The APA Shinjuku Gyoenmae hotel combines location, amenities, and service into a package that is affordable by Tokyo standards, especially relative to the usual pricey offerings in the Shinjuku area. Although it is a good ten-to-fifteen-minute walk from Shinjuku station, this is really a blessing in disguise, as the walk brings you to a more pleasant area located just a bit outside the madness.
A moderately classy, budget affair
While Shinjuku Station is a bit of a walk, Shinjuku Gyoenmae Station, on the Marunouchi subway line, is just a minute or two away from the entrance to the hotel. Shinjuku-sanchome station services a couple different subway lines, and is just a few minutes’ walk the other direction from Shinjuku Gyoenmae. If you arrive by taxi, you will find the covered alighting area (pictured above) to be most convenient.
Along the main boulevard on which the hotel sits, you will find restaurants and shops, but head down some of the smaller side streets for some different finds. For those interested in checking out the gay nightlife, the hotel is just a few minutes’ walk from the Shinjuku 2-Chome district, the largest and most well-known gay district in Japan.
Check in of the future, sort of
In a slightly wayward attempt to perhaps increase productivity, check in is a two-step process. First, English speaking staff at the front desk get the proceedings started, then you are asked to use automated kiosks to complete payment. The kiosks can be used in English or Japanese, and accept cash or credit.
The room is, alas, mostly taken up the bed
The good news is that the beds are comfortable, the bedding nice, and there’s a big TV mounted on the wall, providing easy viewing from said real estate-consuming bed. The bad news is that there’s really nowhere to put your suitcase that doesn’t either block the entrance to the bathroom or the entrance to the room to some degree.
Smoking and non-smoking rooms are available, and the bathrooms, while small, are well designed. Toilet amenities include toothbrush/toothpaste sets, shaving kits, and high quality liquid soap, shampoo, and conditioner. It being Japan, the toilet is of course equipped with a “washlet,” thus enabling the utmost in hygienic toilet time. For even more “cleanliness is next to godliness” time, head down to the basement for the communal bathing area, where washing areas and large soaking tubs are at the ready. Just be sure to fully wash your body and remove all the soap before getting in the soaking tub.
A fine breakfast spread
The rather deluxe buffet spread put on by the first floor restaurant is included with some room rate plans, but excluded with others. All the Western and Japanese standards are covered, including grilled fish, rice, seaweed salads on the Oriental end, and bacon (albeit the non-crispy type that reigns supreme in Japan), eggs, and potatoes on the Occidental side. Coffee and cappuccino is passable, if not fabulous, and invoked with the touch of a button.
No waiting in line at checkout time
If you have no additional charges to settle, you may simply drop your key in the provided box in the lobby. If, however, you need to settle your accounts or get a receipt, you should use the kiosks pictured above, which you will have remembered from your two-step check-in process.
APA Shinjuku Gyoenmae’s got what you need
With nice facilities and a good location, APA Shinjuku Gyoenmae proffers up an alluring package. While the rooms are on the small side, they are highly functional, and get the job done with aplomb. The hotel is a particularly good fit for those interested in spending lots of time out and about.
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