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Close to Disney and perfect for points: My stay at the Hilton Tokyo Bay

May 21, 2023
10 min read
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  • Family-friendly amenities and convenient location but lacks a strong Disney theme.
  • Best to choose an ocean view room rather than one facing the park.
  • Public transport is the best way to get from the airport to the hotel and onto the theme park.

Visiting the two Tokyo Disney parks — and Japan, in general — is on the bucket list of many eager travelers and fans of the Wonderful World of Disney. In fact, Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea take the second and third spots in the most-visited Disney parks outside of the U.S. (behind the Shanghai park).

Staying at one of the 10 hotels within the park precinct can make for a more seamless (and exciting) theme park experience. Of the three chain hotels near Tokyo Disney, the Hilton Tokyo Bay is the only one where you can use Hilton Honors points.

Here's a deep dive into what you can expect from the hotel's amenities, room types, dining options and overall guest experience.

More Hilton than Disney

This hotel is clearly aimed at families with children, with big rooms, multiple room types including bunk beds, and a kids' play area. You'll find this Mickey Mouse-themed area opposite the check-in desks, which is very convenient for keeping children entertained upon arrival.

Kids can play in this Disney-themed area while you check in. MATT MOFFITT/THE POINTS GUY

However, I was expecting a more apparent Disney theme throughout the hotel. Perhaps this is because Disney operates some of their branded properties nearby and might have intellectual property rights over using Disney imagery. Look at the image of a hallway below — it could be a chain hotel anywhere. If you're looking for a more "magical" experience, going to one of the Disney Resort or Toy Story hotels is your best bet.

This hotel hallway is more generic than Disney. MATT MOFFITT/THE POINTS GUY

The good news is that if you forget to or don't want to pick up souvenirs within the parks, you can shop at the Disney store within the hotel on your last day.

Choose your room view carefully

When booking a room at this hotel, the first thing to decide is: Do you want to get an Ocean Room facing Tokyo Bay, with more natural light and views of planes landing at Haneda Airport (HND)? Or would you rather have a Park Room with views of nearby hotels and limited views of the Disney parks? In my opinion, an Ocean Room is the way to go.

Then you'll want to decide between three main room types: Celebrio (space-themed with white and turquoise tones), Magic (cartoon-like and best for children) or Hilton (minimalist with elegant wood finishes.)

Base-level rooms start at 38,000 yen (about $280) inclusive of taxes and fees, or 70,000 Hilton Honors points per night. As a reminder, Hilton Honors elite members receive the fifth night free when using points for standard rooms.

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If booking with cash, using a Hilton Honors cobranded card is the best way to maximize points-earning on your booking. One of our favorites is the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card, offering complimentary Gold status and 130,000 bonus points and a free night reward after you spend $2,000 in purchases in the first three months of cardmembership. The annual fee is only $95 (see rates and fees). Offer ends July 19.

Upon entering my King Hilton Ocean Room, I was surprised by a much stronger Japanese vibe than I had expected. I loved the expansive views of Tokyo Bay, the vast space for storing my bags and the "shoji" sliding doors with three options: full natural light, transparent shades and complete blackout (great for beating jet lag.)

The room has two seating options: a comfortable chair and table for working, and a unique dining table with two (backless) seats.

As always, Japanese bathrooms are a delight, with a variety of bidet options and ample hot water. A step stool is a nice addition for families with small children.

In true Japanese fashion, adult and child slippers are provided in the closet, along with green tea and coffee sachets. To be more environmentally conscious, each room has a reasonably-sized water pitcher that can be filled up at two water and ice stations on each floor.

Dining options for every budget

The good news is that the food at this property is reasonably priced and of relatively good quality.

If you're arriving from a long flight in the late afternoon or early evening, you may opt to order a quick dinner through room service. The meal of a mozzarella and cheese panini, Japanese salad with tofu and fruit beer (absolutely not recommended) cost me 2,644 Japanese yen (about $20), including the very reasonable $2.50 delivery fee. It arrived to my room within ten minutes of ordering over the phone.

This room service meal cost about $20, including the delivery fee. MATT MOFFITT/THE POINTS GUY

You'll probably want to fuel up with a big breakfast before visiting one of the parks, so the breakfast buffet is a great option for 3,750 yen ($28) for adults and 2,750 yen ($21) for children. There are a ton of Western and Japanese options, with highlights being the made-to-order omelet station and a kids' station. The lowlights included the very sad-looking French toast and the fact that even though this is a large space, it gets very busy with many families with children.

If you have Hilton Honors elite status, you can ask to be seated in the quieter section behind the waterfall.

Better yet, if you have Diamond status, the executive lounge is a much more tranquil option, albeit with a more limited food selection.

If you want to line up at the park entrance as early as possible and/or save a significant amount of money on food, a useful option is the Lawson convenience store, located within the hotel, with a huge range of ready-made meals, snacks and drinks.

If you are willing to splash out some money and want to enjoy a more leisurely, upscale meal, the Dynasty Chinese restaurant in the basement should be on your list. Set menus start at 6,500 yen ($48), and you'll relish in flavorful dishes focusing on seafood, vegetables and savory flavors. When I dined one night, the courses were perfectly timed and the staff explained each dish in detail as it was delivered. Note that this restaurant is only open for lunch and dinner from Thursday to Monday and on public holidays.

Excellent amenities and service

As expected in Japan, the customer service at this hotel is professional, orderly and friendly. The staff was happy to accommodate all requests I made (being seated in a quieter part of the restaurant, checking out late and assistance with booking my airport transportation).

If you will be working from the hotel or connecting with home, you'll find solid Wi-Fi speeds of around 30 Mbps for uploads and downloads. However, I found it frustrating to switch between the hotel guest Wi-Fi network on room floors and the public network in the lobby, gym and downstairs restaurant.

This property has one of the largest gyms I've ever seen at a hotel, with all types of workout machines, a 55-foot-long indoor pool (open year-round) and a leisure outdoor pool (open in the summer only). You can sign up for Les Mills workout classes for free (in Japanese only) one hour before the class starts and rent full workout gear for 1,320 yen ($10) if you've forgotten to bring your own.

Bikes are also available for rent for 300 yen (about $2.30) per hour, a great option for enjoying the pedestrian- and bicycle-only paved trail along the seawall.

Reasons the Hilton Tokyo Bay might not be for you

  • You want to save money on accommodations: Consider an independent hotel or vacation rental in the nearby Urayusu district.
  • You want a more authentic Disney experience: Choose one of the five official Disney hotels.
  • You want to use World of Hyatt points: Look into staying at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo Bay.
  • You want to use Marriott Bonvoy points: Check out the Sheraton Grande Tokyo Bay.

How to save money at Tokyo Disney and Hilton Tokyo Bay

How to get to and from the airport

The best value method to get between Hilton Tokyo Bay and Haneda or Narita airports is to take a "limousine bus." (Note: They're just normal long-distance buses with four seats to a row and an aisle in the middle.) A one-way journey from Haneda takes 60 minutes and costs about $10; from Narita, it's closer to 90 minutes and double the price.

Most international flights from the U.S. land at Terminal 3 at Haneda, which has around four daily bus departures. If they don’t line up with your arrival, catch a shuttle bus to T1 or T2, where departures are more frequent, about every 15-20 minutes.

This hotel is the very last stop on the circuit around the park, so you'll see many other properties on the way. The good news is that you will get first dibs on seats when returning to the airport, as you'll be the first to be picked up.

Tickets can be booked directly from the operator, but it's best to wait until you land (in case of flight delays) and buy one at the bus ticket counter at either airport. On the way back, it's easy to book your ticket (with no extra fees or commissions) through the hotel reception, and it can be added to your final bill.

The most convenient but also more expensive option is ride-hailing.

How to get to and from the park

The easiest way to get to the parks is to walk to Bayside Station and take one of the frequent departures to arrive at the park entrance by monorail. This total journey should take a maximum of 20 minutes, taking into account a five-minute walk to the station, buying a ticket — 260 yen ($2) for adults and children aged 12 and above; half that for children 11 and younger — and getting from the station to the entrance on the other end.

Those with limited mobility can take the free shuttle bus from the hotel to Bayside Station and JR Maihama Station.

The hotel shuttle bus is free. MATT MOFFITT/THE POINTS GUY

How to get Tokyo Disney tickets

The easiest way to get a ticket to Tokyo Disneyland or DisneySea is through the online activities booking platform Klook. Then, show your QR code at the park entrance — no need to pick up any will-call tickets. The Disney Resort mobile app offers online ticket purchases but often errors out when processing foreign credit card payments.

Should I choose Tokyo Disneyland or Tokyo DisneySea?

Tokyo Disneyland offers a nostalgic and magical experience with classic Disney characters, rides and shows, while Tokyo DisneySea is a unique park focused on exploration and adventure with a nautical theme. Disneyland focuses more on families with children, and DisneySea on teenagers and adults. The choice between the two depends on whether you prefer traditional Disney attractions or more adventurous experiences.

Related reading:

For rates and fees of the Amex Hilton Surpass card, click here.

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