A gem of a hotel in the heart of Tokyo
As most of you know, I spent 2012 in Asia, starting with Bali and eventually roamed my way up to Japan. As I trotted throughout Asia, I made great use of my Hilton HHonors points and ticked several Conrad properties off my list. I started with my review of Conrad Bali, followed by the Conrad Koh Samui and now I present to you my review of the Conrad Tokyo.
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5* hotel located in the Shinbashi/Shiodome area of Tokyo. It is only 5 minutes away from Ginza and less than a kilometer or half mile from the Hamarikyu Garden and Tsukiji Fish Market. As a result, the Conrad Tokyo is in a prime location and perfect to be your launchpad for all your Tokyo adventures.
It truly is one of the gems of the Conrad line of hotels where modern lines and design meet the sophistication of Japanese luxury.
At a glance features:
- 290 rooms
- Health club with indoor pool, sauna, steam rooms, aerobic studio, gym
- Mizuki Spa
- Michelin-starred Chinese dishes at China Blue
- Collage – Inspired by Michelin-starred chef Shinya Maeda. Modern fine French dining
- Kazahana – Japanese
- Cerise – All day dining
- TwentyEight – Bar/Lounge overlooking Tokyo Bay
- 24 hour room service
- Complimentary wireless
Japan Trip Planning Essentials
If you’re in the middle of booking your trip to Japan, here are the most important places you need to go to book:
- JR Pass – The two most reliable places we always check are JRailPass and JRPass. If you are taking long distance Shinkansen across multiple region, get the full JR Pass. If you’re focusing on one specific area, you only need a JR regional pass.
- Shinkansen – The JR Pass prices have gone up and for many of you, it’ll make more sense to book tickets individually. The secret is that when you buy your Shinkansen tickets through Klook offers special vouchers for Don Quijote and BIC when booking. Their tickets are super easy to redeem as well. Right now, use code SKS10OFF to save $10 USD off.
- Hotels/Ryokans – In Japan, the best website for accommodations, hands down is Agoda. When we’ve compared them against Booking, Agoda consistently came out cheaper.
- Pocket Wifi – While we do love eSIMs, having a pocket wifi is great for sharing data with a large group. The most popular is NinjaWifi which is easy to pick up at the airport. Use code AWESOME15 to save 15% (automatically applied). Alternatives are offered by JRPass and JRailPass but they aren’t as cheap. For a more global solution, consider Solis and PokeFi.
- eSIM – The best one is Airalo. Save money by getting the Japan region eSIM and use referral code WILLIA9500 to get $3 USD credit on your first purchase. Ubigi is another one that we’ve had success with where they uniquely offer 5G coverage. Use code AWESOME10 to save 10% on your first order.
- Car Rental – Big companies like Budget, Avis, and Enterprise operate in Japan but they’re usually the most expensive. The best companies are the local Japanese ones such as Toyota Rentacar, Nippon Rentacar, Orix Rentacar, Nissan Rentacar, and Times Car Rental. To make things easier, use Rentalcars and Klook to compare prices all in one place. Don’t forget, you need an IDP to drive in Japan!
- Learn Japanese – It helps to know even a bit of the language before you go. Start your learning with Rosetta Stone Japanese.
- Cash or credit – Cash is still very important to have in Japan but when you use credit cards, make sure you’re not getting charged those extra exchange rate fees. The best card right now is the Wise Multi-Currency Card which is actually a debit card where you can convert at favorable rates beforehand. This cuts out any sneaky transaction fees.
- Travel Insurance – Make sure you’re covered in case something happens. Get quotes from Insured Nomads and if you’re from Canada, get quotes from RATESDOTCA.
Just a note that I booked this hotel pre-devaluation and so it costed me a grand total of 225,000 points for 6 nights. Pretty sweet deal right?
When I first landed in Tokyo from Taiwan, I was lugging a super large suitcase, my 55L backpack and Lowepro camera backpack. I knew there was no way in hell I would lug around the large suitcase around Japan. The reason why I had it was because just prior I spent a month in Shanghai.
I did a lot of research and found out the most widely used and reliable service was Yamato – a delivery company similar to FedEx back home. A special service they offer at Narita airport is a luggage delivery service. For a mere $25 CAD I dropped off my behemoth, made sure I clearly identified the bag with a reservation number and date of arrival at the Conrad Toyko and had the bag delivered since I was going to be doing a loop around Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima first before heading back to Tokyo.
I also called Conrad Tokyo weeks before to double check that this was okay with them and their concierge was very courteous in telling me it was not a problem at all. Things got off to the right start!
I was really excited when we finally made our way from Hiroshima to Tokyo. My expectations were high as a few coworkers had mentioned that this was one of the best hotels they stayed at. At the same time I knew I had to temper that with the fact that this was going to be a “city” hotel and not a resort.
The beauty of this hotel is that it’s right at the JR Shinbashi station and we were leveraging the JR stations because we had the JR Pass. Once we made our way through the station we eventually found the entrance to the Conrad Tokyo. The location of the Conrad is equivalent to a kind of financial district so there are a ton of skyscrapers all around. Men and women in suits walk between buildings on a sky bridge that they built from the train station to the various offices.
The Conrad itself is also shared with offices and so when you first get to the entrance and first floor, things are a bit conservative and small. That being said, there’s an outstanding art piece called “Purification 1” that stands right in the middle of the foyer by Nobuyuki Tanaka.
Upon entrance, the concierge promptly came to use and took our bags and guided us to the elevator which would take us to the 28th floor. This is the actual main lobby of the hotel .
The lobby is adorned with modern lines, a snappy wood finish, incredibly high ceilings and panes of glass that give you direct line of sight to Tokyo Bay. The contemporary design is evident once you step out of the elevator.
We walked towards the check-in desk and as a Diamond member, I was taken care of quickly and efficiently. Before long we were guided by our front desk lady with a quick tour of the lobby, the bar and also pointed out some of the restaurants on the floor. We then zipped up to our room – 3628 which is on one of the executive floors. Our host gave us a quick tour of the room and left us to our own devices. Minutes later, the concierge was at our door with our luggage. Service was impeccable.
King Room – City View
Room 3628 was a King Bed room with views of the city side. We were upgraded to a higher floor but I do believe this is the standard base room for the Conrad.
I was a bit disappointed but could understand after we talked to one of the managers at we just happened to be there during Obon festival and all the rooms were sold out to revenue paying customers wanting to watch the famed fireworks. Still, we had fabulous views of the skyscrapers as you can see below.
A touch of contemporary and comfort. Our room was furnished with an extremely comfortable King sized bed that I’m used to with all Conrad properties. Up against the window is an end to end chaise longue which allows you to truly enjoy the view and just relax. The living area also has a wooden round table and white leather chair where I set up my computer.
I always find that along side with the view, the bathroom is key indicator of how good a hotel is. The Conrad Tokyo did not disappoint in this department.
The bathroom has a pristine white standalone bath tub with separate enclosures for the shower and toilet. The bathroom also had a vanity glass with his and hers sink. AH and don’t forget the bathrobes that are ready for use!
I never got a chance to use the tub but I did appreciate of course the “King” rubber ducky that was included to add to my Conrad collection :)
What really made the bathroom pop in my eyes was the illuminated vanity mirror. What makes it a nice touch is that when you’re using it, you almost feel like a model because of the beautiful ring light it creates in your eyes. Definitely a nice touch that I appreciated.
The toilet is of course of the Japanese variety with buttons galore and the rainfall shower head was a delight as the water drops danced from above. No issues with hot water or water pressure.
Amenity wise, it comes with everything you’d need if you forgot everything at home. It’s complete with cotton balls, hairband, razor, shaving gel, toothbrush, toothpaste, cotton towels, mouthwash, shower gel, shampoo and conditioner and lotions.
The perfect blend of classy white and black tiles really augment the luxury and style of the room.
There’s of course the standard flat LCD TV which we had on from time to time.
Wifi is pretty standard with Hilton in general so nothing to complain about there.
There are electrical plugs galore so you won’t have a problem in that department either.
I was extremely amused with the wall controlled blinds which could control whether they moved up and down and at what angle they were pointed at. I think it was rather delightful to see the room with the blinds to the bathroom completely up to open up the space.
We didn’t get a chance to eat at the hotel restaurants as we wanted to be a bit more cost-conscious but we did make heavy use of the executive lounge.
The executive lounge is located in the 37th floor and faces the city side. This lounge is free to access for all Gold/Diamond members of HHonors. It provides an intimate environment for guests to be able to grab a quick bite to eat if you’re looking for a snack or to have full breakfast in the mornings.
For snacks there were small cakes, cookies, fruits, sandwiches. and various hors d’oeurvres. There were also some awesome chocolate dipped oranges that we devoured because they were so amazing. They also had a variety of wine, beer, and soft drinks that were all complementary. If you’re in the hotel in the afternoon, I’d highly recommend checking out the afternoon tea service between 3PM and 5PM. Although if you pop by the lounge anytime between 6PM – 8PM there are snacks there as well.
For breakfast, there some of the typical breakfast items but they also had a special chef to cook eggs and other specialities for you on request. We were also super full after a breakfast at the lounge. Breakfast is from 7AM – 10:30 AM Mon-Fri and 7AM to 12PM Saturday/Sunday/Holidays.
Service again was superb. We helped ourselves to the food and we could do the same with the drinks in the fridge but I know they offered to pour drinks for us and our hot dishes were delivered straight to where we were sitting.
Unfortunately I was always too excited with all the food that I never got a chance to take proper photos but there is this one of my girlfriend chowing down.
The executive lounge has its own private concierge desk which we used quite heavily. I did a lot of research on my own but a lot of times I figured it’d be a lot easier to get a local to help make restaurant reservations. I basically told the concierge the restaurant I wanted to reserve, the date and the time and they’d do the rest. There were also a few occasions where I was looking for some directions as well and they were more than willing to print out a few Google maps and guide me through it. We also needed some last minute transfers to our respective airpots (Chantelle to Haneda and me to Narita) and they figured that out for us as well. Service was right on the money. Bravo!
The main lobby on the 28th floor was always pleasant to either walk through to get to the elevators on the other side or just to lounge around near TwentyOne and take in the view. I can’t say we spent a lot of time here but if we were waiting for something we would take a seat and just awe at Tokyo Bay.
Hilton Honors Recognition
For myself as a Diamond member, there was nothing that really surprised me here. Here’s what came with my status:
- Upgrade to higher executive floors
- Lounge access = breakfast/happy hour/evening service
- Option to have breakfast in the main restaurant which has a larger selection (though we never went)
- 2 bottles of water everyday
- Free use of pool/spa (I believe it costs money for non Gold/Diamond members)
We did get a chance to check out the fitness and spa areas but unfortunately we always ended up roaming around the city too late to take advantage of these facilities. The fitness center is 24 hours but the pool closes at a certain hour so make sure you get back early enough to make use of it. The spa and fitness facilities are located on the 29th floor.
This hotel is definitely geared more towards business travellers which makes sense for a hotel of this class. Most guests we saw were dressed in business-casual clothes. The lounge was typically filled with business folks trying to do some last minute work or preparing for a presentation. At the same time we also saw some well-off families staying there which I am sure was in part due to the Obon festival and the fireworks.
Overall everyone was courteous and did not encounter any unpleasant guests.
I’ve probably said it enough times at this point but the service at the Conrad Tokyo was executed to perfection. Anything you asked for was delivered. They bent over backwards to help us with restaurant reservations and printing out maps for us at the lounge and we were extremely grateful for that.
Transportation is extremely simple from Conrad Tokyo as it’s situated right by a JR and railway stations. I will say that the hotel is located in a financial district and so there isn’t quite as much of the hustle and bustle happening in the near vicinity in the evenings. That being said, the concierge did recommend a few restaurants near Shinbashi Station which is walking distance so we did appreciate that.
One bonus we had by staying at the Conrad Tokyo during Obon was that we had prime views of the fireworks that happened in Tokyo Bay. These aren’t the best photos but I have to say out of all fireworks I have seen in my lifetime, this was the most epic and longest firework show. A must-see!! Tip: If you want to actually be able to sit down and watch the fireworks, I’d recommend reserving in advance.
- 1-9-1 Higashi-Shinbashi, Minato-ku Tokyo, Tokyo-to, 105-7337, Japan
- Phone Number: 1-866-299-2910
- Limousine Bus from Conrad Tokyo to Narita was 3000 JPY. The timetable can be found here.
4.5 stars out of 5
Overall I have to say that this hotel exceeded my expectations. Service is top notch and extremely friendly. The design and style is contemporary and beautiful. Location wise, we were quite pleased and was particularly helpful that we were walking distance to Tsukiji Fish Market. No need to take an expensive cab super early in the morning. It’s the perfect place to make as your base as you explore the wonderful city of Tokyo. As far as Conrad’s go, it is at the top of my list and truly a “king” in its category.
If you’re looking to do any travelling around Japan, I highly recommend picking up a JRailPass. Keep in mind that you’ll need to purchase it before your trip and ship it to your home.
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