Keio Plaza, Tokyo
THE HOTEL: Tokyo's Keio Plaza hotel is one of the oldest and largest hotels in the business district of West Shinjuku. It is located opposite the Tokyo Metropolitan Government building, has 1,435 guestrooms and excellent connections to several metro lines and teeming Shinjuku station.
THE CHECK-IN: This hotel is vast, with a ground floor lobby that you could get lost in. There were some 20 or so booths at the reception desk but only two were staffed so there was a short wait before being greeted and checked-in. A wireless router box was issued together with room keys, before I was shown to my room by a friendly bell girl eager to practice her English.
THE ROOM: First impressions were of a smart, light room (white walls and curtains; neutral carpet, furniture and bedding) with terrific views through the skyscrapers towards central Shinjuku. There were two single beds, desk, armchairs and table, wall-mounted TV, clock radio, basic minibar, wardrobe and safe. The bathroom was on the small side and, in contrast to the rest of the room, a little dated.
THE BUSINESS: The 34th floor Club Lounge is open to Plaza Comfort room guests. A ground floor business centre charges 100 yen (£0.80) per 15 minutes PC usage. There are 40 meeting and event spaces, the largest of which has capacity for 1,000 reception guests.
THE FACILITIES: The hotel has a business centre, 24-hour room service and laundry service, a spa, fitness centre, outdoor swimming pool, Turkish bath, a sauna and solarium, all free to use for hotel guests.
THE RESTAURANT: There's an outdoor pool, large gym, convenience store, salon and a glut of restaurants and bars. Duo Fourchettes serves French and Italian cuisine, plus there's the Glass Court buffet, several specialist Japanese, Chinese and Korean restaurants, a coffee house, three bars – including the 45th floor Polestar Bar – three lounges and the obligatory karaoke bar.
THE VERDICT: This is a business hotel through and through and shows few signs of ageing despite its legacy as one of the area's oldest hotels. The room was smart and spacious, and all possible needs of travellers were catered for in this vast hotel.
THE DETAILS: Keio Plaza Hotel, 2-2-1 Nishi-Shinjuku, Shinjuku-Ku, Tokyo, 160- 8330. Rates from around £170 per night. Tel: +81 333 44 0111; see: www.keioplaza.com.
Reviewed by Andy Hoskins (2012)