THE GATE HOTEL Asakusa Kaminarimon by HULIC was our home base for our recent stay in Tokyo, and we can safely say it’s the spot to be in Tokyo’s Asakusa neighborhood (see our post on what to do with 2 days in Asakusa). We were in Tokyo for only a few days and wanted somewhere central, close to the airport(s), and a place that made us feel at home in a unique neighborhood but still had an “it” factor, luxury vibe, and was unique and well-placed enough to make a 2-day stay effortless and worthwhile. We found that and more at The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it for any short-but-sweet stay in Tokyo.
THE LOOK: As a member of the Design Hotels group, The Gate has its own look and feel, simplistic but design-oriented from lobby to bedroom — from the entrance, with the water-reflected light effects, to the “egg” in the room, to the incredible lobby views. Oh yes, the lobby – what a view. The highlight of the hotel, in our view, is the chic lobby with its long elegant sofas and wide view over Asakusa, and Japan looking towards the Sky Tree tower. You’ll want to hang out here at least once. We loved the understated exterior look of the hotel – at one point, returning in the evening after a walk through Asakusa shopping district, we gazed down the street searching for our hotel and realized we were standing right in front of it!
LOCATION: Located in Asakusa area, a great locale, quiet enough but right in a vibrant neighborhood and well connected to everywhere else. Located in the humble but busy Asakusa neighborhood, near the Kaminarimon Gate leading to Sensoji Temple (a must-visit temple in the city), with an area full of shopping and restaurants, and near some cool attractions like Kirin Beer’s headquarters, the Tokyo Skytree (views of which were spectacular from the hotel), and close to a water ferry stop. The hotel is close to both airports (Haneda and Narita) and the train can take you there rather quickly — we were just over 30 minutes from Haneda which was perfect for our short trip.
ROOMS: Simple but smartly designed; loved the Nespresso espresso machine, comfortable beds, the futuristic toilet (I dared not press any of the buttons), amazing toiletries (loving the toothbrush to this day), and a really nice shower made for a luxurious and comfortable feel. Some rooms had a view to the Tokyo Skytree and the surrounding area. The room had enough space for the two of us + luggage, unlike some tiny spaces in Tokyo.
FOOD & DRINK: We loved the 14th-floor private bar with terrace (only open to hotel guests and their guests), which offered a great view both day and night. There is an outside seating area, complete with heaters for cold days, and an inside bar (I must say, the bartender must’ve been quite bored as we didn’t see any people up here). There is a restaurant in the hotel, offering all meals. We didn’t try the restaurant for lunch or dinner, but it was open 24-7 (to guests) and the breakfast, although rather pricey, was very nice (although very Western!). I thought the Curry Eggs Benedict was sensational and I had to have it two mornings in a row; accompanying buffet offerings were good, but the honey display was a sweet sight to see. Breakfast is pricey (¥2,160, about $25 CAD) but worth trying once.
HIGHLIGHTS: The design and modern feel, the location and transport/ airport links, the view from the 13th-floor lobby, and the 14th private bar (only open to hotel guests, thus probably empty) and terrace with great views (try the beer straight from the tap, served in an ice-cold golden glass). We loved the vibe in the area, shopping and eating in the Asakusa area, walking around the temples and the old-style Tokyo neighborhood.
PRICE$: The hotel is not a budget option but isn’t overly expensive for Tokyo either (likely due to its location which is considered on the outskirts of Tokyo, but still well connected, in our opinion), running around $200-$250 per night (CAD). We think this hotel is a good value for Tokyo.
We don’t really have a bad thing to say about The Gate Hotel, and wish we could’ve stayed longer in Tokyo to experience it for longer. Consider it as part of your next trip to Japan.
Overall Rating: ♠♠♠♠♠ (5 out of 5)
Our stay was graciously provided by The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by Hulic but all opinions are our own.