Tokyo’s a crowded, industrial place, particularly around Suidobashi station. Yet Hotel Niwa resists the greyness by bringing the essence of a traditional Japanese Ryokan into this thoroughly modern hotel.
Through paper screens, bamboo carpets, low-level lanterns and backlit cherry blossom, Niwa echoes the past. Through free wifi, “western” style rooms and English-speaking staff, Niwa welcomes the international future.
It’s not just the flawless service that impresses, it’s the attention to detail. The baths have headrests. The refillable toiletries include hair conditioner. Massage chairs are free and each room comes with a selection of herbal teas.
The buffet breakfast in the French-style grill includes shrimp caramelised in soy sauce, miso soup, exquisitely grilled fish and pickles alongside the top notch fried eggs and hash browns. The Yukuri restaurant, where waitresses wear kimonos and food arrives like a work of art, provides a purer Japanese experience.
Rooms are small by American standards, average by European standards, leaving them almost palatial by Tokyo standards.
As well as the Suidobashi transport hub, you’ll also find the vast Tokyo Dome Complex and the off the beaten track Jinbocho bookshops and Koishikawa Korakuen Gardens nearby.
You won’t find room service, a spa or a fully stocked minibar. You will find a touch of luxury in a mid-range hotel with service that’s simply sublime.
Disclosure: I paid a reduced rate to stay at the Hotel Niwa Tokyo, however this review remains entirely independent. Otherwise, what’s the point? Find the breathlessly exciting disclosure policy here…