Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Stella Shon
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Sometimes, you aren’t looking for an impressive hotel but rather a hotel that’s good enough in a city full of expensive hotels that will eat up your bank account balance or points balance quickly. That’s what my wife and I did when we recently spent 3 nights at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo.
The Hyatt Regency Tokyo was the first Hyatt property in Japan and is one of only 2 Hyatt properties in the capital that you can book with Category 1 to 4 free night awards (until the Hyatt House opens in Shibuya in 2024).
Rather than paying heavily for properties like the Grand Hyatt Tokyo or Park Hyatt Tokyo, we opted for the Hyatt Regency Tokyo because we could book it with our available free night awards. We were aware of the property’s ongoing renovations, but it checked 2 important boxes: affordability and not needing to change hotels during our time in Tokyo.
The hotel has some positives and negatives, and you should be aware that staying here during current renovations means some facilities are closed, and some rooms haven’t been renovated yet. The Hyatt Regency Tokyo neither impressed nor underwhelmed us, but it’s a decent option depending on your plans for visiting Tokyo.
The Hyatt Regency Tokyo sits in the Shinjuku neighborhood, across from Tokyo City Hall in the southwest portion of the city. The Shinjuku train station is a 15-minute walk, and subway stations surround the hotel.
From the Shinjuku station, you can reach other parts of Tokyo quite easily, though you’ll need a train, subway, or taxi to get to most touristy sites. They’re beyond what most people consider walking distance.
It’s also possible to reach the hotel from both of Tokyo’s international airports. Haneda (HND) is approximately 50 minutes away by train. It’s about 90 minutes to Narita (NRT) by way of the Narita Express.
My wife and I had a pair of Category 1 to 4 free night awards that we wanted to use while in Japan, which greatly limited our options (since so many properties in our destination cities are in higher categories). These are the free night awards we receive annually from The World of Hyatt Credit Card — you’ll receive 1 Free Night Award each cardmember anniversary (Category 1 to 4) and a second Free Night Award when you spend $15,000 on the card.
With these restrictions in mind, we settled on the Hyatt Regency Tokyo and added 15,000 points for our third night (since the hotel used standard pricing then).
During our June 2023 stay, the hotel was charging $310+ for standard rooms. Paying 15,000 points per night gave us a redemption value of 2.1 cents per point — above the average value of World of Hyatt points.
After booking, as a World of Hyatt Globalist, I asked my Hyatt Concierge to apply a suite upgrade award to this booking. The property has 746 rooms, including 18 suites. However, the hotel was completely sold out during our stay, and no suites were available.Hot Tip:
Should you pay the cash rate for your stay, consider using one of our recommended best credit cards for World of Hyatt loyalists to earn up to 9x points on your stay.
We took the Narita Express train from Narita International Airport (NRT) to the Shinjuku station, which took nearly 90 minutes and cost ¥3,250 per person (about $22.50).
After walking roughly 15 minutes to the location my phone indicated, finding the entrance to the Hyatt Regency Tokyo was confusing. We saw signs, but they pointed up 2 flights of stairs. We weren’t interested in lugging our large suitcase up there.
After several minutes of walking and searching, we found a wheelchair-accessible ramp that went up 1 flight, then signs into an underground area with a 7-Eleven. From there, a very small sign indicated a path up an escalator to the hotel.
If arriving by taxi or airport shuttle, you’ll arrive at the entrance to the main lobby (which is on the hotel’s third floor) — much simpler.
The lobby immediately grabs your attention with its size (open up to the 10th floor) and giant overhead chandeliers.
Given that we arrived at the same time as several other people, a line started to form. Out of nowhere, several additional desk agents appeared and cleared the line very efficiently.
We received a friendly welcome and completed the process smoothly, the location of our room, hotel facilities, and what was temporarily closed during our stay. The only element lacking in the check-in process was telling us how to find our room, which we had to ask about. The location of the elevators wasn’t obvious.
As a World of Hyatt Globalist, I receive several quality benefits on every stay. These include:
The Hyatt Regency Tokyo doesn’t charge resort fees, and we didn’t have a rental car. However, the agent asked if we needed late checkout (we didn’t) and provided keys that indicated Club access. We were told to present these to gain access to Vicky’s, which was acting as the Club until the end of the renovation.
On the train to the hotel, I searched for availability and saw the property was completely sold out during our stay. Thus, I didn’t expect or inquire about an upgrade at check-in. The main question was whether we’d receive a renovated room or not.
Spread across the Hyatt Regency Tokyo’s 28 floors, you’ll find multiple escalators, elevators, and amenities, though the best features may be the public spaces.
Looking down into the lobby and its mirrored wall was interesting.
Views over the city from the elevators and the upper floors also were highlights.
Numerous rooms can accommodate large meetings, small groups, or even a private space to work. These are located on the top 3 and bottom 3 floors of the hotel. Given the hotel’s proximity to banks and government facilities, plus being completely booked, I had expected to find these meeting rooms in use.
Instead, trying to visit them felt more like, “Am I allowed to be here right now?” The lights were off in several, and it was difficult to tell the last time they received visitors.
When connected, the internet worked reliably. However, our phones disconnected from it every time the screens turned off. We needed to rejoin the internet several times daily. When waiting for a reply from a friend, this was frustrating.
We needed to keep our phones from going to sleep until the person replied. Otherwise, we wouldn’t receive the reply because our phones would disconnect from the network when the screen turned off.
The 8 elevators were spacious, with 4 on each side of the waiting area. Interestingly, a light turned on to indicate which elevator was coming, but that didn’t mean it was arriving. It started flashing once the elevator arrived. Also, only the elevators on 1 side went all the way to the 28th floor; the other 4 stopped on the 27th floor.
Inside, the elevators were lined with brass and wood paneling, and those on the exterior had glass windows that provided great views from the upper floors.
The buttons on the elevator were laid out in a different configuration than I’m used to. They went up on one side and start again from the bottom in another column. They didn’t go in a left-to-right, bottom-to-top pattern.
The carpet in the elevator was worn and showed signs of “stand here for social distancing” markers in the past. The lighting in the elevators was quite dim, providing a stark contrast from the brightly-lit lobby and guest floors outside.
Joule Spa & Wellness is the name for the spa (on the 27th floor) and the gym (on the 28th floor). While the spa functioned normally and offered a full range of services, the fitness center was another story.
The pool was closed until further notice, and the changing rooms were locked. Several areas within the fitness center were roped off.
Moreover, there was no employee presence at all.
Instead, a sign on a fridge offered 2 bottles of water at most.
Beyond that, you can help yourself to the half-dozen cardio machines and a handful of weight machines in a small space in the far corner of the gym’s overall footprint.
I could even check my blood pressure.
Interestingly, the gym prohibited use while intoxicated or with open wounds, and those with tattoos were also excluded. While common in traditional onsens, I found this interesting in a hotel that caters to foreign tourists.
This is an interesting feature at many hotels in Japan. You can lock your umbrella for safekeeping without bringing it inside and dripping all over the floor.
These lockers were near the taxi stand by the hotel’s main entrance.
We stayed in room 715 on the seventh floor. Unfortunately, this room hasn’t been upgraded. It was a standard 1-king room that wasn’t expansive but wasn’t cramped.
The room had a digital “do not disturb” sign for privacy.
After entering, we passed the bathroom and closets before arriving at the bedroom space. The king-sized bed was comfortable and had 4 pillows. Unfortunately, all 4 of them were useless. Using them and not using them had the same effect.
Each side of the bed had a reading light and a nightstand.
One held a multi-port charging station.
The other had an alarm clock and phone.
Both sides of the bed had controls for the lights in the room. Unfortunately, no button served as a “master” switch to turn everything on or off.
The panel closer to the window also controlled the curtains on the window.
The outer wall had a single window overlooking the park across the street.
Next to the window, there was a chair, an ottoman, and a small table.
The blackout curtain on the window was excellent. When closed, it blocked all light from coming in.
There was an easy-to-use thermostat in the corner, near the window. However, it had only 1 option: off or “full blast.” We had to turn it off at night so we could sleep.
Interestingly, the old thermostat still existed. The case was upside-down and not working, but it was still present.
The wall opposite the bed had a long, wooden shelf that led to a desk in the corner. The TV was directly opposite the bed.
A folder contained a channel guide.
We also got instructions on how to use the remote.
The desk had multiple charging ports, a lamp, and a notepad. However, it lacked an important feature to use it: a chair.
The desk also had a welcome note from housekeeping that we could use for requests during our stay, plus a note about window cleaning.
Another note asked us to help conserve resources and explained how to get fresh towels or sheets from housekeeping.
A folding luggage rack was at the other end of the wooden shelf heading toward the closet.
For reference, the renovated rooms look like this, with a lighter color palette:
Closest to the bedroom, a door opened to access the minibar.
We found a hot water kettle and 2 disposable cups, an ice bucket, and supplies for making tea.
The door held 2 drinking glasses.
Underneath, there was a small fridge.
Along the hallway between the bathroom and bedroom were several wooden closets.
Inside were robes, slippers, a steamer, and an ironing board.
The drawers contained laundry information and a safe for valuables.
One drawer also held Japanese-style robes.
Given the size of the doors and how narrow this hallway was, we couldn’t pass from the bedroom to the bathroom with the closet doors open.
Opposite the closet and near the door, there was also a large, floor-length mirror.
The bathroom was interesting; whether you think it’s interesting in a good or bad way will depend on how well you know the people/person you’re staying with. It also depends on how attentive you are to avoid stubbing your toes.
The bathroom counter wasn’t large but had space to hold a few items next to the large sink.
There was also a make-up mirror (with a light), drinking glasses, and bottled water here.
There was also a lamp on the counter, which was helpful.
The single overhead light wasn’t bright and was positioned far enough back from the mirror that our faces always had shadows. That wasn’t great for cleaning our faces or applying make-up without the aid of both the lamp and the make-up mirror.
Near the lamp, there was an outlet for a shaver and a mystery knob that we couldn’t identify.
Behind the sink, this knob served as the sink stopper if we pulled it up.
Under the sink, there was a trash can and bath mat on the floor and several shelves near the shower. These held towels, tissues, and a rack full of toiletries.
These items were individually wrapped and not labeled, so we had to feel them to identify some packages. They included cotton swabs, a nail file, wet wipes, and a toothbrush, plus a small bottle of hand lotion and some alcohol wipes.
Along the outer wall, a frosted glass door led to the toilet. While small, the cabin wasn’t cramped.
It included a Japanese toilet with a heated seat and water spray controls.
There was also a phone.
The box on the back of the toilet included an extra roll of toilet paper.
Closer to the bedroom were the shower and tub located in the same cabin. It was accessed with a clear glass door (unlike the one leading to the toilet, which provided privacy).
If you want privacy from family members while showering, you can close the sliding door to the bathroom.
However, you’ll also need to close the curtain since the wall between the shower/tub and the bedroom is glass. That could be an issue for family members or friends traveling together who don’t want to be seen while showering.
There was another oddity: the step up into the shower. Pay attention to avoid hitting your toes.
The shower worked well, with good pressure, and heated up quickly.
The controls were easy to use, though the knob to hold the showerhead in place tended to slide during our showers. Depending on how long your shower lasts, you may have to move it back up.
The bathroom contained Pharmacopia products with an Argan oil scent. We love these and get excited whenever hotels have them because they work well and smell great.
We were surprised to receive such small bottles for a 3-night stay for 2 people, however. We had to replace the shampoo, body wash, and lotion twice during our stay.
There was also a mirror in the shower, which was excellent for shaving, and the bathtub was large enough that my wife took a comfortable bath one evening.
The Hyatt Regency Tokyo has 6 restaurants, 2 bars, and a handful of convenience stores (not affiliated with the hotel) at the underground entrance. Some of these are closed for renovations (with multiple extensions to the supposed end dates).
The ninth floor had a Regency Club accessible for those staying on Club floors (7 to 9). However, it was temporarily closed. Vicky’s temporarily served as the Club.
The elevator button to access the ninth floor was disabled during renovations.
This first-floor restaurant hosted breakfast, tea time, and evening cocktails while acting as the temporary Club for Globalists or those staying on Club floors.
Rather than a list with names of permitted guests, those with access receive different room keys that say Regency Club, and showing this provides access.
Breakfast was a self-serve buffet containing hot and cold dishes with Western and Japanese offerings.
Signs advised what the dishes were, plus indications of common allergens.
Some items remained the same daily, such as the breads, cold cuts, and salad bar.
Other dishes rotated, such as a different type of curry and a different type of potato each morning.
Coffee, tea, orange juice, and sodas were available self-serve, though getting a latte or cappuccino is possible if you ask.
Despite this being possible, it was a surprise to the staff every morning when we asked for lattes. We only knew it was possible because we saw someone else receiving a cappuccino on our first morning. There were no signs, menus, or inquiries from staff advising that you can order any special items from the kitchen.
We also saw someone receive an omelet on our last day, meaning additional requests were possible.
A positive to highlight was that food was labeled in English, including allergen signs.
We noticed some surprising ingredients from these, such as dairy in the miso soup (not common) and alcohol in the rye bread. Pay attention to these if you have dietary restrictions.
For those without club lounge access, a breakfast buffet was available in Caffe, located off the lobby near the check-in area.
There were several restaurants on the third floor. Teppanyaki Grill by NADAMAN offered traditional Japanese teppanyaki, where the chef cooks on a grill before you. The restaurant was open daily for lunch and dinner.
Behind the Teppanyaki area, you’ll find a separate restaurant called SHINJUKU NADAMAN. It offers traditional Kaiseki, a multi-course set meal in a fine dining atmosphere. It’s open for lunch and dinner daily.
At the end of the hall, you’ll find Sushi Bar SHIMIZU by NADAMAN, offering sushi in a traditional-meets-fine-dining setting. It’s open daily for both lunch and dinner.
On the first floor, near Vicky’s, you’ll find Jade Garden, which offers Chinese food in an upscale setting. However, this restaurant is closed until further notice due to refurbishment.
Between Vicky’s and Jade Garden, you’ll find Lounge, a working area-meets-bar on the first floor, adjacent to the escalators. It’s closed until further notice, though no work was happening inside. Everything looked complete, but there was no signage for a reopening date.
The carpet between the Lounge and Vicky’s also had bad signs of wear and tear.
Service at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo was good when we knew what we wanted and asked for it. I wouldn’t consider this the type of service where employees anticipate your needs.
When checking in, the desk agent didn’t mention a lack of upgrades or anything related to this, which I would expect as part of being a Globalist. “Since we’re full, we weren’t able to upgrade you” would be sufficient to at least acknowledge the situation.
The check-in agent also didn’t tell us how to find our room.
Additionally, we never saw anyone at the bellhop station near the main entrance. That’s despite the hotel being fully booked and a line of taxis waiting outside at any given moment.
At breakfast every day, the staff went about their business unless we approached them to ask for lattes. Otherwise, they didn’t say anything other than the “hello” and “goodbye” at the welcome desk. No one came to our table at any point during our 3 breakfasts.
When passing employees in the hallways and lobby, they were friendly and would say hello, but we had to clearly communicate our needs.
One day, we forgot our key in the room and had to stop at the front desk for a new one. The employee asked for my ID before giving me a new key, which was great.
Service was efficient and cordial, but I wouldn’t classify it as friendly or anything better than average.
“Average” can sound like an insult sometimes, but we were perfectly content to find an average stay for our 3 nights in Tokyo. We were able to use our free night awards at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo to reduce costs, we got a decent bed, and complimentary breakfast, and had access to public transportation to get to the parts of the city we wanted to explore each day.
Service wasn’t anything special, and the pillows were bad. The ongoing refurbishment and closed facilities could be a problem if you want to dine at the hotel or use the gym. However, if you know what you’re getting and are OK with that, this is a decent option for using your World of Hyatt points and free nights when you don’t want to shell out for more expensive properties.
Once the property’s upgrades are complete, it will become an even better option for future stays. However, the proposed completion date has been pushed back several times, so it’s worth taking these dates with a grain of salt if you plan to stay here and think the work will be done by the time you check-in.
The information regarding The World of Hyatt Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The property has 746 rooms, including 18 suites. These are spread out across 28 floors.
The Hyatt Regency Tokyo is a Category 4 property. You can use your Category 1 to 4 free night awards or pay 15,000 points during standard pricing.
It’s possible to reach the hotel from both of Tokyo’s international airports. Haneda (HND) is approximately 50 minutes away by train. It’s about 90 minutes to the Narita (NRT) by way of the Narita Express.
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Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.
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