My review of the Conrad Tokyo hotel

This is my review of the Conrad Tokyo hotel.

As with my other Asia reviews this weekend, it is less comprehensive than usual.  We were not on a review trip, we did not get a hotel tour, we did not see other rooms apart from our own and, as we had small children with us, we didn’t eat in any of the hotel restaurants apart from breakfast.  You should still get a feel for the hotel though.

The official Conrad Tokyo hotel website is here if you want to find out more.

During the peak March / April tourist season, hotels in Tokyo are ludicrously expensive.  The Conrad Tokyo was selling for £500 per night during our review and was full.  This is exactly the right time to get some Hilton Honors points into use.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

There are fewer options than you might imagine with the major Western chains having surprisingly little to offer.  IHG has nothing apart from the three InterContinental properties (Anika will review the InterContinental ANA in a week or so) – there is not a single Crowne Plaza, Indigo, Holiday Inn etc.  Marriott has surprisingly little although Starwood is a bit better – I disliked the Westin when I stayed there 15 years ago though.  Hyatt has the classiest options with the Park ‘Lost In Translation’ Hyatt and the equally impressive Grand Hyatt in Roppongi, as well as an Andaz.

Here is the building containing the Conrad Tokyo:

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

This is a more cliched stock picture of the exterior:

Conrad Tokyo sign

As Tokyo has no real centre from a tourist perspective, where you stay isn’t that important.  That said, the Conrad Tokyo ticks two key boxes.  It is directly on top of a subway station (Shiodome) and a 15-minute walk – via an elevated walkway – to the Ginza shopping district.  It is also convenient for arrivals at Haneda Airport, an airport so smart it has carpeted its baggage claim area!  We paid about £45 for a taxi which was suprisingly quick on a Sunday evening.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

Conrad Tokyo is set in the top part of a new skyscraper, with reception on the 28th floor.  This is a common feature for most of the high end hotels in Tokyo – The Peninsula is a notable outsider being stand-alone.

The building exterior is surprisingly non-descript.  You could easily stay here and still not be able to pick out the hotel for a random selection of building photographs.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

Our room

We had booked two standard rooms for 95,000 Hilton Honors points each per night.  As the hotel was full there was little they could do in terms of Diamond upgrades and reportedly the hotel is stingy at the best of times.  We got a view over a park and towards the bay which is the ‘preferred’ side.

This is an ‘official’ room picture:

Conrad Tokyo room

…. and here are my unofficial ones:

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

The room was decorated in a modern, stylish but not particularly Japanese way.  The key feature was the glass wall – with an automated blind – letting you see directly into the bathroom.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

After four nights in a huge suite in Hong Kong the Conrad Tokyo room felt very small but, in reality, was on a par with most standard rooms in big city hotels.  The bathroom was larger than average with a smart stand-alone tub.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

It wouldn’t be Japan, of course, without a fully automated washing, drying Toto loo.  There is hours of fun to be had putting small children on them!  In Beijing, although not here, the lid lifted even automatically when you walked towards it.  As soon as we got back to the UK my wife started complaining that she missed the heated seats!

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

The lounge

As a Hilton Diamond we got access to the Conrad Tokyo Executive Lounge.  This has just reopened following an expansion which saw it add a separate dining area on the other side of the corridor, sharply increasing the number of seats available.

It was, unfortunately, a major disappointment.  On our first day we arrived at 9pm to find nothing available apart from drinks.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

On the 2nd day we did arrive for the two hour evening drinks and snacks reception but the selection and the quantity was embarrassingly poor.  They even ran out of wine glasses at one point.  If you thought you could skip your evening meal by hitting the canapes instead then you’d be in for a rude awakening.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

The new dining area makes the lack of food even more obvious.  If you have an Executive Lounge full of sofas and casual furniture there is an implication that you won’t be eating a full meal.  Now the lounge has a large formal dining area with ‘proper’ tables and chairs it is a bit odd to sit there with a couple of tiny canapés, if you are lucky enough to find any at all.

Breakfast

….. was more successful.  We chose to eat in the restaurant and not the lounge. Served in this impressive airy space, with views over the park and bay:

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

…. it was a good place to start the day.  As with all the hotels we visited, there was effectively a full Western menu with local options as well.

As a Hilton Diamond breakfast was free and represented a substantial cost saving.  Additional cooked items we ordered were also not charged.  I’m not sure if Gold members would also get access to the full menu for free.

The pool

I never saw the Conrad Tokyo fitness centre but the pool – as with all pools built high up in skyscraper hotels – had a certain majesty to it.  It was, unfortunately, very cold and my kids didn’t like it.

Conrad Tokyo hotel review

There is also a very smart looking bar which runs the full length of the lobby as well as a couple of other restaurant options.  We did not get the opportunity to try those.  I should give a brownie point to the concierge who gave us some excellent trips for spotting the best of the cherry blossom.

Would I return to Conrad Tokyo?

I don’t know.  I have a soft spot for the Grand Hyatt in Roppongi, which is part of a shopping mall and in a pedestrianised area, albeit 5 minutes walk to the subway.  The Peninsula, where I stayed last time, suffered from a lack of public space although my room was impressive.

Even if I was on my own I would have found the Conrad Tokyo room a little small and the lounge was certainly not somewhere that – as a solo traveller – I would have wanted to spend much time.  This is a shame as I often pass the evenings working in a lounge when there is one.

On the positive side, the location works for walking to Ginza, for subway access and for getting to/from Haneda Airport.  The design is impressive and the views are good.  Free breakfast if you have Hilton Gold or Diamond status is another good reason to stay here.

Frankly, unless you have World of Hyatt points, Conrad Tokyo is arguably the best reward night option available.  Only The Ritz-Carlton, which I’ve never seen, booked on Marriott Rewards points would be a sensible high-end alternative.

This was one of the few times that I have been in a luxury hotel and felt that it was perhaps unnecessary (based on what we got vs the time spent in the hotel) but, in reality, the number of alternative points options – luxury or mid-range – was slim.  Anika’s InterContinental ANA review isn’t going to be too positive.  The Courtyard By Marriott in Ginza was one of the few mid-range reward possibilities.

The Conrad Tokyo website is here if you want to find out more.

Our next stop, via the bullet train, was The Ritz-Carlton in Kyoto about which I had heard nothing but good things …..

(Want to earn more hotel points?  Click here to see our complete list of promotions from the major hotel chains or use the ‘Hotel Promos’ link in the menu bar at the top of the page.)

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Comments

  1. Slight OT but Hilton related. Thinking to go for Hilton gold/diamond 90 Days challenge. However may I ask book a stay booked via Hilton free night certificate or part point and cash option would consider qualify for the challenge?

    Also got friends visiting Europe soon, can I book hilton room for them without my presence but count for the challenge?

  2. When is the next Hilton sale expected?

  3. Usually stay at local basic chains such as Sotetsu Fresa Inn, Hotel Mystays and other similar ones (often very well reviewed but varies by location). Usually something like £70-90 per night before cashback. Rooms almost always have a fridge, so it’s easy to just buy a few bits for breakfast from the convenience stores found on every corner. Just have to be careful to book a non-smoking room.

  4. Anthony says:

    I stayed at the Shangri-La when I was in Tokyo last year. Lovely hotel with decent size rooms and a nice pool and gym. Received complimentary breakfast due to Jade status through Amex platinum. Also with Jade status I was asked to choose a few amenities from a list, though they could not offer me a room upgrade.

  5. Having stayed at the Conrad (don’t like the location), Imperial (service great but too attentive for me) and a couple of others over the years, we find ourselves always returning to the Capitol Tokyu in Akasaka. Huge rooms, several subway stations to choose from within the basement and my favourite ramen place 5 mins away. No points option though. Back there in November (1st again on avios – thanks HfP!) and can’t wait.

  6. Vf Souza says:

    Stayed in Corand Tokyo in 2015 and simply loved everything. From the room, bathroom, view, room service(yummy late night burger), check-in desk and concierge…everything was spot on.
    Last year stayed at the Imperial and it was a very disappointing experience.

  7. Might just be me but having been to the Conrad in HK and in Bali I remain hugely disappointed by the brand.

    Neither hotel really had what I’d call great service levels, bedrooms dated and breakfast quality was not what I expect from such expensive rates.

    I am a fan generally of the Hilton family though.

    • Genghis says:

      You must be harder to please than me.
      Went to HK Conrad last year. Upgraded to a harbour view suite. Didn’t seem dated. Quality lounge and helpful staff. A really enjoyable stay.
      We have just spent a week at Conrad Bali. Granted the rooms are a bit dated but we got upgraded to an ocean suite, decent breakfast (Western and Japanese) at Rin, afternoon tea very average, evening cocktails good for booze before dinner, use of suites pool, use of the Spa infinity pool. There were some minor issues but once I’d reported them they were instantly rectified and remained that way for the rest of our stay. Staff super friendly. We spent one night at the Ritz Carlton before our week long Conrad stay and whilst the resort and hotel rooms were gorgeous, service was seriously lacking. I’ll be doing TA reviews for both. Conrad 5* and we would love to return, RC 3*.

      • Genghis says:

        Oh and Conrad Bali I thought was v reasonably priced at only £134 a night (we had booked the resort view room)

        • In both instances I came from the intercontinental before the Conrad and if the choice is between both of pick the IC any day of the week.

          Stayed as spire ambassador and diamond.

          • Genghis says:

            Interesting. Will check out the IC. For a relaxing resort stay having the breakfast, snacks and evening booze thrown in at Conrads keeps costs down

    • That’s a shame as I was planning a trip to Conrad Bali. Do Diamonds not get treated well there as in suite upgrades? I was tempted as there was an Executive Lounge too.

  8. Sorry Genghis, I saw your reply later as hadn’t refreshed the page. That’s encouraging to know! I was thinking two days at IC Bali with my points. Anyone had any good experience there?

    • Genghis says:

      I’ll leave a proper TA review in the next week or so. Contact me on twitter – genghis1232 – and I’ll send you a link if you’re interested in reading

      • I would love to. I am not on Twitter though unfortunately. I want to book 4 for 5 nights but the resort view room is not listed as a standard room reward. There is not much difference in points cost but do we get 4 for 5 for any room we book or does it have to be a standard room? All the rooms, excluding suites are 45sq metres so not sure what the difference is. Do they upgrade diamonds to suites if say an Ocean View Room is booked? Also, I have 2 kids aged between 8-11 so will they be allowed in executive lounge?

  9. OT but if any is interested in IHG – “Book from April 30 to May 7, 2017 and receive 50% off Reward Nights at select resorts in Mexico, Latin America and the Caribbean. Valid for stays from May 1st to June 30th, 2017.” There are a lot of IC and CP on offer.