Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo

Introduction
Review: Delta One 767 Los Angeles To Tokyo Haneda
Review: Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
Review: Delta One 767 Tokyo Haneda To Los Angeles


The Park Hyatt Tokyo is the most luxurious hotel of 1994. It hasn’t changed much since then.

There’s no denying that the 2003 Sofia Coppola film “Lost in Translation,” which is filmed largely, and lovingly, at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, made the hotel a star in its own right.

Indeed, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is legendary, and is considered one of the jewels in the crown of the Park Hyatt chain, one of just seven Hyatts worldwide to be a Category 7 in the Gold Passport program.

With room rates regularly above $650, the Park Hyatt Tokyo is indeed aspirational, and it’s a coveted redemption for those using their two Hyatt Chase Visa free nights, or otherwise using 30,000 Gold Passport points a night.

Needless to say, I was very excited to check it out, and my friend was excited to use his two free Hyatt credit card nights at the Park Hyatt.

Spoiler alert: save your redemptions for another property, folks.

Let me explain first, because I want to stress that the hotel service remains polished and phenomenal, and it’s certainly a comfortable, nice place to sleep. It is by no means a “bad hotel.”

Anyway, my friend and I checked out of the Andaz at 1:30pm and took a taxi to the Park Hyatt, which is in Shinjuku, about a 20 minute taxi ride away. We pulled up to a driveway in an enormous office complex called Shinjuku Towers, which is essentially a three-stepped skyscraper. The Park Hyatt occupies the top floors of each “step,” as it were.

Park Hyatt Tokyo
Park Hyatt Tokyo

The bellman at the front door quickly took our bags and asked for the reservation name, and we were led into a peaceful lobby (which is technically on the second floor of the building) which gave way to the elevator bank. Off to the left of the second-floor lobby was a two-story pastry shop / “delicatessen” / gift shop complex which led down to the first floor office building lobby (and access to the southern entrance/exit of the skyscraper).

Park Hyatt Tokyo entrance lobby
Park Hyatt Tokyo entrance lobby

The entrance lobby was decorated with fairly dramatic sculptures and art. In some ways, the art reminded me of the art at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme.

Adjacent to the elevator was an artistically-drawn diagram of the hotel complex, which proved a necessary read. It’s an understatement to say that the hotel layout is complicated, requiring any number of elevator banks to reach guestrooms, restaurants, reception, meeting rooms and the gym/spa, Club on the Park.

Park Hyatt Tokyo layout
Park Hyatt Tokyo layout

The quirky yet elegant artwork carried through into the elevator.

Park Hyatt Tokyo lobby elevator
Park Hyatt Tokyo lobby elevator

Interestingly, the mood lighting in the elevator would adjust, from dim and subdued at the entrance level, to brighter as it led to the reception floor. This is likely because the elevator opens onto an incredibly bright, light-filled atrium housing the hotel’s Peak Bar and Lounge.

Reception floor / Peak Bar and Lounge
Reception floor / Peak Bar and Lounge

From the Peak Bar and Lounge area, we were led a few twists and turns down a hallway, past the “European” restaurant, Girandole, through a library, and finally into a reception room with a number of tables and attendants. We were led to a table where there was already an envelope with my friend’s name on it, and the host (who also appeared to be one of the concierges) completed check-in. We were handed two physical keys on Tiffany keyrings.

It’s worth pointing out here that our initial impression of the hotel was a bit mixed — certainly, the service was top-notch and the check in was a warm, welcoming process. The public areas, however, struck us both as rather cold and dated. For instance, the Peak Bar and Lounge seemed straight out of a fancy suburban office building in the 90’s, while the decor in the hallways was… again, a bit dated, with pink carpet and blue armchairs throughout.

Park Hyatt hallway seating
Park Hyatt hallway seating

In any event, we were led to our room on the 44th floor. Unlike at the Andaz where the lobby levels occupied the top floors and rooms are below, at the Park Hyatt the reception area is on the 41st floor, rooms occupy the 42nd through 50th floors (except that the gym occupies a portion of the 45th and 47th floor), and the New York Bar & Grill occupies the 51st floor.

The hallways in the guestroom floors were beautifully lit, with a strong green tea perfumed scent throughout. The fragrance was appealing, though it’s worth noting if you’re sensitive to fragrances you may be a bit put off, as it’s pervasive.

Park Hyatt Tokyo guestroom floor hallways
Park Hyatt Tokyo guestroom floor hallways

The hallway walls were covered in a blue/green silk, which, while a bit dated, I didn’t mind as it struck me as classically Japanese in a timeless sort of way.

And then we reached our room, a Park Twin.

The Room

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin room entry
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin room entry

I guess my expectations had been set much too high by the Andaz, because this room was immediately a disappointment (to us both). Far from being special and sumptuous, it instead seemed to have not been touched since the 1990’s, except maybe to swap out tube televisions for flat-screens.

I have no doubt this was the height of luxury and class in 1994, when the hotel opened, but with teal carpet and very nineties furniture, it just seemed a bit… sad, and distinctly reminded of my father’s early 90’s office suite. In fact, I wouldn’t have been shocked if designers would have considered this just slightly dated by the time the hotel opened.

Park Hyatt Park Twin desk area
Park Hyatt Park Twin desk area

The room had windows facing two different directions, and two twin beds faced the television and the smaller window, which faced west.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bedroom
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bedroom
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin television area
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin television area

Lighting and shades were controlled by bedside switches, which were neither marked, intuitive or particularly attractive. They were, essentially, clear plastic knobs.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bedside controls
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bedside controls

Each bedside table had two outlets. That was the extent of the power situation in the room, other than another outlet in the bathroom. I didn’t see any outlets near the desk.

There was a seating area between the television and the beds, which again was showing its age, decor-wise.

Park Hyatt Park Twin seating area
Park Hyatt Park Twin seating area
Park Hyatt Park Twin seating area
Park Hyatt Park Twin seating area

Do you see the side table next to the chair? It’s a hand playing a harp, as the base, and a smoked glass oval as the top.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin room decor
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin room decor

I’m not sure if this wasn’t creepy in the 90’s, but beyond being vaguely unsettling, it sure strained the levels of taste.

There was a console containing the minibar, a Nespresso machine, and a tea service area next to the desk.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin desk area with Nespresso machine
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin desk area with Nespresso machine
Park Hyatt Park Twin minibar
Park Hyatt Park Twin minibar
Park Hyatt Park Twin minibar
Park Hyatt Park Twin minibar

Opposite the minibar, in the mini-hallway leading to the bathroom, was the closet, which was spacious, though still decked out in teal.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin closet
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin closet

The views from the room were spectacular (as they were from the Andaz). We faced south directly onto Yoyogi Park and the famed Meiji Shrine (though we couldn’t see the shrine itself through the foliage).

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin view during the day
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin view during the day

Beyond the park, you could make out the skyscrapers of the Shibuya business and shopping district.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin view during the day
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin view during the day

Finally, just beyond the closet was the bathroom, which was a bit underwhelming, again because of dated decor and, frankly, clunky fixtures.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom

For instance, the bathroom boasted a television, but it was a small standalone television just placed on the glass makeup counter, and just sort of looked unattractive, and in the way.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin makeup area
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin makeup area

The sink was on a surprisingly small console with not a whole lot of counter space, and the faucets were… well, in my opinion, ugly, basically stainless steel surrounded by an off-white plastic shell.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom sink
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom sink
Dated-looking faucet
Dated-looking faucet

Similarly, the shower had the same stainless steel/plastic casing fixtures, and was “European style,” without an overhead fixture (the Andaz had both).

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom shower
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom shower
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom shower
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom shower

The shower wasn’t particularly large. There was stainless steel shelving holding the toiletries, which were Aesop-branded (and fantastic).

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin shower amenities
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin shower amenities

There was also a Toto Washlet-style toilet in a room behind the bathtub, although this toilet was distinctly “clunkier” than the newer toilet at the Andaz, with worn controls and visible wires.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin toilet
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin toilet

Even though the hardware and physical aspects of the bathroom were lacking, it’s worth pointing out the amenities were terrific, and the towels and bathrobes plentiful and unbelievably plush and comfy, so in that regard I give it high marks.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom amenities
Park Hyatt Tokyo Park Twin bathroom amenities

Overall, the room was serviceable — certainly, the beds were comfortable (and each had three large, fluffy pillows as opposed to the Andaz’s single Japanese-style pillow), the shower pressure decent, and the view amazing.

However, to put it bluntly, the room is nothing special, and almost laughably dated. At $650+ a night, the room simply does not meet expectations. You’re paying for the reputation, not the actual luxury of the room (or lack thereof).

The Location

Shinjuku is a central shopping and entertainment hub loaded with department stores, bars and restaurants, and with easy train access to other parts of the city.

The Park Hyatt Tokyo is located in a purpose-built business district a few blocks to the west of Shinjuku Station, which reminded me uncannily of the Bunker Hill business district of downtown Los Angeles. The blocks largely consist of skyscrapers and elevated roadways, with no street-level shopping or conveniences.

It’s about a 15 minute walk to the “fun” part of Shinjuku as well as the train station and subway station, and the Park Hyatt also runs a shuttle to “downtown” Shinjuku every twenty minutes. Shinjuku itself is incredibly convenient, and full of amenities.

The tourist-friendly neighborhoods of Shibuya, Omatesando and Harajuku are a rather quick taxi ride or 45-minute walk to the south, and Yoyogi Park and the Meiji Shrine are, similarly, either a $6 cab ride or a 30 minute walk away.

Undeniably the Park Hyatt Tokyo is located generally in a central location — much more so than the Andaz Tokyo — but in immediate terms the Shinjuku Towers are a bit isolated from central Shinjuku, and the lack of direct subway access was frustrating. We found ourselves taking taxis just about everywhere, whereas at the Andaz the adjacent subway stop made train access easy. On the other hand, because Shinjuku is centrally located, any taxi you’ll take around Shinjuku, Shibuya or surrounding areas will be quick and relatively inexpensive.

Facilities

The gym and lap pool are located on the 47th floor, at the top of the middle “tower” of the hotel, and both are free to use for hotel guests. Essentially, there are two gym rooms located on either side of the lap pool. While the gyms boast stunning views, they don’t boast a variety of equipment. (It also seems strange to me you have to walk out of one gym, around the pool, and over to the other gym to do a full workout routine.)

Park Hyatt Tokyo pool
Park Hyatt Tokyo pool

I tried to use an elliptical machine one morning to discover a line for the machines, as there were only two — meanwhile, there was a bank of 10+ treadmills, all empty.

Park Hyatt Tokyo gym
Park Hyatt Tokyo gym

If you’re a runner, you’ll appreciate the treadmills and the views they have over the city.

Park Hyatt Tokyo gym
Park Hyatt Tokyo gym

However, if you use any other machines, you’ll be disappointed with the scarcity of equipment. Again, this struck me as another way in which the hotel was very dated – elliptical machines have been quite popular for years now, and yet the gym had but two of them in an otherwise enormous space.

Because our return flight to Los Angeles left at 12:30am on a Thursday morning and we were given a late checkout at 2pm on Wednesday, we stored our bags, went souvenir shopping in Shinjuku and returned to the hotel around 5pm to use the spa facilities, hang out and shower before leaving for the airport. It’s worth noting that, even for hotel guests, use of the spa facilities (unlike at the Andaz) requires a ¥4000 (~$33) day pass.

The Club on the Park, as well as the gym and pool facilities, are accessed on the 45th floor, with a separate elevator up to the pool/gym area.

Club on the Park entrance
Club on the Park entrance

Upon purchase of a day pass, we were led by an attendant to the men’s locker room / spa area, which was enormous. We were lucky to have been blessed with a sunset view of Mount Fuji perfectly framed from the spa lobby.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Mount Fuji view
Park Hyatt Tokyo Mount Fuji view

I didn’t take photos of the locker room area, but it’s insanely dated in an over-the-top 90’s way. Imagine seas of green marble walls, blond wood, and Broadway-theater dressing room-style vanity bulbs surrounding mirrors. The men’s lounge was spacious, however, and included a few seating areas (with, again, rather dated leather recliners) and a setup with flavored waters, juices and nuts.

The men’s wet spa facilities just beyond the locker room held an incredibly, searing hot onsen-style hot tub as well as a frigid ice-cold water bath, and four small saunas. There was no steam room. The showers were stocked with Aesop shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

One aspect of the Club on the Park I loved were the dressing areas, which had several different styles of Aesop hair product and lotions and oils galore. It was a great place to spend some relaxing time, and to shower and freshen up, before leaving for the airport.

Food and Drink

The Park Hyatt Tokyo has a traditional Japanese restaurant, Kozue, a European restaurant, Girandole (where breakfast is served), the Peak Bar and Lounge on the 41st floor, and of course the famed New York Bar and New York Grill on the 51st floor, where key scenes from “Lost in Translation” were filmed.

The casual patisserie, The Delicatessen, on the first and second floor of the building is frustratingly not open in the mornings. When I asked hotel staff where I could get a quick breakfast, the answer was that the only place to get breakfast was Girandole, which was, aside from being expensive, far too formal and time-consuming for my taste. Frustratingly, there’s no Starbucks or any other breakfast- or coffee-appropriate place within close walking distance. On the last day, we discovered that the adjacent office building had a shabby coffee shop, which served terrible and overpriced coffee and breakfast pastries — I would not recommend it.

You have to walk past Girandole to get from the elevators to the guestrooms, and while it’s an airy space, I hardly ever saw a soul eating there.

Girandole restaurant
Girandole restaurant

We did have drinks at the New York Bar one evening, and there was a bit of a wait to be seated (although it wasn’t too bad). The bar is gorgeous, though the live music — it’s worth pointing out — is very loud and the drinks are wildly expensive (think $20 minimum, $15 if you want a beer). It was a lovely place, atmosphere-wise, but maybe not the ideal place to hold a conversation.

The New York Bar and New York Grill are, to be clear, tourist destinations in the wake of “Lost in Translation.” Our last day we rode the elevators up with two American tourist girls who could best be described of as “basic backpacker” (pigtails, camera around their necks, backpacks, Tevas) who very loudly shouted at us when we reached the Peak Bar and Lounge, “IS THIS THE LOST IN TRANSLATION BAR!?!?” Though I was tempted to lead them astray since they were clearly underdressed for the actual New York Bar, I did point them to the 51st floor, and I do hope they enjoyed their photo-op.

On the last evening, we also shared an over-mayonnaised chicken sandwich and a couple of very expensive drinks at the Peak Lounge, which was substantially calmer than the New York Bar — if you’re just looking for a drink at the lobby bar with a view, the Peak Lounge is perhaps an easier option than the New York Bar, which is a scene.

Park Hyatt Tokyo Bottom Line

The bottom line is, save your points, save your free-night redemptions and for goodness sake’s, save your money until the Park Hyatt Tokyo gets a top-to-bottom makeover. I’m not aware of any planned, but it’s certainly ripe for one. When that happens, I have no doubt that, like the refreshed Park Hyatt Sydney, the hotel will be a stunner of epic proportions. It certainly has the bones for it, as well as the history.

For now, I would choose the Andaz instead, every time.

In the meantime, if you do want to see what all the fuss is about, go in with eyes wide open. The service will be phenomenal, as to be expected from a five-star Japanese hotel. If you’re not design-minded, or if you still listen to the Gin Blossoms on your Discman and wear Hypercolor shirts and Reebok Pumps, you may well have no quibbles with the Park Hyatt Tokyo whatsoever. From a “soft product” standpoint, the hotel is flawless.

However, the hard product — design, decor and technology — leaves a great deal to be desired.

When you couple that with the sort of tourist-trap anecdote above — which was hardly the first instance we saw loud, obnoxious tourists take photographs of the OH MY GOD THIS IS THE LOST IN TRANSLATION HOTEL  — the experience, from a luxury hotel standpoint, is suboptimal.

There are folks who still ooh and aah over the Park Hyatt on TripAdvisor, and bless their hearts. You may be one of them, too. But the simple truth is that the Park Hyatt Tokyo has not been updated in 21 years. A refresh is sorely needed.

Not to beat a dead horse, but if you’re looking for flawless style, design, and luxury, you could save yourself some money and some points and book the Andaz instead.

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Comments

  1. I’d agree the Park Hyatt Tokyo is showing its age. There was some new releases about a year ago stating that a designer had been picked for the redo and that it should start in the next year or two. I guess that has not happened yet.

  2. @ Nick — Couldn’t agree more with your review. Although life is quite different for a Diamond at PH Tokyo. The generous breakfast (which can also be taken as room service), the unlimited evening cocktails and food at Peak Lounge, free access to the spa facilities, use of their bicycles where they packed us a lunch basket “to go”, all gratis.

    Andaz was sold out on my last visit to Tokyo so I stayed at the Regency, (they have a hand full of renovated rooms/ suites), which were great especially at 12k pts/night.

    -JRL

  3. This ladies and gentlemen is why I read the blog. Thanks for the warning Nick good report and you undoubtedly saved some folks $ and points. Well done

  4. Agreed that as a Diamond, the free breakfast, and drinks and snacks at the Peak Bar do change everything, but I do agree with the general comment that it does feel dated. Also as a tourist, I did not love the area. I do think the Peak Bar offering for Diamonds is unique as many Park Hyatt’s do not have a club lounge solution in evenings. I believe they sell access to this for close to $50 per person, including unlimited drinks and snacks, and it seems to be quite popular with the business people around. In Sept 2014 we stayed here as well at 2 nights at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo, using a Diamond Suite Award which was further upgraded 1 category from standard suite to an executive suite, and the difference in the room was very dramatic, but I do believe the Grand Hyatt Tokyo standard rooms are very nice as well. I do prefer the Roppongi area as well as a tourist.

  5. As Michael JRL have stated, the experience will differ based on your status and I think that should be noted. While I completely agree with your assessment of the hard product, as a diamond some of your comments around the price point for breakfast and drinks are moot since they are comped. Status at this hotel definitely helps and as a diamond I would stay here again, though if I didn’t have status I probably would look elsewhere.

  6. Appreciate that you get more benefits as a Diamond here, and I thank the commenters for pointing that out. (I’ve made it pretty clear in this trip report series that I’m not a Diamond, so these were perks I neither had access to, nor was made aware of.)

    In any event, I had no quibbles with the soft product, nor, really the pricing of food and drink (and it remains worth pointing out that if you go for a drink at night the New York Bar is outrageously priced for everyone, including Diamonds).

    My issue with the Park Hyatt Tokyo is that it’s shamefully dated — I mean, a renovation may take years, but surely they could without much effort swap out the 20 year old Toto toilets and install new showers? — which is sadly the case regardless of Hyatt status.

    To me, that’s the crux of the experience, and even if I were a Diamond showered with free breakfast and free happy hour snacks, I’d be sorely disappointed with the property.

  7. @Dan, I appreciate his review! We just have different viewpoints (and I think he might feel the same way if he visited today).

    Personally, I had some “Wow” moments at this hotel, as in … Wow, this carpet is f$&ing hideous. 😉

    I think the hotel has a lot of fantastic qualities and I’m sure Diamonds get treated royally there. To me, free breakfast doesn’t make up for a seriously out-of-date interior, especially at the quoted room rates, and I’d humbly submit that for Hyatt Gold Passport members of *any* status, the Andaz is for now the superior option.

  8. I stayed here recently and thought it was somewhat “shabby chic” – a period piece from the 90s if you will – not every property needs to be ultra contemporary if its comfortable and well kept, which I certainly thought the hotel was, despite the over abundance of teal.

    On a semi-related note, I found additional outlets by the desk were hidden in a panel that opened.

  9. Stayed at the PH Tokyo ~10 years ago – sorry to hear they’re not updating the property. We had dinner one night at the NY Grill. It was a top meal; and in particular the Kobe rib-eye steak. The views were elevated and phenomenal; as was the price. Still, it’s on my list to have dinner there at least once again. It would have been interesting to have an updated review of the restaurant.

  10. I don’t think Nick ever criticized the level of service he received at the PH. Unless they have updated rooms that are only accessible to Diamonds, I fail to see how being a Diamond would have changed his impression of the hotel.

  11. I used my free nights here in 2012 and I didn’t really understand the appeal. The location isn’t great and the decor reminded me of a mid-range vegas hotel. In the same trip I stayed at the Conrad Tokyo before the PH Tokyo. The location wasn’t great at the Conrad but it was above a subway stop and the decor was spot on. This only made PH even more disappointing.

  12. That room carpet looks absolutely disgusting. It looks more like something you could find in a cheap 2 stars english hotel, not in a 650$ a night hotel. I wouldn’t pay more than 100$ a night for a room with a floor like that. The views are stunning anyway.

  13. Nick, do you not use Tripadvisor when booking hotels? A quick look on TA would have shown just how dated the PH Tokyo is and none of this would have been a surprise to you.

  14. The taxi fare between Tokyo and Narita Airport is highway robbery. My cousin and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Shinjuku (adjacent to the Park Hyatt). We took the train there but a taxi on the way back. We couldn’t take our eyes away from the meter. Some of the scariest moments of my life.

  15. My wife and I are staying at PHT now, spending 4 nights at Conrad before that. Nick’s comments are right on the money. Rooms and common areas feel dated and in a need of a refresh. We also feel that Conrad’s access to subway is superior. We are Diamonds, so Peak Lounge drinks and canapes + free breakfast are nice. Service is incredible, but so was Conrad’s. At Conrad’s we had a bay view. At PHT – Mt. Fuji (I also snapped that picture last night with Mt Fuji backlighted by the sunset). My wife gives a slight edge to PHT’s amenities, towels, bathrobes.

  16. @Bob: I haven’t stayed at the Conrad, but I’d agree with your wife that the PHT’s amenities are outstanding. The fluffiest towels and robes, great pillows, and excellent Aesop toiletries.

  17. Great report and very comprehensive pictures, Nick. Completely agree about the dated looking bathroom fixtures. That combination of chrome/plastic was popular in a lot of Asian hotels in the 90s and personally I find them an eyesore as well.

  18. Stayed a few nights at the Conrad and PHT as a lowly Hilton Gold / Hyatt Silver earlier this year. I found the PHT superior. Best service I’ve ever received at a hotel. Built in lightning/HDMI connector on the TV let me stream video from my phone. Only complaint was that the room was tiny. Conrad had good transit access but an overwhelming bad perfume in the hallways, which also had so much wood trim you may as well have been in a treehouse.

    Different strokes for different folks, I guess.

  19. The author is an ‘infrequent but savvy traveler’ while possessing a ‘sparse portfolio of miles flown and hotel stays per year,’ yet oozes with snobbery and haughtiness when ‘blessing the hearts’ of those 1,998 TA reviews who have collectively ranked the hotel as Shinjuku’s best.

    I happen to agree with many of your comments, but the tone of your post reeks and damages your credibility.

  20. If one wanted to stay in Shinjuku, which has several new, non-chain properties, and not using points, which hotels, large or boutique, would you suggest?

  21. Maybe it’s a generational thing, but your post brought back many fond memories of our PH stay a year ago. To be sure I do not pay much attention to colors and furnishings except when they are garish or dysfunctional. But I found our corner room (with views of Mt. Fuji) to be quite wonderful. Yes, the bathroom and light controls are a bit quirky (this is Japan after all, not Tampa). Yes the location is not terribly convenient to the metro and a bit of a walk to the more interesting parts of Shinjuku. But the hotel staff was wonderful, and was quick to swing into action when we had an issue at the Peaks Bar. I’m sure it didn’t help that you missed out on the free fantastic room service breakfast (no Diamond status?) which pretty much blew away any room service breakfast I’ve ever had. Interestingly the NY Bar was my least favorite aspect – filled with cig smoke and high priced watered down drinks – barely worth a visit just to say you’d been there.

    Of course I haven’t stayed at the Andaz, so it may indeed be a notch above the PH. Looks nice in your photos, if a bit minimalist.

    And $650 seems a bit high – we saw rooms ranging from 39k-51k yen a year ago ($325-425) which is pretty cheap compared to NYC – for a much better product.

    I’m thinking maybe you’ve been spoiled with a few too many suites at other Hyatt and SPG properties, which make the standard PHT room look comparatively weak.

  22. I think it’s impressive that a hotel that is 21 years old is still considered to be in the top league…

    If anyone wants to see the take on the new design: The Tokyo Suite has been refurbished (and there are pics I posted on trip advisor). I don’t think that Hyatt will spend any money on the PHT anymore. If they want to keep the Park Hyatt brand in Tokyo, they will have to look for a different (more central) location.

    As a Diamond, I won’t pick the Andaz and my preferred hotel is the Grand Hyatt. Great Club Lounge with free flowing champagne (Louis Roederer), best corporate rates and generous upgrades to the Executive Suite.

  23. Stayed at PHT in King suite last week using a diamond suite upgrade. Complete waste of an upgrade. Hotel is terribly dated and far from everything. Having moved there after four nights at the Ritz at Tokyo midtown the PHT’s problems were even more glaring. Writing this from the grill at the Kyoto Hyatt which is about 1k nicer than PHT. Ridiculous that this property isn’t park branded, it’s nicer in every way than the Tokyo property.

  24. I recently spent 10 days in Tokyo including a back to back stay at both Hyatts (5 days Andaz & 5 days Park Hyatt) and wished I would have stayed all 10 at the Andaz. The Andaz is amazing, love the rooms, decor, pool (w/ crazy whirlpools that make u float like an astronaut), bar, restaurants were all amazing. I’m not sure what all the hype is about over at the Park Hyatt.. Rooms are dated, the pool pale’s in comparison to the Andaz. PH restaurants are good but there are much better options elsewhere. PH service was average (maybe my expectations were too high). Lucky’s review is pretty much spot on so far. I’m interested to get his take on the comparison.

  25. This is by far the best, most comprehensive hotel review I’ve ever read.

    Well done, Nick, and thank you.

  26. Thank you for a good review, Nick.

    Think it is nice to see what a product is when you don’t necessarily have the top status, as many of us don’t.

    With that said, I understand the charm of a nice older hotel. One that comes to mind is the IC HK. It is not the newest, but even after many years, I appreciated the rooms and facilities. I think just because a hotel is older, and the carpeting is from a different decade, it should not necessarily knock it down a rung. Of course there are many options in a big city like Tokyo, so you can favor with your wallet as you would like.

    However, one this that has bothered me, is the way a reputation of a hotel (or restaurant too) can sometimes outlive its current state. I think sites like TripAdvisor (and Yelp) help facilitate that and I have been clamoring for a feature for years to filter out reviews past a certain date or to see rating trends over time. I don’t need to know what a traveler in 2004 thought of a hotel. Or that there was a refurbishment in 2008 made noise and disrupted your stay. One would think this would be much sought after feature and would help keep places with good reviews from becoming complacent and those with less glamorous reviews an opportunity to improve.

  27. So glad Hubs and I chose the Grand Hyatt Roppongi during our visit last Christmas! Not only was the room cheaper, but we upgraded to the club room (well worth it) and the property seemed a lot newer than the Park. We visited the Park Hyatt for drinks, which was enough for me. Really curious to check out the Andaz.

  28. Well, since I am going to complain, let me start with a compliment. That was a very thorough review. Very. Thank you for that, and some really useful photos.

    However, your photos undercut your argument. Teal? You complain that there is teal? If you want to say a hotel is in need of a remodel, I expect to see photos with scratched, beat up furniture at least. That was a crazy amount of nitpicking to squeeze into one review. As mentioned in comments above, you tone is down right silly. We get it, you really enjoyed the Andaz. If you are going to turn the review into a hissy fit, don’t make us read it.

    There is one, and only one, complaint you made that is spot on: the location. There was a long running thread on FT comparing the Tokyo PH vs. GH. The consensus: if you are going to _stay_ at the hotel, use the facilities, have romantic time enjoying the view, then the PH is worth it, but for anyone who is going to Tokyo to be a tourist, skip the PH. The location is a PITA.

    @Sam, now you know why the locals always want to fly out of Haneda. Getting to Narita is ridiculous.

    @AdamH I’ve thought that too. Old hotel reviews are worthless. The review sites need to clean this up.

  29. Maybe it is an age issue as I am 63 and I take it you are much younger, but great service is much more important to me that a hotel looking dated. As long as the bed is comfortable and everything is clean, I’ll overlook teal decor and your other whiny complaints. I’m using my 2 free nights at PH Tokyo in a few weeks and there was nothing in your review that dampened my enthusiasm. I can’t wait, as a Diamond member, to have a room service Japanese breakfast and to enjoy the impeccable service, great views, and cocktails and snacks in the Peak Lounge. I find it totally incredible and am extremely grateful that I get to enjoy all this for FREE.

  30. Most reviews that I see on miles-and-points blogs are for either Park Hyatt Tokyo or Andaz Tokyo. Tokyo has a Hyatt Regency which is a category 3 hotel. Any reviews on that property? If one plans to be active throughout the day, is it worth spending the points on Park Hyatt (or Andaz)?

    I am looking at that property (Hyatt Regency Tokyo) actually for a 5 night stay. My experience at Hyatt Regencies have been very good. Just stayed at Hyatt Regency Calgary and got an upgrade to a parlor suite at the executive floor. My Vancouver Hyatt stay is not bad either.

  31. And no Suite upgrade options for diamonds at Andaz whereas you can confirm at booking for the PH into a park suite

  32. Fair points on the room and location but love the PH for two reasons: their concierges work miracles and their gym is awesome. Wife and I started 3 months in Asia here and they setup two full days of dining at some of the hardest reservations to get in the world (Tempura Kondo, Quintessence, etc.) without trouble. The views from the gym and pool are amazing and was almost vacant when I was there last October (treadmills over elliptical any day!)

    The Conrad has better rooms, better location, and I prefer their dining and drink options, BUT their concierges struggle to setup simple things and the gym is nothing special. All in? I’ll take the PH during the week and Conrad for the weekends.

  33. @ bob

    I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo earlier this year (when it was a category 2, an absolute bargain). It is kind of outdated, i’d say the rooms are slightly worse than Park Hyatt Tokyo. Lounge is average, there is apparently a michelin restaurant on site. Location wise it is basically the same as Park Hyatt Tokyo, except on the west of Shinjuku. There is a direct bus from the airport (both NRT and HND) that go to the hotel.

  34. The only reason to take a taxi between Tokyo and Narita is if you’re hauling a massive load or disabled. Why anyone would choose to stay in the yakuza-infested craphole of Shinjuku is beyond me — perhaps to see the idiotic Robot Cabaret.

    Nearby the Andaz, I’ve been fortunate to stay at the Okura, once the best hotel in Tokyo – and I’m surprised its not mentioned. Its a masterpiece of architecture and art from the 60’s where James Bond stayed and heads of state met Japan’s Emperor (including Obama). This month the Okura is being torn down to be replaced with lame glass office towers with a hotel on the bottom. All to compete with the likes of the Andaz.

  35. I travel to Japan frequently and find there is different sort of sensibility there. (Perhaps linked to the concept of wabi sabi?) Although the level of aesthetics throughout the country are high, they value economy and asperity profoundly, and do not aim to fix what isn’t broken. This is evident both at highly-rated hotels and those with distinguished reputations. I do agree with your assessment of the Park Hyatt Tokyo, but after much travel throughout the country over the past decade, find my appreciation has increasingly aligned with the local offerings, and find the Park Hyatt Tokyo a fine choice all things considered.

    I did not enjoy my stay at the Andaz very much. I felt too far removed from the neighborhoods I usually frequent. The room setup also didn’t suit me. The desk was too large and so close to the bed that I correctly predicted that my partner would walk into it when getting out of bed. I think less/smaller-sized furniture would be more ideal. You also can not use a Dismond Suite Upgrade award here as suites are limited in number.

  36. Just read the comment above mine. I, too, was sad when I heard the Main Wing of the Hotel Okura Tokyo dating from the 1960s would be demolished. The main lobby was iconic and epitomized timelessness. But the guestrooms were in dire need of an overhaul. So I wouldn’t blame the Andaz, time had taken its toll and the 2020 Olympics provided further impetus.

    Also, the yakuza are everywhere and another reason to take a taxi between the airport and downtown is if your employer is picking up the tab.

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