by Bryce Marley-Jarrett
Tokyo, the biggest city in the world, has a range of hotels to fit everyone’s budget. From hostels and capsule hotels, through to 5+ stars like the Four Seasons and Park Hyatt. Today we are reviewing our recent stay at one of the 5-star hotel contenders: The Westin Tokyo, located in Ebisu. Does it live up to its 5-star rating? Read on to find out.
Our recent stay at the Westin Tokyo was not planned. The result of an Airbnb in Shibuya being booked under the guise of “sleeps 10 to 12 people” and realising 8 of our 10 group would barely be able to live in there, sent us scrambling the internet to find a nearby hotel with available rooms and without a ridiculous price tag.
When the decision was between a $300 a night 3-star Japanese business hotel, or the Westin Tokyo for $300 and included breakfast for 2, the answer was clear. In minutes, we had booked the breakfast and room promotion at the Westin online, and after a short taxi ride, we were at the Westin Tokyo.
The Westin Tokyo was a welcome sight, especially after the prospect of sleeping on a semi-double fold-out bed in the middle of the living room. The hotel itself is 22 stories with 418 guest rooms and 20 suites. The hotel has everything you could need, including 12 restaurants and bars, a large lobby area, gym, meeting facilities, spa centre, and even a private sprawling garden that is so immersive you may forget you're in the biggest city in the world.
In addition to the above, the hotel is connected underground to the sprawling Yebisu Garden Place complex, filled with shopping, theatres, and restaurants, and connects you to Ebisu Station with just a 10-minute walk.
Let’s take a look at the three factors we review: Service, Room and Facilities.
Rolling up to the Westin we stopped and our door opened, we were greeted warmly by the valet. By the time we were out of the taxi, our bags had already been loaded up onto a trolley and taken into the lobby.
Check in had no wait and we were helped by local staff members quickly and with excellent English and a personal touch.
We were given a room with two single beds, which wasn’t ideal; however, after a quick talk with our check-in assistant Ai, she did let us know unfortunately that night they were fully booked and couldn’t change our room for a better arrangement, however she did say if we would like to come down in the morning and swap keys, we could get a king room for the remainder of our stay! The next morning on our way out, we went to the front desk and didn’t even need to catch up the new representative helping us: they saw the notes got us new keys and said they would be activated after 3 pm. During the day, the hotel took care of moving our bags from our old room to the new. Very impressive service.
Throughout the rest of our stay, we didn’t have much more interaction with the staff. Whenever we did come across a team member, they were very helpful, friendly, spoke excellent English and helped us quickly get on our way.
One night we wanted to go out and find a nice restaurant for some glorious Kobe Beef. We talked to the concierge, who was superb. She suggested a few options and made calls for us for bookings, however, they were all booked solid. She did have an alternative suggestion for us, though: This great little traditional Kobe Beef restaurant nestled away in Ginza. They didn’t take bookings that night; however she was fairly confident that we should be able to go and get a table. She then gave detailed instructions on how to get there as well their business card.
It turned out to be the best meal of our trip (and the review is coming with a guide on how to get there soon)!
So to sum up the service at the Westin: Spectacular.
The place you spend the most time in a hotel is the room, naturally. It is, after all, the reason you are there! We experienced two rooms this trip: our single bedroom and the king bedroom.
Both were similar in decor and style. The standard rooms at the Westin Tokyo are
I wasn't a fan of the decor of the rooms. The rooms definitely could use a refresh in design. They look like you're at someone's summer mansion in Maine or middle America. The rooms feature a lot of mahogany wood styling, even in the art. The furnishings looked new - with no wear or signs of age, it's simply that the style looks old. Hopefully a refurbishment of the rooms at the Westin Tokyo is in the cards soon, just to freshen the decor of them.
The Westin does have something that few hotels can beat: their Heavenly Beds! Westin hotels pride themselves on these things. In fact, you can buy them (I have been tempted to, repeatedly). These are simply the best beds I have ever slept on. They are soft, but still supportive and give an excellent night's sleep. I would happily look past the interior design for these beds alone!
Overall, the rooms are great. I pick on the style of the room as it is not my taste, and comes off as dated to me. However everything is of an excellent quality, from the bedding (the best!) to the amenities (like the bath products), which are all superb.
The Westin Tokyo is a massive complex. As we mentioned above, the building features a dozen bars, lounges and restaurants, as well as shops, a gym, spa and gardens; you could easily never leave the hotel and have everything you need (but who would do that in Tokyo?!).
The main facilities we saw was the main restaurant, The Terrace, just past the lobby, where we had our included breakfast each morning. It was busy every morning, however even with a line, you never waited more than 2 minutes to be seated. The service was wonderful and prompt, and the buffet breakfast was fantastic. It was a mix of western and Japanese offerings, as well as a juice and smoothie bar, and eggs cooked to order. Although it was buffet style, everything we tried each day was hot and fresh.
The complex itself is all clean and pristine, however, again I have an issue with the design, being not my personal taste, but also as soon as you walk into the Westin you could be in any hotel in America. It did not feel like we were in Japan anymore, which is a little disappointing. I feel a design that takes its location's style and meshes with its trademark style more appealing. However, they may just be catering to their main customers, as the hotel seemed to be 90% occupied by American guests.
The other stand-out part of the facilities that we used a lot was the underground connection to the Yebisu Garden Place complex. This was fantastic as we could get to the station quickly, or get a bite to eat, or a Starbuck fix, without being subjected to the outside weather.
Looking at a map, you may think the Westin Tokyo is not ideally located. However with this feature it makes getting to Ebisu Station a breeze.
The Westin Tokyo, as we're sure you have gotten from the above is an excellent choice if you're looking for a hotel to stay in Tokyo.
If you want a bit more space in your room than most Japanese business hotels offer, the Westin is the one for you. Another bonus for some might also be the hotel's positioning away from any of the busy hubs (like Shibuya or Shinjuku) while remaining close enough - a 5-to-10 minute train ride away - for when you want to be there.