Award travel: Park Hyatt Tokyo suite overview

Park Hyatt Tokyo: Impressed, Not Impressed

This might come across as a real stinker of a review; by that I mean, I’m going to be a bit nit-picky about the Park Hyatt Tokyo. If you read other reviews about this hotel, a lot of people seem to focus on the dated decor. The hard product wasn’t the issue for me, but rather the sense of awkwardness with multiple service interactions. It is pretty close to what Kevin Hanson from Travel Codex experienced and our visits were only about a month or so apart (we were there Dec 2-4 in 2018).

Lobby

Don’t think of this review as putting the hotel on blast, it’s more that the expected standard of service is higher for a Park and for Japan where even 7-Eleven’s customer service makes you feel great. At the end of the day, we appreciated the opportunity though don’t feel any inkling to return.

The original decision was between the Andaz and the Park Hyatt Tokyo, but our choice was made for us as there weren’t any available awards night for the Andaz. Both Ryan and I had done a bit of reading on both properties and were aware of the pros and cons; we were excited to spend 2 nights at either.

Library
View from lobby

We used 60,000 Hyatt points plus a suite upgrade; being that this hotel is more of a business location, we figured we’d have competition for the complimentary Globalist upgrade. The equivalent cash booking would have been ~$1000/night for the Park King Suite.

Handmade candy gift and welcome card
Living area

Let’s start with the positives. The room was over 1000 sq. ft which is downright palatial in Tokyo. We found the room’s spaciousness and amenities to be thoughtful. Even though we don’t like sweets, the handmade candy was a nice welcome gift. Also, who doesn’t love a smart toilet; this one senses your approach. In addition to the standard capsule coffee machines, there’s also a nice tea set which added to the ambiance. I also liked that the privacy shutters let in light and afford a view, yet their angled slats maintain complete privacy.

The bed was super comfortable and was really welcomed as we both were slightly under the weather towards the end of the trip. Ryan raved about the tub which he must have used 4-5 times in 2 days in addition to the separate shower (which would have been superb if it was a rain shower).

The room had a very long hallway which had a large closet, additional vanity and art displays. As mentioned in the introduction, a lot of other reviewers mentioned that the decor is a bit staid. While I prefer a more modern look, there is something special about a hotel room that has a sense of time and place. I appreciate that it felt like home; sometimes hotel rooms are so “on-point” that one never feels fully at ease.

Those keys

I am a bit ambivalent about the physical room keys; they’re definitely unique, but they don’t transport well in the pocket. I know I can just drop them off for safe-keeping, but that’s annoying if I’m just going to breakfast or the bar.

Where it became hard to fully enjoy the hotel was the service portion. For sure, the staff was friendly, but seemed somewhat unaware, mechanical and distant. Perhaps, that’s what the business clientele here prefer. I wouldn’t attribute it to something lost in the translation (ah, it’s hard to write about this hotel without alluding to the movie), or the culture as we were at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto a week before that and felt great at every interaction with their staff.

The most evident was during breakfast where on day 1, we waited about 10 minutes for coffee and on day 2, I had to flag someone down to order from the menu — the place was not busy, I could see unoccupied staff and I did not get up to take anything from the buffet (meaning I’m ordering a la carte). I also wished that they would ask for seating preference. It’s not so much that I minded where they sat us, but it’s just that little touch of customized experience that ups the level of satisfaction. As for the food itself, the a la carte dishes, especially the Japanese breakfast set, were nicely presented, though flavor-wise, there wasn’t a wow moment. The buffet had a pretty nice selection and is a much better value.

In another example of awkward interaction, I had some cards and letters to mail. It’s an unpublished Globalist benefit, but I’ve had postcards and letters mailed on the house. As such, I don’t expect them to mail it for free and I always ask where I can go to post them. The gentleman who helped me asked if I wanted to go to the post office or have them mail for me. I asked him if it was possibly complimentary for Globalist and he told me that the service is free for the postcards, but they charge for the stamps on the letters. I said okay, but then we never got charged when checking out. Granted that it was nice to not have to pay, and I can also see why some would think that they were doing me a favor. However, at the Park Hyatt Seoul and Park Hyatt Sydney, they just did a quick room lookup and told me they’d take care of it. I prefer the latter method as I then didn’t have to think about it.

Part of the Globalist benefit is free happy hour at the Peak Bar during their Twilight Time; otherwise, it’s 4800 JPY plus taxes (~$50). Here too, we sat a while before staff came over. I would have liked if they asked if this was our first time and explain, accordingly, what’s on offer for drinks and snacks. On the plus side, there was a broad selection of drinks and snacks. On our last night, we also went up to the New York Bar to listen to jazz and have a drink. That seemed to be the place that everyone went to.

So I apologize again for making a mountain out of a mole hill. Really, the overall experience was positive and we enjoyed ending our trip in such a nice hotel and room. If I wasn’t trying to help readers make a more informed decision, I probably wouldn’t even stress the interactions.

Ryan’s favorite — the tub

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