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“Little English, strange rules, poor service for a Japanese hotel”

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Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi Ningyocho
Ranked #16 of 91 Hotels / Ryokan in Chuo
Certificate of Excellence
Hong Kong, China
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 47 helpful votes
“Little English, strange rules, poor service for a Japanese hotel”
Reviewed April 19, 2013

I travel to Tokyo 5-6 times a year. I usually stay in the area, but in a different hotel - this time, my usual hotels were all fully booked so decided to stay here for the first time.

I had problems checking in because the staff spoke very little English and couldn't comprehending what I was saying. There were 4 staff members at the front desk, but none had good English. I had to call over my Japanese speaking friend to the hotel to resolve the issue.

The hotel charges JPY1,000 per hour for late check-out, which seems like a lot because it's only 5,000-6,000/night at this hotel. Their check-out time is 10am. I checked out at 11am and they charged me 1,000yen. This is the first time a business hotel of this price range charged me extra by-the-hour for a late check-out. I understand if the room is not available and I must check out at 10am, but if the room is available until 11am, they shouldn't charge an extra fee. I've stayed at other hotels in the area and this is not normal.

A colleague of mine who stayed at another hotel nearby wanted to see my room to see if he should stay there next time. However, the hotel staff made a scene about my colleague not being allowed to go up, even to just check out my room. My colleague explained that he wanted to see the room for reference - to consider for his next stay. However, they were very stern about the whole thing. My colleague asked if he could see any room (not mine) for reference, but the manager came out and said it would take a very long time to prepare a room for showing. A very strange hotel - they weren't treating us like guests and they also lost future business.

The room is clean, but smaller than other similarly priced hotels in the area. I booked a "double" room, large enough to accommodate 2. Yes, the bed was bigger than a twin, but the room isn't any bigger, which means less walking space. There was no space for my small carry-on suitcase. Every time I left the room, I had to move my carry-on bag out of the doorway so I could open the door. I've stayed at small business hotels all over Japan, but there is usually room under the desk or some sort of closet space for my carry-on suit case. Not at this hotel.

The service is usually very good in Japan, but I got a very strange feeling from the staff at this hotel. There are many hotels in the area for even cheaper with better service, better English speaking staff, and bigger rooms. Too many strange rules at this hotel. I wouldn't stay here next time.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Dan E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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291 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (21)
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English first
Aussie anywhere ...
Level 2 Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

This is a new “business hotel” in a non-touristy part of Tokyo.

We knew this room was small when booking. It was the smallest room we have stayed in, not only in Japan, but our entire travel history. (We have not stayed in a capsule hotel!) Everything new and sparkly, fresh pyjamas for the night. You wouldn’t fit here if you have a suit case. We travel light – little more than cabin bags - and our bags barely fit. One on the bag rack, the second under the desk. The only free floor space was between the front door, passing the bathroom, and the beginning of the bed, and that is the width of the door. Then there is a narrow desk and just enough space to walk by the bed.
You can understand this is targeting overnight business people. We found the 140cm width double bed is on the small side for us, but OK for a single.

The small rooms make up most of the hotel. One comfort room (an extra long corridor), and one twin (even more space) are on each floor. We swapped to the comfort room after two nights and that extra corridor space made a big difference. Then two of us could walk at once!

Breakfast is basic but freshly prepared. Two firsts for us in our Japanese visit: Good quality smoked chicken breast and real coffee from real beans in an automatic espresso machine.

Before arrival, we found difficult to find the hotel on any map, as not shown on google, the hotel website, or other maps we had. However, the subway area map at Ningyocho subway station showed the hotel clearly. There are 3 subway lines (Ningyocho (Asakusa A14 & Hibiya H13) and Suitengumae (Hanzomon Z10)) within a few minutes walk. We found Ningyocho (H13) the most convenient overall.

Overall we found this to be a great location base Where ever you go, you need to travel, and this was close or on the way to most. Quite a number of reasonable quality local restaurants in the area.

We would happily stay here again. While we enjoyed this compact experience, next time we'll target a twin room. Book ahead!

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank anywhere-anyhow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bolton
Level 6 Contributor
79 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 77 helpful votes
Reviewed April 9, 2013

This was a lovely, reasonably priced hotel for a big city.We did get a good deal because it is new and we took a chance on going there.Everything was new and we even got a breakfast everyday thrown in.It cost us only 5000 yen a night for this.We got all the freebies as usual brush,tea,toothbrush,razor etc and also could help yourself to bathsalts(mango).fruit teas,and women got a special pack of moisturisers and hair clip for everyday!The breakfast was scrambled egg, sausages, toast , jam.
salad,cold meats,tea.coffee and always hot and fresh.There was free coffee everyday from 3pm and water/ice available all day.Also access to laptop.The reception was where the breakfast was and very like a new backpackers where people can get together.The staff spoke very little english which could be a problem but were very helpful especa\ially when I had lost my case keys and they gave us boltcutters to get in the bag!Loved my room but small for 2 people.Cannot fault the place.Try it if in Tokyo.Handy for 2 lines of Tokyo subway and got all over Tokyo from there.Dont book taxi from here as cab charged an extra 500yen from hotel.Should have been 800yen to Tokyo main station.He charged me 1300yen!!!

Room Tip: All were secure so it didnt matter to me which room(no smoking of course!)
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mosiebolton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Copenhagen, Denmark
Level 6 Contributor
545 reviews
72 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 212 helpful votes
Reviewed April 7, 2013

My first thought when walking the short way from the subway, was that the area was really nice and not all that "touristy".

At the reception they are very nice and very helpful, but their english is lacking a lot.

The room is clean, but small, but we did have room for our suitcase to stand on a small holder, so we had easy access to it.

The bed was quite comfortable and even though we could easily hear when anybody talked outside the room, we were never disturbed at night.

As we hardly spend any of our waking hours on the hotel, it had all we needed.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank LPHDK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi Ningyocho

Property: Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi Ningyocho
Address: 1-15-4 Nihonbashi Kakigaracho, Chuo 103-0014, Tokyo Prefecture
Location: Japan > Kanto > Tokyo Prefecture > Tokyo > Chuo > Ginza / Tokyo Nihonbashi
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Best Value Hotel in Chuo
#9 Family Hotel in Chuo
#9 Romantic Hotel in Chuo
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3 star — Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi Ningyocho 3*
Number of rooms: 128
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Also Known As:
Sotetsu Fresa Inn Nihombashi Ningyocho Tokyo, Japan

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