Review: Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

Filed Under: Marriott, reviews

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We had a total of four nights in Tokyo, and decided to split our time between two popular hotels, so I could review them:

  • We spent our first two nights at the Ritz-Carlton Tokyo, as I’m trying to review more Ritz-Carltons now that Marriott Bonvoy and Starwood Preferred Guest have merged
  • We spent our last two nights at Aman Tokyo, which would be my first-ever Aman city hotel (and I was curious how they’d do with city hotels)

Booking Ritz-Carlton Tokyo

We booked back before changes were made to Marriott Bonvoy, when a free night cost 60,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (now the hotel costs 85,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night).

Ritz-Carlton is the only Marriott brands that doesn’t include club access for Platinum, Titanium, and Ambassador members, though you can pay to upgrade to a club room, which we did. The cost is 35,000JPY per night. While that’s steep, it has been years since I’ve reviewed a Ritz-Carlton club lounge, and I figured that would be interesting.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo location

The Ritz-Carlton is located in Midtown Tower, which is one of the tallest buildings in Tokyo (until 2014 it was the tallest). The Ritz-Carlton is on the 45th-53rd floors of the building.

The hotel is also connected to the Tokyo Midtown shops & restaurants, which has a ton of great options to choose from.

The hotel is near Roppongi — personally I think it’s a great location, and there was a subway station nearby so we could easily get around the city.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo exterior

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo check-in & lobby

The hotel’s main entrance is on the ground floor, where we were greeted by the friendly bellmen and escorted up to reception, on the 45th floor.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo entrance

There’s a small lobby area with a flower display on the ground floor, but otherwise everything is on the 45th floor.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo ground floor entrance

The hotel’s 45th floor lobby is quite grand, with high ceilings and an open layout. The hotel opened in 2007, and I should note that it does very clearly have decor that reflects that. I wouldn’t say the hotel is outdated, but you definitely do notice that it hasn’t been majorly renovated in the past decade.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo lobby

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo lobby

The hotel has a huge lobby lounge and bar — we never spent much time here, since we had access to the awesome club lounge.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo lobby lounge

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo lobby bar

Reception was right near the elevators.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo reception

Once they identified us as club guests they brought us up to the club lounge for check-in, and then escorted us to our room, located on the 51st floor.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo elevators

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo room

We were assigned room 5124, located on the 51st floor (the hotel goes up to the 53rd floor, which is where the lounge is located).

We had been upgraded to a suite, which sure was appreciated. The suite had a large entryway, with the bathroom immediately ahead.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite entryway

Interestingly down the hall the bedroom was first, and then the living room (which is the opposite of what you’d typically see). The king size bed was so comfortable, even more comfortable than the bed at Amanemu.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite bedroom

The bedroom had a couple of dressers, along with a TV.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite bedroom

The living room was large, and featured a couch, a chair, and a desk.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite living room

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite living room

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite living room

There was a bottle of sake as a welcome amenity sitting on the table.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo welcome amenity

The room also had a minibar and Nespresso machine.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo minibar

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo coffee machine

We loved how spacious the room was, but the real highlight was the view. This hotel had the best views I’ve ever had of Tokyo, bar none. I was simply in awe the entire time we were there.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo room view

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo room view

The views were even more dramatic at dawn and dusk. Tokyo is such a sprawling city, and this really put that into perspective.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo room view

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo room view

Anyway, back near the entrance to the room was the bathroom, which featured double sinks, a bathtub, a walk-in shower, and a partitioned off toilet.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite bathroom

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite bathtub

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite toilet

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo suite shower

Toiletries were from Asprey, as is the standard at Ritz-Carlton. Personally I’ve always felt lukewarm towards these.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo Asprey toiletries

Overall I thought the room was awesome. I appreciated the suite (space comes at a premium in Tokyo), and while the furniture was a bit dated, the views more than made up for it.

In-room Wi-Fi was fast and free.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

The club lounge is located on the 53rd floor, and has five food presentations per day:

  • Breakfast from 7AM until 11AM
  • Light snacks from 12PM until 2PM
  • Afternoon tea from 2:30PM until 4:30PM
  • Evening hors d’oeuvres from 5:30PM until 7:30PM
  • Sweets and cordials from 8PM until 10PM

Club lounge guests also receive free pressing for five pieces and free coffee or tea delivered to your room in the morning.

The club lounge was a beautiful space, and frankly felt more modern than the rest of the hotel. The lounge was spacious, and never got too full.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge buffet

In addition to a main room with dining tables, there were cozy areas towards the front and back of the lounge with couches.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

When we first arrived in the lounge we were told afternoon tea was being served. I figured the afternoon tea would just be a small buffet with some muffins, scones, etc. And while they did have that, there was way more to it.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge afternoon tea

They brought out a full tray with goodies.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge afternoon tea

There was even a harpist performing in the lounge — what a nice touch.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge

In the evenings there was a full bar with beer, wine, cocktails, and anything else you could want.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge bar

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge drinks

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge drinks

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge drinks

The drink menu read as follows:

The food selection was very good. I wouldn’t say it was a dinner replacement, but in a city like Tokyo you don’t want a dinner replacement anyway, given the amazing restaurant options.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening spread

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo club lounge evening snacks

In the morning breakfast was also served in the lounge, and consisted of a tasty buffet.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

There was an omelet station in addition to the buffet.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo executive lounge breakfast

In the mornings I also appreciated that club guests can have complimentary coffee delivered to their room.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo complimentary coffee

The lobby also had complimentary coffee for all guests.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo lobby coffee

I can’t say enough good things about the people working in the club lounge, as that’s really what makes this place. They seemed to remember the names of just about every guest, and they were just so charming and filled with personality.

Yes, service is generally good in Japan, but what I appreciated is that they went beyond following conventional formulas. They genuinely asked how we were enjoying our stay, how many days we were visiting Japan for, etc.

They were also flexible, rather than rigid. For example, when we asked for iced coffees the answer wasn’t “no, we don’t have that,” but rather it was “sure, we can make that.”

So I have nothing but good things to say about the staff in the lounge, they were truly exceptional, and made the experience.

Obviously lounge access is expensive, though personally I love having access to a lounge. Not because I want to eat all my meals there, but because I’m always working when traveling, and especially when dealing with jetlag, I love to have somewhere to sit to try to stay awake while having a coffee or a drink.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo gym & pool

The spa, gym, and fitness center were located on the 46th floor.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo spa & gym

While we never visited the spa, the gym was open 24/7 and we used it a couple of times. The gym was large, had good equipment, and had nice views.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo gym

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo gym

The hotel also has a very nice lap pool.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo pool

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo pool

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo service

It’s rare that I’m delighted by service in a city hotel, but this is really where the hotel shined (if I hadn’t made that clear yet). 😉

The people working in the club were exceptional, but the same was true of the concierge, and all the other staff we interacted with. There was just something so refreshing about everyone’s attitude — it felt like everyone was helping because they wanted to help, rather than because that’s just what you do culturally in Japan.

Lastly, the concierge was highly responsive, and got back to us within hours when we emailed before the stay. There’s a restaurant that we first asked Aman Tokyo for a reservation at. The concierge there (who wasn’t as responsive) said that restaurant doesn’t take reservations from Aman Tokyo. The Ritz, meanwhile, secured us a reservation without issue.

I’m not sure the backstory there, but I sure do appreciate it.

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo bottom line

The Ritz-Carlton Tokyo is a well located hotel with exceptional staff and breathtaking views. While club access here is expensive, this club really is special, again, thanks largely to the people.

The Ritz-Carlton is no doubt a bit past its prime and could use a refresh at some point, though I still really, really loved this hotel. A lot of readers had commented that this is their go-to hotel in Tokyo, and now I understand why.

  1. This seems like a way more positive experience than Amanemu – if nothing the lack of rigidity helps!

  2. As of a couple of years ago you could add club access for 10K Marriott points per night by contacting the hotel directly. If that’s still the case, that would be a way better deal than the cash rate (as it was at that time also).

  3. @ Ben — What a ripoff for the lounge. I’ll stick with IC. This is a good reminder that RA is still the most valuable hotel status

  4. Tokyo is filled with great tower hotels like this: Shangri-La, Mandarin-Oriental, Capitol Hotel Tokyu, Prince Gallery (Luxury Collection), Four Seasons… Not to mention, superb standalone hotels like the Peninsula, and the Palace.

  5. As far as points hotels in Tokyo, I think the Andaz is wayyy nicer than the RC especially hard product although the location isn’t as good. Incredible views there too. Think you missed out on that one.

  6. “There’s a restaurant that we first asked Aman Tokyo for a reservation at. The concierge there (who wasn’t as responsive) said that restaurant doesn’t take reservations from Aman Tokyo. The Ritz, meanwhile, secured us a reservation without issue.”

    What!? This is a massive red flag on the Aman’s concierge service. Not only were they not very responsive, but then they’re unable to even secure a restaurant reservation, the most basic request for a concierge? This would hugely frustrate and anger me. When I last looked up the Aman for a trip to Tokyo a few years back they were charging double relative to other top-standard 5-star hotels like the Four Seasons and Peninsula. But then I started reading reviews from people saying that while the Aman was really nice, it wasn’t justifying the price considering how excellent 5-star hotels in Tokyo at half the price are. I don’t mind paying $1000+/night when I have to, but you just don’t have to in Tokyo, and they better deliver on the service 100% of the time.

  7. Totally agree with @Pedro. The Andaz Tokyo is incredible. Worth hitting up, especially with your Hyatt status. Much better than the Park.

  8. So 60,000 points and another $330 per night just for lounge access? What is a Marriott point worth, maybe a penny so nearly $1,000 a night? Wow. Certainly not worth it IMO. If you are going to Japan isn’t part of the experience to visit the restaurants and not just eat at the lounge?

    Well, at least this is for your business.

  9. My wife and I were there the same time as you and we couldn’t agree more on the service. There was a point a few weeks before our trip where I was emailing with the concierge almost daily for reservations and other plans and they were exceptional. As a Titanium we did not get upgraded to a suite, but thought that the regular rooms were very spacious, especially for Tokyo. Location was great for getting around the city with subway stations so close. We’d 100% stay again.

  10. Personally my go-to hotel would be Tokyo Station Hotel – independent luxury hotel (not a chain) which has that “Japanese luxury” aura – but rooms get sold out very often. Next in line for me would be the Peninsula…Four Seasons feels slightly overpriced since it does not feel like a top-notch five star hotel.
    (Yes I prefer somewhere with JR Yamanote connection and not far from Tokyo Station!)

  11. @lucky, I had the same issue at Aman 2 years ago when I asked for a restaurant reservation (I’d be curious to know which one you tried btw!). The reason is because a lot of tourists, especially Americans, are no show at the restaurants they make reservations for – they don’t bother cancelling. So a lot of those places (often the tiny Michelin starred sushi places) stopped taking reservations from those high end hotels to avoid problems, since it’s not like they need tourists to fill up their seats.
    So among all the 5 star hotels in the city, it’s kind of hit or miss with which ones will be able to make reservations at which restaurants. I assume it highly depends on the concierge’s own connections.
    Btw I agree with others, next time try the Andaz. The location isn’t the best but it’s absolutely stunning (I think it was reviewed here a few years back by one of your writers).

  12. @Lucky You probably expense that to PointsPro? Enjoying Club level with a tax deduction. Corporate America at it’s finest.

    Didn’t Ford have the Ritz card the gives club upgrade, or those won’t work with points?

  13. The RH Tokyo concierge was insanely good when we stayed there last summer (really, 2-3 months before we stayed there, when they started making our restaurant reservations). That’s a necessity in Tokyo, where many of the high-end Michelin-starred places still won’t take reservations from outside Japan or in English.

  14. I stayed here on a points redemption as a Titanium member. No upgrade for me. I didn’t bother with the club lounge and did breakfast at the hotel restaurant which was expensive but much less than the club.

  15. Re: the restaurant reservations in Tokyo issue… the hotel we stayed at would take a credit card to confirm the reservation and notified us that we would be charged a certain amount (I forget if it it was around $50 or $100) if we were no-shows. Seemed odd not coming from Japan, but we just chalked it up to local practices and we didn’t mind as we always make our reservations.

  16. Cannot wait for the Aman Tokyo comparison! The Ritz did look a bit dated in your pics and the Aman is GORGEOUS

  17. Wow you paid for a club. I would have thought that you’d have the Ritz Carlton credit card with free lounge when paying cash.

  18. I’ve done both the RC Tokyo and the Conrad… and the Conrad was far superior to me. Surprised no one has mentioned it. Best stay I’ve had in Tokyo (Staying at Aman later in the year).

  19. I’m getting a real kick out of your interpretation of the “aged” look of the furnishings and how dated they are. Notwithstanding the physical condition of the furniture, etc. what you’re looking at here would be considered peak japanese/western fusion old-timey-elegant interior decoration. I lived in the Kanto plain for 3 years and I can tell you they aren’t going to change a thing with this. It’s their interpretation of western, country club elegant and every japanese is properly impressed at the designers’ skill. I’d be most curious what days of the week you stayed here as if it was a weekend I wonder what the wedding mobs are like.

  20. I love the views and the breakfast looks delicious! Putting this on my hotel list for when I visit Tokyo 🙂

  21. I’m surprised know-body has mentioned the Grand Hyatt. It’s truly exceptional with a superb club lounge.

  22. I agree with @DCAFrank – The Conrad Tokyo is an incredible property with incredible staff and service. We have never had a bad stay there and the staff quickly become like family. After reading Ben’s review, I still feel the Conrad is far superior. That, and the Conrad Osaka are two outstanding and incredible properties.

  23. We did stayed at RC Tokyo last May. We normally not impressed easily but we were with RC-Tokyo. The service was so good. Their attitude toward helping the guest is embedded that you don’t feel you bother. We only have basic room but event that the view is spectacular. One of the best city hotel that we stayed in. We enjoyed also the mall next to it with so many nice shops and restaurant.

  24. My experiences definitely match this review. I’ve been to RC Tokyo 3 times (including last April for sakura season), and every time I find it to be a top notch experience.

    The room decor is slightly out of fashion if you compare to 5 star hotels built or remodeled within the last ~5 years (although not glaringly so), but everything is still very practical and comfortable. The shower is awesome, the bathroom layout is great for those traveling with company, and the bed is very comfortable. The service was always on point and the views are awesome, especially the panoramic views from the Club Lounge. Last trip was the first time I got Club access and I was super glad I did.

    I’ve stayed at other Tokyo 5 star hotels (Peninsula, Aman, Andaz, …) too. RC is not categorically best on any dimension, but it just ends up striking a good balance for a very pleasant stay IMO.

  25. Agree with Justin about some restaurants in japan not taking reservations from hotels and the reason why. I’ve encountered this. What’s frustrating is that when the Japanese concierge or other service staff can’t do something, there is rarely an explanation so you’re left wondering wtf. It’s just cultural.

  26. The RC clearly has a wonderful but somewhat dated, tired hard product with great views and excellent soft product with great F&B and service. Sounds a lot like most of the top tier hotels in Tokyo, including the Park Hyatt (even more dated), the Mandarin Oriental (just as dated), the Peninsula (even more dated and tired), the Four Seasons (beyond tired and with odd layout), etc. That being said, if you appreciate a Club lounge, the RC has the best of them all.

    For the record, the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho Luxury Collection property has a vastly superior hard product, perhaps the best in Tokyo after that of the Aman Tokyo. The PG also has incredible (and even better IMO) views, including those of Tokyo Tower and of Mt Fuji. The F&B and service are every bit as good as those at the RC, MO, FS, Pen, and even the Aman. The Executive Lounge there is smaller but is of very high quality (though I could care less).

    The Conrad also has a new and modern hard product, but I still put the PG above it–and the service and F&B aren’t to the same standard (or size) as the better Prince Gallery.

    I’ll take the Prince Gallery over any top hotel in Tokyo.

  27. That whisky selection doesn’t look very top shelf. Also, no Japanese whisky option?

    For the $330 lounge upcharge you could just buy a room at the Hyatt Regency and get lounge access through your Globalist status. The lounge has a Mt Fuji view. The Regency does serve an almost dinner in the lounge by the way, but you should eat out.

  28. Insane to pay USD300+, per night, for that club. Lunacy. At least you’re doing for professional purposes.

  29. Half the comments here: “Lucky’s review is wrong and he was wrong to feel positive about his stay and he would have enjoyed this other Tokyo hotel more.”

  30. @ Justin, Lucky, et al.
    The Japanese are really strict about high-end restaurant reservations – you reserve a table for two, you bring one person to the restaurant, or at least, send two people there. No exception to that, and cancelling a reservation is considered extremely rude.
    There are some companies that reserve a table for the company’s executives (usually from abroad) and then send employees/board members when the executives can’t make it just to keep “promise” with the restaurant – and avoid “losing face” with the restaurant.
    Maybe – somebody Aman had reserved a high-end restaurant for did not show up – and the restaurants simply won’t deal with Aman Hotel anymore…

  31. R-C is a permanent no-go for me in the Marriott program – no SNAs allowed, no breakfast for higher elites, no desire to pay hundreds of dollars just for lounge access.

    Give me a StR or LC any day (or these days, Hyatt properties for me).


  32. @Jay: Yeah, I understand that there is a cultural standard there with regard reservations that is different. I remember our hotel even had us fill out a paper form with credit card info prior to them making any dining reservations for us and warning us that we would be charged if we didn’t show- this was at the Capitol Hotel Tokyu. Still, in my opinion it was incumbent upon the Aman to sort that out from their end, whether by making amends with the restaurant in question, implementing a penalty charge for no-shows (like our hotel did), or by properly explaining to the guest why they’re unable to make the reservation.

  33. From the photos here, The Prince Gallery is head and shoulders more impressive as far at Mariott options go. We loved our stay there.

  34. fyi, Ford should qualify for Ritz Carlton Stars TA rates which are 65% off the normal rates. I find this property is easy to get that rate since it is not as desirable as other top Tokyo hotels (in my opinion).

  35. The Ritz Carlton Tokyo is amazing, even without an upgrade and no access to the lounge (that’s a problem I have with Bonvoy not the hotel itself). Great views, restaurants, service, and help. I tried to order a yamazaki while I was there and they were out (Japanese Whisky shortages are real ya’ll) and they gave me a free hibiki 17 year instead.

    Now for the newer points prices I’d say the Prince Sakura Tower Autograph Collection (say that 5 times fast) in Shinagawa is a better /deal/ especially considering all the Bonvoy benefits are enforced, but if you’re willing to treat yourself and know what you’re getting into, RC Tokyo is top tier.

    (Also Japanese 711 Breakfast is better than most hotel fare world wide.)

  36. My favorite Bonvoy hotel in Tokyio is the Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho Luxury Collection. Simply fantastic.

  37. Tokyo Midtown mall is amazing with great food options as you say. I live nearby. Can see my apartment in one of your room view photos. The park is wonderful. Pick up some food inside at the high end supermarket and amazing to go stalls and head to the park for a picnic. Do not forget to pick up some Maison Keyser bread that most likely will still be warm.

  38. Re the reservations charges mentioned above. Tokyo restaurants have a big problem with gaijin bailing on reservations without calling (to be fair this isn’t unique to Tokyo) a lot of the best restaurants are really small so the loss of a couple of covers can be make or break in the night especially as many restaurants buy produce for the number of people dining. Restaurants like this aren’t doing walk ups so it’s very hard, if not impossible to fill the covers at short notice.

    It’s led to a lot of restaurants either putting a no show charge in place, charging gaijin in advance, blacklisting concierges who deliver no shows or flat out not taking reservations for gaijin.

    Note I’m using the ruder term for foreigner here because that what you deserve if you bail on a reservation without calling to cancel

  39. Wow! I’m Going to Japan for my first time next week, and this is incredibly helpful information and advice. I’m pulled because I do have those RC certificates for upgrades to the club lounge left over from my former RC credit card, and their shelf life ends in October. But likewise, I also have enjoyed Conrad hotels, Particularly the St. James in London. And you’ve given the one in Tokyo incredible reviews, and I happen to be a Hilton diamond member with an Aspire card. No WA in Japan? Does anyone have an impression of the IntercoNtinental properties in Tokyo or the Sheraton in Kyoto? I have spire ambassador status, but except for Kimpton, the IC brand ranges widely in quality. And nobody gets breakfast LOL!
    I’m going to Toronto in a few days and I’m trying to decide between the RITZ carlton with access the club lounge and $100 YSD credit for the spa, or the new Thompson Hotel (part of hyatt) with a pool on the roof. The Toronto RC has a notice up that they’ve completely updated their club lounge; it’s open 24/7 with never-ending food and beverages. But Toronto also has a proud new Saint Regis, formerly the Trump ( they did heavy sage detoxification of the entire property LOL), and I do like Saint Regis! you get a butler, you know, LOL

  40. @ Ed — All fair, I’m guessing the restaurant had a bad experience with the Aman concierge, or something. However, there was a credit card guarantee required for the reservation, so this may have been more of a pride thing than anything?

  41. @Patrick Oh

    IC in Japan is very different, we’re taken over by IC in 2000s, and a lot of properties struggle to implement standards. Yes, you will get a nice room and such, but the soft product might lack, just FYI.

    I still don’t understand though why people want 5 star and all stuff in Tokyo where the city is plainly amazing and all you need is a bed and a shower. My go to is the 4 stars in Shibuya at around 100-130 USD as the area is more exciting.

    In regards to restaurant reservations I feel sad that international hotel guest screw the reputation up for all of was always hard, but the idiots no showing makes it even worse to experience the best sushi in the world and so on…

  42. Thanks for the great review. We stay at the Oakwood Premier Residences at Tokyo Midtown for a couple of months each year. The mall is great and Roppongi Midtown is a great location. I understand the luxury comparisons between the various 5 star hotels, but the Tokyo Midtown location can’t be beat.

  43. I liked the room (deluxe king), the views, and the location of this hotel. I felt the club lounge (upgraded at 35K JPY per night PLUS tax) was way too expensive during our late April visit. That works out to be about $400 per night just for club access. The food was interesting the first night but was the same every day (with minor variations) and the servings tiny (that is tiny plates). When we were there the lounge was busy and seemed understaffed. It often took 30 minutes to get a drink. Staff was always friendly. That said, I’ll save my money and skip the club next time.

  44. A lot of people are carping about the $$$ add-on for Club lounge access. They do add a large up-charge for Club access when you are on points bookings or a corporate rate. But with an advance booking, RC Tokyo often offers a 4 nights for 3 refundable rate for Club rooms that make them basically the same price as non-Club rooms. It’s called the Treat You package. You can’t get the same 4 for 3 rate with non-Club rooms so it really makes the difference less stark, especially when you consider the value you get from breakfast and any on-property drinks.

  45. @Patrick Oh, if you’re also visiting Kyoto, stay at the RC there, which is only about 5 years old and absolutely gorgeous, and go ahead and stay at Conrad opera something in Tokyo.

  46. @theluxurytraveller I agree about Conrad Tokyo completely. Stayed there for a portion of my honeymoon and found it fantastic, especially using HH points. It’s decor is so pleasant and clean compared to the Ritz.

  47. “and especially when dealing with jetlag, I love to have somewhere to sit to try to stay awake while having a coffee or a drink.” – Starbucks will cost you about 800 Yen and allows the same 😉

  48. @lucky pride entirely possible.

    I’d be interested in knowing where you went and what you thought of it. I’m spending my birthday in Tokyo and looking for somewhere to take my wife and I. No concierge to rely on, just my own abilities to secure a reservation with my slowly improving Japanese.

  49. @ Ben, Compared to Hong Kong, Pudong, and Moscow, and probably quite a few others, the Club Level offerings looks decidedly weak. My interest in trying Club Level in Tokyo has more or less disappeared after reading this. Sparkling wine? I was unhappy that Hong Kong has downgraded to Moet champagne, it compared to Tokyo I see I should not complain. And Tokyo only have lid day snacks, as opposed to a hot lunch. Really? And that at 35K yen? Quite poor performance.

    On a side note, the lobby has been renovated since the opening of the hotel.

  50. I looked at the photos on RC website. The rooms look much more modern (though not suites). Are they in the process of a renovation?

  51. My husband and I love Ritz-Carlton club lounges all over. Many of the other club lounges at large chains don’t compare. When we ask for something, they always find a way to do it, even in USA locations. In Santa Barbara, my husband asked for a tea pot, which they stated that they did not have in the lounge. By the next presentation, they had tracked down a tea pot from one of the restaurants on-site and told us that they would put it aside for my husband. In Los Angeles we stated that there weren’t many gluten-free options, and after apologizing profusely, they made almost the entire lunch gluten-free in the lounge right down to the pot-stickers. They even added gf signs for the food. In DC, the chef prepared special gf desserts for me at night. We’ve had a ton of more experiences like this in the RC club lounges.
    I can’t say enough good things about them, and I can totally understand why Ritz Carlton would not want to give this access away to elite members as it is a HUGE value compared to other chains. Ritz-Carlton hotels may not be the fanciest, but what you’re really getting is service. With that said, I would not stay at a Ritz-Carlton if I did not have access to the lounge, as I feel the lounges make the hotel.

  52. Not familiar with RC club lounge brand standards, but i remember Lucky’s review on GH Hong Kong’s club lounge offering Ruinart champagne, and here, after a ridiculous top up to RC club lounge access, only offering a Spanish Cava sparkling wine? I am not sure if the top up is really that worth it in this case.
    And yes, you shld go out and eat most of the time in Tokyo, so at least have better drinks in the RC lounge.
    Thanks for the review though!

  53. Hi Lucky, didn’t you stay at the AMAN New Delhi. Wouldn’t that have been your fist city-AMAN?


  54. Update:
    Thanks for the advice and tips! Def going to look into the Prince Gallery and Conrad in Tokyo and save RC for Kyoto.
    I’m 90% sure it will be the Thompson in Toronto. I called the hotel to inquire about the rooms; the manager upgraded us to a suite with a balcony and tub for just $25CAN nightly and it includes breakfast. The rooftop pool looks great. RC with lounge access was twice the cost with a smaller room!

  55. That’s some costly Club lounge access…

    In all honesty, unlike most other places, you really don’t need luxury hotels when travelling in Japan. I learned this when I went back in 2016.

    The prices of 5* hotels in Japan can certainly be eye-watering, and even 4* can be fairly costly.

    You’re at the hotel to sleep (and perhaps go to the onsen if it has one). Therefore, do you really need someone to help you with your bags? Do you really need an in-house restaurant? And… do you really need fancy decor? I’m sure most people would say no to all of these. As such, 3* hotels should be fine for the vast majority of those visiting Japan. Indeed, they usually won’t have a full service restaurant or help with bags, but quite a few of them will have very nice decor.

    I stayed in 3* hotels the entire trip, and they varied wildly from very beautiful places with limited amenities (eg Hotel Anteroom in Kyoto – HIGHLY recommended) to old and tired but with great amenities (Narita View Hotel). However, they were all very affordable for a single traveller.

    The room I had in Beppu was 85 square feet (TINY) but at around $35 USD/night for a Saturday night including FREE access to an onsen, and free (yet super fast) internet, I couldn’t complain, especially with everything else being more than 5x that.

    As for Kyoto, most places near the touristy areas were going for $150 USD/night or more for a single room. I decided that going a bit off the beaten path wasn’t a big deal, so I ended up paying around $48 USD/night for Hotel Anteroom, which absolutely blew me away – especially with how clean and beautiful the place was. Definitely not the most convenient location, but it wasn’t so bad.

    In closing, before deciding to burn points on hotels in Japan, or stay at western chains, it’s always a good idea to check out alternatives to see what’s available. Alternatives such as Dormy Inn or Super Hotel might offer far better value.

    And of course…when in doubt, always check reviews!

  56. $7-$10 wine in the c lub lounge. Wow. Cheap.

    Also, I think you use “outdated” and “modern” incorrectly in most of your reviews. The decor is neither “outdated” nor “modern.” There just isn’t much of a design to the decor. It is very plain like most Ritz-Carlton hotels. Very kind of institutional and not luxurious by any stretch of the imagination. You can have “old” decor that is nicely designed and clearly curated. But I find Marriott, more so than legacy Starwood’s St. Regis, often just has a random assortment of hotel furniture pieced together without much of a design attempt.

  57. We Visited Tokyo in 2019 and at first we wanted to stay at Ritz Carlton, because we’ve really enjoyed RC Hong Kong and RC Singapore. We then received some advices from friends and they praised Prince Gallery Luxury Collection Tokyo a lot, so we chose this one.

    We couldn’t be happier, service is top notch and at same level as RC. We had a suite with Club Lounge and has been one of the best Club Lounges we’ve used.

    @L Walsh, Me and my boyfriend work a lot (luckily we love what we do); however, when holidaying we love walking around all day but when we comeback we love to be pampered and some details that you find in a 5* hotel like Ritz Carlton is what makes the difference. Some people do not use hotels to sleep, but to enjoy, relax and create some memories…

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