The Centurion Hotel Grand is a centrally located city hotel in the lively backstreets of Akasaka. Good if passing through, but not necessarily the place to spend more than a couple of nights.
What’s the hotel like?
With a small tropical garden near the entrance and a colorful caged budgie in the lobby, the hotel is going for a resort feel. That doesn’t really extend to the rest of the hotel though. Despite being only ten years old, there are signs of wear and tear. The hotel also has a men’s only spa on the second floor, which gives it a slightly unusual vibe.
The staff were polite and efficient, but didn’t seem particularly confident dealing with an English speaker and resorted to single word communication.
What facilities does the hotel have?
As mentioned, the hotel has a spa which is “men only”. This is probably because the hotel predates Japan’s inbound tourism boom and it was originally intended to cater for Japanese businessmen. If you’re staying at the hotel, using the spa is not free. A ticket will set you back an additional ¥1,500.
Besides the spa, the facilities are a little sparse. There is no restaurant, but there is some cafe-style seating in the lobby. There are no power outlets though, so it’s not ideal for working.
There is also the customary corner with washing machines, a vending machine, and a microwave oven on the 2nd floor.
Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?
The lobby seems to be intended as a place to hang out, but it isn’t spacious. There’s even a record player with a selection of records, although this looks more like a design element than a place to listen to music.
There is a covered outdoor area to the left of the entrance with stools and standing tables where guests can have food and drink that can be bought at stores nearby.
What are the rooms like?
The room that we stayed in, on the 10th floor facing the street, had a rather strange configuration, with the TV on a stand in front of the window.
There’s free Wi-Fi, but it wasn’t very fast. It was noticeably slow when browsing Google photos. There were five power outlets around the room with one next to the bed, and four next to the desk.
How big are the rooms?
The room we chose was not the smallest size — there are single rooms as well. However, the rooms are cramped even by Tokyo standards.
As you’ll notice from the photo above, there is only enough space at the end of the bed for the TV stand.
Are the rooms comfortable?
Although small, one positive is the large floor to ceiling windows, which let in plenty of light when the curtains were opened. This is negated somewhat by the large television blocking the window.
The bathroom is standard for cheaper hotels in Tokyo. It’s a step up from the room and the shower is in the bath, so not ideal if you have mobility issues.
The aircon in room we stayed in had the fan unit in the ceiling of the entrance area near the door, so it was nice to not be blasted with cold air while lying in bed.
What’s the view like?
There are taller buildings surrounding most of the hotel, so there aren’t really any vistas from the rooms. If you’re located on the street side, the large windows do at least afford a view of the street life below. It still beats a frosted window facing a wall.
What’s the location like?
The location is quite convenient, with easy access to train stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, and eateries.
How is the access to trains and subway?
The hotel is about 5 minutes walk from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, which is served by the Ginza Line, the Marunouchi Line, the Hanzomon Line, and the Yurakucho Line. Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line is slightly further away in the opposite direction. With so many lines passing through the area, it’s a breeze to get virtually anywhere in Tokyo.
How do I get there from Tokyo’s airports?
From Haneda Airport, the easiest route is to take the Keikyu Line that runs into the Toei Asakusa Line, then change to the Tokyo Metro Ginza Line at Shimbashi Station, then alight at Akasaka-Mitsuke and take Exit 10 to the surface.
From Narita Airport, the fastest and easiest way to get to the hotel is via the Narita Express to Tokyo, then switch to the Tokyo Metro Marunouchi Line, then leave the train at Akasaka-Mitsuke and again, take Exit 10.
What’s the surrounding neighborhood like?
The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of offices, retail, and eateries. It’s a popular drinking and socializing area on weekday evenings, but it’s not as seedy as nearby Roppongi, so there are far fewer touts. On weekends, the area is almost deserted.
Are there many good places to eat nearby?
Akasaka is packed with good places to eat and drink. In the area you can find whatever cuisine you fancy. There is sushi, high-end ryotei, cheap and cheery izakaya, Italian, Chinese, French, Korean, Thai, Spanish — take your pick. Palermo (despite the name) serves delicious Neapolitan style pizzas and pasta dishes. Itamae Sushi is a good-value sushi chain in the area. Craft Beer Server Land serves up vegan dishes with a wide choice of local and international craft beer. For massive volume at an affordable price, head to Chinese Cafe 8, but be careful not to over order! For one of the more unique (but by no means cheap) dining experiences in Tokyo, make a booking at Ninja.
What points of interest are within walking distance of the hotel?
Hie Shrine and its popular path of red torii gates is a short walk from the hotel. The traditional Japanese garden at the nearby New Otani hotel is also worth checking out. If you’re a fan of electronic gadgets, head to Bic Camera to browse the huge range of items.
Should I order the breakfast?
On our visit, Centurion Hotel Grand Akasaka was not offering breakfast. Reviews from previous guests suggest that in pre-COVID times a buffet breakfast was offered in the sister Centurion Hotel Vintage located across the road.
Who should stay here?
Although it is geared towards male businessmen with the 2nd floor spa, it does have a wide range of room configurations, including rooms with bunk beds. Therefore, it could be a good place for families of up to 4 to stay together. On the downside for families, there are no parks near the hotel, so it’s still just a place to sleep before moving on rather than a place in which to base yourself.
What sustainability measures do they have?
There were no sustainability measures that we observed during our stay.
Tips and tricks for the best stay
The street below Centurion Hotel Grand Akasaka is filled with drinking and entertainment establishments, so it can get rowdy on week nights. If that’s a concern, request a room on a higher floor.
- 133 m from Akasaka-mitsuke Station Ginza Line (G5)Marunouchi Line (M13)
- 396 m from Akasaka Station Chiyoda Line (C6)
- 0.5 km from Tameikesannō Station Ginza Line (G6)Namboku Line (N6)