United Airlines SAN to SFO
Hyatt Regency SFO
United Airlines Global First Lounge
ANA First Square SFO to NRT
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park View Room
Kamakura and the Great Buddha
Thai Airways First Class on the A380
Best Western Premier Amaranth Suvarnabhumi Airport
Royal Orchid Lounge and Spa at Bangkok
Thai Airways Business Class BKK to CGK
For the last night in Tokyo, I decided to switch to another hotel. This time I took advantage of a Jetsetter sale which was selling rooms for a ‘mystery’ hotel for a reasonable price in Tokyo. Rates was under US$300, and that in my opinion was very worth it for a 5-star hotel in Tokyo. The hotel turned out to be the Conrad, and this was something that I had managed to guess before booking. The location of the Conrad is away from the hustle and bustle of Shinjuku and is located in the upmarket business district of Shiodome. The main attraction though is its location of 10 minutes walk to Tsukiji Fish Market and a 15 minutes walk to Ginza. The hotel is also conveniently located above a subway station and the Tokyo Waterfront Monorail to Odaiba as well as being a stop away from the direct Monorail service linking Tokyo with Haneda Airport. This is probably a very convenient hotel for visitors though it offers little in forms of nightlife when the surrounding office buildings close down for the day.
Check-in was conducted at the 28th storey which also houses a lobby lounge and several of the hotel’s restaurants. There is a bell desk at the ground floor should you need help with luggage, though when I arrived, there was no one assisting me unlike in other hotels. It was not busy at all since there was only one other guest checking in when I arrived at the lobby. Due to my reservation being made with Jetsetter, the hotel apparently has no information of my arrival and this made me nervous for a second. However as I showed them the records of my reservation, they decided to honour the booking by providing me with a bay facing room which is a level higher than the standard room. This was also the type of room that I booked and I applaud them for ensuring a smooth check-in. Though this experience definitely makes me hesitant to book with Jetsetter in the future since if the hotel really runs full, I could have been denied check-in!
On getting into my room, I was pleased with how spacious the standard rooms are. In fact with the Conrad being newer, it was also better furnished than the Park Hyatt Tokyo which is showing its age. There was a King bed with a long couch by the large floor-to-ceiling windows that provided a wonderful vista of Tokyo Bay and the Hama-rikyu Gardens. While the view is not from a high floor like that in the Park Hyatt, it provided one of the nicest views from a hotel room in Tokyo.
Like many new hotel rooms, the bathroom features windows overlooking the bedroom and the view, though there was louvres which could be operated from the bathroom to ensure privacy while one is showering. Inside the bathroom is a stand-alone bathtub, a long console with 2 sinks and separate enclosures for the walk-in shower and the toilet. Another feature that I found interesting was the ability for guests staying in Conrad Hotels worldwide to choose their amenity from 3 different brands, and I have to say I do like the Shanghai Tang branded amenities for its distinctive scents.
As I mentioned earlier, my favourite feature of the room is actually the bay view and I spent the evening watching the sun set over Tokyo Bay while playing around with a new camera that I just purchased. During my one night stay at the Conrad, I was also able to get the concierge to make a dinner reservation for me at Ten-Ichi, a famous tempura establishment in Ginza. Not only did they make an excellent job reserving for me, but they also provided me a map indicating the location for me. Similar service standards to that of the Park Hyatt Tokyo!
Upon returning to the hotel from my dinner, I was pleased to discover the Conrad bear waiting for me by the bed. Turns out that the daily turndown service will bring a soft toy for guests staying in Conrad hotels worldwide. I had gotten a plush monkey from the Conrad Bali before. In addition, there was also the signature Conrad-branded rubber duck on top of the bathtub for guests.
Initially I did not know if the room rate included breakfast, but it was complimentary for the stay when I enquired during check-in. However since I had no intention of having breakfast in the hotel, I actually had sushi at Tsukiji Fish Market which is highly recommended for travellers visiting Tokyo. Since the fish market is so close to the hotel, I walked there expecting an easy walk. Turns out the construction in the vicinity meant there was some time spent navigating traffic lights and construction barriers. It was still relatively fast to reach the market and I spent much of the morning roaming around the market. Note that I arrived in the market around 8am which meant that most of the activity has subsided though the queues for the most famous sushi shops remained. I just visited one without a queue and was served excellent sushi as well. When I returned to the hotel, I indulged myself with some more food from the breakfast buffet which was served at China Blue. While the food was good, it did not compare to the sushi in the fish market and I suggest that guests staying here skip the breakfast if they had to pay for it, and head to Tsukiji instead for an excellent sushi breakfast!