- Introduction: Tokyo and Two 787s
- The Club Lounge at SJC
- ANA 787 Business Class SJC-NRT
- Hotel Review: Hyatt Regency Tokyo
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Activities in Tokyo
- United 787 Business Class NRT-DEN
Getting from NRT to the Hyatt Regency Tokyo
Exiting the airport was quick and easy. My preferred way to get to my hotel was to take the “Airport Limousine” bus (it’s a bus, not a limo), because from everything I read it was the most stress-free way to get there. I read that there would be a big desk just as we exit the customs area, and sure enough, the desk was literally right outside.
I was asked where I was going and said “The Hyatt Regency Tokyo.” I was asked if I knew what area it was in, and said Shinjuku since that’s where the hotel is located. She told me the bus was leaving in 3 minutes, so I quickly bought my ticket for ¥3,000 (or roughly $31, depending on the exchange rate), and headed outside to the pick-up area. The bus came in the next few minutes and my roller bag was tagged placed in the storage area of the bus while I received a luggage tag.
I’d heard a lot of horror stories about the traffic in Tokyo, but I didn’t think it was that bad. It’s just that Narita is really far away, so it took about an hour and a half to get to the Shinjuku area. I was tired and not paying attention, so I got off at the first stop…which ended up not being my hotel. That meant my bag stayed on the bus without me. UGH.
But the company that runs the Airport Limo service was very organized. They communicated with my bus that I got off too early, and made sure to make the stop at the Hyatt Regency and leave my bag with the hotel’s luggage service. One of the three company employees (all spoke English very well, btw), walked me all the way to the hotel, which was about a mile away. It wasn’t an ideal way to start my trip, but at least I got to walk around the city a bit! Sure enough, my suitcase was waiting for me with the baggage service/valet in the driveway of my hotel.
Hyatt Regency Tokyo Review
I booked my hotel on points that I transferred from my Chase Ink account. I was staying at this hotel for 3 nights at 12K points each, for a total of 36K points. The current Sapphire Preferred bonus is 40K points and the Ink cards are at 50K, so both would cover three nights here with points to spare. The transfer was instant and booking was simple through the Hyatt website, although no changes could be made online (you’d have to call in).
I’d always heard that the Hyatt Regency Tokyo was not that great, that the rooms were small, etc., and to be quite honest I don’t know why. I had my expectations set pretty low, and was pleasantly surprised when I walked in. The lobby was pretty big and very nice compared to what I was expecting. There were three large chandeliers, a restaurant, a dessert and pastry shop, and plenty of space for small events (for example, live music was being played by a band at one point during my stay).
There were several Hyatt employees standing in the lobby area just waiting to assist anyone that might need it. One of them asked me if I was checking in, offered to take my bag (I declined), and walked with me to the front desk. I was asked for my passport and a credit card, and the front desk employee confirmed that I’d be there for 3 nights on a points reservation in a room with a King bed. I asked if there were any rooms with 2 beds available since a friend joined me on the trip, and thankfully he confirmed there was one. He also made sure to acknowledge my Platinum status (I recently got the Hyatt credit card), and said I was upgraded to a view room.
My room was on the 14th floor, and I headed straight upstairs to get settled in. I was prepared for the room to be extremely small given that it’s in Tokyo, but I was pleasantly surprised that it was a decent-sized room.
The room was small, but it didn’t feel cramped by any means. It had all the essentials that you would need – a phone, alarm clock, plenty of lighting, a TV, a good view, and a good-sized closet. The minibar fridge was full of drinks, but there was a little space for some of your own items if you wanted to store something. I kept a couple of water bottles refrigerated since the weather forecast projected hot days for my entire trip.
My only real complaints about the room are minor, but can be annoying for some. First, it was very hard to find power outlets in this room. The only places with easy access to an outlet in this room was either right next to the entry door or at the minibar, which is where I charged my phone. There was an outlet between the couch and the far wall, but it was in a very awkward place to connect anything. Note that nearly all US electronics fit into Japaneses power outlets; the exception is that if your US plug has a ground prong, you’ll need an adapter since the Japanese outlets have room for just the two vertical slots.
The other minor complaint I have is in regards to the internet. While every room has wired internet (wire included), there is no wireless internet throughout the floors of this hotel. However, there was a note in the desk that said that if you did want wireless, simply call the front desk to ask for a wireless router to be brought up to your room. I read several reviews on the hotel before booking and noticed many people had a problem with this, but I didn’t since I brought a laptop with wired connection and am able to survive without my phone being connected to the internet at every moment. I never bothered requesting the wireless since it wasn’t an issue for me.
The view from the room wasn’t bad. To the left was the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, which is absolutely huge. I was told it cost over $1B USD of taxpayer money to build in 1991. Note that there is an observation deck at the top of the large towers (there are two identical towers), and entry is free and supposedly offers one of the best views of Tokyo. I didn’t have a chance to make it up there unfortunately, so I can’t speak to it.
The view to the right was of Shinjuku Central Park and of the building that contains the Park Hyatt (the large, three-tower building). I would be walking from the Hyatt Regency to the Park Hyatt in a few days, so it was nice to have a view from above so I could sort of plan how to get there.
The bathroom was small, but I don’t exactly spend a lot of time there so it was perfectly fine for what I needed. There was a single sink, toilet, and a shower/tub combo. The amenities included a shaving kit, toothbrushes, sewing kit, plus the usual bathroom toiletries. Water pressure in the shower was great, and I had no issues with controlling the temperature.
I elected not to take any pictures of the toilet, but yes…it had all the fancy buttons a normal Japanese toilet has.
The hotel also has a spa, pool, and gym on the 28th floor. I didn’t make use of any of these, but I did stop by to check it out. The pool area looks pretty nice but it seemed very crowded, probably because it was about 95F and humid. The gym was decent-sized and was pretty empty when I was up there. The entire floor had great views of the city.
I thought the location of this hotel was pretty good. It’s not located near any of the big attractions, but in my eyes that wasn’t a big issue at all given the widespread availability and cheap prices of the metro. Part of the convenience of the hotel was that the Tochomae metro stop was literally right underneath the hotel, which made transportation extremely easy and quick. On the way down to the station, you also pass a 7-11, so it was very easy to re-stock on water, snacks, and other items as necessary. The hotel is also about a 10-15 minute walk to the Shinjuku Train Station, through which an insane amount of people pass through during rush hour. I think the location of the hotel is fantastic, despite the fact that there are no big attractions nearby.
There was a money-changer in the lobby of the hotel. The rates weren’t fantastic, but it was convenient. I exchanged $100 at an exchange rate of about $1 to ¥94, which wasn’t great at the time. But that $100 was the only cash I needed in my 4-5 days there since I was able to put everything else on a credit card.
If you’d die without Starbucks, there was one about 5-7 minutes away (halfway to the Shinjuku Train Station). There was also a McDonald’s a little further. I wouldn’t say restaurants are plentiful in the area, but you’ll definitely have food nearby if you need it.
Checkout was simple, and I asked the bell service to hold my luggage until the evening when I’d return from a day trip to mount Fuji. I had no problems at all at this hotel.
Despite some less-than-stellar reviews I’ve read on this hotel, I thought it was fantastic. Sure, it’s not the fanciest hotel out there, but I don’t really need that when I’m in a big city. Tokyo is one of those locations where you’re going to be out and about almost all day, so being able to pay 12K Hyatt points a night was easy to do and I felt I got great value. Note that the actual room rate was about $180-$200, so I didn’t quite get 2 cents per point, but I didn’t really care – I just didn’t want to pay cash on this trip.
The service was excellent all around and was better than the service I’ve received at other Asian hotels (with the exception of the Sheraton in Macau). As fantastic as the service was here, it actually pales in comparison with the Park Hyatt that I stayed at the next night. But that doesn’t mean I recommend staying at the Park Hyatt Tokyo – I actually would prefer and recommend the Hyatt Regency Tokyo. I’ll detail why in my Park Hyatt Tokyo review, which is next up on this trip report!