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Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Yongsan (Seoul, South Korea)

5 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located in the area of Yongsan, not far from the centre of Seoul. It is two stops by train to Seoul main train station. For Incheon airport it takes by taxi around 1.5hours, but they do offer a bus service outside hotel that costs around 12k Won & takes same time. This hotel is located alongside many others such as Mercure and Novotel inside the Seoul Dragon City- a sort of small mall of which is on level 2 of the hotel. Brand new complex. Within walking distance is the Electronic centre of Seoul, told it was the cheapest place to buy everything electrical. There is also shops & restaurants in the vicinity. Room The room was fun - themed with the retro game Space invader as shown the back wall. Very colourful energising decor and brand new and spotless since hotel only opened on October 1st this year. It is quite a small room in terms of Asian standards but not poky like Japan. A very comfortable bed with a nice soft mattres topper and premium bedding. Slept very well. Conveniently either side are touch button light controls on small bed side tables with the bed frame offering in built flexi-reading lamps. USB sockets and international plugs are also both sides. Facing the bed is a large SamsungTV with over 40 DTV channels, these include mostly news, sport, kids and drama from Korea but international TV from Russia, Germany, Japan, Middle east and China. There are some English language TV such as Euro news, Fox & some US movie channels. There is a small working desk and lamp- plenty of plugs, a small coffee table and stool. The bathroom is somewhat open plan but with frosted glass cubicles for the shower and toilet. The wash-let toilet is high tech. Shower works well with rain and detachable head. Full set of amenities that includes generous tubes from Derma centric spa, plus dental kits etc. The sink is on a unit within room with plenty of mirrors that had a kettle and plenty of sachets on top. Below is a laptop size safe, a mini fridge with two complimentary bottles of water offered. There is also a tall wardrobe, behind a mirror so quite hidden but there are robes & slippers offered. Digital AC worked well and the room offered a fantastic view of the city landscape of Seoul. Overall a very nice room and most certainly the best IBIS product I have seen in the world. Facilities The hotel offers no password fast WIFI that worked very well for multiple devices. There is a large dining room with an extensive buffet for breakfast. I must say I was very impressed with the standard of food, a lot of offer both hot and cold, Asian and Western with the quality of food being very of a high standard and far better breakfast than hotel's I have stayed at in neighbouring China or Japan. There is also a very colourful bar in the lobby. As mentioned the second floor is a mini sort of mall with clothing shops, hair dressers, pharmacies and other vendors. There is a gym in which has really only cardio equipment, its seems not complete as in a large room but mostly empty but still plenty of cardio machines on offer. The hotel also offers the standard Korean Sauna with hot and cold baths. Very clean and nice. Separate sauna rooms for men and women. Staff The staff are approachable and nice, the reception lady was exceptional helpful with directions for Lotte tower. Check-in and Check out was also smooth. The standard of service was very good. The hotel is very new, very clean and fun- more family than luxury but it is by far the best Ibis hotel I have ever stayed at. Nice room, very high standard of breakfast and pleasant staff, will certainly return again if I return to Seoul.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] South Korea, Seoul, Yongsan-gu, 청파로20길 95
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Richmond Hotel Premier Tokyo Oshiage (Tokyo, Japan)

5 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 1 min walk from Oshiage station. This connects via the access express train from Narita and Haneda airports and takes less than one hour from each. Tokyo station is about 10 minutes away. Tokyo Skytree and shopping mall is only a few minutes walk from hotel. There are many shops, restaurants and some bars in close vicinity. A large supermarket is on ground floor of hotel. Overall a great location. Room The room on the top floor was of good size (for Japan), spotlessly clean, new with sophisticated decor with an air of premium ambiance. Very comfortable double bed especially the pillows. Easy to access plug sockets and light controls with dimmer functions all located on a handy ledge built into frame. Convenient place for a phone. Large TV faces bed and is multi-functional with even free VOD with both western & foreign movies, a nice extra to offer since most hotels in Japan charge. A modern desk is offered with a helpful plug adaptor with cables for all phones. A air purifier machine is on top of desk along with telephone and personal mirror. There is a small chair & coffee table plus cabinet with an empty fridge and some glasses. Amenities offered include a small water in the shape of the Tokyo skytree & not to take away hotel branded pyjamas. The room also has a window with a view that has a door can be slightly opened for fresh air. There is also a laptop size safe, trouser press with iron and ironing board. The bathroom is typical Japanese style with short deep bath and combined shower that worked well. Full set of amenities such as razor and toothbrush plus a shampoo shower gel by the brand - global environmental protection project, in which they also sell products at reception. Overall a very comfortable & functional premium business hotel room in Tokyo. Facilities The hotel offers free high speed wifi. There is a restaurant near the lobby but did not use. Smoking room, touch screen computers, laundry and various vending machines are in the hotel on various floors. Staff Staff very friendly and efficient. However you cannot check in before 2pm for free. You have pay thousand yen per hour from 11am & staff would not budge on this. Appears to be the policy of the Richmond hotels. However check-in and check-out was efficient and polite. I definitely would stay here again, loved the location and room was very comfortable.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 1 Chome-10-3 Oshiage, Sumida-ku, Tōkyō-to 131-0045, Japan
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Japan – Mount Fuji (Tokyo).jpg

Japan – Geisha (Tokyo)

Kansai Airport Washington Hotel (Rinkuoraikita, Japan)

4 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located just across the bridge from Kansai Airport. There is a free shuttle which takes 10 minutes. Please see photo for connection times as of October 2016. However if you miss these times, the train station: Rinku Town is 5 minutes walk away & costs 350 yen to the airport. For Osaka it take 1.5 hours by train from this station. Room The cosy non smoking room on the 9th floor offered 2 double bed each with one pillow and a central bed side table in centre. Here, built into back wall is a alarm clock and convenient light control system with buttons for lights around . Typical Japanese style. There is also a phone and some tissues with buttons for massage and alarm etc. To the side of the bed is a large window which you can open for fresh air and is also a emergency exit. It's a little noisy though. There is also touch screen controls on an AC unit and air humidifier machine. Facing the bed is also a cabinet with a very small TV on top maybe 13"- all Japanese but believe for a 1000y you can buy various VOD movie packages. Otherwise normally you won't hear anything in English , BBC news for instance is dubbed. There is also a small fridge , kettle and some desk space to work with lamps and a mirror. Luggage rack at end that has some drawers with hotel Pyjamas. The room also has a tall mirror. The bathroom was of ok size for Japan offering the standard small deep bath and shower combo, wash let and a very good selection of amenities that include Shisedo shampoo, conditioner and body soap. Plus dental kits, shaved sets, brush and vanity sets. Overall the room had firm but comfy beds & as I was on my own I used both pillows which made comfort better as personally think one pillow is not enough. Overall i found the room typical Japanese business, slightly dull but actually cosy and comfortable. Facilities Wifi is available but was so slow in the evening, like dial up. It is secure but I think everyone is building is using it so speed is slow- you tube would not even load up. It was better at 530am. There are two computers in lobby to rent. Catering wise there is a buffet restaurant both for dinner & breakfast but did not try - see photo for prices. There is also massage service which is 5000y for 40 min , which is way too expensive for me but can be arranged in you room it appeared. Each floor offers vending machines and on the 2nd floor -a very convenient 24 hour family mart that has snack items, some meals and even muni stationary. Handy if you arrive late like I did. I don't believe there is any leisure facilities at least no signage for anything. Staff As always in Japan super efficient fast check - in. Clear with all information and overall pleasant. As summary a great place to stay between flights with easy access to the train station of you need to go somewhere else or the airport. But they do offer a frequent bus transfer service. Wifi was just the weakness.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 1-7 Rinkuorai Kita, Izumisano 598-8522, Osaka Prefecture
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Japan – Tokyo Tower (Tokyo)

Capsule Hotel Rex Inn (Kawasaki, Japan)

Location This capsule hotel is located very central to the city of Kawasaki entertainment area - many pachinko places (the Japanese version of fruit machines), bars and restaurants plus across the road is a huge mall. From HND airport it takes about 15 minutes on the Keikyu Main Line, if direct. The station is Keikyū Kawasaki Station in which is about 10 minutes or so walk from the capsule hotel. As you exit into Kawasaki, you come out by a taxi stand, cross the main road and walk right for about 500 metres you will find it. The hotel is opposite a hospital if you need to ask for directions. Capsule This was my first experience in staying in a plastic capsule, mine did not have a TV but a fan. This I thought is a good idea as i can't sleep if i am too hot, but when the shutter is down it simply circulates the warm air because of lack of ventilation, though a very small and weak AC vent. In terms of space there is a small side table on one side of the wall, ideal only for a phone or small book. There is also a plug socket right next to your head! Plus a unit for dimming light and alarm clock radio. Since capsules are not allowed to be locked there is a small wooden shutter to pull down for privacy but even with fan on I felt very hot. The bedding is quite hard and the pillow was unusually hard, as it was a traditional Japanese rice pillow. My capsule was on the top row, with small steps to get down between capsules. Going to the toilet in the middle of the night is quite a challenge since it is hard to see the steps and jumping down would be noisy; likely to wake other guests. The system at the hotel works that you leave your luggage in a locker two floors up, they provide towels for the spa and a t-shirt & shorts as pyjamas. Be wary the lockers are quite small so my bag, which is the largest you can use for carry on, was hard to fit in. You cannot leave items inside your capsule unattended since they are not lockable and to avoid repeating journeys you should grab what you need with you for sleeping in one shot. I brought my laptop in the aim to do some work but it simply is too uncomfortable to use with the size of the capsule - it was ok to sleep with laptop on side against wall but I wouldn't recommending bringing much. I am not claustrophobic but definitely don't go if you are. My other advice is to bring ear plugs but if not, the hotel does sell them in the lobby shop. My whole floor of 30+ capsules seemed full and some loud snoring can make it hard to sleep. Though its excellent value for money the sleep comfort factor was not great, I simply felt too hot after about 5 hours of sleep and even after opening the shutters felt hot but it was an experience that needed to be done. Facilities The hotel offers free WIFI that worked in most places of the hotel. On every floor of the 8 storey building is a small room with sofa and TV and ever other floor has a dedicated well ventilated smoking room. The locker room have Pachinko machines (fruit machines) plus massage chairs and even washing and drying machines. Each floor also has a toilet with 2-3 washlets but for showers, its all very communal on the top floor at the traditional Japanese spa. There is a hot dry sauna with a TV inside, three pools, one freezing, great after the sauna, and others are hot with one of the two outside. For new comer westerners, be aware its all very naturist. There are many sinks around the room with showers and small seats, which offer free toothbrushes and razors, shaving gel and full large bottle of shampoo, conditioner and liquid soap. On one of the floors is a cafe that serves simple Japanese food plus vending machines. On the same room are a line of reclinable chairs in front of TV's for relaxing after a hot sauna and an area with desks to work from with a mini library, mostly manga. On the ground floor pre-reception are shoe lockers since you cannot bring your own shoes in, resulting in everyone walking around bare foot or in their own slippers. There is a small snack shop as well as items like ear plugs. Staff The staff are polite enough though they don't speak much English. The Rex Inn is really for Japanese business men sleeping off a hangover or staying at a cheaper place. Its not that foreigner friendly, there is no guide or much information given when checking in. I did feel a bit alien here since I seemed to be the only non-Japanese. However considering the guests are all in close proximity, no-one talks to each other so I guess this is cultural. However, for £22 it was very reasonable and alongside the spa offered good value for money. I doubt I will stay at here again if I was in need of a decent rest.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 6-8 Ogawacho, Kawasaki-ku, Kawasaki 210-0023, Kanagawa
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Meitetsu Inn Hamamatsucho (Tokyo, Japan)

4 Case Rating
Location The hotel is located down a side street in the Daimon area of Tokyo. Quite easy to find from Daimon station around 5 minutes walk away. The area is fairly good place to be in Tokyo, many bars, restaurants and shops nearby plus the impressive Tokyo tower is 15 minutes walk away which is close to an interesting temple called Zoijoji. Room The smallish room was the most modern & innovative I've stayed at so far in Tokyo. A very comfortable twin bed, slumberland branded with two pillows one of which had some kind of rice seeds. Slept well. To the side of the bed is convenient switch to control the light including a dial dinner option. There is a desk below with a large safe , small fridge & cupboard with a kettle inside. There is an impressive tablet on the counter top that offers a menu of the hotel guide, local area guide - such as restaurants, attractions all very helpful. Plus a entertainment guide with a you tube for music, cartons, even mediation videos. Overall very helpful. There is also a very helpful plug that offers every kind of adaptor for charging your phones or tablets, everything from iPhone, Samsung, Blackberry and Nokia etc. The desks had two US plugs and a phone with a large mirror and comfortable circular chair for working. At the end of the bed there is a large TV - though no guide is offered and therefore TV was only in Japanese, however Netflix is offered at a charge. The room offers a trouser press, slippers and open wardrobe. The bathroom has the standard combined shower & bath. Shower gel, shampoo & conditioner in large bottles. A razor, toothbrush, comb & body towel? Plus a shower toilet is offered. In addition the room offers some kind of air humidifier/purifier not entirely sure what it was but looked innovative. Overall a clean and comfortable room with nice window modern decor and has a degree of being cosy though it is small. Facilities The hotels offers free WIFI which worked fast on my macbook but kept dropping on my iPhone. There is a 24 hour family mart adjoined to the hotel but no other facilities are offered. Staff Staff spoke some English and were efficient with check-in as requested offering me a room on high floor. They also gave me a umbrella to borrow to walk to Tokyo Tower during the rain. Overall a decent hotel in a good location with a clean cosy room and free WIFI.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 1-19-14 Hamamatsucho, Minato 105-0013, Tokyo Prefecture, Japan
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Narita Excel Hotel (Tokyu, Japan)

4 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located near all major hotels off the main road to Narita airport. There is a coach every 30 min - 1 hour (depending on time of day) back & forth from airport. The hotel claims to be 30 minutes walk to the town of Narita, though a shuttle bus to the town is offers but unsure of frequency. It is a little too far to walk after a long flight. Within vicinity though is a 7/11 convenience store around 10 minutes from the hotel, if like me you awoke after 10pm and are in need of food, this was handy as only food option since all catering outlets are closed after about 10:30pm. Room My room was located in annex building on the top (11th floor). It offered a great view of Narita airport runway in the distance. The room offered a small double bed which was soft and comfortable but no pillow menu. Next to bed is the typical 80's switch alarm clock but also controls of light switch. There is also a two but small person sofa and table. Facing the bed is a luggage rack, a wooden desk with mirror and large TV that offers some English channels such as fox new, BBC and CNN in addition to local channels. A DVD player is also offered. Below is a small refrigerator but small was offered but empty and a Japanese digital kettle. In corridor is an open wardrobe with about six coat hangers plus slippers & pyjamas are offered as amenities. There is also an air purifier unit and digital AC is offered but I preferred the Windows slightly open. The bathroom is standard small Japanese style but with a dated bidet and deep small bath shower combo. Large bottle amenities are offered with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel. No body lotion so bring your own if you have a long flight & tend to dry out. There is a basket though with dental, shaver, hair brush, shower cap & vanity kits offered. Plus a hair dryer. Generally the room was comfortable and more international standard than some other if the Japanese brands. Facilities The hotel is 4.5 star hotel in terms of facilities. 4.5 star because it's not in particular of a 5 star standard. Catering includes 3 outlets: a general restaurant, Japanese dining and Chinese dining. All of which are closed by 10pm. There is though a lounge bar in which is open until 1130pm. Room service is also available but a fairly small menu is offered and is only until 11pm Leisure facilities are fairly good though simple. They offer a good long indoor pool that is great for laps. There is also an outdoor pool in which is more for cooling down when the daytime is hot than for exercise. There is a gym of mostly cardio equipment but adequate equipment is offered. A tennis court was also noticed. In addition is a typical and separate male and female Japanese sauna which also offers cooling pools- quite a nice facility with chairs to relax after the hot sauna and washing amenities such as mirror tables to leave all refreshed etc. Other facilities include some chargeable foot and massage chairs plus a massage spa that offered various Hawaiian lomi lomi massage types. A nice Japanese garden is also on site, quite nice for a short walk thru. A small shop is offered and a flower shop plus a bridal banquet salon ,in addition some vending machines exist. In terms of business facilities, there are various banquet halls though more aimed towards wedding it seems than conferences plus a very small business centre that offers two windows based computers and a printer- all chargeable at 100 Yen for 10 minutes. Since no smoking is unusually not allowed outside on site premise, they offer an inside smoking room which was well ventilated but no seating. Staff Staff as always in Japan are very efficient. Check in/out was fast and as I made a request thru hotels.com - the top floor room was offered. This hotels takes special requests seriously. I did loose my iPhone cable on the flight and asked if I could borrow one with leaving my passport or credit as deposit but hotel were very reluctant though they will take phone and charge it for you. Overall this hotel appears to be an air crew hotel plus airlines use for passengers to stay following flight disturbances. This Japanese hotel has good facilities and room was spacious when comparison to equivalent Japanese though not quite the comfort of the nearby Ramada. Though saying that it is good value for catching flights at Narita. One criticism for an international airport is lack of food options when waking up late since everyone is jet lagged and sleeps at different times, room service should be 24 hours. They seem to keep the restaurant open for disrupted airline passengers but not for full paying guests.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 31 Oyama, Narita 286-0131, Chiba Prefecture, Tokyu, Japan
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Radisson Hotel Narita (Narita, Japan)

4 Case Rating
Location Hotel is located about 25 minutes to one of the international terminals at Narita. The hotel is on the outskirts of Narita but too far to walk to the town or train station. There is a small mini stop convenience store less than 10 minute walk away. The hotel does offer a complimentary & frequent possibly every 30 min bus service to airport plus a bus service to local AEON mall, Narita town train station & even JCR (chargeable) bus to central Tokyo station. Room The queen sized bedroom was a nice product compared to other places I have stayed at in Narita. The room hits the medium of being a western & Japanese hotel alike. Spacious entrance first shows an open wardrobe containing plenty of coat hangers ,iron & ironing board. The queen sized bed was of medium firmness but with soft pillows. Each side there are dim-able flexible reading lights on side of bed plus bed side tables with actual lamps. One side has the usual Japanese switches to power the AC & room lights with the other table offering a telephone & alarm clock which has an iPod dock but pre-lightning cable era. Next to this bedside table is a functional desk & this is where two US plug sockets are offered plus one full international socket which was handy. A lamp & very comfortable raise able business chair is offered making this desk very convenient and comfortable to work from for the business traveller. A small arm chair is also available of good width but rather upright. Facing the bed is a long wooden unit that has a decent size on top .There is a easy to use handy remote control and TV guide which shows 31 channels of which CNN, BBC , 2 movie, discovery and Nat Geo & sport channels are in English, which is fairly good for my experiences staying in Japan. There is also a DVD player offered below. Along the unit are more power sockets , a kettle with coffee and tea sachets plus a refrigerator and nice side lamp at one end with luggage area at other. Well thought out & organised. The bathroom is your typical compact bathroom offering a deep bath and combined shower. A decent standard of wash-let is offered but no non Japanese instructions. Rather than the usual fixed large bottle amenities offered in Japanese hotels. The Radisson offers mini bottles of Ritual branded shampoo, conditioner & body lotion plus a separate facial & normal soap bar. There is also a complimentary bottle of water in the bathroom. Toothbrush , razor & shower cap. Overall a cosy room with excellent lighting options large windows as well for natural light, functional for the business and comfortable enough for couples/ solo in between flights at Narita. Facilities The hotel offer free unsecure wifi hotel wide for multiple devices. Worked very well including via VPN. Catering facilities include a buffet restaurant with the option of A la carte- Japanese beef curry was delicious. A lounge bar with sandwiches & cakes and a sports bar which seemed to have Karaoke going on when I walked in there late evening. Also 24 hours room service. The food standard was very good. Leisure facilities include full length indoor & outdoor pools (for summer). Indoor pool is great for lengths with seperated lanes plus it is also where there is separate male & female sauna facilities plus a gym with fairly modern equipment. I noticed there is a basketball court & somewhere on site is a tennis court, volleyball court & even small golf course- according to map in room. There is also a hair salon and small convenient souvenir shop that offers some snacks in lobby. In addition there is a kids play room. Business facilities include a business centre with two computers and the hotel clearly offers many meeting rooms and banquet centre for conferences. Staff Staff were very nice. I landed very early and got to hotel around 9 am in which was told check in starts at 3pm so I waited in the lobby on sofa's expected for a long wait but in fact an hour and half later they were able to accommodate me to a clean room. This was very kind as was so tired after long flight. Staff were nice as well in catering outlets & also in the shop. Overall an excellent standard of staff service. The hotel is a great product for in between flights, the room was better than crown plaza & other hotels I have stayed at in Narita. It was reasonably priced and appears to be very much an air crew hotel which is likely why the room & facilities are so functional. I will return next time again.
[geo_mashup_map enable_scroll_wheel_zoom="false"] 650-35 Nanae, Tomisato, Chiba Prefecture 286-0221, Japan
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Japan – Tower Skytree Ceramic Magnet

Japan – Tower Skytree

Japan – Daibutsu Giant Buddha

Japan – Cherry Blossom Temple

Japan – Mount Fuji Red Lantern

Japan – Bear Catching a Salmon

Japan – Nagoya Emblem

Japan – Ninjya

Japan – Sumo

Japan – City Skyscrapers (Tokyo)

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