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While Hilton’s Honors program may not be the first choice among points enthusiasts, the Conrad Tokyo is a phenomenal pick for any high-end traveler. The pros: good location, modern and fresh, phenomenal food and staff. The cons: it’s expensive if you aren’t booking during a flash sale.
Traditionally, I’ve been a Starwood and Hyatt loyalist, so I try to book most of my stays there. I’m a bit more interested in the Honors program following Hilton’s recent announcement, however, so it’s possible my loyalty could shift.
When I originally planned a Halloween trip to Tokyo back in December of 2015, I had picked the Grand Hyatt for my stay. TPG ended up working that property into an episode of TPGtv, though, so I decided to look elsewhere, since this gave us an opportunity to review a new hotel in Tokyo — a city with nearly 800 lodging options, according to TripAdvisor.
Booking and Check-In
It just so happened that Hilton was running a 50% off flash sale on hotels in Japan and Korea, including the Conrad Tokyo — where I had stayed once before, in 2014. Given that I’d had a really great experience that time and that the Conrad was available at half the regular rate, my choice became clear.
I found a King Suite Bay View room for about $400 per night, which on my dates was roughly $100 more than the base room rate. By comparison, a base room will run you between 70,000 and 95,000 Hilton Honors points per night, since the Conrad is a Category 10 property — though it may cost as few as 49,000 Honors points per night in the future. Knowing that even as a Hilton Honors Diamond member (via a status match I’d done earlier this year) an upgrade would be unlikely, so booking a larger suite for $100 more seemed like the best option.
I called Citi Prestige concierge to book so I could take advantage of the card’s tremendous 4th Night Free benefit. Then, a week or so before the trip, I invited my mom to come along on this trip — she was thrilled! — but that required changing to a suite with two beds. I contacted the hotel’s reservations department, but the agent wouldn’t budge since I had booked a non-refundable/non-changeable rate. Since I was really just trying to change the bed type, I emailed the hotel directly. After few hours I received a response offering me a Twin Suite instead, which gave us a city view instead of the more premium bay view. That was fine with me, and the change was instantly reflected in my reservation.
After a fantastic JAL first class flight from New York, we arrived at the hotel via the Airport Limousine Bus, which cost 4,500 yen (~$40) for the round-trip journey. The Conrad’s main lobby is on the 28th floor — the ground floor elevators take you straight to that level without a stop.
Once in the main lobby, we were directed to check in at the Executive Lounge, and a few minutes later, we were on our way to room 3544.
This was a true suite, with a separate (and quite large) living room.
There was plenty of room to hang out, although we didn’t spend much more time there than absolutely necessary, since there’s so much to see and do in Tokyo.
The living room was by far the largest space in the suite — as you can see, the bedroom is just wide enough to accommodate the twin beds.
The bedroom is separated from the living room by a partial wall, which was fine for our purposes but worth noting if you’re in the market for a more private sleeping space.
The twin beds were a bit wider than some I’ve seen in other hotels — they’re not quite a double, but still comfortably wide.
We each received a take-away Conrad Tokyo teddy bear (just one per stay, not per night).
The hotel had also set up a humidifier, which I had requested on Hilton’s site at booking. You can also add one from the app before or after you arrive.
The water’s safe to drink from the tap in Tokyo, but there were free water bottles available as well — one on each bedside table, with more available upon request.
Back in the living room, there was delicious green tea with a traditional Japanese tea set.
And a small box of madeleines.
A small mini-bar fridge was hidden underneath the counter, with a separate liquor selection one drawer down.
The bathroom was a decent size, too, separated from the living room by a sliding door and adjustable blinds, which tilted for full privacy or could be lifted entirely.
We had the normal suite of amenities that you’ll find at most higher-end Asian hotels, including toothbrushes and toothpaste.
The shower wasn’t the fanciest I’ve seen, but it got the job done — you can select from a ceiling fixture and this hand wand.
And, this being Tokyo, the bathroom had an electronic Japanese toilet as well.
There was a sizable closet just around the corner from the bathroom, with more than enough space to set out a checked bag (my mom’s is pictured below).
There was also an iron with an ironing board and a single umbrella.
The views were pretty typical for a Tokyo hotel, with building after building as far as the eye could see.
We also had a partial view of the Tokyo Skytree.
Given that I’m almost always working when I’m on the road, the most important amenity for me is Wi-Fi — and fortunately, the Conrad’s is plenty fast! It’s also free for all guests.
While arguably less of a priority, the hotel’s app game was on point as well, with a few… quirks (more on that below).
There was also a state-of-the-art fitness center, with more equipment than I’ve seen in most Tokyo hotels, with the exception of the Park Hyatt, perhaps.
The hotel also offers a full-size pool, with great views to boot.
One of the biggest Diamond perks is guaranteed access to the Executive Lounge, and the Conrad Tokyo’s is certainly worth a visit.
There’s breakfast in the morning, tea in the afternoon and this evening snack spread, which was pretty decent.
You’re not going to walk away full (which is a good thing — who can pass up a great meal out in Tokyo?), but the evening spread offered a great selection of ice cream and the usual fixings, which I enjoyed each night.
Food and Beverage
While lounge access is a great perk, the real Diamond benefit for me was free access to the daily buffet breakfast in the lobby. Note that this is available to Gold members as well (and Gold status is available for free via The Platinum Card from American Express).
The breakfast was just as great as I had remembered from my 2014 visit — there were a handful of hot and cold stations, and all of the items were very high quality.
A-la-carte options were also included, such as the full Japanese breakfast (below)…
… as well as Western dishes, such as huevos rancheros and a fantastic eggs Benedict.
You can also order breakfast via room service, but you’ll need to pay there — unless you’ve pre-arranged breakfast through the lounge, as I did for our early departure (before the restaurant opened) on our last day. You can actually order your full meal from the app, which I find to be a huge benefit in countries where English isn’t the first language.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the app waived the delivery fee and tax — these were applied to the bill, but I was able to have them removed thanks to this screenshot.
Our room service dinner was excellent. The attendant set up a full restaurant-style spread in the living room.
Breakfast was fantastic as well — almost as fresh and delicious as you’d get downstairs.
They even sent up a toaster for our bread!
In a city with nearly 800 hotels listed on TripAdvisor, the Conrad Tokyo is consistently listed in the top 10 — right now it’s at #7, just below the Park Hyatt, which is another exceptional property. As for which I prefer? It’s a bit of a toss up, but overall I think the Park Hyatt is a better pick if you’re a Hyatt Diamond member, especially since you can get free room service breakfast all the time, use your confirmed suite upgrades to secure a fantastic suite at booking and take advantage of a free happy hour in the New York Bar.
That said, if you have Diamond status with Hilton but not Hyatt, you’ll definitely come out ahead at the Conrad, given the lounge access and complimentary full breakfast downstairs (though suite upgrades are unfortunately much more difficult to secure).
Have you had a chance to experience the Conrad Tokyo? Tell us about it, below.
All photos are courtesy of the author.
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