Review: The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho

Modern rooms, extensive facilities and great service make the Prince Gallery a solid option for the Akasaka neighbourhood.

Note: The following stay was sponsored by HoteLux, a luxury hotel booking platform. However, I had a free choice of properties, and the hotel was not involved in the review process.

For this trip to Japan, I’d be spending all three nights at The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho, a Luxury Collection Hotel under the Marriott Bonvoy umbrella. This property opened in 2016 , offering 250 rooms in the Akasaka neighbourhood. 

In a short space of time, it’s quickly become one of Tokyo’s more aspirational Marriott Bonvoy properties, right up there with the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo and brand new Tokyo EDITION. If you’ve had your eye on this hotel, here’s what you should know about the stay experience.

🏨 tl;dr: Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho
Modern rooms, extensive facilities and great service make the Prince Gallery a solid option for the Akasaka neighbourhood.
👍 The Good👎 The Bad
  • Spacious, modern rooms with oversized shower areas
  • Extensive facilities including indoor pool, heated jacuzzi and well-equipped gym
  • Fantastic service from the lounge staff
  • Club lounge food offerings are rather basic (although there’s free-flow champagne)
  • Breakfast buffet has yet to make a return; only a la carte options for now
🇯🇵  Land of the Sinking Yen

Booking The Prince Gallery

Download HoteLux app

I booked this stay through HoteLux, a hotel booking platform that offers luxury agent rates such as Marriott STARS & Luminous, Hyatt Prive, Shangri-La Golden Circle and Hilton Impresario.

These prices the same as the hotel’s best flexible rate, and typically come with additional benefits such as:

  • Room upgrades (can be guaranteed or subject to availability, depending on programme)
  • Early check-in and late check-out
  • Complimentary breakfast for two adults
  • US$100 hotel credit
  • Welcome amenity
  • Flexible cancellation

You can sometimes find free night offers through these programmes as well, which take the form of a free 3rd, 4th or 5th night. 

🇯🇵 Current HoteLux Japan Offers
  • Mandarin Oriental Tokyo
    • 20% off or 4th night free
    • Valid till 30 Sep 2023
  • Shangri-La Tokyo
    • Stay 4 Pay 3
    • Valid till 31 Dec 2023
  • Four Season Hotel Kyoto
    • 3rd night free
    • Valid till 31 Dec 2023
  • Ritz-Carlton Nikko
    • 3rd night free for suites
    • Valid till 30 Mar 2023
  • Tokyo EDITION Toranomon
    • 4th night free
    • Valid till 18 March 2023
  • Ritz-Carlton Osaka
    • 30% off Club rooms or 20% off Superior/Deluxe rooms (min. 2 nights)
    • Valid till 31 May 2023
  • Suiran, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Kyoto
    • 4th night free
    • Valid till 28 Dec 2023

On this particular stay, the rate I booked at The Prince Gallery came with the 3rd night free, yielding an overall cost of S$525 nett a night. That may sound steep, but it’s actually slightly below par for a 5-Star hotel in Tokyo.

For avoidance of doubt, these rates also qualify for hotel points and elite status credit where applicable. My stay posted to my Marriott Bonvoy account within 24 hours of check out. 

A HoteLux membership can be obtained for free through the following cards. 

🏨 HoteLux joining offers
  • DBS/POSB cardholders enjoy a 3-month HoteLux Elite membership (extendable to 12 months after the first stay)
  • OCBC VOYAGE cardholders enjoy a 12-month HoteLux Elite membership + 500 points
  • OCBC Premier Visa Infinite and OCBC Premier, PPC and BOS VOYAGE cardholders enjoy a 12-month HoteLux Elite Plus membership + 500 points
  • World Mastercard cardholders enjoy a 12-month HoteLux Elite membership +500 points
  • World Elite Mastercard cardholders enjoy a 12-month HoteLux Elite Plus membership + 2,000 points

Final note: HoteLux offers a mixture of luxury and regular OTA rates. Always make sure you’ve selected a rate tagged with “HoteLux Privileges” (if you pick a non-luxury rate, the app will show you a warning message so there’s no ambiguity).

Be sure to pick the HoteLux Exclusive Rate for your perks

Arrival and Check-in

The Prince Gallery is located in north Akasaka, with both the Akasaka-Mitsuke and Nagatacho subway stations a short walk away. It’s not the sexiest of locations, but is within walking distance of the Imperial Palace, and just a few stops away from Shibuya and Roppongi. 

The hotel is situated on the 30th to 36th floors of a mixed-use development that includes offices, restaurants, a convenience store and flower shop.

Your arrival experience depends on the mode of transport. If you took the train like me, you’ll enter from the ground floor. Look out for the Prince Gallery marquee on the wall, and enter through the sliding doors to the right of it.

Ground floor arrivals

If you take a taxi, you’ll pull up to the second floor, where a porter will assist you with your bags.

2nd floor arrivals area
2nd floor arrivals area

Either way you’ll need to head up to level 36 for check-in. The lobby is elegantly decorated, with floor to ceiling windows allowing the bright autumn sunlight to flood in, an instant remedy for jetlag. 

Prince Gallery Tokyo lobby

Prince Gallery Tokyo lobby
Check-in counters

My flight from Singapore landed at 6 a.m, and it was close to 7.40 a.m by the time I got to the hotel. Obviously my room wasn’t ready yet, but I was given access to the spa facilities on level 30 so I could shower and relax in the onsen first.

The front desk also confirmed my HoteLux benefits:

  • Room upgrade: I was upgraded from a regular Deluxe room to a Club Deluxe room
  • Breakfast: Daily breakfast for two guests was offered at Oasis Garden
  • Early check-in: My room was ready at 12 p.m
  • Late check-out: I was offered check-out as late as 4 p.m, which I didn’t need because I had to head to the airport before that
  • US$100 credit: This was converted into 13,500 JPY, a far cry from the 14,500 JPY spot rate that day!
  • Welcome amenity: I received some fruits and snacks in the room (see next section)

With regards to the upgrade, hotels normally do not include club lounge access for club room upgrades. This makes the upgrade perk rather useless, since oftentimes the difference between a club and non-club room is a higher floor, or an in-room Nespresso machine.

Therefore, I was very surprised to receive full club benefits- for the record, HoteLux did not contact the hotel ahead of my arrival, so as far as they were concerned I was just another guest. However, this is probably a YMMV situation, and will depend on hotel occupancy.

Club benefits letter
Facilities information

Rooms

Hotel corridor

The 250 rooms at The Prince Gallery are split into the following categories.

CategorySizeNo. of Rooms
Superior36 sqm11
Deluxe42 sqm198
Deluxe Premier46 sqm14
Grand Deluxe Corner58 sqm11
Grand Deluxe Premier62 sqm5
Kioi Suite95 sqm6
Designer’s Suite100 sqm4
The Prince Gallery Suite148 sqm1

As mentioned, I’d been upgraded to a Club Deluxe Room on the 36th floor, a short walk from reception through a set of keycard-controlled doors.

The door opened into a pristine white passageway, with the toilet to the left and wardrobes to the right. 

Room entrance

The room décor was clean and bright, with natural light streaming in from an oversized bay window. At 42 sqm, these rooms are sizeable for Tokyo, which is better known for capsule and shoebox hotel rooms.

Deluxe Room
Deluxe Room
Deluxe Room
Deluxe Room

My room had a great view of the surrounding neighbourhood, which got even better at night as the city lit up. When the time came for shut eye, the blackout blinds did an excellent job of keeping out unwanted light with no gaps whatsoever. It was hard to tell what time it was outside with the blinds fully drawn. 

Bay window
View from room

On the coffee table was a welcome note from the hotel, together with some lovely Japanese grapes. 

Welcome amenities

The king-sized bed was extremely comfortable, with silky smooth sheets and a choice of firm or soft pillows. By one bedside was a control panel that allowed you to control the room’s lighting and blinds, as well as toggle the do-not-disturb or make up room options. By the other was an iPad which offered the same controls, plus room service ordering and digital newspapers.

Bed
Bedside table
Bedside table

Both bedsides had a USB Type-A port as well as a Japanese-style power outlet (a bit strange they didn’t install a universal one given the hotel’s international clientele).

Nightly turndown service was provided, and I’d return to find chocolates and two sets of Japanese pyjamas laid out on the bed.

Turndown service

The work desk had a flip-up vanity mirror, which doubled up as a storage area. Additional power outlets and a HDMI connection to the TV could be found here, together with a Bose Bluetooth wireless speaker.

Writing desk
Power outlets and HDMI connectivity
Bose speaker

Wi-Fi connectivity clocked in at 40 Mbps down and 50 Mbps up, more than sufficient for heavy-duty video calling and streaming.

Inside the mini-bar was a Nespresso machine and kettle, together with various soft drinks, juices, bottled water and a small bottle of champagne. None of these are complimentary, but club room guests can visit the lounge for whatever they need.

Mini-bar
Mini-bar
Mini-bar
Mini-bar

Inside the wardrobe was a bathrobe, digital safe and ironing board. The bathrobes weren’t quite as luxurious as I was expecting for a hotel of this calibre; give me the Waldorf’s boca terry bathrobes any day!

Wardrobe
Safe and ironing board

Now let’s talk about the toilet. You may have noticed from some of the other photos that the layout is rather exhibitionistic. There’s no blinds or drapes, so anyone from the outside can look in. 

Normal

But press one button in the bathroom, and presto! The glass turns completely opaque. Now that’s a nifty feature!

Frosted windows

The bathroom itself had a single vanity area, and while the passageway was narrow, the bathing area was oversized. This featured an overhead rain shower (with excellent water pressure), plus a hand shower and a movable bench. Those who prefer soaking could relax in a sunken bathtub, complete with bath pillow.

Bathroom
Bathroom
Shower area
Bathtub

Bathroom amenities were from BYREDO, which has been making quite a splash in the hospitality space in recent months, becoming the standard-issue brand at Conrad and InterContinental.

Bathroom amenities

Additional amenities such as toothbrush kits, cotton buds, a razor, hair brush and comb were stored in the vanity drawer. There was an extra little gift: a box of C.O Bigelow skincare amenities, including make-up remover, face foam, and skin lotion. You might have seen these products on American Airlines. 

Amenities
C.O. Bigelow amenities

As is standard in Japan, the toilet had an automatic TOTO bidet that raised the seat cover when it detected your presence. Lights in the toilet were also controlled by motion sensors, which helped prevent accidents at night.

Toilet

Facilities

Pool

The Prince Gallery’s 20m indoor swimming pool is open from 6.30 a.m to 10 p.m daily, and located on the 30th floor spa area. You will need a swimming cap to use the pool, but fortunately the staff have extras on hand. 

Swimming pool
Swimming pool

With its rectangular shape and 1.2m depth, this is a strictly-business pool. It’s great for swimming laps, but those with kids won’t find it too enticing. 

The pool is supposedly heated, but I didn’t find the water particularly warm. If it’s too cold for you, you can always flee to the nearby jacuzzi, where hot water awaits.

Jacuzzi

I was confused at first as to why the deck chairs were pointing the wrong way, but as it turns out, I think most people would prefer to take in the Tokyo skyline than various uncles swimming.

Pool chairs

Fitness Centre

The fitness centre is open 24 hours a day, and equipped with a wide variety of Technogym equipment. There’s also a studio for staff-conducted classes.

Fitness centre
Fitness centre
Fitness centre
Fitness centre
Fitness centre

Spa

Spa reception

The spa is open daily from 10 a.m to 10 p.m, and while I didn’t go for any treatments here, I did make use of the bathing facilities. 

Do note that these are only complimentary for guests staying in Club rooms, Grand Deluxe rooms or Suites. All other guests will pay an access fee of 2,500 JPY (~S$25) per day. 

Guests can soak in a cold or hot bath, complete with views of the skyline. It’s especially great in the evenings, when you can watch the sunlight slowly fade and the city begin to light up. Be advised: the custom in Japan is to be completely nude in the baths, so squeamish individuals might want to sit this one out.

Hot and cold jacuzzi

A dry sauna room was also available, with similar clothing rules.

Sauna

Club Lounge

Club lounge

The hotel’s club lounge is located on the 34th floor, and is open from 10 a.m to 10 p.m daily. 

Club lounge
Club lounge
Club lounge
Club lounge

Lounge guests can help themselves to complimentary coffee and tea, beer and soft drinks, as well as light snacks throughout the day. 

Snacks
Snacks
Snacks
All-day tea
All-day coffee
All-day drinks

Two meal presentations are offered daily:

  • Afternoon tea: 2.30 p.m to 4.30 p.m
  • Evening cocktails: 5 p.m to 7 p.m

Hotel lounge access can be a funny thing in a city like Tokyo, with so many must-try eateries around every corner. On the one hand, it’s great to have free alcohol and bites every day. On the other, you don’t want to feel like you’re obligated to return to the hotel every afternoon and evening just to take advantage of this (and potentially spoiling a bucket list meal).

So it’s a tricky question that everyone’s going to have to weigh for themselves, but a compromise might be to book a club room just for one day to try it out, while booking a regular room for the rest of the stay.

I will say that the afternoon tea at Prince Gallery isn’t worth disrupting your plans for. It was extremely basic, with a small assortment of five sweet items, as well as coffee and tea (which are available all-day anyway).

Afternoon tea

The evening spread was better, with a cold cuts, hot items like fishcake, pan-fried fish and stewed beef, and various desserts. That said, it definitely won’t be a dinner substitute, which is either a bug or feature depending on how you look at it. 

Appetisers
Hot mains
Desserts

If you enjoy your booze, however, you’ll be delighted to hear that Piper-Heidsieck NV champagne is available on free flow, together with a 2021 Chateau Vieux L’Estage Bordeaux white and a 2019 Dampt Freres Pinot Noir. Various spirits were also served. 

Wines
Spirits

Service in the lounge was uniformly excellent, with the staff keeping drinks topped up and eager to chat with guests. They even helped me make a last-minute booking at a popular yakiniku place, diligently researching and presenting me with different options. 

Breakfast

Oasis Garden

Breakfast is served at Oasis Garden from 7 a.m to 10 a.m daily. No prior reservations are required, and complimentary breakfast is provided to Marriott Bonvoy Platinum, Titanium and Ambassador guests. 

Oasis Garden

Prior to COVID, the hotel offered a buffet spread together with made-to-order items. The buffet hasn’t returned yet, so in the meantime, guests can choose from either a Western or Japanese set menu. The former is a fixed set of options, the latter rotates daily.

Western options
Japanese option (rotating)

On the first day I went with the Japanese breakfast, which featured an assortment of small dishes like boiled snow crab, steamed wagyu beef and grilled salmon. A small piece of delicious musk melon was offered too- if you know your Japanese fruits, you’ll know how pricey this can be!

Japanese breakfast set

On the subsequent two days I tried items from the Western set, starting with the truffle scrambled eggs. Protip: ask for it “espuma style” and they’ll pour mushroom broth over the eggs. I’ll admit it doesn’t look the most appetising, but the flavour is amazing.

Truffle scrambled eggs

I also had the French toast with fruits, which was excellently done. The bread was slightly crispy at the edges, with a warm, mealy centre. I only wish it were slightly bigger!

French toast

All western sets come with standard accompaniments including a salad, toast and preserves, grilled sausage, bacon and mushrooms, and juice. 

On the whole I enjoyed the quality of the breakfast items, but really wish they offered at least a partial buffet. That would have made it easier to get refills on things like juice and milk, or even some additional pastries or bread for those still hungry.

Other dining options

Sky Gallery Lounge Levita

Sky Gallery Lounge Levita is The Prince Gallery’s signature bar. It’s closed during the day, but a night transforms into a very eye-catching watering hole, complete with Blade Runneresque lighting and million-dollar views of the skyline. 

Sky Gallery Lounge Levita

I decided to spend my US$100 hotel credit here, which covered an Old Fashioned and Champagne Mojito…

Old fashioned
Champagne mojito

…as well as a wagyu beef burger. The drinks were decidedly the highlight, as the burger was nothing special. 

Wagyu burger

I spent my remaining credit on check-out day for room service, where I tried a plate of house-cured smoked salmon. This was actually pretty good, especially after I draped it over the Yoshinoya I bought in a kind of unholy donburri.

Smoked salmon

Conclusion

The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho offers surprisingly large and modern rooms, with excellent facilities and service from the lounge staff. It may not be the most natural of locations for those who want all the action at their doorstep, but the popular shopping and eating neighbourhoods are just a few train stations away (plus there’s a Bic Camera closeby).

The highlights of my stay would be soaking in the onsen au naturale, tucking into truffle scrambled eggs at breakfast and knocking back champagne during the evening happy hour. With a third night free, I’d consider the price to be good value for Tokyo too!

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Xin

Great hotel in akasaka. I also recommend the New Otani across the way, which has a stupendous selection of restaurants and shops, if you want to spend more time relaxing around your hotel. Also eligible for iPrefer benefits.

Matrix.RX1

New Otani customer since nearly 20 years. Bear in mind the decor of NO hotels was old when I first started using them. This can be charming, but I much rather prefer the newer ones. Exception: the ZEN Executive club at the NO you mentioned is a hotel-in-hotel.

Jack

Great review as always. Now I know what I missed out. I had the chance to redeem this hotel but took too long to decide and it was gone by the time I decided to redeem. Will kiv this for my next trip!

jon88

this hotel looks awesome. a bit of a stretch in terms of budget, but with 3rd night free maybe i can convince the wife

Ken

Plat members still have access to lounge? I read on flyer talk this was canned just prior to covid cos it’s luxury collection?

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