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A few months back I was booked to fly on the inaugural United 787 Dreamliner flight on a new route from Denver to Narita. As you likely remember, the Dreamliner hit a series of mishaps, and was taken out of service for a while. That meant that my flight was canned, and I had the option of backing out of the trip entirely, or pushing forward with a new plan. I really wanted to go to Japan, and was on a very good fare that was likely more of a mistake than anything else, so I pushed forward and adjusted my plans slightly to overlap with a FlyerTalk JapanDo. This basically just meant there was a bunch of other travel geeks like me that would be there at the same time, and I would have the option of participating in a few organized events, which I did.

I’m very glad that I took the trip (especially since my upgrades cleared – that was a long flight!), and I am happy to finally have a moment and share some info about the trip as it truly was amazing. I’ll dedicate this post to the Park Hyatt Tokyo and will do subsequent posts on a few lessons learned in Tokyo, getting to/from the airport, and my United flights.  Let’s skip to some of the good stuff though and talk about one of the most sought-after Hyatt redemptions in the world.

Park Hyatt Tokyo:

20130828-140410.jpgAnyone who has seen the movie “Lost in Translation” has heard of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  I had seen the movie once upon a time, and didn’t remember much from it other than the feel I got from the hotel.  It felt dark, sexy, and sophisticated.  And it was.  The hotel is located in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo.  This is a pretty business-district-oriented neighborhood, but it is not far from Shinjuku Station that is a pretty major transportation hub for the city.  The hotel offers a shuttle that runs every 20 minutes, or you could walk the 10-12 minute walk, or get a cab.  The hotel’s rooms are located on the 41st floor and up, and in total there are 177 rooms including 23 suites.

20130828-140425.jpgCheck-in:

I arrived fairly late in the evening and was happy to have made it to my final destination.  The hotel is about 80-90 minutes from the Narita airport, so add in flying from Texas to California and then California to Narita, and I was ready to stop moving.  I came via cab from Shinjuku Station (about $7 USD) and once the bellmen identified who I was, a chain of events was put into motion where everyone became aware of my arrival.

You had to go up two separate elevators and walk down a pretty long hallway to get up to the rooms, but it was easy since I was escorted to my room by a very nice and professional female employee.  The actual check-in happened right at the desk in the room.  I presented my credit card and was told everything I needed to know about the hotel.  The key I was given was an actual Tiffany’s key ring and metal key – much different than the key cards you usually get at a hotel.

20130828-140715.jpgThe Room:

I feel like the rooms do not come across in photos as luxurious as they feel, in large part due to the blue-green carpets.  However, I can assure you that they feel pretty swanky while you are there in person.  I redeemed Hyatt points for my stay, so was not in a suite on this trip.  However, the regular room still felt relatively spacious.  The maximum occupancy listed for the basic king room is three, so if your family is four or more you may or may not have a little trouble.  When searching on Hyatt.com for two adults and two children, I was offered the Park Twin room on points, but that may be an error since that room also lists a max occupancy of three.  That said, I have read several successful reports of staying in base rooms at this hotel with two adults and two young children, including reports they treat families quite well.

Upon entering the room, a small hallway with a closet and restroom is on your right; the bedroom is straight ahead.

20130828-140553.jpgThe bed itself is low to the ground and harder than I prefer, but when in Japan…. I was pretty tired, so I don’t think the hard bed caused too many issues, but just be aware if that is not your bedding preference.

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There was also a small desk, modern TV, and a couple of chairs arranged off to the side of the room.

20130828-140742.jpgIf you wanted to catch-up on some reading, there were also a few books available in the room, in addition to a small library downstairs.

20130828-140809.jpgThere was wine, a box of snacks, and a handwritten welcome note waiting in the room as an amenity.

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20130828-140843.jpgThere was also a pretty well stocked fridge, though that was not complimentary.

20130828-141244.jpgThe Bathroom:

The bathroom was a treat all by itself.  There were some soaking salts available next to the huge tub that were perfect after an insanely long travel day.

20130828-140915.jpgIf a shower is more your speed, there was a stand-alone shower also available.

20130828-140930.jpgI was scared of the very fancy heated toilet the whole time I was there.  It reminded me of the scene in Cars when Tow-Mater gets sprayed by the toilet – I’m just not fancy enough for fancy toilets.

20130828-140959.jpgOff of the bathroom, there was also a pretty large closet available.

20130828-141026.jpgOn-site Food Options:

Once I was settled into the room, I immediately ordered some room service since I was starving and ready for dinner….or whatever meal this was.  The 14 hour time zone difference + 28 hours of travel left me very confused.  I can’t remember the exact name of this noodle dish, but I can tell you that it came all-in to about 2800 Yen, or roughly $28 USD.  That is pretty reasonable for an all-in total for room service.  Naturally it is a huge mark-up over what you could pay elsewhere, but this was room service at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, so I didn’t expect it to be cheap.  As tired as I was, it was well worth it to not have to leave the room for food.

20130828-141100.jpgThanks to my Diamond status, my breakfasts at the hotel were (mostly) complimentary.  You can have your Diamond breakfast either via room service, or in the fairly casual Girandole restaurant.

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Your options there are pretty wide on what you can order via the Diamond benefit, but one popular option has to be the Japanese Breakfast.  The normal selling price is ¥ 3,800 and it includes the following:

Selection of Juices (Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Vegetable or Tomato)
Appetiser, Grilled Fish, Simmered Vegetables, Egg, Tofu
Miso Soup, Rice, Pickled Vegetables
Fresh Fruits

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If that isn’t up your alley, the buffet served downstairs was pretty varied and had plenty of delicious fruits, breads, pastries, yogurts, etc.

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20130828-141217.jpgIf you prefer an American breakfast, it is the same price as the Japanese Breakfast (or free for Diamond guests) and includes the following.

American Breakfast:

Selection of Juices (Orange, Apple, Grapefruit, Cranberry, Vegetable or Tomato)
Bakery Basket (Pastries and Toast)
Natural Hokkaido Yoghurt and Fruits
Two Eggs Any Style
Choice of Pork Sausages, Smoked Bacon or Baked Ham
Coffee, Tea or Hot Chocolate

The service in the restaurant was outstanding, and they were more than willing to accommodate different dietary needs including having gluten free bread ready every time a family I had breakfast with came down to eat.  They seem to learn your preferences quickly, and then remember your requests for the rest of your visit.

On the last morning, I opted to order pancakes and yogurt off the breakfast menu and had breakfast in the room.  I was getting ready to head to the spa, and didn’t want to have to get dressed for the restaurant first.  I know, the problems we face….  I was not charged for the food I ordered, but I was charged for at least some of the beverages (I think I had juice, water, and coffee).  I don’t know for sure if that was an error or not, but I didn’t complain since I already felt like I received so much for so little from this hotel.

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The New York Bar:

Another Diamond benefit is complimentary wine or beer at the New York Bar from 5PM – 7PM nightly.  I went with a family who had a child with them, so we were not able to sit in the bar area, but were seated in the restaurant section.  This place felt extremely Lost in Translation-esqe.

20130828-141345.jpgEven if you don’t have a complimentary visit to this bar, it is worth the trip to the 42nd floor to sip a drink in the great atmosphere with a view of Tokyo.  If you want to actually order food in the restaurant, just be sure you loaded up your wallet first as it looked pretty pricey.

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Club On The Park:

On the morning before I flew home, I scheduled some time to enjoy the Club on the Park spa and workout facilities.  There was a pool that was designated for those three and above (no diaper accidents!), and a workout facility adjacent to the pool.

20130828-141425.jpgI didn’t do a heavy workout, but I was determined to get my blood flowing knowing that I would be stationary in an airplane for many, many hours later that day.  The views of the city below were quite a sight – beware if you have issues with heights!

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After the workout, I got ready for what turned out to be one of my very favorite massages of all time.  At the recommendation of the spa services desk, I booked a Tokyo Massage that was a combination Japanese massage techniques and hand compressions that was totally amazing.  The massage therapist used virtually her whole body when working out the tension and knots in mine.  There were also some hot stones utilized.  Spa treatments here are a tad on the pricey side, but if you can swing it, I highly recommend trying one out sometime.  A free alternative to at least sample what the Club on the Park has to offer is their complimentary good night sleep stretch and tea two nights per week.

You Can do it Too:

The hardest part of staying at the Park Hyatt Toyko for most of us here in the US is simply just getting to Asia.  Once you are there, I think it absolutely makes sense to try out the Park Hyatt Tokyo for a couple nights.  The going rate is often pretty high, typically the equivalent of $500 USD per night and up, but the points rate is always a flat 22,000 points per night.  Use your Hyatt points, your free night certificates from the Hyatt Credit Card, or transfer points in from Chase Ultimate Rewards.  Do whatever you need to do to give yourself this experience that I know I would have never had without miles and points.

Overall Impressions:

I’ll talk more about this in a subsequent post, but this trip was not only far, it felt far.  I was so grateful to be an oasis of calm at the Park Hyatt Toyko, both for practical reasons (English speakers!), and because the hotel was just extremely luxurious and comfortable.  The service here was unparalleled, and I really felt like I was living someone else’s (opulent) life while I was there.  It is certainly not something I need to experience on every trip, but it was great to try out this time.  Be aware that you will have to travel a bit from the hotel to do everything you want to do in Tokyo, but that is true almost across the board because Tokyo is so large.

Have you stayed at the Park Hyatt Tokyo or is it on your miles and points “bucket list”?

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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