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The B Hotel Sangenjaya

A comfortable, modern hotel with a warm welcome

Not far from the clamour of Shibuya, Sangenjaya is a fashionable residential area, attracting a more Bohemian crowd than its noisy neighbour. It's a good place to stay if you want to be close to the action but have a quiet base you can retreat to, and just a minute from the station, the b (with its trendy lower-case name) allows you to do just that.

After I checked in smoothly with the English-speaking reception staff and went up to my room, I was pleased to find a personal welcome card in my room, alongside a fearsome-looking international adaptor, which I imagine allows you to plug in devices from any country or planet with electricity.

The room itself was a fair size, bigger than at standard business hotels, and decorated in warm, relaxing colours, with a couple of comfortable beds, a small closet, fridge and TV, and a very compact bathroom. Being in a quiet area means I had no trouble sleeping at all, and could wake up nice and refreshed.

Elsewhere in the hotel, the lobby has comfortable couches to relax on, a PC for guests to use, and an espresso machine from which you can help yourself to free coffee. If you have your own laptop, there's free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel, and LAN cable internet available in all the rooms. On the second floor there are vending machines for soft drinks and alcohol (though the convenience store next door is likely cheaper), and up on the twelfth floor is a laundry room with washing- and drying-machines.

There's no sightseeing nearby, but plenty of shops and eating and drinking options. Just across the street there's a big Seiyu, a discount store operated by Wal-Mart, a good place to pick up souvenir chocolates for the kids or sake for that uncle. There's also Carrot Tower, a 26-storey orange building with a handful of shops and a great view of the surroundings.

The buffet breakfast was served in the relaxed Italian restaurant near reception. There was a good spread of both western and Japanese food: sausage, eggs and bacon; fish, rice, pickles and salad; toast, bread rolls, butter and jam.

There are single, double and twin rooms available, of different grades, with a bewildering range of different packages; you can include gift cards, an aroma bath, a 'Girls' Night Out' set, a face pack 'to look like a Kabuki actor', or you can choose a ladies package and 'enjoy your stay with nine aroma amenities'. (The Men's Package only includes 'selected amenities'.)

The cost depends on all these factors, and I imagine also the season, but you can likely expect to pay something like ¥10000 to ¥14000 to stay by yourself, or between ¥17000 and ¥24000 for a twin or double. I didn't check comprehensively, but it looks as if there are discount rates for advance booking or longer stays.


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