Tokyo is a massive city with an equally massive variety of hotels to stay at. I went through so many options, but eventually settled on one of the Intercontinental properties in the city (there are three), the Tokyo Bay one.
It is located about a seven or eight minute walk from Hamamatsucho station, on a variety of train and metro lines, as well as the monorail to Haneda airport. I booked a Club level room for ¥26,000 a night, for three nights in total.
Arriving into Narita Airport at about 18.15, it wasn’t until 20.00 that I arrived at the hotel and the check-in area. Heading up the desk, the very friendly and helpful person rather than checking us in, looked at our passports, tapped away at the computer and then called someone over to take us up to the Club lounge to check us in there instead. Personally, I would rather have just been checked in then and there, but didn’t want to argue.
Arriving in the lounge, handing over our passports again and after about ten minutes or so was given the room key. During this period the staff brought us a welcome drink of some ice tea and some hot towels. Personally I would rather have just had the room. Anyway, when we finally got the key, we walked in and a wall of cigarette smoke smell hit us. So trudged back to the lounge to change rooms. After another ten minutes and lots of tapping on the computer and calling, we were given another room. That also smelt faintly of cigarettes, however nowhere near as bad as the first. Having just flown 8,400 miles I wasn’t going to argue any more and just wanted to sleep.
The room itself was ok, and the bed was pretty comfortable. There was a functional work desk and chair, plug sockets (but no USB) next to each side of the bed, and some chocolate left out for us too. Strangely, there were no plugs at all on the work desk, but this odd box next to the desk that did.
There were some odd additions to the room. Firstly, next to the armchair there was a massage chair. The controls were solely in Japanese, however had fun trying to work out what they did. It was a novelty for about ten minutes then didn’t bother.
There also appeared to be an air purifier in the room like the one that I had in the JW Marriott in San Francisco. However it didn’t seem to do much and certainly didn’t remove the smell of cigarettes that seemed to permeate the room.
The bathroom was small but functional. There was both a shower cubicle and separate bath. The shower itself was fantastic – it had a huge rainfall rose with superb pressure. There was also an additional hose attachment too.
Being Japan, it had a full bidet style toilet with heated seat and a whole variety of controls. I personally love these things and wish they were found elsewhere in the world. The bathroom products were from Agraria, but there were also some full-size bottles of local products, branded with the hotel’s name, in the shower cubicle itself. I used those for the entire trip, rather than going through the little bottles.
The room itself was fine and had all the other amenities you’d expect such as mini-bar and room safe.
We also had access to the Club Lounge during our stay, which served breakfast, afternoon tea and evening drinks and nibbles.
Breakfast was generally pretty packed where they served a variety of pastries and hot options, including scrambled eggs, American style streaky bacon and some odd sausages. There was also a chef making eggs to order, including omelettes, fried and poached eggs.
In the evening there was a variety of food nibbles and a full bar to help oneself from, including some sparkling wine in the fridge and two beer taps. The food was all ok, but seemed distinctly low-quality.
For an Intercontinental there were some notable omissions. There was no 24 hour bar, or even a bar that opened later than midnight. The gym was two rooms put together and was tiny. There was no pool, sauna or steam room.
Overall it was an disappointing stay. All of the Club level rooms are meant to be non-smoking, however people do and the hotel clearly turns a blind eye to that. The hard facilities there were underwhelming too and the service ok, but seemingly quite procedural, as opposed to understanding a guest’s real needs. We wouldn’t come back.