US Airways Club Charlotte
US Airways Envoy Class Charlotte to Paris
Hilton Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport
Star Alliance Lounge Paris
Air China Business Class Paris to Beijing
Air China Business Class Lounge Beijing
ANA 787 Business Class Beijing to Tokyo
Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport
Tokyo Narita Airport Hello Kitty Check-in
EVA Air Hello Kitty Business Class Tokyo to Taipei
EVA Air The Star Lounge Taipei
Taipei Airport Hello Kitty Gate
EVA Air Hello Kitty Royal Laurel Class Taipei to Los Angeles
Given that we only had a 19 hour layover in Japan we just booked the Hilton Tokyo Narita Airport. It’s definitely not an aspirational property, but one I figured would be useful to review, since it is very convenient for overnights near Narita Airport. We booked a rate of 12,000JPY (~$120USD), which seemed rather low for Japan, though this was my first time staying by Narita Airport.
It’s a good thing we booked an airport hotel, since the weather was horrible for the entire time we were on the ground.
Once we cleared immigration (which was surprisingly quick) we exited terminal one and went to bus stop 16. As luck would have it the shuttle was waiting there. The bus drive to the hotel took about 15 minutes, including a brief stop at terminal two to pick up more passengers.
The exterior of the hotel looks entirely like a hospital. ‘Nuff said.
The lobby of the hotel is spacious with extremely tall ceilings and plenty of natural light (in theory — the typhoon wasn’t helping with that). The lobby circled around the inner courtyard of the hotel, which had a pretty intricate fountain display. Check-in was located inside the lobby to the left.
Check-in was efficient, and my HHonors Diamond status was acknowledged. We were informed we’d receive complimentary breakfast in the restaurant and free internet. I was assigned a deluxe plus queen room on the 11th floor.
I was assigned room 1135, which was located near the elevator.
By Japanese standards the room was pretty big. There was an entryway with a closet to the right and bathroom to the left.
The room featured a firm queen bed with two nightstands. On the right nightstand were all the controls to the lighting in the room.
Across from the bed was the TV and desk.
On the TV dresser were some minibar snacks, as well as a welcome amenity consisting of a couple of bottles of water and some cookies.
Over near the window by the bed was a chair with a mismatched ottoman.
The bathroom was fairly large though felt very sterile/hospitalish. It featured a sink, fancy Japanese toilet, and a rather
ridiculously complicated shower with a bunch of unmarked knobs.
As usual, the toiletries were Peter Thomas Roth branded.
The room didn’t feature much of a view, so was rather quiet. The weather was horrible throughout the stay, so there was very little visibility.
On the whole the room was perfectly pleasant. It was by no means luxurious and could have used a renovation, but given how big the room was and that I paid $120 for the stay, I was perfectly happy.
The one thing worth noting about the room is that it didn’t have wifi, but after calling down they brought an Airport Express to my room. The wifi speed was decent at that point.
I worked for most of the evening and went to bed at a reasonable hour. The next morning we had breakfast at about 7AM, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such bad weather.
As I walked down to the restaurant I noticed that the waterfall in the courtyard the water was actually splashing upwards to the point that people were standing there filming it. Scary stuff, and I certainly wasn’t looking forward to flying in that weather!
Breakfast was served at Terrace Restaurant starting at 7AM, and the restaurant was packed. Virtually everyone at breakfast seemed to be airline crew. In one corner you had your 50-65 year old graying, bearded men discussing the Vietnam War and Obamacare, in the other you had your young attractive girls from somewhere between the UK and Russia, and in the other you had your group of more experienced ladies well into their 70s discussing back pain, etc.
The buffet spread itself was okay. Generally Japanese breakfast buffets can’t compete with breakfast buffets in most Southeast Asian countries, as they’re not nearly as varied, and this one was no exception. Even the Japanese selection was somewhat limited.
The limited Japanese options were actually quite good, though the meat looked like it came out of a Lunchables box, the eggs were as runny as they usually are in Japan, and the western selection seemed to mostly be limited to 63 varieties of bread. Unfortunately there wasn’t much of a selection of fresh fruit.
We checked out of the hotel at roughly 11AM and waited inside the lobby for the shuttle. Though the weather was marginally better at this point, the typhoon was apparently the worst one to hit Japan in 10 years, so the bellman apologized profusely that the shuttle was running “a few minutes late.” Of course this was communicated to us with a horrible sense of shame as if they had personally offended us, but sure enough they had a solution. “Please go outside and our staff drive you to the airport in their car.”
I figured I misunderstood him. I mean, surely they weren’t going to have their employees drive us to the airport in their personal cars.
Nope, that’s exactly what they were going to do.
We headed outside and one of the employees was waiting in his car, which was similar to a Toyota Yaris, and was clearly his personal vehicle. It even had a Hello Kitty umbrella in the trunk and a McDonald’s “holder” in the center of the console.
We were too blown away to take even a single picutre, but during that short drive he apologized no fewer than eight times and said “thank you for waiting” no fewer than five.
Anyway, the Hilton Narita Airport is a nice, no frills hotel. It could use a renovation, but given the price point and convenience it’s tough to beat, especially if you’re a Hilton HHonors Diamond or Gold member. Given how expensive stuff is in Japan, getting complimentary internet and breakfast adds a lot of value to staying here, in my opinion.