a VirtualTourist member
We are going to be spending about a week in Tokyo in April. We have 3 weeks in Japan in total and are still figuring out the other areas we want to explore. We have a free suite upgrade at the Park Hyatt we can use and a good corporate rate at the MO. What i'm trying to determine is which would be best when travelling as a family and for location. I believe from what I have read neither hotel is really walking distance to much. Grand Hyatt in Roppongi looks interesting, but our son is 8 so not looking for a night life scene and I presume the mall is a half day kind of thing?
At this point, i'm thinking of splitting the stay between the two since I cannot decide. =) Really my biggest reservation is reading some reviews of the Park Hyatt where people with families did not feel very welcome, but without knowing those people it's hard to give it context.
I have never stayed in any of those hotels, but I can comment on the location.
The Grand Hyatt is the worst in terms of location. You may be closer to the station, but Roppongi Station is not as convenient for getting around. The Hibiya Line is decent but limited and slow. The Oedo Line is great but pretty deep.
The Park Hyatt is a good location in general, but far from the station. It should be relatively quiet but the 10 minute walk can get tiring. Shinjuku does provide a LOT of access to other areas.
Mandarin Orient is in a good location too. Probably quieter than the Park Hyatt. While you are at Nihonbashi, the Ginza Line can get you to many good locations in Tokyo. You can access all of the main areas on the east side and a walk to Tokyo Station isn't too bad. Not easy either. Plus, the Ginza Line and Hanzomon Line have good connections. Just takes a it more planning overall.
IMO, you are looking in the wrong area. I agree that being within walking distance of sites is extremely important. I enjoy exploring on foot rather than train or bus. I suggest you stay near Shinbashi station. I would recommend the Park Hotel Shiodome, The Conrad Shiodome, or Mitsui Garden Ginza Premiere (smallest room size of the 3), all in the same range as the Park/Grand Hyatt.
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Family travel is not usual in Japan, in "downtown" hotels that cater to business people children are never seen. The atmosphere is sophisticated urban adult and children may be seen as an unwanted annoyance. I would not be surprised that outside of theme park hotels people did not feel that the hotels were family friendly.
Thinking about it a bit more I would suggest the Park Hotel Shiodome. The Park group does a lot of advertising in the Middle East and it's very common for Arabian families, for example, to travel together on business trips. They may be more used to the situation. The other hotel chain that is well known in the Middle East is the Fraser group. Their properties are a notch down from the Hyatt though, but still good IMO.