We were getting quite desperate to book a hotel in Fukuoka as this trip was very last minute. All the international hotel chains were booked up. It was by chance that I stumbled on Takakura Hotel and upon inquiry, they had rooms. We quickly booked a twin room.
Once in Fukuoka airport, the cab driver was familiar with the hotel and took us there with no fuss. We unloaded the bags on our own and proceeded to check in. First experience with the front office staff was tough as he did not speak much English. We were trying to get a bigger room for us - wife, son and myself. We were willing to pay the difference, but apparently we had to move to a smaller room during the weekend. In any case, we could not check in yet [it was 9am!] and check-in is after 2pm. We left our luggage went for a walk/shopping.
If it is your first time here, take a right after exiting the hotel and walk straight past two minor cross junctions till you come to a cross junction at the main road [with tall modern office buildings]. This Kokutai-doro Avenue. Turn left and begin walking. About 2-3 blocks down is a yellow-facade store called "LOFT". A little further down is glass building -Mitsukoshi and orange building -Diamaru. It's about 10-15 minute walk. Very Manageable. From here, find your way to many interesting Department stores, restaurants and on the side streets, find brand name stores - Banana Republic, Zara, to name two.
Back at the hotel, we payed the difference for Deluxe Twin room, which they have agreed to let us have for the duration of our stay. This was unexpected and most welcome. Our room was a good size; in fact, bigger than a normal Japanese hotel room. There were two single beds, and a sofa bed converted for my son. The toilet is the usual fiber-glass unit built into the room with a toilet, sink and bathtub/shower.
Wifi signal in our room was strong and no password was required to join. There is a TV hung on the wall of the room with mostly Japanese stations. Even the satellite TV's BBC and ESPN was dubbed in Japanese. There is a movie channel with Hollywood and European movies. Sub-titles only in Japanese.
The room was neat and everyday housekeeping made sure the rooms were kept that way. Carpet feels clean and there are in room slippers and bath robes. Room lights and alarm are controlled from a panel in between the single beds. The beds are comfortable and neither too hard nor too soft. There is tea making facilities, but no instant coffee and related coffee cups. A fridge is under the tea counter.
Rooms come with a powerful hairdryer and a generous wardrobe space. Toilet amenities are also generous and replenished daily. Quality hair, conditioner and body wash in the shower area. The shower is strong and the temperature can be regulated to your preference. The toilet seat is a treat - kept warm and with the usual Japanese bidet functions.
The air con controls are in 100% Japanese text. That was a challenge. We worked out that the top left button [upon opening the cover] controls the air con, heater, or fan mode. We did not work out the 'fan speed' button.
The room location, though situated right at a corridor junction, was generally quiet. Our assumption is that most weekdays, it is a business man hotel, with many guests out at work during the day The lobby is busier in the evenings. On the weekends, it's a popular wedding hotel. There is a ornate chapel at the top floor. One can spot a beautiful Japanese bride in kimono or modern white wedding dress. Guests on weekends are also dressed in "morning dress" for men or kimonos for women.
The hotel does lack a couple of small things:
1. no moisturizer for post shower skin supple-ness
2. lacks an English speaking news station
3. coffee making facilities in the room
That said, there is a 7-eleven around the corner. So food, drinks and coffee is within easy reach.
Takaura Hotel has been around since the 1960s, and has taken the effort to refurbish and maintain the hotel and rooms to a modern standard. It is generally quiet and close to shopping and many food outlets. We did not have a problem with cabs not knowing the location of the hotel. The service staff are polite and will go out their way to assist. We did not expect them to, but they will surprise you. We certainly enjoyed our stay here and will wholeheartedly recommend the hotel to anyone who wants a good and inexpensive hotel to stay whilst in Fukuoka.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Our hotel is based on the image of petit hotels of North Italy. The lobby and guestrooms are fitted with Italian furnishings. ... more less
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