In the film “Lost in Translation” there was a scene where Bill Murray was swimming in the hotel pool, next to some middle aged ladies having an aqua-aerobics class in Japanese. Now you can experience the same moment, and for those who prefer something a bit more budget priced than the Park Hyatt, there is an alternative at the Sheraton Miyako Tokyo.
The 25 meter pool and health club has all the touches to remind you of Japan, from swimming caps to polite pool attendants, and those moments where you wonder if you should crack a joke or not, just in case they don't understand your English. They didn’t tell you in the movie that you have to pay a small fee to get in the pool, but elite Starwood members or Corporate rate guests might try your luck for a discount.
This comfortable and thoughtful retreat is a collaboration between Miyako hotels and the Sheraton brand, combining Japanese hospitality with International features you expect from Sheraton. It is amazing the attention to detail they have here, from the sneakers that you can burrow in the gym, to having all the room lights available in the console next to the bed.
There are a number of restaurants where you can partake in breakfast or dinner here, from the western buffet to the more subdue and peaceful Japanese restaurant.
The western buffet breakfast is a good selection if you prefer, but quite expensive, unless you have it discounted as part of your accommodation package. In my opinion the Japanese set breakfast is a better experience. There are also restaurants and cafes and convenience stores nearby too if you wish. So if you are craving for that Teriyaki Burger, now is your chance.
On the other hand if you are after free wi-fi, this is available only in the lobby area. Just ask the concierge for the password if you are stuck. The lobby is also a good place to people watch the various parts of Tokyo society, from lunching housewives to business conferences. Admittedly the building is from the 1970s, but it carries its age well and is not obvious in the lobby which has an elegance from another time. It is also around 10,000 yen cheaper than the newer Westin and Hyatt. While not a five star hotel this is a reasonable choice for a four star.
What I really liked were the pleasant garden surrounding the lobby and restaurant areas. It was a great way to relax. The garden blends Japanese elements into nature, and even when it rains there is a certain sense of peace just watching the raindrops trickle down the moss gardens.
The rooms are very comfortable and spacious by Japanese standards. Some rooms have been modernized (the renovated rooms, which are clearly indicated on the booking site), there are also rooms in the original Seventies décor. They are comfortable too, but some find it a bit dated. While there are a lot of rooms, you rarely hear the other guests from your room, unless you are unlucky enough to be staying next to a huge tour group. As long as you time your time your check in and check out away from the busy hours, it is very easy and the staff are friendly and speak good English.