Monday, January 28, 2013

Best Western Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo

The Best Western Shinjuku Astina Hotel Tokyo is located about a 10 minute walk north east of Shinjuku station. It might be a little hard to find but generally once you're out of the station (say on the west side), just head north until you see the bridge for the train, then turn east onto Yasukuni Dori past the Kabukicho area (bright neon red light district area) until you see the Shinjuku ward office (government-like building) on your left (north). Turn in here and make your way up 2 blocks and you should be able to see the hotel sign. The hotel is located just above the Lawson's store. You'll need to take two escalators up to get to the lobby or you can just take the elevators straight up to the 3rd floor to check in. The lobby is quite modern and pleasant, with the decor being a little unusual for the Best Western brand here in America.

Hilton Tokyo Executive Lounge Breakfast

I just had to do another piece on the Hilton Tokyo's executive lounge breakfast as it was really quite an nice experience. As mentioned, the executive lounge is only opening to those residing on the executive floors although they seemed to be a bit lax on the checks. In any case, the lounge had your typical assortment of western items such as scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon and there was actually a nice international variety of stuff like siu mai and stir-fried noodles.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Hilton Tokyo

This was my first visit to Japan and knowing how expensive Tokyo can get, I decided to make use of some of the points I had stashed up. Of the major programs, Starwood and Marriott both had relatively few offerings in the vicinity and all of those were quite high up in category so I decided to stay at the Hilton Tokyo, a Category 6 hotel. This would usually go for 40,000 HH points per night but with the AXON code (for Hilton American Express card members), a 4-night stay was redeemed for just 125,000 points, a discount of almost 9,000 points (or almost 22%)! That meant this cost even less than my Category 5 redemption at the Embassy Suites Montreal! And given that a regular room generally costs at least $300 USD, I was getting pretty much getting 1 cent / HH point which was outstanding value, especially at a top tier hotel in Japan!

The Hilton Tokyo is located near the major Shinjuku Metro/Rail station and almost right next to the Tokyo Metropolitan Government Building, known for its observation deck on the 45th floor, which is free to the public but which I unfortunately didn't get a chance to use this time around.