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My review of the ANA InterContinental Tokyo hotel

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This is my review of the ANA InterContinental Tokyo hotel.

As hotels in Tokyo are incredibly expensive during cherry blossom season it made sense to use points for my stay.  Rob had already bagged the Conrad Tokyo (his review is here) so I stayed at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.  Whilst the property is linked to the airline ANA, who provided my flight to Tokyo, they did not pay for the hotel.  Here is my review.

Getting to the ANA InterContinental Tokyo from Haneda Airport is fairly easy.  There is the option of taking the shuttle bus (40-60 minutes 1,130 yen) bus, however my arrival time and the bus timetable weren’t lining up so I decided to take the metro.

There are two lines from Haneda Airport. I chose the Keikyu-Kuko Line, that became the Asakusa Line at Sengakuji Station, all the way to Shimbashi where I had to change for the Ginza Line to Tameike-Sanno Station. The ANA InterContinental Tokyo is right outside Exit 13.  The whole journey took about 40 minutes and the trains were almost empty.  (Before my trip to Tokyo I had nightmares at dreaming about packed trains, getting squashed in the doors and losing my luggage!)

I bought a train ticket at Haneda Airport to Sengakuji for 560 yen and another ticket at Shimbashi for 170 yen. The next day I got a Pasmo card (the Japanese Oyster Card) to simplify my journeys and also to reduce the cost.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

Check in

The ANA InterContinental Tokyo reception is at the far end of the ground floor. As it was very busy when I arrived I had to wait about 10 minutes until I could check in. The check in process itself took another 10 minutes. I was very tired after the flight and just wanted to get some rest so it was slightly annoying that everything took so long.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review


My room was on the 15th floor. It was a Standard Double Room with a good sized desk, a sitting area and a comfortable bed.

There were some fruit, two bottles of water and a Japanese newspaper

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

The design of the room and its furniture was rather disappointing and appeared to be badly dated.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

The coffee/tea machine was a bit odd and by no means could I find out how to operate it.  It appeared to be some sort of kettle and there were instant coffee sachets as well as tea bags next to it. As I’m not a fan of instant coffee I eventually gave up and got my coffee at one of the million coffee shops in Tokyo.  (If you think London is overrun with coffee shops, it has nothing on Tokyo.)

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

Let’s look at the positive aspects of the bathroom first. There was a lot of space for make-up, creams etc. around the sink, although with the hair dryer, tissue box and amenities randomly spread out it looked a bit messy. It also didn’t help that the sink was rather tiny and the marble looked a bit dated.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

The shower was terrible.  It was not possible to bend the shower head further down and when taking a shower the water went straight into my face – and nowhere else. Where is a rainfall shower when you need one?

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

At least the toilet was a typical Japanese Toto toilet.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

And now to the worst part of the room … MOULD!

The last time I had mould in a hotel room was when I stayed on a little island in Croatia where there was only one hotel which had 2 stars and no competition.  With 2 stars I didn’t expect much, but a 5 star hotel with mould…?

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review


To end my review with something positive, as a Spire Elite member I received two complimentary drinks at the MIXX bar and lounge on the 36th floor.  The staff were very friendly, the drinks were pleasant and the view, especially as it got dark outside, stunning.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

The ground floor with it’s cafe / bar was gorgeous with a piano player was playing tunes in the evening.  It is only the rooms that let this property down.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review


The location of the ANA InterContinental was great. As well as having the Ginza Line right outside, there was an office building with a supermarket and lots of restaurants on the other side.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review

The area was also great for taking cherry blossom pictures as there were a lot of trees around the hotel.

ANA InterContinental Tokyo review


To give you a better impression of the ANA InterContinental Tokyo, here is a short mould-free YouTube video of the hotel and my room.  You can subscribe to our YouTube channel via this page – this is the same link to visit if the video does not automatically appear below.



The good news is that the ANA InterContinental Tokyo is easily accessible from Haneda Airport as well as the main tourist attractions, there are various restaurants and bars inside the hotel as well as in the surrounding area and the public areas of the hotel are very good.

On the other hand, the service was by Japanese standards very slow and on several occasions staff seemed very annoyed when I didn’t understand their English.  I understand that cherry blossom season meant that the hotel was almost fully booked and the staff were having to work harder than usual.  Mould in the bedroom is unacceptable and the shower was in need for a makeover.

There are not many options for using hotel loyalty points in Tokyo with the big chains all having far fewer properties than you would expect.  There is not a single Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express or Crowne Plaza, for example.  If you have the choice and you have Hilton Honors points, stay at the Conrad Tokyo. After having read Rob’s review and comparing the pictures to the ANA InterContinental, I can’t really recommend the ANA.

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

(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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  1. stacey says:

    it was disappointing to read the lousy review. i have fond memories of this hotel, having stayed there for three months in 1989 and a couple of weeks in 1995. from the photos it looks just the same, which probably explains the issues. i’d still choose it over the conrad, though, due to its location.

    • RIcatti says:

      They really have to up the standards at ANA InterContinental.

      Dated everything, DUST under the furniture/behind fridges (some unhygienic staff such as candy, cotton rolls).

      Limited status recognition, but thats common in Japan. They acknowledge at reception desk multiple times but not much follows in terms upgrade/benefits.

  2. I stayed at the other IC in Tokyo, the IC Tokyo Bay. Great experience, and my only qualm was the lack of nice-ish amenities. The gym, for example, was “hidden away” in a small room.

  3. I ended up using my IHG barclaycard free nights here and it was rather disappointing, as Anika reviews.

    My free nights were going to expire and I hadn’t found anywhere else worthwhile using them (it isn’t good value for me to use them in a city where there is a CP for 20-25K points and/or the HI(x) is 10K, even if the IC is 50K). I had run out of HH points and there were no cheap hotels as it was also peak season, so this seemed like the best choice, especially as Anika says, the location is great and there are few options on points.

    I got a smaller room than my first year in UK university halls (which cost £15 per night including dinner, albeit in 2006). IHG paid the IC ANA US$60 per night for my stay. OTOH, my friends stayed in an airbnb which was almost the same size as my room here, and it cost them about US$60 too, and was just round the corner from this hotel.

    The bathroom was not mouldy but when I stay in a supposedly high-end hotel I expect to get a nicer bathroom than what I have at home, and this was worse. The only real positive was that my wife liked the toiletries better than the usual PeterThomasRoth ones we get at Hiltons 🙂

    As a Spire (non-Ambassador), I got 600 points, can’t remember there was a choice of points or drinks, and the offer of a “special rate” of 3000 JPY for breakfast. The check-in person said “Thank you for your loyalty” about 10 times during check-in and phoned the room after we had arrived to say it again twice.

    Nitpick: “The next day I got a Pasmo card (the Japanese Oyster Card) to simplify my journeys and also to reduce the cost.” – forgiveable: plenty of Japanese tourists think the Oyster is the “English smartcard”. Japan has about 25 different smart cards and only 11 can be used interchangeably.

    PASMO is the Tokyo Metro smartcard, and in Tokyo it doesn’t reduce the cost but only saves you time buying tickets before each journey. You pay the exact fare with a smartcard but it is rounded to the nearest 10 yen if paying with cash, which can be up or down. In the rest of Japan most fares are already rounded to the nearest 10 yen by cash or smartcard.

    Also, there are various day-passes for Tokyo transport which are not available on smartcards, so it is not necessarily cheaper. In fact I never got a smartcard on my entire trip to Japan because I found that there were always paper-only multi-tickets for the places I planned to go, which were much cheaper than paying the individual fare each time.

    • I found some of the passes for the underground to be very good value and less hassle. There is one that does both underground companies that you can buy at the airport, some hotels, with the Keisei Skyliner airport train etc. And was working out about £5 a day.

      There is also a Tokyo underground only for just under a £5 a day for 24 hours which can be bought at any station.

      We were jumping on and off tubes a lot and most stops in cash are at least £1 to £2, so very easy to go over £5. They also recently changed the rules that these passes run for a full 24 hours from first use and not just on that day. This makes them much better value.

      If you have the JR Pass you can also use the Yomanote ring line and get included transport to both airports.

    • Wow. My halls cost 170 a week in 2007.

  4. Sorry you had such a disappointing stay. I would not have been happy in that room either! That’s my biggest gripe about using points to book a room. Too often, and especially when the property is full, you get the dregs.

    When we stayed about 8 years ago we booked a lovely junior suite which had a proper Japanese bathroom with shower and soaking tub in separate wet room. And no mould! The club lounge on the top floor was excellent and had spectacular views. (And I remember seeing spherical ice “cubes” for the first time.)

    The surrounding Ark Hills area does have superb cherry viewing and it’s great to be able to just step out of the hotel at any time of day or night and enjoy a stroll through the glorious cherry trees in bloom. Quite magical at night when they are lit up.

  5. Volker says:

    Anika, did you mention the mould to staff at reception? Even with a points redemption you should have got a better room or at least some form of compensation.

    • Totally agree – this is unacceptable, points redemption or otherwise!

  6. Andrew says:

    I’m booked in to the IC The Strings next month – I’m hoping that it’s going to be a bit better than the IC ANA. The pictures of the rooms look better, but I guess you never know…..

    • Julie M says:

      I stayed at the Strings in March using points. It wasn’t too bad but the room was tiny, even though we were upgraded (as a Spire Ambassador) from a single bed which is the standard redemption. Definitely no mould and the shower looked much nicer. The staff were really lovely and I didn’t experience any delays like Anika did. The lobby of the hotel is beautiful.

      We also stayed at the Hilton Tokyo which had a much larger room and the free breakfast (Diamond member) was really good with Western and Japanese selections.

      The Strings is a great location to get to and from Haneda airport and to get around Tokyo in general. The City Bakery at the station entrance makes a really good eggs benedict which I’d recommend.

      • Andrew says:

        Thanks – I’m more reassured now and it’s just me, so hopefully the tiny room will be ok. And thanks for the breakfast tip!

    • I am booked into The Strings in December, it looks the best of the ICs in Tokyo, and the rooms look larger too, but you never know what you will get until you open the room door (so we shall see). One other reason for choosing The Strings was it seemed much easier to get to/from airports.

      • Prince Polo says:

        IC Strings is a very nice property – good location too (esp for HND)

  7. Kathy says:

    Sheesh, this puts me off Intercontinentals in general. Why fork out for 5* hotel when you can stay in a Holiday Inn for half the cost? At least then if it’s dated and mouldy you haven’t paid through the nose for it!

    • As with all of the big chains, you get good and bad properties. Even Four Seasons has a few dogs in terms of interior quality (which is often outside its control, since the building owner funds refurbishments) even though the service is uniformally good.

    • The problem in Japan is the lack of international chains. Most have just a just a handful of high end hotels where prices and number of points needed is really high. Even the local chains fairly basic hotels are often over £200 a night. They also don’t have two double beds so can’t get 2 adults / 2 children in therefore doubling the price!

      We did a various selection of hostels/Airbnb/one hotel during our 9 days in Japan last month. Never paying more than about £110 a night all private rooms, appartements or hotels taking four people. Some as low as £70 a night. The Airbnbs in Kyoto and Hiroshima were great. In Hiroshima it was huge and right on the piece park.

      Some of the hostels are really nice and have some have much more character many hotels in Japan, and we got amazing service at all of them.

  8. Christian says:

    The Hilton Tokyo is also quite an impressive property. We had a great stay there in January.

    The Marriott was also pretty good, but I preferred the Hilton! Check-in also took an age at the Hilton and not because of queues!

  9. Chris says:

    I’ve stayed at both the ANA and the The Strings in the last few years. The Strings is way ahead.

  10. First world problems… I’ve mearnt my lesson. For Japan, either Japanese hotel chains (sim in quality and service to HI, HIE,…) or AirBnB (where you experience how Japanese flats/houses are).
    Our usual European or USA hotel chains are bloody expensive, since it’s something exotic for Japanese people and where all corporate bookings prob go to (similar to KFC, very exotic and hence very expensive in Japan).

    • I noticed that about KFC as well, got stung with 3 tiny cold sweetcorn portions out of a tin for about £2 each. Where as Mcdonalds is about the same are here, if not slightly cheaper.

      • We were also having English issues in that restaurant as only wanted one portion. They also has a complicated set menu system….

    • *learnt

  11. I once stayed at an IC property and returned to my room to find the maid having a pooh pooh with the door open whilst eating my Haribo.Did not know how to handle it so just laughed and walked straight back out.

    • She probably used your toothbrush to clean under the rim.

      • Fair point He. She could well have done. The Haribo tasted a little nutty when I tucked into them later.

        • Why on earth are you eating Haribo? Are they not for children (of parents who don’t care for their teeth)?

          • I’ve have had packets of Haribo left on my pillow at German hotels, it is a multi-generational thing over there.

          • This was a large pack or sour mix that I had brought from the UK. I like a sweetie whilst I watch adult channels.

          • The Haribo Tangfastics ones are addictive, my office hates it when i bring them in.

    • Waribai says:

      Come on…Name and shame!

      • Name and shame…. Do you mean name the maid or name the hotel? I do not know the maids name but the image of what I saw is forever branded in my mind.

        The property in question was in NYC. A former crown plaza that I think was called the crowned plaza united nations.

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