Disclaimer: In exchange for two nights in a Hollywood Double room, I am writing this review. Photos are my own, and from the Hotel Tavinos Hamamatsucho.
Tokyo-based Fujita Kanko’s newest brand, Hotel Tavinos, was opened to the public on August 1st, 2019, in the Hamamatsucho neighborhood of the Japanese capital.
Hotel Tavinos Hamamatsucho is located close to the Asakusa and Oedo subway lines at Daimon station, the Tokyo monorail at Hamamatsucho station, and the Odaiba monorail at Takeshiba station. Further benefiting those flying from/to Tokyo Narita and Tokyo Haneda, the Asakusa subway line at Daimon can take you nonstop to both airports. Additionally, nearby tourist spots include Shiba Park, Tokyo Tower, the Hama Rikyu Garden, and ferry piers.
It’s not particularly central to the usual tourist attractions, but given the excellent (though not 24-hours) public transit in Tokyo, guests are not more than a 25-minute train ride to the hotspots. That said, staying somewhere as perpetually busy as Shinjuku or Shibuya might not be for everyone, so the quieter location can also be considered a positive.
In theory, the 188-room hotel was designed with millennials in mind, as it incorporates touchscreen maps in the lobby, borrows from manga in its room designs, and has a sleek, minimalist aesthetic.
But, how does this traveler feel about the property?
My first impression was not good, for three main reasons.
One, I disdain hotels that lack lobbies on the ground floor. At least, in this hotel, the same elevator can take you between the 2nd floor lobby, as opposed to transferring between elevator banks. Think about it, if it’s a hotel created for a younger audience, why couldn’t we just check-in/check-out through an app, and completely avoid the lobby?
Two, there are no stairs that can be readily used. Save for older Japanese business hotels, I’ve found this to be a common problem at other national (e.g. Toyoko Inn, APA) chains, too.
Three, I didn’t understand check-in. Nobody greeted me, and once someone did, everything was (slowly) processed at the computer terminal next to the front desk. What’s modern about that? If someone still needs to be present, time will inevitably be wasted.
Since I was too early to check-in, I stored bags in the free luggage storage locker room. However, it was mentioned to me that an add-value train card (such as Suica or Pasmo) was required to use the lockers, so fortunately I had a couple of them. Again, I wish that both check-in/out and the lockers could take place on the ground floor.
For those less familiar with Tokyo, there’s a giant interactive map on one of the lobby walls, available in Japanese, English, and Chinese.
After returning from another entertaining day in Tokyo, I went to the lobby to get my room key. This time, a more cheerful woman helped me out, and explained that every morning, there are free snacks, mostly bread, water, and coffee, to enjoy.
The artist Roy Liechtenstein immediately came to mind after checking out the design of the Hollywood Double room. It was very clean and compact- as Japanese hotel rooms tend to be – though with the large window in the center, it didn’t feel so limiting. I wish that there had been a small refrigerator, and that the air conditioner didn’t aim directly for the bed, but overall, the room was comfortable.
Regarding the bathroom, I felt that it was slightly larger than the average Japanese chain, though didn’t have enough hooks. Regardless, there was ample body soap, shampoo, and conditioner, and the water pressure was great.
In all, although I found some issues with my stay at the Hotel Tavinos Hamamatsucho, the room was clean, luggage storage was easy, and for those transiting to either Tokyo airport or a boat, the location is good.
In other news, the Tavinos brand plans to open a second hotel in Asakusa in May 2020, just in time for the Tokyo Olympics next summer.