Review: Hilton Tokyo

Located just 5-10 minutes from Shinjuku station, this hotel is definitely a good choice if you're planning to head to Tokyo. Great rooms, great breakfast and of course, great Japanese service.

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After clearing immigration and customs at Tokyo Haneda, I headed straight for the airport limousine bus counters to get my tickets to the Hilton Tokyo. The airport limousine bus drops you off right at the lobby of the hotel so if you are traveling with tons of bags, this might be the better choice over the Tokyo Subway.

If you’re traveling solo, you might want to know that the staff strictly enforced a two-piece baggage policy for the luggage hold. I had four bags with me (2 luggages, 2 boxes of food) and thankfully Lady Luck was shining on me that day as they let me hand-carry my smaller box of food on board the bus and helped me store the 3 bulkier luggage in the baggage hold.

Legroom was decent and right on schedule, we left the bus stand for central Tokyo. It was a 1.5 hour journey from Tokyo Haneda to the Hilton Tokyo as the bus made several stops at other hotels along the way. So I just admired the streets of Tokyo and how darn clean the roads were. After dozing off mid-way, we finally arrived at the Hilton Tokyo which was the last stop in the bus’s journey.

The porters were overly helpful and man, I really love the service rendered by the Japanese. I headed straight to the check-in desks but had to wait a little while. The hotel was running at close to a 100% occupancy that day and sadly I did not score a suite upgrade. I did, however, get upgraded to a King Premium Room from the base room that I booked on points.

My Hilton Honors Diamond benefits were read out to me and I was also given two complimentary drink vouchers (which I didn’t manage to use). D (presumably for Diamond) and EXE (i guess Executive Lounge) were stamped on the keycard holder for reasons that I’m not sure.

I headed up to my room and was told that the hotel just implemented a keycard access policy for its lifts. My greatest pet peeve these days are hotels that do not have keycard verifications for guest floors so I was thankful to see this in the Hilton Tokyo.

My room was on the 17th floor and just right outside the lift lobby and beside the fire staircase. Thankfully the soundproofing was amazing and I didn’t really hear much footfall from other guests.

The room was quite large by Tokyo standards (or so I was told).

I liked how the window shades resembled (or they are) the traditional Japanese window blinds and sliding them open revealed a decent view of the surrounding Shinjuku area.

By the television were the mini-bar and two complimentary bottles of water. A teapot and powdered coffee were available as well. The drinks in the mini-bar were ridiculously priced and irritatingly there was no space for you to put your own drinks inside.

The wardrobe was the typical hotel wardrobe and the slippers were actually fairly comfortable.

Moving on to the bathroom, it was on the small side and there was a (Japanese) bathtub right beside the standing shower. Naturally, an electronic bidet was present.

Toiletries were Crabtree and Evelyn branded which are the new brand standard for Hilton.

The shower pressure was excellent, a little too powerful in fact as the water got everywhere in the bathroom when I showered. For the record, I didn’t try getting into the bathtub as I was scared I’d get stuck in it.

Executive Lounge

As a Hilton Honors Diamond member, I had access to the Executive Lounge and having read reviews on FlyerTalk showing how crowded it can get during the evening cocktail hour, I decided to plonk myself there to secure a seat.

Here are the lounge opening hours and meal times :

Sadly I just missed afternoon tea by 30 minutes but when I got there, preparations for evening cocktails were already underway. It was a fairly small lounge and there was actually a second smaller lounge area that opens during the evening cocktail period to accommodate all the guests.

The lounge was supposedly renovated recently and I must say I love the decor and ambiance. Coffee and tea bags were readily available as were soft drinks.

The views from the lounge were great.

Around 5 minutes before 6, the staff went around informing us that we were able to get our food now. The food that was available in the lounge was actually pretty great and was definitely a dinner substitute if you were sick of ramen. Since this was my first time in Tokyo, I went easy on the lounge food before meeting a friend for ramen later in the evening.

The alcohol selection was quite extensive with wine served in those cool wine dispensing machines. The Chandon that was available was alright.

Salads, cold cuts, soup, and two meat dishes (chicken and fish, sounds familiar?) were available and the meats got snapped up real quick. When they replenished the chicken, I could finally understand why it was gone so fast – they were delicious.

I got myself a bottle of coke (no sugar of course) and sat near the windows to watch the sunset on the Tokyo skyline.

The next morning, I had to catch the 8.40 am bus to Tokyo Narita since it takes almost 2 hours by bus to get there. For your reference, here’s the bus schedule for the airport limousine to Tokyo Narita / Tokyo Haneda:

You could charge the cost of the bus ticket to your room to earn you more Hilton Honors points and that is exactly what I did. Breakfast was served at the hotel’s restaurant at level 1 and even at 6.30 am on a Sunday, there were quite a number of people at the restaurant having their breakfast.

The spread was good and the Japanese omelets that the chef prepared was uh-mazing. Fresh juices were available on request and the barista made coffee was awesome.

I headed back up to the lounge for round two and the spread in the lounge was actually pretty good. There was also a chef in the lounge making eggs and his omelets were much better. Coffee sadly, was from a machine so I highly recommend heading to the restaurant first for your caffeine fix.

The highlight for me was definitely the freshly squeezed orange juice from this machine and I indulged in two glasses of juice…which looking back, wasn’t a good idea given that I had a 2-hour bus ride ahead of me.

After breakfast, I headed back to my room for a shower and off I went to Tokyo Narita to check out the…United Club lounge. :’)

Concluding Thoughts

I very much liked the Hilton Tokyo as it’s located quite close to Shinjuku station. The rooms were also decently sized and the service from the staff was very warm. With redemption rates as low as 52,000 Hilton Honors points, this is definitely a great hotel to burn your Hilton Honors points at given its crazy high revenue rates.

Matthew Chong
Matthew Chong
Addicted to luxury travel while trying not to go broke, Matthew is always on the prowl for the best deals in the travel industry. When he's not busy studying, he can be found trawling the internet and reading up on credit cards, airlines and hotels. He also wouldn't mind taking you out on a date.

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How much did you have to spend to get 52,000pts to redeem the room please?


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Bayle Quek

I’m pretty sure that the coffee at breakfast (on the ground floor) comes from a machine that serves various coffee drinks at the press of a button. It’s not a bad machine – the coffee beans are ground for each cup separately on demand, and generally, the coffee is quite decent. But the coffee is served in a mug with zero latte art (a telltale sign that it wasn’t prepared by a barista).