Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo / Hotel WBF Art Stay Superior Double Room Review – Non-Smoking

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Superior Double Room

Our top value hotel pick in Sapporo, Japan
There are a lot of hotels right in the heart of Sapporo, and most of them are close to public transport. We wanted one within walking distance from the Sapporo TV Tower though, so we picked the Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo / Hotel WBF Art Stay and booked a Superior Double Non-Smoking room. In addition to the excellent location, it also has high guest ratings on HotelsCombined and has car parking available for a decent price, something that can be in short supply around the heart of the city. It’s a little confusing when comparing prices because the hotel has recently changed its name from Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo to Hotel WBF Art Stay. On some booking sites and Google Maps, it is still going by the old name.

A quick question

If you’ve stayed here as well, either in a deluxe twin room, or another room category, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’d also like to know what your favourite things to do in the area are. Let me know in the comments after this article!

Disclaimer:

This article is all our own experience. Our booking was paid for by us, and no part of it was free or subsidised. That said, many of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click it and make a booking or purchase. I hope that you’ll use these links anytime you need to book a place to stay or activity! These small commissions help me to keep travelling so I can write and film more travel guides for you. I would never recommend anything I don’t or would not personally use!

Why we chose to stay at the Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo / Art Stay

Our primary reason for selecting this hotel is the location. It is right in the heart of Sapporo, but more importantly, it’s in easy walking distance to the Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park. Being right here is important because we were travelling by car and didn’t want to have to pay for parking both at the tower and at the hotel.

Our secondary reasons for this choice were:

  • Car parking is available on-site at a reasonable rate.
  • The high average ratings by guests. It gets an average overall rating above 8 according to HotelsCombined reviews.
  • The rate included breakfast.
  • We liked the look of the room in the photos; it looked modern and comfortable.
  • Everywhere was expensive during Obon Festival when we visited, but this was one of the cheaper options that met our criteria.

About Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo / Art Stay and the Superior Double Room

This hotel is extremely well located in the heart of Sapporo and holds a three-star rating. In spite of a big sign, it’s a little bit inconspicuous from outside with a partially hidden entry-way, but inside there are some neat little surprises. Reception is open late but is not 24 hours, so make sure to confirm your check-in time with them in advance, and carry your keycard when you leave just in case. You need it to get back into the building at night. Opposite the reception desk is a nice little surprise. Free drinks and snacks in the hotel lounge!!!

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Free Lounge
Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Free Lounge

Besides the obligatory coffee that you can expect pretty much anywhere in Japan, the free drinks include orange juice, wine, iced tea, Appletiser, mineral water, and assorted teas. Snacks include mixed nuts and other small finger foods. I found the nibblies quickly disappeared each time more were brought out.

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Foyer Coffee Machine
Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Foyer Coffee Machine

The lounge itself is a surprisingly quiet, relaxing space. Even though it’s located at the front of the hotel and right next to reception, the area is relatively peaceful, and the lounges are comfortable. We had too much to do to spend a lot of time here, but it’s great that it is available to chill in during check-in and out or while you are waiting for a taxi.

Check-in

I was surprised actually at how little English the front desk staff knew. I don’t expect anyone to speak English in Japan, but I’d read that hotels in Sapporo typically have someone on all the time that knows some English due to its popularity with Australian tourists in snow season. So just keep in mind that you might need to do some charades. That said, the check-in process itself was very straightforward. As is usual for foreign travellers in Japan, they have to take a photocopy of the passports of all guests, and they have English paperwork available for everything else.

Matt checking in at Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo
Matt checking in at Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo

The only thing that presented a bit of a challenge with the language barrier was organising parking for our hire car. We had to communicate how big it was so they could determine if it would fit. Fortunately, we were parked near their side window so I could point to it. Then they had to communicate how the multi-story carpark worked and what we had to do to get in and out. So, here’s a quick rundown on how it works:

  1. Drive into the car park entrance behind the reception area.
  2. Get your bags out of the car as well as anything else you will need for the night.
  3. Wait for hotel staff to come out if they aren’t already there.
  4. Once staff open the doors to the car lift, they will direct you to drive in.
  5. Hop out carefully as the surfaces are uneven, and head on out.
  6. They will give you a ticket that indicates what number you are as well as a receipt that assigns your ticket number to your room number. The ticket is required to get your car out.
Parking Ticket and Receipt
Parking Ticket and Receipt

When you need to get the car out in the morning, just give them your ticket at reception, and they will get your car ready for you. Once it’s all ready, someone will come and get you, and you are all good to go!

Our car all ready to go from the Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo car park
Our car all ready to go from the Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo car park

The Superior Double Room

The superior double room is quite small. We were in 602, which is at the end of a hallway.

The small size seems prominent because it has an enormous king size bed squeezed into it, which is fantastic! In spite of the cosy size, it does have everything that you need in it.

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Superior Double Room
Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Superior Double Room

The decor is simple with an earthy colour scheme and floral patterns. It’s quite elegant and feels very upmarket.

The room includes the typical things you might expect, including a TV, fridge, work desk and air purifier. You’ll also find an ice bucket, shoe horn and polisher, and slippers.

You may have noticed there is also a tall window at the end of the room. It opens, however, it falls into the room about 10cm from the top, meaning you have to push the weight of the window back up to close it, and you can’t see much outside. What you can see is just the wall of another building about 1-2 metres away.

There is free wifi included with the room rate, and while the speed wasn’t brilliant, it was sufficient.

The bathroom

The bathroom is small, pretty similar to most Japanese pod bathrooms. However, that also means it has identical inclusions, such as a bidet toilet, and a little bath with overhead shower. It’s entirely sufficient for two people passing through but could start to feel a bit claustrophobic for an extended stay.

How did we sleep?

The bed is quite firm, but not hard. We found it quite comfortable as stomach sleepers. It is firmer than most hotel beds in Australia, but we got a great sleep. Not to mention, being a king size bed, you hardly even notice you are sharing it. Now, it isn’t a real king. It is two mattresses pushed together to make a king, so you do have that join down the middle. That said, the join wasn’t particularly prominent like it can sometimes be.

How was breakfast?

Breakfast was buffet style in the hotel restaurant, Tapio Sweets Garden.

Tapio Sweets Garden Bar
Tapio Sweets Garden Bar

The atmosphere here is serene. It is located on level three of the hotel and features a variety of both real and artificial plants and vines. These plants serve both to freshen the space and block out some of the city buildings across the road.

The view from Tapio Sweets Garden
The view from Tapio Sweets Garden

The tables look like they belong in an outdoor setting so combined with the plants you almost forget you are inside.

Outdoor atmosphere indoors
Outdoor atmosphere indoors

The food itself is decent and contains a lot of the typical breakfast buffet items you will find at most hotels around Hokkaido. The options include miso soup, salad items, fried food, steamed vegetables, rice, pickled vegetables, bread and bread rolls, teas and of course, coffee. A couple of the unique items we found here are Hokkaido Stew, a local dish, and kiwi jam, something I’ve never encountered before. If you are vegan, there are stacks of options here to enjoy!

Pros

  • Central location.
  • Close to public transport.
  • Comfortable, big bed.
  • The lounge is great.
  • On-site parking available.
  • The room is quiet.
  • Buffet breakfast available with plenty of options.
  • Recently updated rooms.
  • Free wifi.

 

Cons

  • Insufficient space for bags and suitcases even when we just had a small carry-on size suitcase each and a backpack.
  • Expensive around holidays and festivals.

 

Overall

We personally really enjoyed this hotel. The room was modern and comfortable, though definitely on the small side. The location was excellent with a MosBurger just around the corner for dinner and a short 5-minute walk to Sapporo TV Tower and Odori Park. The lounge downstairs was a pleasant surprise, and we enjoyed the overall hotel atmosphere. Breakfast was excellent with a wide selection of vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices. There was also plenty of English around the hotel with all of the hotel and breakfast information available in English as well as Japanese. For a 3-star hotel, we thought it was excellent and probably deserves a rating more like 3.5 stars.

Attractions near Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo

    

Getting to Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo / Hotel WBF Art Stay

If you are flying into Sapporo, you can rest assured that the main airport is nowhere near the city CBD, it’s technically in a different city altogether, Chitose. So to get to the hotel, you will want to either take a train, limousine bus, taxi or hire a car.

The address is:

1-2-2, Minami2-jonishi,
Chuo-ku Sapporo-shi,
Hokkaido, 060-0062

Train

If you are travelling by train, the closest station is Odori Station via the Nanboku Subway line. From here, it’s a short walk. If you push it, you can do it in 3-5 minutes. If you take a more leisurely pace, it’s about a 5-10 minute walk.

So if you are coming from Chitose Airport by train, you will first take the JR Rapid Airport Liner to Sapporo Station and then change to the Nanboku Subway line. Look for exit number 35 as this is the closest exit to the hotel. All up it will take you about 60-70 minutes from the airport.

Limousine Bus

If you get the limousine bus from the airport, it will take about 70 minutes to get into the city. The stop you want is Susukino bus stop. Getting off here leaves you about seven blocks from the hotel, or 600 metres so you should allow about 10 minutes for the walk.

Taxi

It’s about a 30-minute drive into the city, but this does vary depending on traffic. It can be hectic around the airport and on the expressway into the city so if you are arriving at peak times in the morning and afternoon this can be expensive and the train may be faster.

Hire Car

Prices vary quite a lot depending on what company you go with and how long you are renting. We usually book with Avis, but always check booking comparison sites, particularly in Japan where the multi-national providers aren’t quite so prevalent. In this instance, we booked with Orix through a Hokkaido-based travel agent called Shiretoko Tourist Co., Ltd using their Kakuyasu Rent-A-Car booking site. The airport depots are very helpful and have dedicated staff for foreign language guests, but you can still expect to spend a decent amount of time transferring by bus to the rental car depots and then going through all the paperwork. Once you are on the road, like a taxi, you can expect the drive to take about 30 minutes as long as you aren’t in heavy traffic.

You’ll take the Hokkaido Expressway into Sapporo, so In addition to the car cost, you will also have the toll cost. If you are a foreign tourist, you can get a flat-rate ETC card that will cover you for a designated period. Using one of these cards can work out the most economical if you are on the expressways a lot on your trip.

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo has 30 parking spaces available in a multi-storey car park (or as I like to call it, a car elevator). You can’t pre-book, so if they run out of space, you will have to park in another parking lot. There are a number of them within the surrounding area.

Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Multi-Story Car Park
Hotel WBF Sapporo Chuo Multi-Story Car Park

Rates and other costs

We researched hotels using HotelsCombined and ultimately booked with Agoda for AUD $237.27 for one night including buffet breakfast. The price we got was with a 10% off Agoda coupon. We were here during Obon Festival, making accommodation expensive. Travel away from festivals to save some money here. The room we booked normally goes for around AUD $90 – $100 per night outside of festivals and holidays.

If you need parking, the current rate in their multi-story carpark is 1200 Yen per night. You can expect to pay slightly more at some of the nearby parking stations.

Make sure you compare prices though as the best rates do vary, and some include breakfast while others don’t.

Opening hours

Check-in is available from 3:00 pm and check-out is by 11:00 am. Reception is open from 5:00am until 2:00am. However, the front door may be locked during night hours so make sure to let them know your expected check-in time.

Links:

 

Don’t forget!

If you’ve stayed at this hotel too, either in a deluxe twin room, or another room category, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’d also like to know what your favourite things to do in the area are. Let me know in the comments after this article! My personal favourite is Ishiya Chocolate Factory and Shiroi Koibito Park.

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Our top value hotel pick in Sapporo, Japan

First published: March 30, 2018, 5:58pm

How to get the cheapest accommodation (without skimping on quality)

Conrad Tokyo Corner Room View

Today I want to share with you my tips for getting the best price on accommodation no matter where you are travelling to, and remember, the cheapest accommodation doesn’t have to be the worst. We’ve picked up deals on 5-star hotels well below half-price by doing our research. Combine that with rewards and even options that are a bit more expensive to start with become far more affordable.

I use all the resources below when I travel. Many of the links below are affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you click it and make a booking. I hope that you’ll use these links anytime you need to book a place to stay! These small commissions help me to keep travelling so I can write and film more travel guides for you 🙂 I would never recommend anything I don’t personally use and think is valuable!

HotelsCombined

My very first step to booking accommodation is to research prices for the area. I always use HotelsCombined for this because I find they have the most comprehensive database of all the hotel comparison sites, including all the major booking sites like Agoda, Booking.Com, Expedia, plus lots of country-oriented sites like Rakuten Travel (Japan) and Ctrip (China). They also compare the direct pricing of many of the major hotel chains.

The huge variety of source prices in the HotelsCombined database means that not only can you be pretty confident of finding the best prices with minimal research, but you can also pick the best price that gets you reward points, be it Expedia+ points, frequent flyer points, or hotel rewards. HotelsCombined doesn’t list what points you can earn, but by listing so many options, you can easily see if one of your preferred booking options is the cheapest.

The other reason this variety is so helpful is that normally if you book through a booking site, you don’t get the hotels own rewards. For example, let’s say you book to stay at a Hilton hotel through Agoda. They will recognise your Hilton Honors status, but you won’t earn Honors points on the stay. Through HotelsCombined, you can quickly see if booking direct is the same price as a booking site, and click through to book direct, thus earning Honors points and quickly see if they have any extra deals. We did this with the Mercure recently and were able to add breakfast for $1 (for two people) on Mercure’s website where we would have had to pay $25 each for breakfast if we booked through Agoda for the same price. We also earned hotel points on our stay since we booked directly.

I also really like the fact that HotelsCombined is an Australian company, so using their platform is supporting Australians that are helping the rest of us get the best deal. Plus they have a great map view and pull in reviews from stacks of other sites!

My usual process when doing research is this:

  1. Search for hotels in the city I’ll be visiting
  2. Filter out all hotels that have a rating lower than a 7
  3. Sort the results by price (from lowest to highest so I can see the cheapest accommodation options first) and pick my favourites.
  4. View the results by map and see which ones are the most convenient.

If you would like to give us a commission on your hotel research without it costing you a cent, head to HotelsCombined using this button:

Search on HotelsCombined

Alternatively, you can also use the search box below. I get a few cents each time you click through to a booking site or hotel site from the HotelsCombined search results.

Airbnb

Once I know what prices and availability are like in the hotel market, we take to Airbnb. Airbnb is one of my favourite sites for accommodation, especially in areas where there are not many hotels and motels! Airbnb works similarly to Uber, allowing you to rent short-term accommodation from other people. We’ve seen all sorts of different kinds of accommodation here from houses to apartments, to individual rooms, to caravans and mobile tiny houses. Sometimes the owner might live in the house as well, and sometimes it is completely private. Some are just the basics, and others offer food and experiences as well. Every listing tells you exactly what is included and whether it is private or shared, so you can pick something that suits you.

We’ve used Airbnb extensively in Australia as well as the USA and Japan. We’ve always had brilliant experiences and particularly like it in Australia for finding pet-friendly accommodation. We also quite like the idea that we are renting from an actual person as opposed to a big company. Plus, you will often have the opportunity to talk to the owner who can give you some great tips on food and things to do (or not do) nearby!

Here my process is similar to researching hotels.

  1. Search for accommodation in the city I’ll be visiting
  2. Sort the results by price (from lowest to highest) and pick my favourites.
  3. View the results by map and see which ones are the most convenient.
  4. Decide whether to go with a hotel or Airbnb based on location, price, and amenities included. Free wifi is usually the big one here, but depending on our plans, breakfast or dinner included can also be a contributing factor.

If you’ve never signed up for Airbnb before, you can sign up using my link below and you’ll get AUD $50 off your first rental of AUD $100 or more, and I’ll get AUD $25 off my next one. It’s a win for everyone!

Plus, after you sign up through my link, if you want to earn Qantas Frequent Flyer points, you can book on Airbnb via the Qantas website here and get 1 point per AUD $1 spent.

Get $50 Off Your First Airbnb!

Agoda

Agoda is my favourite hotel booking site. They generally have some of the best prices, and rather than running their own loyalty program, they have what is called PointsMAX that lets you earn frequent flyer points or miles towards your preferred airline loyalty program including Virgin Velocity and Etihad Guest. I also really like their regular deals that give you an extra discount off their list price. These come via email, via their website, and via their app, all in different values and for different locations. So it’s worth checking them out regularly when planning a trip to see if there are any coupons available for your destination. It’s also worth creating an account because they usually offer discounts for registered users and email discounts based on your search history.

On a side note, I find Agoda often has more options and the best pricing in Asian countries.

If you want to give me a commission for your next booking on Agoda (at no extra cost to you), please start your next Agoda search using the search box below or by following this link:

Search on Agoda

Hotels.com

I really like Hotels.com, they have a great loyalty program that is so simple. It’s quite literally stay 10 nights and get one night free. In practice, the free night is worth the average value of the last 10 nights and can be redeemed towards the cost of a new booking. It is really easy to get to a free night, and redeeming it is easy. The only caveat’s though are that over the last two years, I’ve found their prices to typically be slightly higher than most other booking sites and their accommodation variety is a bit more limited. That said, they have a price match guarantee. All you have to do is send the address and a screenshot of a better price after placing a booking with them and they will honour it. It’s a little more effort to complete the form, but so far I’ve never had a price match request turned down.

Expedia

We used to only really use Expedia to book packages. You could often get flight and accommodation packages for a really great price through them. However, since they introduced the Expedia+ loyalty program we’ve been finding them more attractive for standalone hotel bookings. The Expedia+ program claims to give you an extra discount off the advertised prices, and each completed reservation earns you 2 Expedia points per dollar spent towards your future bookings. You can use these points as a dollar amount towards accommodation and packages to part pay or entirely pay for the booking. If you reach the silver or gold tiers in a year then you get bonus points and access to extra special treatment at VIP hotels. You can sometimes earn frequent flyer miles on bookings as well, but I find this highly variable.

Booking.com

Booking.com is another booking site I use frequently. They don’t offer a loyalty program, but they do tend to have more capacity and hotels than other booking sites, so I often find if the hotel we really want is sold out on another site, it just might still be available through Booking.com. Their pricing is usually quite competitive as well, and while I like the loyalty programs that other sites offer, a better price is still a better price.

If you’d like to use booking.com to book your next hotel and support my blog at the same time, please use this link:

Search on Booking.com

Alternatively, you can also use the search box below to begin your hotel search and support my blog. If you complete a booking, I get a small commission from Booking.com! It doesn’t cost you any extra, and it helps me to produce more great content and travel guides for you.



Booking.com

Entertainment Book

Entertainment Book is essentially a coupon book that is often included as a promotion or reward item with different services. For example, your first two years with Red Energy gets you access to it. There is also a constantly updated digital version of it. These coupons often include discounts at major hotel chains. However, that’s just one small part of it. Increasingly, companies are offering access to the digital version of Entertainment Book. Here you can find some great hotel discounts, particularly at premium chains. A lot of people don’t realise they have access or have forgotten about it. Make sure to always check it before you book anything. The deals that come up through here can be better than the best prices found anywhere online. You can also pay for your own membership to Entertainment Book if you wish. I get access to it through my Bartercard membership.

Hostels

Typically we avoid hostels. We aren’t big on shared accommodation, but we have stayed in some private rooms before, particularly in Japan. These can be a cost-effective option if you are in dire straits, but you can often bag a bargain hotel or Airbnb for not much difference if you do your research and can perhaps compromise a little on location.

Hotel Points

Like frequent flyer miles, hotel points let you get things for free. The more points you have, the more you can get with a free night usually being the pinnacle of your reward options. This is, of course, one of the best ways to pay since it doesn’t cost you anything. You have to spend the money staying at a hotel chain in the first place to accumulate the points though. This is part of why I like to book directly with major hotel chains wherever practical (and cost-effective). We’ve had some great stays at Rydges with free nights.

The other benefit of points is that you get other rewards at the hotels. Using Rydges as an example, you can get huge discounts at the hotel restaurant (up to 50% off food) and on regular bookings (up to 25% off plus free room upgrades). There is nothing nicer than spending a few nights in luxury after a long trip on a tight budget, except for getting it discounted and with free upgrades, or even better, not paying anything at all!

Look out for other ways to earn hotel points. Some car hire companies and credit cards let you earn points with particular hotel chains. The caveat though is that you typically have to choose between hotel points or airline miles, so pick whichever one you need the most or works out the best at the time. At different times, hotels may also run promo’s for bonus points, like the Connect and Collect campaign with Marriott Rewards at the moment offering up to 1000 points for connecting on social media.

Most of our hotel points come from staying at hotels directly.

Frequent Shopper and Frequent Flyer Points or Miles

Coles FlyBuys points can be redeemed for accommodation bookings, and most airline frequent flyer points and miles can also be redeemed for accommodation. I typically only use these options if absolutely necessary because I find you get better value using your points with your airline directly or converting your FlyBuys into dollars off your shopping. That said, they can definitely save you money on your trip if you have them to use.

Bartercard

I list this at the end because this is primarily business focused. However, if your business trades on Bartercard, you can find accommodation in a lot of places on it and spend your trade dollars instead of cash.

More tips?

If you need a recommendation or want to chat price hacks for getting the cheapest accommodation, send me a message on Facebook or post in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and hear your tips for getting the cheapest accommodation prices.

https://facebook.com/stillaslifematt

Toyoko Inn Kuko (Tokyo Narita Airport) Deluxe Twin Room 11027 Review (Non-Smoking)

Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Deluxe Twin Room Beds

If you are travelling to Japan via the Tokyo Narita Airport, you might have already looked at it on a map and discovered that it is a loooooong way from Tokyo city proper. In fact, it’s almost 70 kilometres from the airport to Tokyo Station in the heart of the city. That’s an hour on the Narita Express train, and up to two hours to drive.

If your flight arrives in the evening or late at night, you probably aren’t going to feel like doing that hike. Especially not if you’ve just been on a plane for almost 10 hours from Australia (Unless, of course, you can afford to do a 20-minute helicopter transfer).

Yeah…

It isn’t high on our list either. Fortunately, there are a number of hotel options around Narita Airport.

We went with the cheapest non-capsule hotel option. Since we only booked it two weeks before our arrival, that turned out to be the deluxe twin room at the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport, also called the Toyoko Inn Narita Kuko on some booking sites. Everything else below $200 and within walking distance of the airport was booked out.

A quick question

If you’ve stayed here as well, either in a deluxe twin room, or another room category, I’d love to hear what you thought about it. I’d also like to know what your favourite things to do in the area are. Let me know in the comments after this article!

Getting to Toyoko Inn Tokyo Narita Airport Hotel

If you are just off a long flight and eager to stretch your legs or just plain keen to walk, the Toyoko Inn is within walking distance from Narita Airport. Keep in mind though, there are three terminals here, and the hotel is not central. The Toyoko Inn is closest to Terminal 3, but as Terminals 2 and 3 use the same entrance, it’s about 2km’s from Terminal there and 2.4km’s from Terminal 1.

The address is:

560 Tokko,
Narita,
Chiba Prefecture
286­-106

Shuttle Bus

For those of us that just want to get to our hotel, get some food and go to bed, there is a free shuttle bus, YAY!

The bus is extremely convenient. From the Terminal 1 building, it stops at stop number 16 just outside the arrival lobby at the South Exit S2. From Terminals 2 and 3, it stops at stop number 31B just outside the central entrance to the first-floor arrival lobby.

The shuttle is normally every 20 minutes (less frequent between 10 pm and 6 am) and is not bookable, it’s first come, first serve. We found that there weren’t a lot of people waiting when we got on at the Terminal 2/3 stop, but a lot more got on at Terminal 1. Since each shuttle stops at both Terminal 2/3 and Terminal 1, it can take 15-20 minutes to get to the hotel. More importantly, if you need to get the shuttle back to the airport during peak time in the morning, it can take up to 40 minutes due to heavy traffic (it actually took about 35-minutes for us to get to the airport again the next morning, departing the hotel at 8:15am. So make sure you leave yourself plenty of time.

Please note, the shuttle information was correct when we took it, and still is at the time of writing, but definitely check their website for the latest shuttle information.

Taxi

If you would like a more private and direct route to the hotel, there are lots of taxi’s waiting at all terminals. A direct trip will still take 10 minutes under light traffic though due to the way the roads take you.

Fees and other costs 

We found the best price through HotelsCombined, which took us to Agoda. However, Agoda is also the only booking site where they don’t seem to offer breakfast as an inclusion or an optional extra. Their website states breakfast is included free, but without that clarity on the Agoda website, we decided to go with a booking site that made it clear. For only a few dollars more, Hotels.com stated that breakfast was included. For those few dollars we couldn’t have bought breakfast elsewhere anyway and I had a 10% off coupon for them, so we went ahead and booked with them. In the end, after using the coupon, we paid $96.93 Australian which worked out slightly cheaper than the Agoda price. Hotels.com is not always the cheapest, or even close to the cheapest (t wasn’t this time except for the coupon), and price competitiveness varies from day to day, so definitely check HotelsCombined for the best rates before booking.

If you happen to hold a Toyoko Inn Club Card, you are eligible for a discount if you book directly with the hotel, however, that discount works out pretty similar to the prices you can get via the booking sites.

There is a Lawson convenience store in the hotel foyer. We actually picked up some food at the airport, but you can get fully prepared and heated meals at Lawson and they are very cheap, as long as you don’t mind pre-packaged food.

If you are paying for your accommodation at the hotel, payment is very flexible. They accept cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Diners, JCB, and Alipay.

Opening hours 

The hotel foyer is open 24 hours a day.

Check-in is available from 4:00 pm (3:00 pm if you are a Toyoko Club Card holder).

Check-out is by 10:00 am.

Breakfast is served in the dining room between 6:30 am and 9:30 am every day.

About the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel and deluxe twin room

The Toyoko Inn Narita Airport was undergoing renovations while we were staying. These renovations had no impact at all on our stay, we didn’t notice any noise or disruptions. It does mean though, that there will likely be some newer room styles coming soon, something that is well overdue.

The hotel decor is dated, with the halls, elevators and rooms looking like they belong in another era altogether. That said, everything is clean and well-maintained. I’m looking forward to seeing what the newly renovated section looks like when complete.

Toyoko Inn Narita Airport 70's Elevator
Toyoko Inn Narita Airport 70’s Elevator

On a side note, if you happen to need parking, there are 205 spaces available at a cost of 500 yen for 24 hours.

Arrival and check-in

Upon our arrival, we were a little overwhelmed. As you enter the foyer, the front desk is on the right-hand side, and Lawson’s is even further to the right. The dining room and elevators are on the left along with vending machines. The shuttle lets us out right outside the hotel foyer, but there were people everywhere and there didn’t seem to be a clear queue for the front desk. Fortunately, it turned out that was because there were only two other people waiting to check-in.

The staff at the check-in counter were extremely helpful, their English was surprisingly limited for their location as an airport hotel, but definitely still enough to ensure the process was smooth. They also did a brilliant job of picking out the foreigners and making sure we were looked after and understood what was happening.

As at any hotel in Japan, the hotel is required to take a photocopy of all foreign guest’s passports, so ensure that you have your passports ready to go and this will speed things up.

After filling out our check-in form (which was in English), and getting our passports back, we were given key cards for our room, and a little gift pack for wifey that included a facial cleanser, facial oil and facial lotion. To our surprise, they turned out to be mostly natural products, and they smelled sublime.

The deluxe twin room 

We were in room 11027, which translates to room 27 on level 10 in wing 1. This is a non-smoking room, and you definitely want to check that when you book as both smoking and non-smoking rooms are available here.

So, onto the room itself. It turns out that level 10 is also the top floor of the hotel. We were exhausted and ready to go to bed, but couldn’t help but be a little excited at being on the top floor, even though we were only there overnight.

We're on the 10th floor!
We’re on the 10th floor!

Then we opened the door and were blown away by how huge this room is for less than $100 Australian! I’ll admit, the elevators are cosy, slow and seem like they are straight out of the 70’s, but it was worth the ride for what we saw.

Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Deluxe Twin Room Beds
Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Deluxe Twin Room Beds

The room is not only on the top floor, it’s also a corner room, which means lots of windows. The two beds, a queen bed and a double bed, back onto a sparsely decorated wall, and look across the room to massive windows. These windows start from about 60cm above the ground and run to the ceiling, covering almost all of the longest outside wall in the room as well as most of the shorter outside wall.

The beds face this huge window that runs almost the entire length of the room and up to the ceiling.
The beds face this huge window that runs almost the entire length of the room and up to the ceiling.

Even though the view is only of car parks, the airport, and roads, these enormous windows make the room feel even bigger and almost give it a feeling of luxury, somehow, almost.

The view out the main window
The view out the main window

 

The view out the side window
The view out the side window

Also in the room, you will find a lounge, reading lamp, flat-screen TV, bar fridge, safe, kettle, ice bucket, dressing table, hanging rail, and of course, the bathroom. The room is air-conditioned and has free wifi, and there is a little surprise in the bathroom.

The dressing table / work desk
The dressing table/work desk

The wifi is decent, but don’t expect mind-blowing speeds either. It’s comparable to what you can get on the National Broadband Network now in Australia. One thing to be aware of though, is that there is no written connection information anywhere to tell you which wifi network to use or what password to use. It turned out to be staring us in the face though. The home screen on the television shows those details in the bottom right of the screen. It’s fairly small, and parts of it are in Japanese, but it’s there!

The wifi details are on the TV home screen
The wifi details are on the TV home screen

This TV home screen also gives you access to a number of other features like on-demand movies, YouTube, nearby attraction information, location information, breakfast info, and everything else you would normally find in a hotel room compendium.

Last but not least, as with most Japanese hotel rooms, you’ll also find slippers, a shoe horn, and a shoe shine kit. It was surprisingly lacking pyjamas, shoe deodoriser, and an air purifier though, all items that are virtually ubiquitous at hotels in Japan.

The deluxe twin bathroom

If you’ve ever stayed in a Japanese hotel before, you are probably familiar with the pod bathroom. With its cosy beige pod, the Toyoko Inn is no exception. Inside the narrow door is the standard hotel bathroom found all over Japan with minor variations.

Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom
Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Deluxe Twin Room Bathroom

As you might expect, there is a Western toilet with bidet, hand basin, mirror, bath, and shower hose over the bath. There are two things that make this one a little bit different and a little bit special. The first is that the bidet is full-featured, in the sense that it warms the water before it sprays, and it blows warm air for drying your clean backside. Believe it or not, the percentage of hotel room bidet toilets that don’t dry your rear for you is quite high. There’s also a surprising amount that uses cold water.

The bidet toilet, basin and bath
The bidet toilet, basin and bath

The second surprise here, and this was the big one for me, is that there is a second shower head. In addition to the hose shower, up in the ceiling is a rain shower! I love these showers because I can actually get completely under them. At 6 foot tall, most showers are a little too low for me, and in Japan, it’s safe to say almost every shower is too low. So it’s not a big thing, but it’s just something unexpected that makes the experience more unique.

The rain shower
The rain shower

How did we sleep? 

An all-important question, especially if you have to be underway again early in the morning like we did. I’ll be honest, the beds are firm to the point of being hard.

Now when I say hard, I mean the carpet would not be much harder. We sleep on a firm mattress at home anyway since wifey and I are both stomach sleepers, but these beds take firmness to a whole new level. I didn’t expect to get a good sleep at all. That said though, we both fell asleep pretty quickly and felt refreshed in the morning when we woke up.

I should add to this, as hard as these beds are, this is pretty common in Japan. It seems to be a preference there, and these are not the hardest beds we’ve slept on in Japan either. It is however quite a shock when it’s your first night on one.

Come morning, we were appreciative of the heavy block-out curtains that kept the room dark after sunrise. So dark that when my alarm went off, I wasn’t convinced it was actually morning.

So overall, we slept well.

What was breakfast like? 

Hotel breakfasts are usually pretty similar, even in Japan, most follow a fairly standard model with fairly standard food. This one though was a bit different.

It’s a buffet style, and it was hectic. It seemed like every guest in the hotel was scrambling for food all at once. Some sections had a queue that appeared to be around 40 people long, and that’s not including those that were pushing in.

The quieter section at the breakfast buffet
The quieter section at the breakfast buffet

Top that off with it being the only place we went to on this trip (which included a lot of remote places in Hokkaido) that had no English labels and very few Japanese labels, and it made for an interesting meal.

The more hectic section of the buffet
The more hectic section of the breakfast buffet

If you don’t have any specific dietary requirements, then the labels aren’t a big deal. Even without them, I found it easy enough to pick out what things were vegetarian and what wasn’t. I’m sure the staff would be quite happy to help, but they seemed like they were pretty stressed trying to avoid the stampede while also getting the food out!

It would be easy for it to become a stressful meal, just because of the way people were behaving there, but if you plan out your time, there is no need to be stressed. Just avoid the busy areas. I got enough vegetarian food to eat while not queueing at all (except for an orange juice), so it is possible.

The vegetarian options I found in the quieter section
The vegetarian options I found in the quieter section

As at a lot of hotels in Japan, when you are finished your breakfast, you are expected to return your used plates, cutlery and cups to the dirty shelf where they are collected for washing.

Overall, the food we had was nice, nothing special, but there was nothing wrong with it either. The atmosphere was frantic, but if you plan your morning with some extra time, you don’t need to be a part of the rush.

Pros

  • Staff really look out for foreign guests.
  • Quick and easy check-in.
  • Great price for their top room category.
  • Rain shower.
  • Free shuttle to and from the airport that is easy to find.
  • Lawson convenience store in the foyer.
  • 24-hour front desk
  • Easy to access vending machines.
  • Free wifi with decent speeds.

 

Cons

  • Hallways are quite hot and humid in our opinion even though the rooms are well air-conditioned.
  • Breakfast is a mad rush.
  • No English and very few Japanese food labels at breakfast.

 

Overall

This is an airport hotel, and with that, there are a lot of travellers, both domestic and foreign. That means there are a lot of people worried about time and rushing around. In spite of that, our room was silent besides the occasional hall sounds.

The room itself was huge and had everything we needed, in fact, it was the biggest room we had during our entire trip to Japan that cost less than $300 Australian per night. It was also the cheapest room except for our night at the Tokyo Kiba Capsule Hotel.

The styling overall was dated, but it was very clean and comfortable, in spite of the hard beds.

We slept well, and really enjoyed the enormous windows for the short time we spent here.

So overall, I’d say that the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport is great value for money with friendly, helpful staff and convenient access to the airport and food.

We would definitely stay here again if we find ourselves in need of a hotel at Narita Airport in the future.

Attractions near the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel

Helpful links

 

Don’t forget

Let me know in the comments what you think about the Toyoko Inn Narita Airport Hotel if you’ve stayed there!

I hope you find this review helpful, and if you do, please share it. If not, let me know what else I can include and make it more useful for you.

Happy travels.

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