Chasing the A380: Park Hyatt Tokyo

Introduction
Swiss First Class Lounge Chicago
Swiss First Class Chicago to Zurich
Swiss First Class Lounge Zurich
Lufthansa Business Class Zurich to Frankfurt
InterContinental Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt
Lufthansa A380 First Class Frankfurt to Tokyo
Park Hyatt Tokyo
ANA First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita, Lufthansa A380 First Class Tokyo to Frankfurt
Westin Grand Frankfurt
Lufthansa First Class Terminal Frankfurt, Lufthansa First Class Frankfurt to Orlando


Before this trip, the Park Hyatt Tokyo was on my top five list of hotels I desperately wanted to stay at. Like everyone else, it’s due in part to the movie “Lost in Translation,” which is largely filmed at this hotel.

It has been a while since I’ve been to Tokyo, so when the opportunity presented itself to spend a couple of nights here there wasn’t even a question as to where we’d be staying. I booked the hotel just a couple of days before our arrival for 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night, which was a complete bargain compared to the revenue rate of $600USD+ per night.

I emailed the hotel the day before our arrival to request early check-in, given that our flight was arriving so in the morning. They emailed me back within a couple of hours to say they’d do everything in their power to ensure a room was available, though couldn’t guarantee it.

After a 90 minute ride on the “Friendly Airport Limousine” we pulled up to the Park Hyatt, where we were immediately helped by a host. She crossed my name off the arrivals list and assisted us with our bags. You have to love Japan hospitality, because this lady was probably 5’3″ and 100 pounds, yet insisted on rolling my carry-on for me, despite not being motivated by tips.


Hotel entrance


Park Hyatt Tokyo


Entrance


Elevator to 41st floor

The lobby of the hotel is actually on the 41st floor, so the host took the elevator up there with us. Upon exiting the elevator we were in the rather airy lobby area, which is where the lobby lounge is located.


Lobby bar

We were then escorted past the hotel’s French restaurant, Girandole, and through the library, to the reception area.


Library

At reception, our arrivals host handed us over to the agent that would be checking us in, who immediately escorted us to our room.


Reception


Hallway

Our room was a Park Deluxe room on the 48th floor.


Room entrance

The room featured a hallway, which led to the bed, seating area, and desk.


Hallway


Park Deluxe room


Desk and TV console


TV

Next to the flat screen TV was the Diamond welcome amenity, which were some sort of rice cakes, I think. I couldn’t decide whether they tasted like chocolate or barbeque sauce.


Diamond welcome amenity


Diamond welcome amenity

In the drawer below that was a tea set, and in the drawer above it was liquor.


Tea


Nice setup


Desk

The room featured amazing views of Tokyo, including Mount Fuji in the distance.


View from room


View from room


View from room at night

The bathroom was also large, featuring a tub, shower, sink, and high tech toilet with more buttons than an Airbus 380 cockpit.


Bathroom


Tub


Shower


Toilet


Closet

While the room wasn’t quite as modern as some other Park Hyatts (like the Park Hyatt Seoul), I thought it was tastefully decorated and huge by Japanese standards.

The agent quickly processed our check-in, explained the amenities of the hotel and Diamond benefits (free breakfast, free internet, complimentary access to the spa, etc.).

But what impressed me most, as I wrote about here, is the fact that there was a continental breakfast on the desk waiting for us, consisting of mango juice, pastries, and muesli. The agent said “we knew you had a long flight from Frankfurt, so figured you might enjoy a light breakfast.” It’s entirely minor, but this attention to detail is what separates a good hotel from a great hotel. So huge kudos to the hotel for this.


Continental breakfast

As I mentioned earlier, as a Diamond member we received complimentary breakfast in Girandole, the hotel’s French restaurant, which is served daily from 7AM to 11AM.


Restaurant


Restaurant

We had the buffet for free, along with eggs however we’d like them. The buffet itself wasn’t all that extensive, certainly not like the Le Meridien Bangkok, but it was still good. Then again, I don’t necessarily expect an outrageously huge buffet in a luxury Japanese hotel, but rather a smaller and high quality buffet, which it certainly was.


Buffet


Buffet


Buffet

The most impressive part of the dining experience was when a waiter that I hadn’t previously interacted with brought me my omelet and addressed me by name. I’ve never had my waiter address me by name, let alone one I hadn’t interacted with. Amazing.


Omelet

As a Diamond member you can also have room service breakfast instead, which we had the second morning. We had to leave the hotel at 6:30AM to catch our flight and the restaurant wasn’t open yet, so we ordered room service for 5:30AM. Sure enough at exactly 5:30AM there was a knock on our door. The quality of the food was excellent.


Room service breakfast

The coolest part of the hotel has to be the pool and gym, though, located on the 47th floor. Not only did they boast fantastic views, but the service was more attentive than in first class on most airlines.


Pool


Gym


View from pool

As a Diamond member I also had complimentary access to the spa, including the pretty impressive whirlpools they have. It really is a nice facility, though it’s worth noting that nudity is required. I’m used to the option, but it’s the first I’ve been told word-for-word “please take your clothes off.” Hopefully I didn’t run into any of you guys there!

The first night we were tired pretty early so went to dinner at Girandole, the same place breakfast was served. We should have probably gone to the iconic New York Grill, but I didn’t feel like dropping $300USD+ on a dinner when I was dead tired. Then again, dropping $150USD+ on dinner isn’t much better, though it is Tokyo we’re talking about, so…

The service in the restaurant was hilariously Japanese. They followed the same procedure every time they served anything. Even if it was just a fork, they would place it on the tray, place the tray on the serving station (sliding it on there as if it somehow “latches”), and then walk the item over to our table. So inefficient, yet so consistent.

My Diet Coke with lime cost a mere $12USD, so you can bet I enjoyed every last sip of it (no free refills, after all).

The meal came with bread, which, given the cost of food, was a blessing (and they even had free refills). ;)


Bread

As a starter I had the soup of the day, which was a corn chowder.

For the main course I had the tagliatelle bolognese, which was fairly tasty.


My main

My friend had the lamb chop, which he enjoyed as well.


Friend’s main

For dessert we shared creme brulee, which was delicious.


Dessert

Anyway, I have nothing but positive things to say about this hotel. While the facilities are very nice, it’s the service that sets this place apart. I don’t think I’ve ever received such personalized and sincere service at any hotel anywhere. The next time I’m in Tokyo I’ll return to the Park Hyatt without thinking twice.

One thing to keep in mind is that while a standard room is 22,000 points per night, a suite is only 33,000 points per night. While it might not be needed given how big the Park Deluxe rooms are, it would be pretty cool, and at only a 50% premium is a good value in my book. The only restriction is that you can only redeem for suites for a minimum of three nights.

Comments

  1. Mike says

    Nice pictures.
    I have to tease u about sharing a desert with a guy though. Lol. Not very manly. :)

  2. Cambria says

    Great review!

    Your comment about the waiter addressing you by name reminded me of an experience I had while checking into the Shangri-La in Singapore. I walked up to the desk and was greeted by name before providing any ID or credit card. It startled me a bit. I asked my host about it later and he indicated the hotel treated guests of his organization as VIPs. They likely kept a picture and info on me from a previous stay. A bit creepy at first, but amazing customer service nonetheless.

  3. Carl says

    The hotel Japanese restaurant is fantastic as well, not to mention of course NY Grill, which I find to be a good value for brunch

  4. deux centimes says

    I’ll second the recommendation for Kozue, the Japanese restaurant at the hotel. Excellent quality kaiseki menu! It is generally difficult to find better quality Japanese in Tokyo than that unless you’re willing to go some of the tiny Michelin two and three-star venues (that more often than not have no English-speaking staff).

    I was there at the same time as you, lucky, and had both rooms upgraded to the Park Suite category even without the use of certificates. Exemplary service from the hotel personnel. Yamada-san at the reception went out of her way to package some omiyage for my family, and the amount of effort she and her colleagues put into procuring and packaging the gifts, and in making sure they would arrive fresh and ready for presentation in NY can only be described as loving. The perfectionism never fails to impress, from arrival to departure.

  5. Carol says

    The lobby bakery is well worth a visit for a wide range of well prepared desserts.

    If you want an economical meal without leaving the building, go to the basement. You will find a number of restaurants where you can get a meal for $20-$30.

  6. Terence says

    Thanks for pictures and report. Definitely on my list of places to stay. The views are breathtaking!! Can’t imagine what those top floors feel like during a Tokyo earthquake.

    On using Hyatt points for a suite, is the 33,000 per night redemption, 3 night minimum, true for all Park Hyatts?

  7. TravelGuyFL says

    Lucky I have to ask – with the ONE bed in the room, the nude spa, and the shared dessert, do you travel with friends or boyfriends?

  8. brian says

    Hey Luck, check out who is staying in some cool rooms in Seattle this week that you might not appreciate! Not a lot of rest happening.

  9. mel says

    Yeah, who would have thunk… crazy things. Some serious stuff for a rather pedestrian hotel in Seatte. Let the scandal insue.

  10. Hamurabi2008 says

    If you like the pool at the PH Tokyo you have to check out the one at the PH Shanghai (newer and even more impressive – irrespective of the smog/clouds/weather in general). Enjoy!

    Ham

  11. Chad says

    “Lucky I have to ask – with the ONE bed in the room, the nude spa, and the shared dessert, do you travel with friends or boyfriends?”

    Well, 二丁目 (Ni-chōme) is very close to the Park Hyatt…

  12. steve64 says

    As always, a great report.
    And yea, I’m also green with envy. Ever since I stumbled on this blog, I’ve wished I could be your friend.
    I’ll sleep on the sofa/floor if needed, we can hit the spa at separate times if you’re feeling self conscious, but I’m NOT going to give up my half of the creme brulee :)

  13. Haddaway says

    Nice report. Why are so many of you obsessed with double beds, shared desserts and nude spas (which are almost always compulsory nude in Japan)? Why do “have to ask”? Does it matter?

  14. jetset says

    I think we are all obsessed with his personal life because of how awesome it is to know one of us fellow gays is so successful and having a great time traveling the world for almost nothing.

    Plus I think he’s cute so I’m happy he’s on my team! Way to go Lucky! ;)

  15. Joelfreak says

    Why is everyone so interested in prying into Luckys private life? If it actually pertained to the blog, it MIGHT matter, but as it doesn’t, it just makes you sound childish. I don’t care if he sleeps with a horses head, he writes a good travel blog, and is a nice guy if you get to meet him…which is all that matters.

  16. Andy Bluebear says

    Well, it would be nice to know (for those of us who are gay) if at the hotel check-in you get the awkward “really? you2 are checking into the same room with 1 bed only?”. And if he isn’t, then let us know which hotels have the the superior fold-out couch or extra cot, for those traveling with friends.

  17. Simon says

    Congrats Ben! Good for you. Amazing it seems so shocking to most based on your more recent trip reports.

  18. Haddaway says

    @Andy Bluebear:
    Well, me and my partner have stayed in quite a few hotels around the world. Never had an issue with having just 1 dobule bed in any hotel.

  19. Andy Bluebear says

    Then you are luckier than most…or I just need to stay in a better class of hotel lol

  20. Haddaway says

    @Andy Bluebear:
    May I ask where and how you were discriminated against? If that were ever to happen to us we would complain to management.

  21. coolpizza says

    The DM welcome amenity looks like dacquoise. Right?
    And the bakery in this hotel has the best marshmallows ive ever had!

  22. MR H says

    Liquor in the room – complimentary? That would be quite a treat with the HIBIKI they have in there!

  23. TravelGuyFL says

    Wait, did Lucky come out of the closet or something? If so, good for him. Nothing wrong with that, just helps put everything in context.

  24. says

    Hi Lucky! I’ve always been a huge fan of your blog, and the Park Hyatt review was a special treat, since “Lost In Translation” is one of my favorite movies. Definitely hope to get to Tokyo later this year. Thanks to you I’ll have a better familiarity with the hotel. Keep up the great work!

  25. says

    Imperial Hotel, Tokyo which is the closest you get to heaven, no one said, “heaven would be cheap” All bathing in Japan is nude. This is a great blog on travel, though some what American centric!!! It is no ones business who you sleep with and where in the article did he say he was sharing a room? Most of the finest hotels do not have loyalty programs as they do not need them, some the concierge meets you at the airport! Excelent as always oh and the unmarked lounges are the ones to aim for. Japan tip No 1 the higher the floor the higher the price. Yeah and I pay 40-50.00 for an Orange, apple etc.. but you have never had an apple till you try one of these!!

  26. MR H says

    If you go the the bar, you can grab an overpriced drink, but in an amazing setting with delicious snacks, and killer view. Make sure its a clear night out. Then you can go over to the Metropolitan Office and go up to the top of that for free too, get some slightly different views…

    Great Lunch Buffet there as well, which was definitely worth the money last time I went (for food let alone the view over the park/city). Many cheaper places within a 5 min walk though. Depends on your preferences.

  27. theblakefish says

    I used my 2 free nights from the Hyatt Visa there in April and was blown away — stayed at the Sheraton Hiroshima before and was most impressed but the Park Hyatt was awesome. I grabbed some sundries at the 7-11 down the street for munchies.

    The name thing floored me as well — I had checked in and soon made my way up to the NY Grill for a $40 scotch (which cost $12 back home, but oh well) and the guy at the front desk…who I had never met before…addressed me by name. Unreal, and impressive given that I was only a Hyatt Platinum at the time!

  28. BrewerSEA says

    Karma is a bitch, guy who posted a couple of the comments upthread. You lie to Ben about what happened in Seattle and the next night your laptop and camera are stolen in L.A.? False drama is so tiring…

  29. says

    This may seem kind of random, but what luggage do you typically use? I see the photo with your pieces and would love to see you do some kind of review on your favorite carryons as well as check in bags. (Working on my wedding registry now!)

  30. Adam says

    Thanks for your wonderful trip reports.

    Have you done any more flying training?
    I’m a life-long aviation enthusiast and have a CPL and instructor rating. If you’re ever stopping over in the UK come flying sometime!

  31. ORDnHKG says

    Your friend or bf are really lucky, got treated with free F ticket (at least save a huge chunk of miles), 5 star hotel, 5 star dinner, I certainly wouldn’t mind to share a bed with you, consider you are quite attractive too !

  32. ORDnHKG says

    Count me in btw, I am the asian guy we met at SFO during SFO-IAD MR, was also the same guy who wrote OZ F 3 class 777 ORD-ICN-HKG trip report on FT

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