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- Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
- Hotel Toranomon Hills
- Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
We booked our business class flights with Japan Airlines nearly a year ago. It was such a sweet deal of 60,000 American Airlines Aadvantage Miles + $5.60 per person. But it wasn’t until a week before our flight to Tokyo when we finalized our hotel stays. My plan was to simply make it a true Hyatt visit and chose Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo.
Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
It was on our second day in Japan when we moved to Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo. We had stayed at Hotel Vista Tokyo Tsukiji. And as you could imagine, it was near the world-famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Why did I choose this? This property was only a 12-minute stroll to Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo. And that’s what we did. We left Hotel Vista around 11am, and dragged our two carry on luggage down the street.
I get asked to describe this area of Ginza. Lots of restaurants, and stores, many of them high-end luxury shopping. Once we turned to the street where the Centric was located, it was surrounded by Rolex, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Gucci – all of them were just a few steps away from the hotel.
Once you enter the lobby, you are immediately led to the elevator and you have to catch the elevator to the hotel’s lobby.
To be honest I didn’t really read up much about this property. But there was something about “Ginza” that intrigued me. Maybe it was because I do not remember visiting Ginza during our 2019 visit.
Transportation to and around the Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo
Since we didn’t come directly from the airport, I’d say it could you take you over 40 minutes (train and walking) from Haneda Airport and over 1.5 hours from Narita. The nearby train stations that we used around the Centric – were the Yurakucho Station, Ginza Station, and Shimbashi Station.
Since the hotel is located in the middle of a major shopping district, lots of cab drivers circle the area. On our last day, the lady at the building’s main entrance hailed a cab for us.
The hotel lobby
At check-in, Taiko from the front desk assisted us. He recognized our Globalist status, however, the hotel was already fully committed, and had the suites assigned to other guests. The best he could do was give us a room on the 12th floor.
Our room was ready when we checked in around 11am. Before heading to our room, we walked around the lobby. There were display shelves, and towards the back were two arcade games (Pac Man and Space Invaders). There were lots of snacks (crackers, candies, water, iced tea, soda) that the guests could avail of in this section of the lobby.
Our Standard Room with Two Twin Beds
Do Globalists always get a guaranteed suite upgrade? Nope. And that’s okay. Instead we were given two twin beds – reminded me of watching I Love Lucy! You know? Where Ricky and Lucy each have their own twin bed.
We had booked a standard room with two twin beds. We didn’t really need two beds. I wasn’t exactly expecting much from a “standard room” – but was I pleasantly surprised to see the beauty of this room.
I didn’t realize how spacious this standard room was going to be. It actually felt like a mini-suite since there was a sink and coffee/fridge area right in the middle of the room which created somewhat of a separation.
We had a view of the buildings right outside, no major views per se. The shower had a bathtub, and there was a separate room for the toilet. The room also had a Nespresso machine, tea kettle, iron, and ironing board.
Thank God for blackout shades
This was our 2nd day in Japan, and we were so tired. Major jetlag kicked in and we decided to take a short nap. The automatic blackout shades helped tremendously and the room was pitch black. We napped for about 2 hours and for happy hour or very early dinner, we went to Torigin (just a few minutes walk) and feasted on Yakitori (chicken skewers).
Napped again….no, we slept
After eating at Torigin, we were really tired from the time change, and decided to go back to our room to rest for a bit. Well, that didn’t go as planned. We went to bed at 5pm and woke up at 2am. We were exhausted and but truly needed to sleep.
Ramen at 4am? Why not
Yes, I checked my phone where to eat in the wee hours of the morning. I didn’t want to venture too far. I found Hashigo Ginza Honten.
It was short 4 minute walk from our hotel to have a bowl of ramen and siumai in Ginza. Our server had a feast taking our pics and wouldn’t stop until we laughed. 4 am? Yes! Come on! Live a little.
The buffet breakfast
We headed downstairs to Namiki 667 (located directly one level below the lobby. A very spacious restaurant which offered buffet breakfast. This was a breakfast I surely enjoyed. I skipped the typical Western dishes, and focused on the Asian choices. I kept it simple. I had grilled salmon, and enjoyed a couple of bowl of Ikura (salmon roe), I tend to get fixated on a few things vs. trying every little item.
Hotel Toranomon Hills
Deluxe Corner Suite King with City View, but wait, is that the Tokyo Tower I see?
Le Pristine Breakfast
Transportation to and around the Hotel Toranomon Hills
We arrived at Hotel Toranomon Hills via a cab. There wasn’t exactly a drop off location directly in front of the hotel, so we were dropped off to the side which was a very short walk to the entrance.
As far as train stations, the hotel is directly connected to the Toranomon Hills Station. You don’t really need to go outside, just follow the signs from the Front Desk that connects to the station. The nearby lines were Ginza Line and Hibiya Line
Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills
On the day that we saw the availability at Hotel Toranomon Hills, we also noticed the off-peak rate availability at the Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills. Of course, we had to book that for 25,000 points per night. We figured, we’re in Japan. Let’s do it….and so we did. The rates here for a standard room could go as high as 35,000 for the month of December.
When we opened up the app on the morning of check-in, it looked like we were not given any sort of upgrade, just a standard king room with park view. I believe there was also a room with Bay View and Tower View. Since the Andaz was a just a 10-minute walk from Hotel Toranomon Hills according to Google Maps, we decided to walk over to the Andaz to check out the scene.
Once we were inside the building, we had to go to the lower level to catch the elevator to the 51st floor Andaz Lobby. Jun greeted us and welcomed us at the Andaz. At the time of check-in, he gave us a few options King Bed with Park View, Bay View, and Tower View. I wanted the Tower View once more. Why? We’d be at a much higher level compared to our suite at Hotel Toranomon Hills where our room was somewhat eye-level with the tower. The Tower View room we were given from the Andaz was on the 42nd floor – which to me, we would be towering over the tower, and I was right.
Since we didn’t have all of our stuff, and weren’t exactly ready to check in, we asked Jun if we could see the King Bed with Bay View. He gladly walked us to the room so we could make a decision. The Bay View room was great, it had city views and bay views, but I was dead set on getting another Tower View. It was just like having the view of the Eiffel Tower (while I do prefer the more iconic Parisian tower). After leaving the Bay View room, we thanked Jun and told him we’d be back later that afternoon with our belongings.
The King Bed with Tower View
We checked out at Hotel Toranomon Hills and Masaki assisted us. He thanked us for our stay and he also mentioned that he also worked at the Andaz Tokyo. He made sure we got to our cabs, and personally walked us outside. Thank you, Masaki.
It wasn’t until after 5pm when we returned back to the Andaz to finally check-in. Fukaoka helped us with officially checking in. We were led to the lounge area directly across the front desk. They were also preparing a happy hour at 6pm, a nightly service for the guests. Once checked in, Fukaoka guided us to our room, and we were so delighted to see Tokyo Tower once again.The views from this room felt that we were so much closer to the tower.
There were also some gifts for us from the Andaz, a bottle of wife, snacks, and a greeting card. Jun stopped by shortly after we checked in to our room and welcomed us once again.He talked to us about the other properties we should consider visiting in the future such as Park Hyatt Tokyo, and Park Hyatt Kyoto. It was all of these little personal touches that made a difference with the Andaz.
Yes, we didn’t get upgraded to a suite. But it was just me and my wife on this trip and we were glad enough to have been upgraded to a room with Tower View. On a clear evening or day, there’s no denying how stunning it was to see that tower.
The video tour of our King Bed with Tokyo Tower View
I just realized that I took short video clips vs. photos of the room. Here’s the link to the Instagram video. https://www.instagram.com/p/C1fO6G8v2gk/
AO Spa and Club Andaz Tokyo
This was our last hotel stay in Tokyo, and by this time, we’d have walked thousands of steps over the past few days. We were quite exhausted so it was a good thing that this hotel served as a respite from all the busy days we’ve had exploring Tokyo, Mt. Fuji, and Hakone.
On our last morning, before we had our breakfast, I decided to go the spa on the 37th floor. It gave me the chance to check out the pool facilities. Here’s how it went down that morning:
Breaktfast Buffet at The Tavern in Andaz Tokyo
From the pool, we headed straight to the 51st floor for our breakfast. As Globlaists, this brekfast was included. Order whatever you want from the menu and you also get to access the buffet. You can order more than one item from the menu.
- ¥6,600 or $45.26 per person
- Free for Globalists = $90 value for me and Nancy
It was a circus of breakfast choices and keeping it consistent with my choices in Japan, i focused on items with Asian flare. Breakfast was plentiful, and I must say, enjoyed the simple things – the Green Drink and the dragonfruit.
So which hotel and location do I prefer?
I got asked this question quite a bit. Which of the three hotels do I prefer? First of all, no matter which hotel overall, we had a great experience at all 3 properties. The rooms were in perfect order as you might expect, and the staff members from all 3 properties were very attentive.
While I am glad to have tried the very new Hotel Toranomon Hills and Andaz Tokyo, I didn’t really care much for the vibe outside of these hotels. It was one skyscraper after another, very busy business-like atmosphere. For someone like us who were vacationing in Japan, we found ourselves exploring outside of Toranomon Hills. So if I return to Tokyo, I’d like to try another property outside of Toranomon Hills.
And yes, Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo is more up my alley. I felt more connected to this hotel. No, we didn’t have a need to go high-end shopping. But if shopping is your thing, there are also other stores that would cater to your budget. We did spend a good amount of time at Uniqlo Global Flagship Store in Ginza which was just a few minutes walk from the hotel.
The Centric was also just 10-12 minutes walk away from Tsukiji Fish Market (and, no….they also sold non-seafood items at the market). We spent 2-3 hours walking and eating our way around Tsukiji Market.I would easily head back to Hyatt Centric Ginza Tokyo on my next trip to Japan.
What I learned when visiting busy destinations
We go on different types of trips. Some are business trips, some are family vacations, some are couples-only vacations. And under these vacations, some are laid-back beach type of vacations, while others are high-impact busy vacations. What’s my point here? We spent 5 days in 3 different Hyatt properties that charged 25,000 points per night. Our days and early nights were so busy that we only stayed in these hotels to sleep, shower, and have breakast in the morning. We didn’t really stay much n the hotel during the day or the afternoon. We were always out and about.
This was not only in Japan, but looking back at our many trips to New York City, Washington DC, Chicago, Paris, Amsterdam, London….you get the idea. Busy city-life destinations. We were gone most of the day and just returned to the hotel to sleep and shower.
What’s my point? As much as I enjoy living in the lap of luxury, when it comes to busy vacations, I wouldn’t mind staying in a lower end property where the points needed are much less. I keep my travels pretty simple. Give me a place to sleep, with hot shower, clean beds and free Wi-Fi, I’ll be happy. That’s me.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.