BIG NEWS! I am now a member of the TripAdvisor Affiliate Program! This means that they recognize my blog’s focus on traveling and allow me to place affiliate links in my posts. I’m pumped that I was accepted into the program and will only be utilizing affiliate links for things I would have linked to regardless. If you’re wondering what an affiliate link even is, it’s a unique link that allows a site to see where traffic is being driven from. For instance, if you click the link below for the hotel, TripAdvisor sees it came from my blog and I get like ten cents. So without further ado, the next Hotel Review is up!
This month I am featuring the lovely, ANA Intercontinental in Minato, Tokyo. As we transitioned to life in Japan, we happily stayed at the ANA Intercon for nearly 14 days. It is an awesome hotel, in a great location, with loads of amenities. Read on to see what this luxury hotel is all about and why I think it’s a great choice for families.
The lobby is expansive and has everything… a bar, a restaurant, a bakery and even a wine shop. In addition there are also a handful of specialty shops attached to the hotel which just happens to lead directly into the Ark Hills courtyard. The hotel also houses several restaurants with different themes. We dined at the Japanese restaurant, Unkai, one evening and then swapped between Cascade Cafe and many room service orders. All of the food was delicious and both restaurants easily accommodated our toddler as well. If you’re feeling fancy, there is also a two star Michelin restaurant on site, Pierre Gagnaire, which I hear is phenomenal.
We were lucky enough to get an updated, Junior Suite with a pool view. It was the perfect amount of space for our extended stay. Initially, we were in an original room and I would suggest requesting an updated room with your reservation and again at check in. There is a huge difference between the two! The bathroom is awesome, with large tub and luxe amenities. I particularly enjoyed the doors which closed off the bedroom to the sitting area. This allowed for William to nap or go to sleep before us while we comfortably hung out in the sitting area. My only real complaint about the room is that you do need to pass through the bedroom to access the bathroom. The suite has a spacious desk and dry bar along with small sofa seating and additional TV. Note to self: take more room pictures next time.
Although not included in our room, we chose to add the Club Lounge access to our stay. The Intercontinental Club Lounge offers daily breakfast, afternoon tea with snacks and evening drinks with appetizers. The lounge did not dissapoint. All the spreads were plentiful and some evenings we just called the evening service dinner. We loved that it was spacious and allowed for guests to spread out and truly relax. The lounge is popular with families which was great for us as we didn’t feel like our son was the only child running around. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful. In lieu of the general concierge, utilize the lounge to avoid potentially long wait times in the main lobby.
Aside from the plentiful restaurants and shops in the hotel. There is also a spa, gym and outdoor pool. The gym is bright and airy with more than just the standard two treadmills, I used it quite a bit throughout our stay and it was never too crowded. The spa looked great but unfortunately, I didn’t get an opportunity to check it out. It is on the smaller side so I would recommend booking an appointment as soon as you arrive to ensure you get in. The outdoor pool is huge and has a small, kiddie pool as well. Be sure to request access upon check in as there is an additional fee. If you have status with IHG Hotels you may be able to get the fee waived or reduced. Also, locals can purchase seasonal memberships so I did find the pool to be pretty crowded but still worth it, especially during the hot summer here in Tokyo.
- Ark Hills: Literally, outside the hotel lobby, there are a number of restaurants and shops to explore. We enjoyed the Yona Yona beer garden (seasonal) and Bubby’s a few times, both are kid friendly and delicious.
- Shibuya: A quick train ride and you’ll be in one of the most iconic places in Tokyo. We spent an afternoon just walking around and taking in the sights.
- Hie-Jinja Shrine: About a half mile walk from the hotel. This beautiful shrine is a must see if you’re in the area. If you are traveling with kids, either leave the stroller behind or, park it at the base of the steps. We left ours at the bottom and no one bothered it.
- Mid Town: Less than a mile walk from the hotel and a great way to spend an afternoon. Midtown has shopping, restaurants and a beautiful outdoor space to explore. My favorite stop there was Paletas which serves delicious, gourmet popsicles.
- Roppongi Hills: For even more shopping and eating! It’s about a mile from the hotel and worth going to view all the luxury shops, if you haven’t seen a Japanese pet shop, this is a great place to check them out.
- Fire Museum: A great stop for kids of all ages that love all things fire department. The museum is accessible directly from the train station and is free to enter. There is a cafe on site as well. Be sure to check out the basement and the roof for surprises!
- Tokyo Sky Tree: Japan’s tallest tower, accessible by train from just about anywhere in the city.
Questions about Tokyo with kids in tow? Drop me a line, I’d love to chat!