Shinjuku’s slice of heaven
There’s something about Tokyo that makes it a lovely city to visit. Syida Lizta Amirul Ihsan experiences the finest Japanese hospitality at a luxury hotel in Shinjuku
2-2-1 Nishi-shinjuku, Shinjukuku, Tokyo, 160-8839 Japan
81 3 3344 0111
From Narita Airport, take the Narita Express that runs every 30 minutes to Shinjuku Station (3,910 yen (RM152) one way, 4,000 yen round-trip). At the station, look for Central West Exit and the hotel is less than five minutes on foot.
The new Premier Grand Floors, with 100 club rooms and 11 suites offer excellent rooms with great amenities. Spread over five floors, this is a new category of rooms introduced in December last year for discerning travellers.
The Club Lounge offers excellent food, especially the Japanese breakfast set. Otherwise, the Western dishes are great too. There are two towers of the hotel, boasting 15 eateries and seven bars.
There’s a small park next to the Government Building where children skateboard on weekends and Tokyoites take leisurely stroll when the weather is cooler. Otherwise, if you are heading anywhere in the city, Shinjuku Station serves as a good base.
Harajuku, for example, is just two stations away and Ueno, where the famous Ameyokocho market is located, is 16 via the Yamanote line.
Excellent service - this is Japan, after all. Food quality is superb, room is exceptionally clean. There is not a single spot on the windows.
Nothing I can think of Station’s Central West exit, the bustling area is at the hotel’s doorstep. My usual dinner destination is the soba vending machine eatery where a hearty bowl of the Japanese noodle costs 430 yen, about RM16. There’s something about soba in Japan that tastes different than what I usually get here.
The Standing Sushi Bar is another favourite. There’s a standing space for 12 people and the chefs prepare your sushi in front of you. It’s the freshest sushi you can get, with the nori (seaweed) still crisp as you sink your teeth into it. Dinner for a small eater cost about RM25, quite reasonable considering Tokyo is an expensive city.
Oh, and did you know Shake Shack, the American establishment, is also in various locations in Tokyo? One is nestled at the far end of Shinjuku South, in front of homeware store Franc Franc and near Takashimaya. The outlet serves great burgers and excellent shakes for tourists wanting American food.
HARD TO LEAVE
I request for a 1pm check-out and had initially planned to go to Harajuku for a short spree. But at 9.30am, I realise that this piece of heaven doesn’t come often in Tokyo so I decided to stay in and savour my room.
I take a long, luxurious shower with the L’Occitane toiletries and wrap myself in the fluffy and super absorbent Imabari towel, a far cry from normal hotel towels. I notice the Japanese identities in the room - muted colours and Japanese paper making up its lampshade.
I appreciate the clean lines of the furnishing and the space. Ah, space is the best bit of luxury. I can unpack my suitcase, lay my things on the carpeted floor and still have space to move. I lie on the bed and wonder how many people test the pillow to get the right hardness that tired travellers can fall asleep the minute they close their eyes.
At 1pm, I bid heaven goodbye. It isn’t easy but the sublime and luxurious experience, for a mere mortal like me, is priceless. The Imabari towel comes from a region famed for its soft towels.
L’Occitane amenities in the room. The Japanese Tatami suite for families wanting to experience traditional Japanese rooms. The Club Lounge serves excellent breakfast, overlooking Shinjuku.
The Premier Grand room at Keio Plaza Hotel gives guests the luxury of space.