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Hotel Hillarys Akasaka
3 Chome-12-5 Akasaka, Minato-ku, Tokyo
From ¥8,100 /night

Hotel Hillarys is a modern, budget hotel with a slightly unusual layout. While appearing to be a single building, it’s actually made up of two separate buildings joined together on the first and ninth floors.

What’s the hotel like?

Photo by Gregory Lane

The hotel has a kind of modern Japanese aesthetic, with lots of earthy, subdued, woody tones. The hallways outside the rooms are quite different though, with a kind of retro-future look.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The front desk staff at the hotel speak good English and didn’t have any problems communicating.

What facilities does the hotel have?

The main feature of the hotel is the mens and womens spa on the 9th floor. Guests can use the spa for free. The spa is basically an onsen-style bath that you can soak in.

Photo by Gregory Lane

There is a fantastic rooftop terrace (more on that below) but it is only open at breakfast time.

Is there anywhere to hang out in the hotel?

There is not much space in the lobby, so hanging out there is not really practical. Additionally, the ground floor restaurants (including a shisha bar and an osteria) are not part of the hotel, so you’ll need to order food or drink to hang out there.

What are the rooms like?

At least half of the rooms in the hotel have windows facing the neighboring building, so there isn’t enough natural light to illuminate the rooms.

Photo by Gregory Lane

Rooms in the other half of the hotel face an empty parking lot so they have a bit more light. However, all the rooms have opaque windows, so there is no view from any of the rooms.

How big are the rooms?

The rooms are small, but well laid out. Having the sink in the room instead of the bathroom is an interesting touch.

Photo by Gregory Lane

This writer of average height found the beds (apparently sourced from American bed maker Simmons) to be somewhat short, with feet almost dangling off the end. If you’re over 180cm (5’11”) then you might have to curl into a ball!

Are the rooms comfortable?

The rooms are comfortable enough with a safe, kettle, refrigerator, desk, and large screen TV.

The lack of natural light was a slight issue, but on the plus side, the window was openable, so it was possible to circulate some fresh air in the room.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The desk was more than sufficient for banging out a few emails, but you wouldn’t want to spend more than an hour or so seated here facing the opaque window.

Besides the slightly too small bed, the pillows were definitely on the soft side, so if you like a firm pillow, you may be out of luck.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The bathroom was of the unit variety with the shower in the bath. Moving the sink to the main living space does give the bathroom slightly more space than similar sized unit bathrooms.

What’s the view like?

There’s no view from the rooms, but there is a marvelous view from the rooftop terrace.

What’s the location like?

The location is quite convenient, with easy access to train stations, supermarkets, convenience stores, and eateries.

The streets below are popular with office workers in the evening | Photo by Gregory Lane

How is the access to trains and subway?

The hotel is only a couple of minutes walk from Akasaka Station on the Chiyoda Line and slightly further away from Akasaka-Mitsuke Station, served by the Ginza Line, the Marunouchi Line, the Hanzomon Line, and the Yurakucho Line 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 except for tourists.

Streamer Coffee Company with milky slightly overpriced coffees is just across the road. Just a little further along towards Akasaka Dori is the highly rated Tokyo Little House café. Streamer opens at 9am and Tokyo Little House opens at 10am.

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 monkey diety | Photo by Gregory Lane

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?

Photo by Gregory Lane

The buffet breakfast (available for an additional ¥1,600 to ¥2,000 depending on the package) is quite ordinary. Toast and fruit to add to the yoghurt were two notable items that were missing.

Photo by Gregory Lane

The (pre-sweetened!) coffee was from a push button machine. However, breakfast has one great thing going for it. If the weather permits, you can eat it on the rooftop terrace with comfy sofas and views of the surrounding neighbourhood, which is honestly, a great way to start the day.

Who should stay here?

With the rooms with interesting design elements, mens and womens spa, and relaxing terrace on the roof for breakfast, this place is ideal for travelling couples for perhaps a single night. Besides the terrace, there aren’t a lot of common places to hang out, so an extended stay might not be ideal.

What sustainability measures do they have?

The hotel has no information available about sustainability measures.

Tips and tricks for the best stay

Order the breakfast if you’re going to be there during nice weather in spring or fall. In summer, even in the morning it’s likely to be too hot to eat breakfast on the rooftop terrace.