You’ll want to stay near a major and central subway station: Tokyo, Ginza, Shibuya, Roppongi or Shinjuku. The first time I was in Tokyo, I stayed at the defunct Shinjuku Park Hotel. This time, we returned to the same area, Shinjuku, and stayed at two-starred, newly renovated Ibis Hotel Shinjuku. We paid about S$625 (¥47000) for 3 nights, about S$200 a night.
Ibis is generally known to be a business hotel, and business hotels are fuss-free; no gym, no pool.
The check-in lobby is on the 2nd floor, accessible via an escalator (or lift. If you’re taking the elevator, walk into the building, past the burger shop.) The 3rd Burger, which serves an affordable, Japanese interpretation of gourmet burgers, is on the first floor.
The hotel itself has a small cafe, Cafe Rendezvous, which is also the venue for their buffet breakfast.
Their buffet breakfast costs ¥1300 per person. It’s a small selection of Western and Japanese food: scrabbled eggs, sausages, bacon, bread, cereal, beverages, and Japanese rice and cooked mackerel.
The Western food has much room for improvement, but the Japanese food is delicious. Too bad the selection is limited. I’d advise to skip the breakfast and explore the Shinjuku area. You’re in a good district for food.
When we wanted to check in at 11am, the room wasn’t ready. When we returned at 1.30pm, the room was still not ready. This was strange because the check-out timing is at 11am, and the room should have been ready. I guess that they have a strict policy of allowing guests to check in at around 2pm.
Japanese hotels are known for their small rooms, and I recommend every new couple who are buying a HDB flat to try out this hotel first.
-beads in the pillow, which is very comfortable, so that the pillow doesn’t trap heat.
-provide amenities such as TV, mini fridge, hairdryer, etc.
-provide bathroom amenities, such as toothbrush, toothpaste, shaver, etc.
-USB outlets beside the beds to charge phones.
-switches are at the bed headboard, so you don’t have to walk to switch off a light.
-it’s a miracle they can put a good-sized bathtub in the small bathroom.
-uses Shisedo products for shampoo and bath wash.
-You’ve not been to Tokyo if you haven’t used one of their toilet bowls with electrical options. I particularly like the Seat Warming function. There is a douching function that feels great. As my friend says, “Don’t use toilet paper. It will spoil your baby skin, and kill the environment.”
-no English channel on TV
-no safe (Japan is a low-crime country, but I’d still like a safe in the room.)
-the room is minuscule, even when compared to Japanese standards
-the bed is very small, so every movement and sound of your partner are magnified.
-one side of the bed is against the wall, so if the sleeper wakes up in the middle of the night and has to go to the toilet, it will disturb the other person.
-the toiletbowl is really, really tiny, like for toddlers.
One major advantage of the hotel—and this is most important to me in any vacation—is the location, location, location. Not only is Shinjuku smacked in the city area (it’s like Singapore’s Orchard Road), the transport lines are here. The Narita Express from the airport stops at Shinjuku station, and Shinjuku is a major station for other subway lines which goes around the city. This is…
How to Get to Ibis Hotel Shinjuku
1. From airport: Take Narita Express (¥4000, return trip) to Shinjuku station. Take the West exit. And it’s about a 10-minute walk.
2. Subway: Take the Oedo-line to Shinjuku-Nishiguchi Station. Use exits B16 and D5. It’s 81 metres from the hotel, or about a minute walk.
東京都 新宿区 西新宿 7-10-5 イビス東京新宿 2F
7-10-5 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-ku, 160-0023 Tokyo
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.