As I mentioned previously, my wife and I flew into Tokyo not to visit (we had just been to Tokyo in April for the sakura festival) but rather to attempt a glimpse at Mt. Fuji as we rode the shinkasen south to Kyoto.
The Narita Express dropped us off at Shinagawa Station, which is adjacent to our hotel, the Strings by InterContinental. In the morning we would have a few hours to revisit some favorite spots before going back to the station for the next leg of our journey. We booked the hotel using 50,000 IHG Rewards points and were pleased with the convenience of the property. After exiting Shinagawa Station to the south, we only had to walk across a short pedestrian bridge and take the elevator upstairs to the skylobby.
All rooms at this hotel have views from a high floor, and there is not much difference between classic and executive rooms, so it is not clear if we got an upgrade. However, Megan, who is an IHG Rewards Platinum member, was provided with a complimentary Champagne or cocktail, since she is an IHG Rewards Platinum member.
Because we had arrived late, we dropped off our bags before heading out to find some dinner nearby. We enjoyed our drinks in the bar when we returned, and I was able to order a nice Japanese whisky. I was disappointed that this only covered one person; I had a similar experience staying at another IHG hotel earlier this summer and it seems like a poor policy.
Outside there was an excellent view of the city — or would have been if not for the overcast sky. You can still make out the profile of Tokyo Tower in the distance if you look for the pink lights on the right.
The bathroom was a little on the small side but not bad at all. In fact, relative to what you’d expect from a crowded urban city like Tokyo, the room was relatively spacious.
Bath amenities were by Agraria, a brand I hadn’t heard of before, but the lemon verbena scent was very similar to L’Occitane. There was also a collection of other items, like a dental kit and shaving kit, in case you forgot something at home.
Back in the room, I checked out the minibar. It was well stocked, including a full bottle of wine. I don’t usually partake of the minibar but it’s worth knowing since InterContinental Royal Ambassadors get free drinks as part of their elite benefits.
Even with the hotel’s location next to a train station and the open atrium below, there were never any noise issues at this hotel. I could barely hear the dozens of trains that continued to pull into the station all night as I watched. The hallways themselves were glassed in, so there was none of the typical noise reverberating up to the higher floors.
Throughout our stay the service was courteous and professional, just as you’d expect from a Japanese business hotel. The bell staff greeted us each time we arrived at the lobby, opening the door for us to the guest elevators. The hotel was especially helpful in returning a forgotten item after we left. Megan’s iPad had been left on the nightstand. It would have been too difficult to get it returned to us in Kyoto, where we were spending only a few days, but it was waiting at the Hilton in Osaka. Total cost for shipping and handling: just $8.
Overall we had a great stay at this hotel. It’s definitely in a business-centric location, so it may not be great for tourists. But it was relatively easy to get around the city by train. I previously stayed at the Andaz Tokyo and, while I liked that property, I found it less convenient to reach the rest of the city by metro. I don’t think you’ll have that problem at the InterContinental, and you’ll pay a lot less, too, while still receiving excellent service.