I chose to spend 2 nights in Nagoya, because I had 2 free nights credit from Marriott after staying at the JW Marriott Surabaya multiple times over the last year. In fact, Marriott still runs this promotion where guests who stay 2 times will get a free night at any category 1-4 Marriott hotels. The hotel is a category 4 property so it was suitable for my free stay. Having been to Nagoya a couple of times before, I knew the Marriott had probably the best location in the city as it is located right above the JR Nagoya station.
From the exit of the Shinkansen tracks, it was probably a 2-3 minute walk on the same floor of the station to the ground floor lobby of the hotel. The ground floor houses the hotel’s cafe and the check-in reception is on the 15th floor. There are another set of elevators to access the rooms on the 15th floor lobby.
Check-in at the hotel was fast with no queue in the evening I arrived. With no glitches or such, I was assigned a standard double room as it was a free night and I do not think there was any upgrade given. However I did obtain a room on a high floor and one with a view of the Nagoya Castle. The rooms ending with 23 are probably the best facing since the rooms are located in a circular floorplan and thus no 2 rooms on the same floor has the same view.
Room No: 3923 Category: Standard Double Guest Room
Inside the room, there is a small closet on entrance before the bathroom door. The closet is spacious enough for a standard room. The bathroom was big by Japanese standards but normal for US-based hotels. There was a bathtub that doubles as the shower stall, the usual automatic toilet with bidet and dryer function as well as a good-sized vanity counter. Bathroom amenities are located inside a tray that can be easily placed under the sink. There was also a plastic stool underneath the vanity counter.
The brightly-lit bathroom was better than I expected it to be especially for hotels in Nagoya. However unlike other Marriott properties, this hotel features bath amenities more commonly seen in Japan with soap and lotion all packed in large bottles. The amenities were nice to use and I have no complaints though I certainly prefer personal travel size amenities.
What I like about Japanese hotels was that guests could ask for ‘cosmetic kits’ and the hotel like many others have a male and female kit. The ones in Marriott Associa was provided by Margaret Josefin, a Japanese brand. The contents of the kit includes a cleanser, lotion and moisturizer. There are some other kits on other hotels that could include a hair tonic and gel.
When I proceed to the room, I was also pleased with it since it was a good size. The decor of the room is more of old-European style and probably dates from the 80s. While I thought I was assigned a double room, the bed seems more of a queen-sized bed and would be comfortable for 2 normal-sized adults. As I was staying alone it was adequate for me. I also liked that the hotel was generous with their pillows on the bed.
Beside the bed was a side table with an alarm clock on the left and an average size desk on the right with a working chair. There was a lounge chair with a side table by the window. The TV console was aligned with the lounge chair rather than the bed and I did not really like that since it meant my line of view was not straight from the bed, where I usually enjoy some TV shows before I sleep.
Other amenities in the hotel includes an air filter and humidifier that would be useful since the weather can get a bit dry in the winter. There was also a luggage stand beside the TV console and 2 bottles of mineral water was provided daily on the desk. I also had no trouble asking for more bottled water unlike my experience at the Westin Nagoya Castle.
One of my favourite memories of staying in the room was being able to enjoy the amazing night views of the city as well as the beautiful sunrise since the hotel was probably one of the tallest buildings in the city.
My stay at the hotel did not include breakfast and I did not find a need to participate in the hotel’s breakfast since the underground shopping mall in Nagoya Station and the numerous cafes and bakeries does the job well. Furthermore I took advantage of my Japan Rail pass and made daily excursions to Arashiyama in Kyoto and to the town of Takayama and Shirakawa-go, thus I got some pastries and drinks to bring onto the train instead.
For dinners at the city, I highly recommend Maruya Honten, which is a restaurant located on the 9th floor of the Meitetsu Department Store beside the Marriott Associa hotel. The restaurant serves what is probably the best piece of unagi (Japanese eel) that I have tasted and makes a great Hitsumabushi (eel-based dish) that is a specialty of Nagoya. Do note that this restaurant can get very crowded at times. On another occasion, the concierge at the hotel was also able to assist in reserving a seat at the Steakhouse Sakai near Osu-Kannon subway and temple.
When I find myself in Nagoya, this is probably the hotel I would stay at again since the Westin Nagoya Castle can be quite inconvenient and I had an average stay there the last time I visited. Moreover the service at the Westin was lacking, compared to the level of service I received at the Marriott. On the day I checked out I was also able to deposit my bags with the bell desk in the morning and got it back at night before my Shinkansen train ride back to Tokyo.