomPierre in Kitchen Street for Asian-style curry). Very close access to the subway (Nihonbashi Station, entrance/exit A3, is a one-minute walk around the corner on Eitai Dori). Coffee and light American-style breakfast items are available at Tully's (on Sotobori Dori, across the street from the hotel entrance, next to the post office), Excelsior Caffe (exit the hotel, turn left, just past the Family Mart, a 24-hour convenience store), and Starbucks (exit the hotel, turn left, walk a couple blocks, turn left at the golf store on the corner and it's down half a U.S. block and across the street). Department stores within a five-minute walk: Takishimaya, Mitsukoshi, and Daimaru (don't forget to check out the department store restaurants for sit-down meals and food halls on the basement levels for takeaway). Other places to visit (distance from the hotel is noted in minutes) include the Nihombashi Bridge (Tokyo history and Japan geography - five minutes); Kite Museum (a small space crammed with a fraction of a fantastical collection of Chinese and Japanese kites - five minutes); and the Bridgestone Museum of Art (built during the post-war period, it houses a modest but charming collection of French and Japanese Impressionists, with a smattering of sculptures, including some ancient Greek and Egyptian pieces - seven to ten minutes).
The Imperial Palace Gardens are nearby (northwest of Tokyo Station) and the Crafts Gallery (west of the Gardens).
After exploring Tokyo and making discoveries, either locally or farther afield, we always looked forward to returning to our room for what we knew would be a relaxing and restful night's sleep.
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- Also Known As:
- Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo Japan