Park Hyatt Tokyo Review

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A few months back I was booked to fly on the inaugural United 787 Dreamliner flight on a new route from Denver to Narita. As you likely remember, the Dreamliner hit a series of mishaps, and was taken out of service for a while. That meant that my flight was canned, and I had the option of backing out of the trip entirely, or pushing forward with a new plan. I really wanted to go to Japan, and was on a very good fare that was likely more of a mistake than anything else, so I pushed forward and adjusted my plans slightly to overlap with a FlyerTalk JapanDo. This basically just meant there was a bunch of other travel geeks like me that would be there at the same time, and I would have the option of participating in a few organized events, which I did.

I’m very glad that I took the trip (especially since my upgrades cleared – that was a long flight!), and I am happy to finally have a moment and share some info about the trip as it truly was amazing. I’ll dedicate this post to the Park Hyatt Tokyo and will do subsequent posts on a few lessons learned in Tokyo, getting to/from the airport, and my United flights.  Let’s skip to some of the good stuff though and talk about one of the most sought-after Hyatt redemptions in the world.

Park Hyatt Tokyo:

20130828-140410.jpgAnyone who has seen the movie “Lost in Translation” has heard of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  I had seen the movie once upon a time, and didn’t remember much from it other than the feel I got from the hotel.  It felt dark, sexy, and sophisticated.  And it was.  The hotel is located in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo.  This is a pretty business-district-oriented neighborhood, but it is not far from Shinjuku Station that is a pretty major transportation hub for the city.  The hotel offers a shuttle that runs every 20 minutes, or you could walk the 10-12 minute walk, or get a cab.  The hotel’s rooms are located on the 41st floor and up, and in total there are 177 rooms including 23 suites.

20130828-140425.jpgCheck-in:

I arrived fairly late in the evening and was happy to have made it to my final destination.  The hotel is about 80-90 minutes from the Narita airport, so add in flying from Texas to California and then California to Narita, and I was ready to stop moving.  I came via cab from Shinjuku Station (about $7 USD) and once the bellmen identified who I was, a chain of events was put into motion where everyone became aware of my arrival.

You had to go up two separate elevators and walk down a pretty long hallway to get up to the rooms, but it was easy since I was escorted to my room by a very nice and professional female employee.  The actual check-in happened right at the desk in the room.  I presented my credit card and was told everything I needed to know about the hotel.  The key I was given was an actual Tiffany’s key ring and metal key – much different than the key cards you usually get at a hotel.

20130828-140715.jpgThe Room:

I feel like the rooms do not come across in photos as luxurious as they feel, in large part due to the blue-green carpets.  However, I can assure you that they feel pretty swanky while you are there in person.  I redeemed Hyatt points for my stay, so was not in a suite on this trip.  However, the regular room still felt relatively spacious.  The maximum occupancy listed for the basic king room is three, so if your family is four or more you may or may not have a little trouble.  When searching on Hyatt.com for two adults and two children, I was offered the Park Twin room on points, but that may be an error since that room also lists a max occupancy of three.  That said, I have read several successful reports of staying in base rooms at this hotel with two adults and two young children, including reports they treat families quite well.

Upon entering the room, a small hallway with a closet and restroom is on your right; the bedroom is straight ahead.

20130828-140553.jpgThe bed itself is low to the ground and harder than I prefer, but when in Japan…. I was pretty tired, so I don’t think the hard bed caused too many issues, but just be aware if that is not your bedding preference.

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There was also a small desk, modern TV, and a couple of chairs arranged off to the side of the room.

20130828-140742.jpgIf you wanted to catch-up on some reading, there were also a few books available in the room, in addition to a small library downstairs.

20130828-140809.jpgThere was wine, a box of snacks, and a handwritten welcome note waiting in the room as an amenity.

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20130828-140843.jpgThere was also a pretty well stocked fridge, though that was not complimentary.

20130828-141244.jpgThe Bathroom:

The bathroom was a treat all by itself.  There were some soaking salts available next to the huge tub that were perfect after an insanely long travel day.

20130828-140915.jpgIf a shower is more your speed, there was a stand-alone shower also available.

20130828-140930.jpgI was scared of the very fancy heated toilet the whole time I was there.  It reminded me of the scene in Cars when Tow-Mater gets sprayed by the toilet – I’m just not fancy enough for fancy toilets.

20130828-140959.jpgOff of the bathroom, there was also a pretty large closet available.

20130828-141026.jpgOn-site Food Options:

Once I was settled into the room, I immediately ordered some room service since I was starving and ready for dinner….or whatever meal this was.  The 14 hour time zone difference + 28 hours of travel left me very confused.  I can’t remember the exact name of this noodle dish, but I can tell you that it came all-in to about 2800 Yen, or roughly $28 USD.  That is pretty reasonable for an all-in total for room service.  Naturally it is a huge mark-up over what you could pay elsewhere, but this was room service at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, so I didn’t expect it to be cheap.  As tired as I was, it was well worth it to not have to leave the room for food.

20130828-141100.jpgThanks to my Diamond status, my breakfasts at the hotel were (mostly) complimentary.  You can have your Diamond breakfast either via room service, or in the fairly casual Girandole restaurant.

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Your options there are pretty wide on what you can order via the Diamond benefit, but one popular option has to be the Japanese Breakfast.  The normal selling price is ¥ 3,800 and it includes the following:

Selection of Juices (Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Vegetable or Tomato)
Appetiser, Grilled Fish, Simmered Vegetables, Egg, Tofu
Miso Soup, Rice, Pickled Vegetables
Fresh Fruits

20130828-141121.jpgIf that isn’t up your alley, the buffet served downstairs was pretty varied and had plenty of delicious fruits, breads, pastries, yogurts, etc.

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20130828-141217.jpgIf you prefer an American breakfast, it is the same price as the Japanese Breakfast (or free for Diamond guests) and includes the following.

American Breakfast:

Selection of Juices (Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Vegetable or Tomato)
Bakery Basket (Pastries and Toast)
Natural Hokkaido Yoghurt and Fruits
Two Eggs Any Style
Choice of Pork Sausages, Smoked Bacon or Baked Ham
Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate

The service in the restaurant was outstanding, and they were more than willing to accommodate different dietary needs including having gluten free bread ready every time a family I had breakfast with came down to eat.  They seem to learn your preferences quickly, and then remember your requests for the rest of your visit.

On the last morning, I opted to order pancakes and yogurt off the breakfast menu and had breakfast in the room.  I was getting ready to head to the spa, and didn’t want to have to get dressed for the restaurant first.  I know, the problems we face….  I was not charged for the food I ordered, but I was charged for at least some of the beverages (I think I had juice, water, and coffee).  I don’t know for sure if that was an error or not, but I didn’t complain since I already felt like I received so much for so little from this hotel.

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The New York Bar:

Another Diamond benefit is complimentary wine or beer at the New York Bar from 5PM – 7PM nightly.  I went with a family who had a child with them, so we were not able to sit in the bar area, but were seated in the restaurant section.  This place felt extremely Lost in Translation-esqe.

20130828-141345.jpgEven if you don’t have a complimentary visit to this bar, it is worth the trip to the 42nd floor to sip a drink in the great atmosphere with a view of Tokyo.  If you want to actually order food in the restaurant, just be sure you loaded up your wallet first as it looked pretty pricey.

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Club On The Park:

On the morning before I flew home, I scheduled some time to enjoy the Club on the Park spa and workout facilities.  There was a pool that was designated for those three and above (no diaper accidents!), and a workout facility adjacent to the pool.

20130828-141425.jpgI didn’t do a heavy workout, but I was determined to get my blood flowing knowing that I would be stationary in an airplane for many, many hours later that day.  The views of the city below were quite a sight – beware if you have issues with heights!

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After the workout, I got ready for what turned out to be one of my very favorite massages of all time.  At the recommendation of the spa services desk, I booked a Tokyo Massage that was a combination Japanese massage techniques and hand compressions that was totally amazing.  The massage therapist used virtually her whole body when working out the tension and knots in mine.  There were also some hot stones utilized.  Spa treatments here are a tad on the pricey side, but if you can swing it, I highly recommend trying one out sometime.  A free alternative to at least sample what the Club on the Park has to offer is their complimentary good night sleep stretch and tea two nights per week.

You Can do it Too:

The hardest part of staying at the Park Hyatt Toyko for most of us here in the US is simply just getting to Asia.  Once you are there, I think it absolutely makes sense to try out the Park Hyatt Tokyo for a couple nights.  The going rate is often pretty high, typically the equivalent of $500 USD per night and up, but the points rate is always a flat 22,000 points per night.  Use your Hyatt points, your free night certificates from the Hyatt Credit Card, or transfer points in from Chase Ultimate Rewards.  Do whatever you need to do to give yourself this experience that I know I would have never had without miles and points.

Overall Impressions:

I’ll talk more about this in a subsequent post, but this trip was not only far, it felt far.  I was so grateful to be an oasis of calm at the Park Hyatt Toyko, both for practical reasons (English speakers!), and because the hotel was just extremely luxurious and comfortable.  The service here was unparalleled, and I really felt like I was living someone else’s (opulent) life while I was there.  It is certainly not something I need to experience on every trip, but it was great to try out this time.  Be aware that you will have to travel a bit from the hotel to do everything you want to do in Tokyo, but that is true almost across the board because Tokyo is so large.

Have you stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo or is it on your miles and points “bucket list”?

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Comments

  1. Yes! I’ve stayed at the Tokyo park hyatt. I had a similar experience-pure luxe. I used my 2 free hyatt night certificates that came with the hyatt visa card! Thanks for the card tips.

  2. Last month I stayed 5 nights at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo. It was my first visit to Japan. I stayed at the Regency Club level. I found the hotel more than sufficient for me at 15,000 points per night.

  3. I stayed there a night around the same time you were there (first week of April this year). I also stayed at the grand hyatt for 3 nights. Both extremely great properties but I gotta say park hyatt was on another level of luxury. But then again I was upgraded to a corner suite so that might’ve made a difference.

  4. Elizabeth, perfect use of your two free nights!
    Rob, haven’t yet stayed there, though would like to try it on a future trip to Tokyo. The Presidential Suite would be amazing – well done!
    Maury, that is a very good deal on points as well.
    Bails, that was my guess, though I have only stayed at the Park. Both great, but Park Hyatt in a whole other league.

  5. Nice post.
    Maybe as you expand on this trip report you an tell us how late you got into NRT. I have a late arrival flight on ANA (8:30pm) later this year. I’m worried I won’t be able to get train service into Toyko.

  6. @DaninSTL…the absolute LAST thing you need to worry about while in Japan is train service. You can pretty much take almost any level of train anytime there (except cross country trains). Japan is on a WHOLE OTHER level of efficiency and mass transit is definitely one of those things they excel in.

  7. @MommyPoints

    LOVED reading this…especially since I’ve been going back through my pictures of when I was in Tokyo the past couple of days (click on the website I provided with this post). The wife and I will be staying at the Park Hyatt for 2 nights during the cherry blossoms at the end of March next year before moving over to the Conrad Tokyo for 5 nights. SOO EXCITED! Anyway, a couple of questions. #1…is a welcome bottle of wine standard here or is that just because you were checking in as a Diamond member? Speaking of which, I fully plan to undergo the Diamond challenge during our trip next year as we have 15 nights in a Hyatt throughout Asia. For this particular property, did they just tell you to charge breakfast to the room and they will remove accordingly or was there a voucher? I’m attempting to figure out how “free breakfast” works for Diamond status guests. Thanks for the info, and I loved reading this review! I can’t wait to get back to Tokyo!!!

  8. Wife and I went there for part one of our 10year anniversary trip on Chase suite awards and I did a one pay upgrade because of the diamond challenge. It wasn’t bad and i got a “great” rate at the time….under $300USD (all relative right?). We would stay there again, but only for the last night of a very longer 7+ day trip as it is a bit out of the way and wife hates any shuttle, cab or walking more than 5 minutes to a hub or busy place like the Shinjuku area.

    As for the family treatment, i did post on the hyatt forum about this. Wife and i decided at t-7hours that we wanted to bring our youngest( 1y.o.-4th international trip already). So, we booked her on our itin at the last minute and paid the 10% charge of $150 on ANA and off we went to pack and coordinate.

    While we were on the Airport Bus Limo, I tweeted PH Tokyo that she would be coming with us. Didn’t hear a response. When we arrived, they treated us very well. We checked in at our suite and they had a baby amenity kit, baby play mat and babyrized the room with bumpers on the corners. Amazing service is what i call that.

    Totally got the Lost in Translation feel especially at the lounge. Interestingly enough, our entire trip, at every hotel we stayed at HR, PH and Conrad, there was one person that helped us out from either LA (PH), NYC (Conrad) and HI (HR). We can’t speak, but through the concierge, they took care of everything including translating for us when we got stuck at this amazing restaurant….that’s a whole other story.

    I learned to like the bidet after my wife had one installed at our place. no choice. 🙂

  9. @gabriel – you just put what you want for breakfast and it is removed. They tell you when you check in you can order room service as a diamond. I took points and amenity since my wife and I split the stay. We got a bottle of sake. Amazing stuff. It is only bottled for them. If I could do it again, Conrad first then PH. Not even in the same league.

  10. I stayed here 5 nights in April on points (2 free nights from Hyatt + 66K transferred UR points). It was a bucket list stay for me. I’ve been fascinated with Tokyo since I saw Lost In Translation and been there many times but never stayed at the PH. It lived up to the hype. The only downside is the location (a bit farther from Shinjuku station than I usually stay), but it’s a minor inconvenience.

  11. I stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo when I took my first points trip. Before going to Japan I had never stayed in a hotel greater than 3 stars. The Park Hyatt was the hotel I was most excited about. I had also booked 4 nights at the Conrad Tokyo, but saved the Hyatt until my last 2 nights (Hyatt Visa). As far as hotels go the Park Hyatt Tokyo, to this day, has been my biggest disappointment. The hotel feels very dated. Because of the mix of khaki paint, black ikea furniture, and ocean green carpet I kept having to remind myself that I was not in a cheap hotel off the Vegas strip. I spent most of my time wishing I had 2 more nights at the Conrad. The rooms were modern and beautiful and the hotel was right above a subway station.

    If I had not been excited about the hotel, if it didn’t have the reputation it did, and if it didn’t cost 400-500 a night I wouldn’t have felt like I wasted my 2 free nights. Hyatt hotels are my favorite hotels, but this one needs some polish.

  12. Dan, it looks like the last train is at around 9:45 according to the schedule http://jreast-shinkansen-reservation.eki-net.com/pc/english/common/timetable/e_nex_u/07.html
    Gabriel, the wine might have been due to Diamond status. I know non-status folks who got the snacks, but I’m not sure if they also got the wine. The breakfast charges just magically come off the bill (usually) there are no coupons or vouchers.
    Singapore Flyer, so glad to hear they took good care of your little one! I agree it is in an area that is a bit out of the way.
    Ramsey, ha ha. Well, this was quite the fancy toilet.
    Dave, glad it lived up to the hype for you!
    GeekAbroad, I also don’t love the carpet color and I think mentally it does make some of us not used to that style of decor kind of…confused. I haven’t stayed at the Conrad, but I can tell you that the service, amenities, food, ambiance, etc at the Park Hyatt way over-road the different decorating taste issue for me. Sorry to hear it disappointed for you!

  13. Dan, I’d like to point out that Mommy Points is referring to the Narita Express. There’s also the Keisei lines where the express service runs until 1030 and the limited service runs until 1106. Then you have local JR trains until 1130.

    Another question I have for anybody who’s been to the PH Tokyo…since this is an “americanized” type of hotel…did they still adhere to the Japanese custom of “no tipping”?

  14. Did you do this trip solo or did you bring anyone else along? That’s a long flight to do alone, and being in a foreign land I’d want a familiar face by my side.

    • Gabe, yes I was referring to the train I took, the Narita Express.
      Ken, yes I was solo in the sense that I didn’t go with anyone else that I knew ahead of time. However, I did know a couple of folks that I eventually met up with in Tokyo, and I got to know a few others on the trip thanks to the JapanDo, including three on my flight over from the US.

      • Going solo is the only thing keeping me from doing a bunch of the frequent flyer meetups. I work from home and have tons of points, but I just don’t think I can go alone. But now that my wife just started at a public school we’ve got all of July and the first 2 weeks in August off. How far in advance do they normally release info for the meetups? I didn’t know your email or I’d have just emailed you.

  15. @Gabriel – there is no tipping in the entire country. You can leave it and they will take it because it is easier to do that than explain that you don’t need to give. I tried to give a tip to the two porters that helped with luggage and they refused it and walked out.

  16. Sounds like a fantastic experience, but don’t you find it a little depressing that none of your pictures actually indicate that you were in Japan rather than a nice hotel in New York or Houston? I hope (assuming you’re interested) that someday you’ll have the chance to go back and stay in a (cheaper and probably less luxurious) ryokan or inn.

  17. @Ken: What’s stopping you from heading off on your own? My wife and I have been together for close to (gulp) 35 years and, except for a few years when the kids were very young, I’ve never given up on solo jaunts. Not that I don’t love to travel with my family (and we do a lot of travelling) but as a self-employed person I’ve always had more freedom to travel than my wife (who was a public school teacher for years, incidentally) or my school-aged children. Also, there are places that my wife is considerably less interested in than I am. I’ve taken trips on my own, and also with a variety of (male) friends.
    .
    Anyway, I highly recommend it.

      • Ken and Larry, yay! Always cool to learn from each other.
        Larry, I loved the hotel and am so glad I had the experience of staying there. In my next post on Tokyo, the photos are all very clearly “not in Houston anymore”. 😉

  18. location wise and for first or second time travelers, besides the allure of the place and the obvious Lost in Translation references, they would be far better served going somewhere else. i say this because my friends who have gone to tokyo have not been able to experience the hotel, as they were out trying to eat at Jiro, go to the fish markets, jet lag, running around ginza, roppongi, all the places etc, with no time to luxuriate…

  19. Oh Mommypoints, get the nerve to try the bidet next time! I understand how you feel; I had lived in Asia for eight years before I got the gumption to push those buttons (it was actually soon after I gave birth naturally, when I didn’t want any paper going near my bottom). I have to say, I enjoyed it so much we installed one of those toilet seats in our home.

  20. For the 5 to 7 benefit, if you ask, they will substitute any non-alcoholic beverage on the menu, so the children may indulge as well.

  21. Re: Darren post #31, i am almost certain that children are not allowed at the bar, though I do know that they are allowed in the adjacent Grill restaurant.

  22. Do you have any insight on using hotel points for a room with 2 double beds in Tokyo? We don’t have status, just points, and are a family including a teenager.

  23. Hey mommy points! I stayed there with a free night redemption from the Hyatt Credit Card about 5 years ago. The service and hospitality were top-notch, but I felt the room left a little to be desired. The green carpet just didn’t impress me. I was happy to stay free and am only bummed that the Hyatt card is on to people like me and won’t let me cancel it and reapply anymore. For people who have never had that card, GET IT!

  24. Spending 4 nights on points there next month. The concierge was able to arrange a reservation for us at Jiro’s son restaurant (my wife eats to slowly for Jiro to be pleased with her). Any notions on what is customary for such a service since tipping with money is generally unacceptable?

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