Old-School Cool: A Review of the Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo
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While planning a last-minute leisure trip to Tokyo recently, I was looking for a hotel close to a major station that offered a hearty and free breakfast, a functional gym and a touch of Japanese luxury. I stumbled upon the Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo in Shinagawa and thoroughly enjoyed my stay.
I was hoping to burn Starwood Preferred Guest points for this stay, since hotels in Tokyo are pricey, though it was tough for me to pull the trigger knowing this was a four-night stay and I could leverage Citi Prestige‘s fourth-night-free benefit. Both the Prince Sakura and Marriott Tokyo were priced at 40,000-a-night Marriott Rewards points (13,333 SPG Points) and ¥400 (around $3.50). I opted for the Prince Sakura because of the Japanese aesthetic and the proximity to the train station.
The cheapest cash rate I could find for my dates were $284 per night, meaning I was getting an effective value of 2.1 cents per SPG point, which was below TPG’s valuations. I decided to do it anyway because this was a last-minute getaway I hadn’t budgeted for. I used my Chase Sapphire Reserve for the taxes to avoid foreign-transaction fees and earned a whopping 43 Ultimate Rewards points.
After my flight from Brussels, I hopped on the Narita Express, which cost ¥3,190 (about $27) and got off at Shinagawa station. The hotel was a five-minute walk from there, which made it ideal for exploring the city. I could have taken the airport limousine bus, which provides door-to-door service to many of the major hotels, for ¥3,100 (also about $27), but it might’ve taken significantly longer than the train with traffic.
My girlfriend was coming in on a red-eye from Australia and arrived at the hotel at around 7:00am. They allowed her to check in early and gave her access to the executive lounge, where she had breakfast.
The imposing facade of the hotel carried through to the lobby, which had plenty of wood grain and stark design elements. It was centered around an enormous fireplace in the large foyer. There were cool towels in a basket by the doorway for visitors.
The check-in desks, concierge and bell desk were well-staffed with multilingual employees.
At check-in, Marriott Platinum guests got a choice of a welcome drink and snack or 500 points. I opted for a bottle of sake and chocolates, which were promptly sent up to the room.
Our spacious room was on the 14th and top floor. The bathroom was across the entry from the toilet and had a shower, tub with jets, double sink and all the standard toiletries plus some. The toilet had all the gadgets that make Japanese toilets so amazing, like heated seating, music on command and an automatic bidet. It also had a small sink.
There was a media cabinet with power adapters and a TV across from the bed. Near the cabinet were an illy espresso maker and a fully stocked minibar. The other drawers were filled with linen robes and nightgowns. A fruit basket was waiting for us.
The bed was massive, the linens were comfortable, and every night housekeeping left chocolate, the next day’s weather, a towel and slippers. Close to the window was a table with two chairs and a small vase of local flowers that was changed daily. Overall, the room felt dated but was functional and spacious.
Food and Beverage
One of the key benefits of staying at the hotel was the executive lounge, which served breakfast from 6:30am to 10:00am, hosted a cocktail hour in the evenings and kept the booze flowing until 9:30pm. The lounge was accessible to Marriott Gold and Platinum guests and Seibu Prince Club Platinum members.
There were three restaurants on-site: Ciliegio (Italian food), Katsura Steak House and Nadaman Takanawa Prime (sushi and other Japanese food). We didn’t try any of them.
We did have the lounge breakfast, though, which never varied. There were the usual juices, yogurts, fruit cocktails, cereals, dried fruit, nuts, cured meats and smoked salmon, bread and pastries.
The hot buffet consisted of scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, steamed veggies, french fries, soup and rice. There was also a small salad section.
The quality of all the food was fairly high, and none of it tasted like it came straight out of the freezer. A few of the mornings, though, we had to wait about 10 minutes for a table.
During the evening cocktail hour, there was a decent spread of booze on offer: wine, sparkling wine ($8 bottles of Duc de Paris), sake and a host of self-serve liquor and a refrigerator full of Sapporo, Asahi and soft drinks.
In the basement was a large, well-equipped gym, always attended by at least two hotel employees who kept the place sparkling. There were free weights, machines and cardio equipment, all new.
The spa had separate whirlpools and saunas for men and women, but I didn’t make it there. Lastly, there was a relaxation room in the basement, with a few massage chairs and sofas, though I preferred the comfort of my own room.
Wi-Fi was free for all guests and reliable. I was able to upload photos and stream content with ease.
To the Point
The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo, Autograph Collection, in Shinagawa was an excellent hopping-off point to explore Tokyo. The rooms were spacious and the facilities more than functional. Though the building felt old, the service was impeccable. I would be happy to stay there again for business or pleasure.
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