Comfort and a central location may be the first features that draw you to Keio Plaza Hotel, a thin, white skyscraper that towers over Tokyo’s Shinjuku neighbourhood. But there are bonuses here beyond the obvious, including an excellent selection of on-site bars and eateries, a dedicated tea ceremony room, luxury French amenities and spacious, comfy suites — all of which include indulgently deep bathtubs. Read on for the full review.
Where is Keio Plaza Hotel?
On the corner of two major avenues (Higashi Dori and Chuo-dori Ave), Keio is about three blocks from the behemoth Shinjuku station area. It takes about an hour to reach the hotel from Narita International Airport by car.
What’s near Keio Plaza Hotel?
The sprawling Shinjuku station, a cluster of international stores and gateway to interstate rail travel as well as local metro sprinkled around the city is about 600 metres away. It has direct connections to nearby Sagnubashi station — the stop for Yogogi Park and Meiji Shrine. The former is for people-watching and the latter, peace-seeking. On the other side of Shinjuku is the wonderful Shinjuku Gyoen National Park, which is especially beautiful during cherry blossom season when the sakura trees spring to life.
Admittedly, the comfy and cleanly-decorated rooms aren’t at the cutting edge of design, with most rooms harbouring clunky nondescript furniture and muted colours of white. That doesn’t mean they’re lacking a cosy, hospitable ambience — that comes from the little extras like daily newspaper deliveries, cotton yukata (pajamas) and L’Occitane bathroom goodies. Superior and Deluxe spaces are noticeably roomier, with cityscape views, Bose speakers and deep bathtubs. The Japanese suites are wonderful for those who want the full local experience, with tatami mat flooring, shoji windows, dining area and double vanity.
Restaurants and bars
Of the plethora of on-site eateries (many still slowly reopening post-COVID), Soujuan is the must-book. It’s kaiseki style here, with dining spaces ringed around an interior courtyard garden of bamboo and maple trees. The kimono-clad staff offer impeccable service and the food is locally-sourced and carefully prepared, perfecting the authentic Japanese dining experience.
There’s also a bar dedicated to sake (the brightly-lit Amanogawa) but Sky Lounge Aurora is the hotel’s jewel in the crown, delivering exceptional views of the city and cocktails crafted by Kazuya Watanabe, a noted mixologist with a medal of honour from the government for his efforts.
Travel for work
A local favourite for events and conferences, Keio Plaza has no less than 38 spaces on-site dedicated to both large capacity occasions and smaller, informal meetings. Looking for a more solitary environment to get some work done? All rooms have wi-fi and sturdy, sizable in-room desks. The dedicated business centre also has a workstation, as well as printing and photocopying facilities, should you need them.
Gym and pool
Although there’s no spa on-site (the reflexology clinic was closed at the time of writing), there’s practically everything else: including a laundromat, nursing room, photo studio convenience store. The Sky Pool, an outdoor space open in the summer months, is a nice touch and the fitness centre (open from 5am-9pm) is accessible by reservation only.
Although you won’t immediately notice some of the hotel’s sustainability efforts, they’re there. There’s an effort to use soap made from recycled oils from cooking, the basement floor where a water recycling plant resides and a focus on in-house use of locally-sourced produce.
There are 10 rooms dedicated to travellers with disabilities across the deluxe twin, luxury deluxe twin and junior suite room categories; in rooms with two beds, one is an electric reclining bed with room for a hoist. We recommend booking with the hotel direct as all rooms are configured differently.
What you need to know
The on-site “sho-fu-an”, or tea ceremony room (closed at the time of writing) offers an authentic experience of the Japanese chanoyu, demonstrating the art of matcha making and the service of traditional sweets. You’ll definitely need to book ahead for this one.
Best for: Location
Design: Pared back but plush
Number of rooms: 1438
Rates: From $452
Parking: On-site self-parking available, JPY1000 a night
Address: 2-chōme-2-1 Nishishinjuku, Shinjuku City
Phone: +81 3-3344-0111
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