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InterContinental hotels in Tokyo – best option?

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  • AndyUK101

    Looking at a 5 night stay next year around Cherry blossom season and mixed views on the best IC option for a touristy type stay

    The Strings looks nice but poor feedback on the location for tourists which narrows it to the ANA and the Bay i think

    Will be looking to use a suite upgrade voucher and probably do some day trips to other parts of Japan so close proximity to the Shinkansen would be helpful

    TIA

    SRF.

    I stayed in ANA Intercontinental Tokyo about 10 years ago as a tourist. From memory it was a very nice hotel. The draw was it was next to nothing but near to everything – due to very close proximity to an underground station which meant you could easily use the tube, JR and shinkansen.

    Also, anecdotally, it was the receptionist at this hotel that told me about the IHG loyalty scheme – having booked on Expedia – and ultimately started me on this whole points and air miles whirlwind.

    I owe a lot to that man who I think was mainly trying to practice his english 🙂

    Blair Waldorf Salad

    The ANA has oodles of room types and the entry level rooms look like they haven’t been refurbished since 1988. Yellowing plastic countertops in the bathroom and the tub itself. Overall a retro depressing affair. So you need to go well up the room categories to buy your way out of that. Breakfast buffet is great and varied but runs to some very fussy rules. Overseen by a series of European tall model type women who we labelled the Cup Nazis as they wouldn’t give you a hot drink refill unless you handed over the cup you were currently drinking from. The food prices on-site generally are astronomical. But it is attached to a small shopping/restaurant centre where prices are far more reasonable. There’s an entrance to Tameike-sanno station in that complex of buildings too so easy enough to get around.

    meta

    The Strings is the only one worth it. Their rooms are newer, but then again not many facility. If you plan to travel elsewhere in Japan, it’s also conveniently attached to Shinagawa shinkansen station. You’re also only 20 minutes from Ginza, but it is far from Shinjuku, etc.

    There is a new Kimpton in Shinjuku of IHG. Will tell you more in a few months if I manage to stay there.

    Otherwise Conrad and Hilton are much better placed than any of the ICs.

    Rob
    HfP Staff

    We reviewed the ANA back in 2017 – https://www.headforpoints.com/2017/05/22/review-ana-intercontinental-tokyo-hotel/

    Wasn’t great but apparently the Club levels were refurbished not long after. Not sure about the rest of it.

    AndyUK101

    Some quick maths, about £1000 – £1200 ish for a basic room with a couple of hundred pounds of value from a suite upgrade voucher with IHG or top up my HH account for around £700 and book 5 nights at the Conrad for 380k points in an entry-level room

    Diamond in both IHG & HH

    Had ruled the strings and Kimpton out but given the comment on proximity to the Shinkansen and the comments above, they might be an option, visiting in early April so figured a couple of day trips to either Osaka, Kyoto or Sendai would be required

    Thanks all

    BJ

    My belated 2p worth: Tokyo or Strings out of IHG. Tokyo is better located and has a lounge but uninspiring rooms. Strings is much nicer but does not have a lounge and apart from convenience for train to/from Haneda, and to other parts of the city /country Shinagawa is far from the best place for visitors to base themselves in Tokyo. I agree with @meta that Shinjuku or Ginza are best as they gice you a better feel for the city and are good for exploring other areas too. My preference is Shinjuku, I have two reasons for that independent of the area itself. Firstly, you can take the Airport Limousine bus service directly to/from terminals to/from Hilton Tokyo; apart from a taxi this bus is IMO the most comfortable and convenient way to arrive and depart Tokyo with bags. Secondly, if you want to visit Hakone/Fuji even if just for a day trip then the most comfortable way to do this is using the Romance Car train service that operates out of Shinjuku Station (note that you cannot use JRpass on this train, I advise you plan trip carefully to check if JRpass works for you. As a rule of tnumb if you plan to go from Tokyo to Osaka or the likes as a return then the pass will work but if uding only one way then check if individual tickets needed are a better option. Local express trains can be fab and are much less expensive and often even more convenient than Shinkasen). Back to hotels. In Shinjuku Hilton Tokyo will cost you 280,000 points tops for 5 nights with 5 for 4 while the new Kimpton would be about 340,000 for 5 nights based on prices I was seeing for our next trip. I was all set to try it at 32k/night on this years trip but it was cancelled, not so happy to psy 68k/night. I can do a lot more damage with 340,000 IHG points elsewhere than I can with 280,000 Hilton points so Hilton Tokyo for me again. If you are not going to be in your room much, want to experience small basic Tokyo rooms in great location, and save your points for another day then I recommend you consider Ibis Ginza. I am seriously considering this, but not telling my partnef until arrival 🙂

    Dace

    My belated 2p worth: Tokyo or Strings out of IHG. Tokyo is better located and has a lounge but uninspiring rooms. Strings is much nicer but does not have a lounge and apart from convenience for train to/from Haneda, and to other parts of the city /country Shinagawa is far from the best place for visitors to base themselves in Tokyo. I agree with @meta that Shinjuku or Ginza are best as they gice you a better feel for the city and are good for exploring other areas too. My preference is Shinjuku, I have two reasons for that independent of the area itself. Firstly, you can take the Airport Limousine bus service directly to/from terminals to/from Hilton Tokyo; apart from a taxi this bus is IMO the most comfortable and convenient way to arrive and depart Tokyo with bags. Secondly, if you want to visit Hakone/Fuji even if just for a day trip then the most comfortable way to do this is using the Romance Car train service that operates out of Shinjuku Station (note that you cannot use JRpass on this train, I advise you plan trip carefully to check if JRpass works for you. As a rule of tnumb if you plan to go from Tokyo to Osaka or the likes as a return then the pass will work but if uding only one way then check if individual tickets needed are a better option. Local express trains can be fab and are much less expensive and often even more convenient than Shinkasen). Back to hotels. In Shinjuku Hilton Tokyo will cost you 280,000 points tops for 5 nights with 5 for 4 while the new Kimpton would be about 340,000 for 5 nights based on prices I was seeing for our next trip. I was all set to try it at 32k/night on this years trip but it was cancelled, not so happy to psy 68k/night. I can do a lot more damage with 340,000 IHG points elsewhere than I can with 280,000 Hilton points so Hilton Tokyo for me again. If you are not going to be in your room much, want to experience small basic Tokyo rooms in great location, and save your points for another day then I recommend you consider Ibis Ginza. I am seriously considering this, but not telling my partnef until arrival 🙂

    Strings does have a lounge, I think they added it in 2018.

    As for Tokyo, I have got the Strings booked for April 2023 at 38k points per night. I initially wanted the ANA but after looking at my routes the Strings worked better due to it’s location to the train station.

    Guernsey Globetrotter

    If you are not going to be in your room much, want to experience small basic Tokyo rooms in great location, and save your points for another day then I recommend you consider Ibis Ginza. I am seriously considering this, but not telling my partnef until arrival 🙂


    @BJ
    – you are brave ! One of the first reviews I found of Ibis Ginza on Tripadvisor said “I am not exaggerating to state that the double room is not fit for two people with one or two suitcases. I have seen rooms where people have put some of the furniture from the room outside their door. We could not find space to open a suitcase and still move about so had to open one at a time by placing it on the bed. Furthermore, there is no cupboard space and only space for a few hangers on the wall.”

    That certainly would not make for a happy ending if I sprung this sort of accommodation on Mrs T!

    BJ

    Thanks @Dace, I didn’t know about The Strings lounge.

    LOL @Guernsey, I know it! I got similar at Prince Shinjuku (I don’t recommend it at all!) about two decades ago and paid a small fortune for it. It was actually worse than my first year uni hall room back in the 80s. My advice to both solos and couples travelling to Japan is to always book a twin room if staying budget, even if it costs a little more. Solos need the extra bed to stow their stuff and couples need it to stow their other half is about the politest way I can think of to put it.

    AndyUK101

    I was a little disappointed the Kimpton wasn’t included in the recent IHG flash sale but i’ve spread my bets on this one

    Base level rooms and entry level suites reserved at the Bay and Ana along with a couple of nights in the Kimpton Hakone, IC Osaka and then the Conrad on points as a backup in case the IHG plan doesnt work out

    Thanks for the input all

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