The Keio Plaza Hotel in Tokyo has an interesting history despite its unassuming appearance. Consisting of two towers housing an impressive 1,450 guest rooms, the Keio Plaza Hotel was Japan’s first high-rise hotel, and for a few years in the 1970s was the tallest building in Tokyo – even taking on some damage from the eponymous creature in the Godzilla series of films.
Over the decades, it’s undergone multiple refurbishments to its current iteration as a modern luxury hotel with Japanese influences.
Join Australian Business Traveller as we explore the Keio Plaza Hotel and all it has to offer.
Location & Impressions
Nestled in Tokyo’s bustling Shinjuku district, the Keio Plaza Hotel is just a few blocks walk from Shinjuku station, making it especially handy for jumping on the metro and moving around Tokyo. Tochomae station on the Oedo line is even closer, and can be reached in just 3 minutes from the Keio Plaza Hotel.
With plenty of financial and government offices in the vicinity, the Keio Plaza Hotel is well placed for meetings nearby.
From Narita Airport the quickest mode of travel is the Keisei Skyliner, which should deposit you in Shinjuku in around an hour, although there are cheaper (and slower) public transport options available, and taxis or shared shuttles as well.
If you’re arriving via Haneda, take the Keikyu Line to Shinagawa Station and change trains to the JR Yamanote Line, exiting at Shinjuku station.
The exterior of the Keio Plaza Hotel is unassuming from a distance, but more luxe touches like the large awning and gold fittings become more apparent the closer you get.
I’m booked into a room with club lounge privileges, so on arrival to the hotel I’m greeted and taken straight up to the 43rd floor for check-in at the Club Lounge.
During the process the staff serve drinks and canapés, making for a fantastic check-in experience.
My Premier Grand Room (with club lounge access), offers up close to 35 square metres of space and is on the club lounge floor, which has recently been renovated. The décor is smart, contemporary and cohesive, and feels luxurious without being over-the-top.
There are a couple of different layouts available for the Premier Grand rooms, so specify that you’d prefer the 35.5sqm option over the 33.7sqm one. The larger of the two has a much more spacious layout, with more room to move.
The room itself is bright and cozy, with big windows and minimal clutter.
A king-size bed is accompanied by a chaise at its foot…
…and there’s also a small dining table and easy chair.
A small task chair accompanies a working area underneath the television.
There’s also a tablet on hand with a range of information about the hotel, dining options, and nearby attractions.
Additionally, there’s a smartphone version with a city guide and free data / local calls that you can take with you. On the nightstand you’ll also find a stylish alarm clock and a handy console for controlling the lighting and curtains from the bed - a feature that more hotels should offer.
A humidifier in the room can also be requested if you want to control the air quality.
The bathroom is comfortable, with plenty of space and separate storage for towels and amenities.
There’s a bathtub and a shower in the same enclosed room, which makes sense in Tokyo where space is at a premium.
The bathroom drawers are filled with amenities by L’Occitane, and everything is neatly packaged and arranged.
Complimentary Wi-Fi in the hotel is average at best – we clocked speeds of around 16Mbps, which is pretty dismal for Tokyo.
Working in the room is adequate – there’s enough room to spread things out, and also different spots to relax in.
The club lounge, on the other hand, is a great place to get stuck into some work. It’s generally quiet, with plenty of seating in comfortable, modern surrounds.
There’s a range of snacks and drinks on hand…
…as well as plenty of different seating arrangements for those travelling solo or in groups.
There’s also a dedicated concierge on hand during opening hours to assist guests.
A business centre is available for printing, copying and faxing requirements.
The club lounge features an open kitchen serving up a buffet breakfast with live stations, snacks at tea time, and hors d'oeuvres in the evening.
The towers that the Keio Plaza Hotel occupies are filled with dozens of restaurants and shopping outlets, so finding something to suit your taste is a breeze.
Within the hotel there are a range of different Asian cuisines on offer, including a few different styles of Japanese specialties, as well as Chinese, Korean and noodle restaurants.
There is also a French / Italian restaurant, which we didn’t sample.
With plenty of dining options also available in the immediate surrounds of Shinjuku, you’re spoilt for choice – a quick search on your phone will bring up a huge range of highly-rated restaurants, with almost every taste catered for.
The Keio Plaza Hotel has an outdoor swimming pool on the 7th floor, however this is only open during the summer. A fitness centre is also available for hotel guests.
If you want to experience a bit of the local culture, the hotel also offers a ‘Japanese Tea Ceremony Experience’ in a traditional room.
The Keio Plaza Hotel has a prime location in Shinjuku, attentive service and a boutique feel despite its size. The hotel’s décor is modern and welcoming, with plenty of amenities for business travellers - overall it’s a solid choice for five-star luxury and spacious rooms that are reasonably priced.