On my last trip to Tokyo, I checked out the 777-300ER Business Class product on Singapore Airlines when I flew from Singapore to Haneda. Since it was a pretty early flight, I decided to spend the night before at what is perhaps the best transit hotel in Singapore in Terminal One - the Aerotel Singapore. Since Tokyo is notorious for her average room rates (especially when you stay in an internationally-branded hotel chain), I decided to redeem some of my Hilton HHonors Points at the Hilton Tokyo - the rooms are generally 50,000 Hilton HHonors Points a night but you do get the fifth night free so my five-night stay at this centrally-located hotel in Shinjuku costed me only 200,000 Hilton HHonors Points (as opposed to an average room rate of S$650 a night during the month that I visit).
Getting from Haneda Airport to Hilton Tokyo is relatively fuss-free and since taxi fares are well-known to be extremely high in Tokyo, I decided to opt for the Airport Limousine Bus (yes, an oxymoron) instead. The Airport Limousine Bus takes about 60-75 minutes from Haneda Airport and it costs ¥1,230 (SGD 15) per adult - this is significantly lower than how much the Hilton Tokyo Limousine (¥23,000 or SGD 282) and Taxi (¥12,000 or SGD 147) cost.
Since I was spending my birthday in Tokyo and more specifically the Hilton Tokyo, I really wanted to be upgraded into a Junior Suite but I did not have any luck at all despite having top-tier Diamond status with the Hilton HHonors program. Thankfully I was given a King Executive Room instead of the Queen Hilton which I have initially redeemed for (seriously, a Queen bed in an international hotel?!). Actually the room I stayed in was probably more accurately a King Hilton Room with Executive Lounge access (Hilton HHonors Diamond benefit). The room itself is pretty small but I guess it is generally considered to be of a decent-size according to Tokyo averages (seriously, everything feels smaller here!).
The room comes with 30 sqm of space and it comes equipped with a traditional shoji screen and fusuma - I love the traditional touches but do note that these are not like blackout curtains at all. There is a large working desk and WiFi is complimentary so long you have elite status in the Hilton HHonors program. Do note that the power sockets do not cater to international plug types so you definitely have to bring your own universal adapters (especially if you have a number of devices). I did not try asking the hotel for one but I suppose they will have some on standby - there were none in the room (which is surprising since Hiltons are generally business hotels) though!
The room also features a comfortable Hilton Serenity Bed and as I have mentioned before, I was lucky enough to be 'upgraded' into a King Hilton Room instead of a Queen Hilton one but they generally cost the same for redemption - at the time of reservation I could only find a Queen Hilton one. There is also a chair and a small ottoman (both showing signs of age) by the side of the bed which is a nice spot to take in the beautiful city sights while you are in the room.
The shoji screens are great as a day curtain and the fusuma are better for blocking out light before you go to sleep but as I have mentioned earlier, since they are essentially sliding panels, expect some degree of light to come in.
Since my room was located on a pretty high floor, I had quite a good view of the city (but I guess the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II from Nikon definitely helped too) from the Hilton Tokyo. In fact, I heard that some of the rooms actually offer a view of the elusive Mt. Fuji so make sure you contact the hotel to ask for these rooms if it matters to you (or just head down to Hakone to see it!).
The bathroom of the King Hilton Room was pretty small and whilst it did feature a shub (and I generally do not like these), it was quite understandable considering how small hotel rooms typically are in Tokyo. There is also some kind of shower screen in the shub where you can use to basically stop the water from splashing out if you are taking a shower. Evidently, you should also expect to find the world-famous washlet here in Hilton Tokyo - if you are not familiar with the concept, think about them as an electronic bidet and warm toilet seats (always a great idea during the colder months!). Consistent to the Hilton brand standard, bath amenities were provided by Peter Thomas Roth.
Since Diamond status with the Hilton HHonors programme gave me guaranteed access to the Executive Lounge in Hilton Tokyo, I decided to head up during the evening cocktail hour to check out what they have. The drink selection was quite decent and the canapes were delicious but not enough to make for a light meal (unless you enjoy eating multiple servings of the same dish). It was also incredibly dark and crowded so I did not take many photos.
One interesting thing to note however is that Diamond members are also given the option to enjoy evening cocktails and canapes at an alternative location. The Executive Lounge is the default location and it is relatively big but Hilton Tokyo actually sets aside a special annex of the Presidential Suite for Hilton HHonors Diamond members to enjoy a more private evening cocktail experience - the food and drink selection is pretty much the same though. The food selection in the evening is also pretty similar across the different nights that I was there so if you are thinking about having a light dinner in the Executive Lounge, you will probably be having a similar dinner each night.
Since my birthday happened to fall during my stay at the Hilton Tokyo, I was given a birthday card and some cake for the occasion - nowhere near as fancy as what i have gotten at the Conrad Bali Suites previously though. With that being said, I was still pleasantly surprised as I did not mention that it was my birthday during check-in - they must have noticed (or have some kind of system in place) that my birthday fell during the stay at the Hilton Tokyo.
As a Diamond Hilton HHonors member, I had access to the Executive Lounge and I could also choose to have a full buffet breakfast at the Marble Lounge. Since I actually got up quite early, I decided to head down for a full breakfast instead. Marble Lounge is located on street level and it offers a 24-hour dining experience - children will also be able to enjoy the magic show on Sundays and Public Holidays here. Breakfast runs from 5:00AM to 10:30AM on weekdays and up to 11:00AM on weekends - it is also available at ¥3,200 (before taxes) if your room rate is not breakfast-inclusive.
Since I arrived at the hotel pretty late, I actually had my first coffee in Tokyo here at the Hilton Tokyo's Marble Lounge and I have to say it was absolutely delicious - that crema on its own was just drool-worthy! Takeaway coffee cups are also available at the buffet so feel free to takeaway a cup with you (especially during the winter season!) as you are leaving the restaurant. There are also multiple fresh juices available (including intimidating-looking detox juices) at the buffet so don't worry if caffeine isn't your poison of choice.
Breakfast was really quite good and while I try not to eat too much during breakfast when I travel, I couldn't help myself here at the Marble Lounge. The egg station was also pretty impressive but the Executive Lounge wins hands-down in this department.
I visited (and worked from!) my company's Tokyo office while I was there since I was low on leaves and I actually had time-sensitive things to do. Since Marble Lounge can get pretty crowded in the morning (especially when you are lazy and decide to sleep in), I decided to have my breakfast at the Executive Lounge one morning and was pleasantly surprised at the quality of food there - a small continental spread should be expected but the omelettes are close to perfection - the chef that was manning the omelette station did not speak a word of English which probably suggests how much emphasis the Hilton Tokyo places on recruiting the right person for the job. There is also an orange juice machine here at the Hilton Tokyo's Executive Lounge which seems to be a huge draw for frequent travellers.
The Hilton Tokyo runs regular shuttle services to Shinjuku (including the train station) but if you don't mind walking, it will take you approximately 15 minutes to get to the fringe of Shinjuku - I took the bus only once during my five-night stay here. The hotel's location is perfect and while it is definitely not a cheap hotel to stay in, you will definitely appreciate how near everything is - there is also a big FamilyMart (which I've spent way too much time and money in) about 3 minutes away so it is fairly convenient.
At just 50,000 Hilton HHonors Points a night, the Hilton Tokyo is a steal - even more so when you redeem for nights during the peak periods and if you manage to get the fifth night free. If you are looking for a centrally-located and internationally-branded property to stay in Tokyo, I cannot recommend the Hilton Tokyo enough. It is located to many attractions around the city and if you are going somewhere a little further, the underground pass right outside the doorstep of the hotel will take you to the train station.