Tokyo Intercontinental the Strings hotel review

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Tokyo Intercontinental the Strings hotel review
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The Tokyo Intercontinental the Strings hotel is one of three Intercontinental properties in Tokyo.  Situated at the 26th-32nd floors of the Shingawa East One Tower, it's essentially adjacent to the Shinagawa Station.  The Shingawa Station is one of busiest public transit hubs in Tokyo, with express trains running to both HND and NRT as well as bullet trains to Osaka, making the Strings by far the most convenient option of the three IHG properties.  For my final night in Japan, I used my Chase IHG Premier card's anniversary free night, which was an excellent value as the hotel is categorized as a 60k award property with running rates of $500+.

The room

Japan is known for having puny but clean hotel rooms, with the exception of resort properties like the ANA Intercontinental Ishigaki Resort.  As an IHG Platinum elite member, I have never received a room upgrade at the Strings like I have at other IHG properties in Asia, so I was designated a deluxe double room, which is the standard room that I had booked with the free night.

The room wasn't quite oversized, but still significantly larger than the likes of Japanese business hotels like Toyoko Inns.  Nonetheless, it still has everything you need for a comfortable stay, including bidet, mini-bar, fast complimentary WiFi, a safe, and a decent view.

The gym

The Strings recently underwent a complete renovation of the lobby area with more sofa seating now available.  The gym was also moved from its previous location next to the bar on the 26th floor to essentially two adjacent rooms on the 29th floor.

For a 5-star hotel, you would expect much more from a hotel gym.  However, the gym is actually an improvement from what it was a year ago, with the addition of heavier dumbbells that go up to 30 kg and a cable cross machine.  The dumbbells were sufficient enough for good shoulder workout, and the cable cross does allow for many options.  HIIT isn't as simple though since there's very little floor space, and no spin bike or battle ropes.

Food and Beverage

I'm not the type to ever eat at overpriced hotel restaurants unless the meals are included in the room rate.  But as a Platinum elite member, I was at least given two complimentary beverage coupons that can be redeemed at the restaurant or bar.  My friend had came all the way from Yokohama to see me for a mere 45 minutes, and we ended up using the free drink coupons at the bar for 2 glasses of Chardonnay.  We also ordered a mackerel caviar dish, which was quite a delicious source of protein.

Bottom line

The true value of the the Strings lies in its location.  It definitely lacks the huge rooms of the Intercontinental Ishigaki resort, the awesome fitness center of the Osaka Hyatt Regency, and the service of the Park Hyatt Tokyo.  But I guess you can't have it all, and in the most populous city in the world, location is very important and this hotel hits the mark on convenience.  I had flown from HND and would be flying out of NRT the next day, so I had express trains running to everywhere I needed to go.  I was disappointed that the renovated gym wasn't up to par despite its modest improvements, but most guests staying here probably don't focus on the fitness center like the way I always obsess over...

Nice views in all rooms at the top of the Shinagawa East One Tower


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