After my recent Princess cruise between Hong Kong, China and Japan, I stayed a few nights in Tokyo before heading home. I booked a room for my husband and me at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo. Bruce stayed one night before returning to Hong Kong for business while I stayed three nights.
The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is atop the tallest building in Tokyo and offers views of both the harbor and Mt. Fuji. Since my husband’s hobby is photography, I figured this hotel would have strong appeal.
I used points for the stay (50,000 each night) rather than pay about $450 USD per night. The points needed at the Conrad Hilton where identical, though this was before Hilton’s March 2013 point adjustment went into effect. Comparing the two hotels, the things that won me over to book the Ritz were not only the tallest building aspect, but also that the Roppongi area of Tokyo, where the Ritz is located, has more to do right near the hotel as compared to the more out-of-the-way Conrad.
Not knowing how to get from the Yokohama cruise terminal to the Ritz, I emailed the hotel’s concierge. We ended up having a few conversations via email to clarify train details and they were always very quick to respond. They also emailed a document with instructions in Japanese to us to easily give a taxi driver so we didn’t have to try to explain “Get us to the Ritz” in loud-and-slow English.
We successfully got to the hotel after two trains plus a taxi for the remainder of the way. We could have taken a third train to Roppongi station, though that was more than we wanted to do with the luggage we had coming off the cruise, but do know that the Ritz is just steps away from this station.
Even though I am Platinum Premier with Marriott, the lounge access at Ritz isn’t inherited. Instead, we were offered lounge access for an additional $100 USD per night. I have paid for lounge access at other hotels (Fairmont, for example) though this rate seemed very high. Though once we learned that breakfast in the restaurant is $45 a person, it started to make sense. Add in the evening snacks, which for my husband and me is usually enough for a dinner, and our habit of a glass of wine or two each, and the $100 seemed to make economic sense. Still, it was a tough add-on to swallow when we usually have lounge access at every Marriott that offers it.
Our room wasn’t ready when we checked in, so we went to the lounge to have a light lunch. We were brought welcoming glasses of pink champagne and we also had our first red wines of the day.
The view from the lounge (on the 53rd floor and facing west) is stunning and we could see Mt. Fuji off in the distance.
Our room was on the 50th floor and faced east, overlooking the harbor area, so it was nice to have access to both views. The nighttime views were just as stunning as the daytime views, especially when the ferris wheel lit up and the full moon rose.
The room itself was large and very comfortable and the bathroom was gorgeous and very spacious. The little touches (a ledge in the shower for easier leg-shaving, two different shower heads, a heated toilet seat, the drawer full of goodies) really made for a luxury bathroom.
The main lobby area (on the 45th floor) is absolutely stunning. The afternoon tea service drew a full crowd while the bar area drew local businessmen as well as tourists. I enjoyed afternoon tea in the lounge and felt validated now that I was able to get more value from the lounge. I believe the tea service was about $75 USD a person. The hotel’s restaurant is also on this floor, though we didn’t have any meals here.
We enlisted the help of the concierge desk several times. My husband suggested a dinner cruise in the harbor for our one night together in Tokyo, and the concierge helped us get reservations and transportation arranged. They tried to help me get on a tour bus for a day’s tour of Tokyo though it was the Golden Festival holiday and all tours were sold out. Instead, I toured on my own quite successfully for my two solo days in Tokyo. The concierge also arranged for my transport to Narita via a multi-hotel bus service which cost $30 USD (much, much less than a taxi).
So even after an initial sticker-shock of the $100 per day lounge access, it was a great stay at this Ritz. The value and service we received from the lounge were top-notch, as you’d expect from Ritz. Add in the beautiful room, great fitness center and excellent concierge assistance and I hope we have another chance to stay at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo.
p.s. The photo credits for the views of Mt. Fuji and the Harbor go to my husband Bruce. All other photo credits go to the amateur (me!).