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.

As a Best Western Diamond member (status-matched using my Starwood Gold and Hilton Gold status), I was upgraded to the Business floor. The hallways were fairly stylish and clean and actually looked much more professional and more upscale than I had expected.


The room arrangement was fairly interesting, compared to most Western hotels with the bed pushed up against the wall and a chaise lining the other side next to the window. Considering the lack of space in Japan, this was a fairly decent-sized room (the Hilton was obviously enormous by Japanese standards). Two set of pajamas were provided and laid out for us on the bed. Two complimentary bottles of water were also provided atop a mini-fridge in the room just under the coat rack.

The washroom was fairly standard although again, I was pleasantly surprised by the sink design, something usually found in a more upscale brand as well as the typical Japanese toilets with bidet. I guess this is why this Best Western is ranked as the #5 best hotel in Shinjuku, especially for its price.

The hotel also has an executive lounge of sorts although its more of an open meeting space upstairs. There aren't any snacks in case you're curious and hungry more often than not, like me :), but there is a small drink machine which you can use to make some coffee/tea/hot chocolate for yourself if you'd like.

A full hot breakfast buffet the next morning was also provided complimentary for all guests at the restaurant Stella located lobby-level hidden just behind the sofas.

After my breakfast experience at the Hilton lounge, I was a little bit more selective this time about what I chose to sample, particularly from the Japanese style items at the buffet. The natto was also here which I was particularly careful to avoid and likewise with the fish, which I could smell from a distance.

Unfortunately, the sausages tasted rather strange and the scrambled eggs didn't even taste like eggs although their potatoes were unexpectedly well done.

In the end, I only ended up getting seconds on the potatoes, the macaroni salad and their fruits and greens.

The service was definitely not bad and the staff attentively kept the food coming. Overall, this hotel definitely offered excellent value for its price, particularly with its great centralized location in Shinjuku, complimentary breakfast and a comfortable place to sleep. If you're a Best Western Rewards member, you can redeem one night here for 28,000 points although given the decent pricing, it may be better idea to use cash for a stay here and earn points to use elsewhere.

1 comment:

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