This is the main reason why I came to Nagoya. I was looking at the spots between Kyoto and Tokyo since I had two days to fill up. I wanted to stay in Kyoto but the hotel rates are way overpriced. I then spot a Hilton nearby and Nagoya is only 30 mins away via a direct train on the Shinkansen it will also be easy for me to get to Tokyo after. I intend to use this as a base and only arrive late in the evening after my day trip to Kyoto. Hilton Nagoya is a fairly huge property in Japan and is located in a central area. It is a short stroll or rides away from Nagoya Station. I am also fairly keen to check out the city given how it is always constantly overlooked over other places in Japan. Hilton Nagoya is a fairly dated property with a history from 1989 and was last renovated in 2016.
Booking Process & Pre Arrival
I book the stay directly from Hilton and paid around 190 SGD a night after taxes. That is quite a premium but considering how expensive hotels are in Japan these days, that is quite fair. Furthermore, I got a pretty good deal since I locked in the rates early. A couple of days out I can see from the app that I was upgraded to the Executive Premium Room. This is also the best available non-suite room at the hotel. Opportunities for Suite upgrades are not high given the low number of suites. That was communicated by the hotel and they are also not one of the more generous properties around. All of the rooms here come with a bathtub. as further upgraded to a corner suite on the day of my stay. Hilton Nagoya features a total of 460 rooms and suites spread across 8 categories. You can find the breakdown below.
|Rooms||Executive Lounge Access||Bathtub||Room Size|
|Family Deluxe||No||Yes||30 Sqm|
|Premium Executive||Yes||Yes||30 Sqm|
|Japanese Suite||No||Yes||60 Sqm|
|Executive Suite||Yes||Yes||90 Sqm|
|Executive Deluxe Suite||Yes||Yes||150 Sqm|
I arrive late in the evening after taking the Shinkansen from Kyoto. The Hilton is about a good 20 mins walk from the station or a one-stop ride on the metro with a short 10 mins walk. We were rather tired from a long day exploring Kyoto and it doesn’t seem fun with our bags. That leads to our first-ever legendary Japan taxi ride. I have to say, Japan taxis are on par with London Cab and if not better too. It does come with a price. The around 2 to 3 blocks ride cost around 10 SGD. I arrive around 8 pm. As we pull up to the driveway, a staff came by to help us with our bags and show us over to the desks. Despite the late hour, the reception was still pretty busy and there was a slight wait before I was helped. The lobby was quite nice with the restaurant just beside it and the place decked out in festive decorations.
I didn’t feel very welcomed by the staff and weirdly there is no acknowledgement of my status as well. I did not appreciate them having such loud music that makes it close to impossible to hear what the staff is saying at reception. I was also offered a welcome letter that communicated a different set of information regarding the lounge from what I understand earlier in the day. It seems like the manager can just change the rules and regulations at their whims and fancy without prior notice. They just made the day lounge on a reservation basis and guests can only visit at a fixed time slot. The lounge situation is ridiculous.
Premium Executive Room
I managed to do online check-in beforehand and selected my room on the same floor as the lounge on the 36th floor. I was in room 3609 to be exact which is a short walk away from the elevators and the lounge. The staff took a long time for my bags to be sent up and I did not understand the sparse service given at this hour. The room measures a petit 30 Sqm and is on the smaller side.
Upon entering the room you have a short entryway where you can find the luggage storage and wardrobe on the left.
The luggage storage area is nicely incorporated into the wardrobe. I pretty much like the concept and it could fit a mid-size suitcase well.
The wardrobe comes with most of the things that you need from an ironing set to bath slippers and a bathrobe. Plenty of hangers can be found as well. While on the right you can find the bathroom which is on the smaller side and has a tight fit. It comes with a single sink. Amenities are from Crabtree and Evelyn, the usual brand for Hilton properties.
Despite the small size it still comes with a bidet and a separate standing shower with a tub combo. I love the set-up where they are both found behind the glass door. This is a common layout in Japan. I love how you can get from the tub to the shower easily and without water getting all over the place. The tub was deep but very short. Water pressure and temperature control were good. I would have loved it if they had a rainforest showerhead. The bathroom flooring is very slippery. It was a bad tile choice.
The main space of the room can be seen in one look itself. I do love the decor and the Japanese touches in the room such as the window blinds and sheers. That adds up some flair to the room. But it also means that it is manually controlled.
On the corner, you can find the minibar chest. I appreciate that they had an actual coffee machine in the room. Capsules are provided and you can also find some packaged tea. Complimentary bottles of water are provided. The mini fridge is left empty for your use. Left on the chest was a little chocolate welcome amenity.
In the middle of the room lies the plush king-size bed. It’s comfy and the bedding is good. The pillows were rather a mush though but thankfully firmer ones can be requested from the hotel. Flanking both sides of the bed you can find nightstands as well as controls for the lighting and power outlets. I love that they had installed some international outlets which is very considerate.
The TV was located opposite the bed and mounted on the wall. I feel that it is a little on the smaller side and comes with very limited channels. Most of them are local channels and in Japanese only.
In the corner, you can find a squarish table alongside an armchair. This acts as both the working desk as well as a dining table. It is quite spacious to work from. Outlets are readily found and I love that they also had HDMI ports installed by the side. This is good for a short period of work.
You can find a window bay sofa that stretched along the wall and window. This is a great spot for lazing over a cup of coffee. The view is pretty good.
This is the single most disappointing aspect of the lounge. I am not delighted by the last-minute changes by the management. The lounge was originally supposed to be operating from 7am to 9.05pm daily with reservations required on weekends and holidays but during my check-in, the staff simply just insert the date that I was staying into the letter. Evening Cocktails will be in 50 mins slots and timings 15 mins. WHAT!!! I am not a fan of this. If you know you are expecting a crowd, perhaps limit the number of Gold upgrades. Extend the timings? Have an overflow area in the bar or restaurant? I hate properties that treat the lounge like a restaurant and make prior reservations. It is supposed to be a space where guests can stop by for a drink whenever they want and not adhere to a strict slot like a Michelin-star restaurant. It takes away the basic principle of a lounge.
The lounge was quite huge and have plenty of seating. Here are some pictures of the lounge. The lounge also serves up Afternoon Tea from 3pm to 4.30pm. I did not get a chance to check it out since I was out in the city.
I manage to check out the evening cocktails at the very very restrictive 15-minute reservations. This is the most disgusting lounge policy I ever faced. If it helps, the offerings are not ones that you should return to. They are mediocre at best. They only have two hot dishes, some cakes and snacks as well as cheese.
Drinks-wise is slightly better with sparkling wine, red wine, white wine, sake, beers and spirits. To sum up, stop for a drink or two or skip!
The fitness centre is located on level 6 and is open 24 hours. It is quite a nice facility and comes with everything that you might want. It is quite a huge facility and well-equipped.
They also have an outdoor tennis court.
The indoor pool is regular in shape and great for doing laps. You can also find a jacuzzi. It is quite a lovely set-up for getting a workout to start your day. The facility is also open 24 hours.
Breakfast at In Place 3-3
Breakfast is served at In Place 3-3 Restaurant which is located on the ground floor just by the reception area. Breakfast service is from 6.30am to 10.30am. Executive-level guests can also enjoy breakfast at the restaurant. Complimentary breakfast is extended for Gold and Diamond members. I had a rather late breakfast and went down only at 9.30am. The restaurant is huge and pretty lovely.
I was shown to a seat and drinks orders were taken by the staff. It is a rather busy morning and the peak hour for breakfast. Here are some pictures of the extensive buffet. You can find all sorts of food from the salad station, Japanese food, fruits, and western items.
They even had some weird-looking Singapore Laksa going on. Everything is pretty delicious. I love that they had some of the Nagoya region specialities on offer too. I love the Miso Katsu.
The selections remain the same throughout my stay.
I honestly don’t think that I will ever be back in Nagoya again and if I do I will probably stay here given my loyalty to Hilton. I will also be keen to try out some other properties. I was not rather impressed by the property. Nagoya doesn’t relate to me as a tourist destination too. The rooms are fine here but the way they conduct the lounge business needs to be polished. I will rather they just close the entire lounge. Even after the feedback to the staff while at the property, they had no attempt to understand further. I am just glad to get out of the property.
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