Exploring Asia Overview
Cathay Pacific B777-300ER Business Class San Francisco to Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Lounge Review: The Cabin at HKG
Cathay Dragon A330-300 Business Class Hong Kong to Beijing
Lodging Review: Regent Beijing Hotel
Beijing: Dongcheng District
Beijing: The Great Wall
Beijing: Run-ze Jade Garden
Beijing: The Sacred Way of the Ming Tombs
Beijing: The Legend of Kung Fu
Beijing: Tiananmen Square
Beijing: The Forbidden City
Beijing: Hutong Tour via Rickshaw, Tea Tasting, Flying to Xi’an
Lodging Review: Hotel Shangri-La Xi’an
Xi’an: Qing Dynasty Terra Cotta Warriors
Xi’an: Tang Dynasty Dinner and Show
Xi’an Wrap-Up, Flying to Lhasa, Lhasa Home Visit
Lodging Review: Shangri-La Hotel Lhasa
Lhasa: Jokhang Temple and Barkhor Market
Lhasa: Canggu Nunnery and Sera Monastery
Lhasa: Potala Palace
Leaving Lhasa and Flying to Chongqing
Cruising the Three Gorges
Three Gorges Dam
Jingzhou City Walls Tour
Wuhan: Hubei Bells Performance and Provincial Museum
Shanghai: Shanghai Museum
Lodging Review: Fairmont Peace Hotel, Shanghai
Shanghai: Old Shanghai and Yuyan Gardens
Lodging Review: The New Otani Tokyo Hotel
Tokyo: City Tour
Mt. Fuji and Hakone Tour Returning by Shinkansen
ANA Suites Lounge Review, Tokyo Narita
All Nippon Airways B777-300ER First Class Tokyo Narita to Houston
There were about 35 of us from the Viking Emerald who were taking the extension to Tokyo and you’d think that Viking could have found all of us seats on the same plane but nope, we were on a number of different flights leaving Shanghai at various times of the day. Originally two of us from our small group of 12 were on one flight and the 3rd person was on a different flight but we were able to get that changed so at least the three of us were all together. However that meant missing out on a noon-ish JAL flight and taking an earlier Delta flight instead so there was definitely a trade-off. We did manage to purchase bulkhead seats so at least we had legroom.
We arrived at Tokyo Narita airport and began to search for the Viking representative. Besides the three of us there were probably 6-8 other Viking Emerald passengers all looking for the rep with no success. She was a little late but every last one of us passengers had been looking for someone in a red coat or jacket and this rep was not wearing red. We had been so trained by Viking with all their tour guides and crew members wearing red that we never even considered that the guide might be wearing some other color! But eventually we were loaded on to our motorcoach and we were dropped off at the large complex that houses not only the New Otani Hotel but also an office tower and a shopping tower.
Check in was efficient, as we expected by now, and we set off for the elevator bank. We were amused that during busy times of day there typically was a hotel staff member waiting to push the elevator call button for us – always with a polite bow.
Our rooms were fairly high up and, conveniently, were connected. However, we had to ask management to unlock the connecting doors. The rooms were perfectly servicable though compared to our rooms during the first part of the tour, these were a bit of a let down. Like many hotel rooms upon entering the bathroom was to one side and beyond that was the area with the beds.
This room was not large enough for two double beds so we once again had twins with a single nightstand in between.
As our room was the last one on the hallway it was curved a bit which gave us two sets of windows to look through. The weather was overcast or raining for a good bit of our time in Tokyo but the city lights in the evening were quite pretty.
I assume the large green area was some sort of athletic pitch or park.
Across from the beds were a couple of chairs with a small table between them.
On the wall was a large furniture piece that incorporated the desk, mini-bar, fridge and drawers. It also served as the TV stand and a luggage rack. Once again there was no real place other than the floor to open up a clamshell suitcase so I just pushed the chairs closer together and set my suitcase on the floor beside them.
The closet was fairly large and included bathrobes and slippers for each of us. There were also some more shelves in there as well as the safe.
I did get a little amused at the old school thermostat but it did an OK job of keeping the room fairly cool. The lack of sunlight probably helped as much as anything.
The bathroom was also smaller than any other place we stayed on this trip. On the left was the sink with a decent amount of counter space.
On the right was the tub shower, complete with decorative artwork.
In between was the toilet and, true to stereotype, it was a combination toilet and bidet with electronic controls. It wasn’t as fancy as the toilet in the airport, however. That one even played music if you thought your toilet activities would be making noise!
The toiletries were by Aroma. I wasn’t a big fan.
The hotel is quite large, consisting of two towers. There is a third tower of office space with some retail. The floors below the main level are also for retail and restaurants. The hotel has restaurants on the main level as well as at the top of one of the towers. Viking provided us with breakfast vouchers that were good at any of the three morning buffets. One was in the garden restaurant and the other two were at the top of the towers.
The hotel is located near the Akasaka District and there were tons of different restaurants in easy walking distance. We had fun just walking through the area checking out the sights and sounds.
The hotel is near at least one subway line and a major highway so it was not difficult to reach at all.
We saw lots of business people staying at this hotel as well as tourists so it’s likely convenient to businesses as well.
I wouldn’t mind staying here again but since it’s not part of a loyalty program I’d rather find a hotel to earn points. But there’s plenty to like about the New Otani Hotel.