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Ritz Carlton Tokyo Review: Club King
Located in Minato ( Midtown ), The Ritz Carlton Tokyo is very near Roppongi…it’s actually right outside the door and maybe a 5-10 min walk and you’re in the Roppongi shopping center with the Grand Hyatt, Sukiyabashi Jiro ( which we ate at and HOLY FLIPPER DIPPER was it incred…more on that later) lots of shops and high end restaurants.
The Ritz Carlton Tokyo sits in what is the tallest building in Tokyo: the midtown tower. We arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight in Haneda around 2pm and took a taxi to the hotel. Cost us maybe $30. Once at the the hotel we realized we were in for quite an experience – the hotel exudes a regality that, to be honest, made me underdressed. Rolls, Maybachs, Ferraris, etc are parked outside the street level entrance and everyone seemed to dressed to the nines. Dave, Miles, and I had just traveled for 26 hours from Joburg and lemme tell ya…we were barely out of our pajamas ( thanks Etihad!)
- Marriott Rewards: 70k per night
- Status: Gold Elite
- Upgrade given: Club level
- Ritz credit card 140k or Marriott 80k for both business and personal.
- The points for this were made from banking a timeshare.
Once you’re through the main lobby and the porters have collected your bags it’s off to the 45th floor for check in. The lobby is YUUUUUUUUUUGE, beautiful, elegant, and aromatic.
At check in we were treated with the utmost respect. This is my first time to Japan and it is overwhelmingly the most deferential culture I’ve been to, and made me quite aware of how blase I can be in my day to day life. One of the many reasons I love travel is experiencing the lessons a different culture and society can teach you.
The lobby has floor to ceiling windows with panoramic views of downtown Tokyo. Apparently on a clear day you have the ability, from certain parts of the hotel, of seeing Mt Fuji. The only Fuji I saw was the apples that were laid out as compliments de la maison. It is stunning and very luxurious.
We were checked in very swiftly and told that we had been upgraded to the club level, however; there were no twin bedded rooms. So they offered a complimentary roll-a-way bed. They also asked us to bear with them because the normal lounge was under construction and they were using a converted suite to now accommodate the temporary lounge.
We were given a club King which they then brought in a Roll-a-way bed in later in the afternoon. The only thing that was slightly awkward and I attribute this to culture was the fact that a guest relations manager actually accompanied us to the room…and then stayed there explaining lots of different features of the room. It was one of those luxuries that, perhaps for high end Japanese clients is expected, but for me, Dave, and especially Miles ( he has no patience) was overkill. It was done with deference and the best of intentions, but all we wanted to do was lay down and rest after traveling for 26+ hours. But, hey, I’d rather have customer service be too much than too little, and it served as one of those little accoutrements that we will always awkwardly remember and laugh about.
I LOVE when they have the controls next to the bed. 5 star should mean you can be luxuriously lazy 😉
I loved the bathroom…especially the toilet…Is that weird?
It was very spacious. In fact I can’t believe the size of this room and bathroom – dual vanities, big walk in shower, and a great sized soaker tub – in the middle of Minato. The typical room in Tokyo is a postage stamp and this was large for any room, anywhere. It was outfitted with full vanity kits…we’re talking razor, shaving cream, filing board, etc. It also had supremely high end Asprey products. I mean…I socked away in excess of $50 worth of products. Thanks RITZ!
The Throne was built for a King.
For anyone who has traveled through Japan you will already know that the toilets are incredible. Every go at the bathroom is like a spa treatment for your bum. It gets heated, washed, dried, and to top it all off…you never even have to open up the lid. It even self cleans! Needless to say… I spent quite a bit of time researching how much it would cost to outfit my home in the States with one….A lot – I’ll leave it at that.
The shower with overhead and hand-held functions was outstanding.
We were actually on the floor that the lounge was located as well. It provides breakfast in the morning, snacks through out the day, a special High Tea presentation in the afternoon ( which is the same they charge almost $100 in the lobby lounge), and a cocktail and hors d’oeuvres hour in the evening. If you have Gold status – which is provided with the Ritz Chase Card, it makes this club worthwhile. However, the space is very cramped and I”m anxious to see what they do with a new lounge. Lounges are one of the main reasons I am in favor of Status, it just provides an gathering place with food and drink that would otherwise cost a pretty penny in the public areas of the hotel.
The views are outstanding, but I’m not sure that the presentations here are really meal replacements. Certainly no where near the presentations at the Grosvenor House and if we were to have paid for the upgrade…I’m not so sure it is worth it.
Here’s a pic of the pool…they were all over us, to the point where we couldn’t snap a pic. Which, in all honesty, I get because if I were swimming in the pool I wouldn’t want some dude carrying Miles around taking selfies to catch a glimpse of me getting my Phelps on.
The value of the hotel lies in what the alternatives are in the area and the cost at which those properties could be had. Now…at 70k per night, we are talking Category 5 – top of the chart – redemption prices, and I’m not so certain I would pay this price again. The hotel is beautiful, an experience, and something I would highly recommend. But is it better, for my needs, than the Grand Hyatt which is 5 mins away? Or the Intercontinental…which is right down the street? I dunno.
The other part of the hotel that makes me question whether it is worth the price is how I like to travel. I’m not a suit and tie, decked to the nines fashion icon. If I were a Kardashian…this is the spot. But I’m not. And comparing it to the ICON OF TOKYO – PARK HYATT… I would say that this hotel BLOWS IT AWAY in terms of class and style. So, if you like to “feel the fancy” then this could very well be your spot. But, I tend to feel most comfortable in places that I can be in jeans and a t-shirt ( LA has warped me, I know) and not feel like I stick out like a sore thumb or that I’m in some way offending people…or that they think I’m poor and shouldn’t be in the place – which I’m quite certain some people thought.
If you’re looking for a superb, high quality, experiential, and luxurious hotel then this one could fit the bill. If you’re swimming in Marriott points, like a lot of corporate travelers are, you most certainly won’t be disappointed and will be impressed with this hotel. If you’re looking to make use of the Marriott points conversion trick to United and are going to be going through Tokyo, this could be a perfect option to transfer lots of points to an airline partner 1 to 1.
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