By Maren Pauli
Newly opened in July of 2012, Agora Place Asakusa is a stylish, chic hotel whose modern concepts make it unique in a tired hotel world. The hotel has two concepts, "Style my Stay" and "One more Choice", which are connected in meaning and work like this: instead of the hotel filling the room with a bunch of gadgets and amenities, everything is taken out. The guest can then peruse a long list and purchase toiletries (at a discounted price) or rent different machines, choosing to appoint the room in his or her own way.
Agora Place Asakusa is so comfortable you won't realize you are staying at a limited service hotel. The hotel gives you access to some great places for sightseeing right outside their back door, plus easy access to other popular areas in and around Tokyo. It is possible to get direct train access to Shibuya, Omotesando, Ginza, and Ueno, while Akihabara is but one transfer and still only 10 minutes away.
Asakusa is the old center of Edo, and it is renowned for being "shitamachi", which in Tokyo basically translates to leftover parts of the city after the WWII reconstruction. This is contrasted with the most modern of structures, Tokyo Skytree.
The staff at Agora Place Asakusa can all speak conversational English and are some of the friendliest people in Tokyo. They will be able to help you with any questions you have. Somewhere in the neighborhood of 60% of the guests staying here are foreign, and their reviews of the staff are invariably positive.
The 145 rooms at the hotel are chic and stylish with natural shades of brown encompassing them. "Agora Green" accents highlight the rooms, which all have new equipment and appliances including plasma screen TVs, Delonghi kettles or hot pots, and mini refrigerators. You will get a good night’s sleep on the comfort mattresses and high-thread-count bedding. On the top floor is the Skytree room, where you can enjoy a view of the highest structure in Japan. Rooms vary in sizes, with single, twin and variances on those. All are equipped with free wifi.
Amenities and extras
Agora Place Asakusa has thought of many ways to make guests feel comfortable. One way is by removing the amenities to reduce the cost and then letting guests select the products they need, a la carte style. You can rent a humidifier for the winter months or an aroma diffuser with essential oils or buy Agora’s own curry and cook it at the second-floor microwave oven. In addition, the third floor houses two combination washer/driers, and there is a breakfast service available for ¥800. The restaurant, which specializes in hamburger fare, is on the first floor and was just opened in October. Asakusa Grill Burg serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Around the hotel
There are tons of places to see right in Asakusa, and Agora Place is the perfect place to start your sightseeing journey. Kaminarimon (Thunder Gate) is the entrance to Sensoji, a wonderful temple with a shopping street (Nakamise) that is truly unique.
A little further afield, Kappabashi sells everything you could need in a restaurant or kitchen, and you can buy those little plastic pieces of food seen in restaurant windows.
A short train ride takes you to Shibuya, which is the fashion headquarters for teens and a great people-watching area. Ginza is the perfect place to get your luxury branded items, as there are more stand-alone luxury shops here than anywhere in the world. Akihabara is the place for discount gadgetry, maid and cosplay cafes, and enough neon to make it look like daytime. Ueno has a popular park, discount shopping stalls, and a world class city zoo. Omotesando is the 30/40-something playground, with great restaurants, bars and shopping just a 10 minute walk from Yoyogi Park.
For further information check www.agorahospitalities.com.
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