The mammoth Hotel New Otani complex is the largest hotel in Japan. It is also
one of Tokyo’s most prestigious and the hotel of choice for delegations from
many governments and international organizations.
The complex consists of two hotel buildings (the Main and the Tower), an
office building (the Garden Court) and arguably the best maintained privately
owned garden in Tokyo. Banquet rooms, shops (about 120) and restaurants (almost
40) are spread out throughout the complex and cater to all tastes (except
cheap!). A revolving bar on top of the Main offers good and changing views.
We once stayed in the hotel for two weeks in The Main in room 444, which is
the Japanese equivalent of 131313 (with death specifically rather than ordinary
standard bad luck foremost in mind). I doubt they would offer this room to
Japanese and many Asian customers but it suited us fine. An error in the
quotation added free breakfast which generally cost from yen 2500 to yen 4000
(about US $ 20 - 30) per person. The room was spacious by Tokyo standards and
tastefully decorated with ample storing space. The bathroom had a small
waterproof TV but showed only local Japanese channels. Standard cable with CNN,
BBC, etc is available in the bedroom. All rooms have coffee and tea makers - but
avoid the plum tea like the plaque unless you are constipated and even then
there are more human treatments. The view from this room was a bit disappointing
featuring rather prominently the roof and air-conditioning units of the public
rooms. That said we were astonished the first morning to see Mt Fuji, almost 100
km from Tokyo. The mountain looked so close as if you could actually stroll
there in half an hour. We stupidly didn’t take any photos and never saw it
again the rest of the two weeks.
The view from higher rooms and especially those in The Tower is generally
nicer. The rooms in The Tower are also slightly nicer but there is not much in
it. I checked many delegations into this hotel and have seen most of the types
of rooms and the difference is not much unless you go for a suite. Rooms become
nicer as the price goes up but as the movement is from a rather high base even
the lower price rooms are nice.
Check in is remarkable fast and smooth for such a busy hotel. The bellboy
will accompany you to your room and remind you that tipping is NOT customary in
Japan. (Japanese restaurants and hotels manage to work the salary of staff into
the price of the services they offer.) Ironically many of the restaurants in the
hotel add a 10% service fee to bills, something that is usually not done in
restaurants in Japan except those in internationally oriented hotels!
Room rates generally exceed $ 200 but specials are often available on the
Internet or package deals and can go as low as $ 120.