What’s Prince Smart Inn Ebisu like?
Prince Smart Inn is brand new budget hotel in the heart of Ebisu. It’s just about in the “stylish” category end of budget hotels, but not quite up to All Day Place Shibuya or Mustard Hotel Shimokitazawa standards of cool. The location is excellent – central but not flooded with tourists. Ebisu is a desirable and very central neighborhood to live in and a great night life spot.
What facilities does the hotel have?
There’s not much to do a the hotel, just a cafe on the ground floor. Reasonably nice as place to sit for a cold brew coffee, or get out your laptop for some computering.
What are the rooms like?
The rooms are very small with large glass windows, so if you’re on a higher floor at least there’s a nice open feel with no buildings immediately blocking your view. The beds are perfectly comfortable with power and USB sockets on the headboard. The shower and toilet are pretty basic, but perfectly adequate and (as a bonus for Japanese guests) they are separated plus there’s a sink and mirror in the room.
The rooms are fairly well insulated, and come with a basic air conditioner and dehumidfier. We noticed the windows making quiet expanding noises as it heated up with the morning sun. Our review room had an interesting art(?) piece on the wall, it resembled a bed of Kale or moss.
There’s a couple of stools in the room and just enough space next to the sink to sit with a laptop. Overall the rooms are a compact but comfortable refuge to rest after a day of exploring the city.
The internet speed was fairly slow for Tokyo standards – about 3Mpbs per second up and down, but that’s still fast enough for most use cases and streaming. The rooms all come with TVs, complete with netflix integration (which you need your own login for).
What’s the view like?
Depending on which side of the building you are on the view varies from fairly limited to quite open, although either way you can only really see over the local Ebisu area. With the large windows and reasonable space it’s still a nice view, but it’s not going to be an instagram sensation unlike Sequence Miyashita Park Hotel.
What’s the location like?
Ebisu is a fantastic location, especially if you want to be slightly of the tourist trail and walk amongst the fashionable Tokyoites. It’s a neighbourhood of choice for young professionals with a bit of money, and so it’s filled full of excellent and modern Japanese eateries. There’s also Ebisu Yokocho if you prefer a less pristine and more social dining experience.
How do I get there from the airports?
Ebisu is right next to Shibuya, just one stop counter clockwise on the Yamanote line. So if you’re coming from Narita read our article “Getting From Narita to Shibuya“, and taxi or Yamanote line the last stretch. From Haneda, taxi fares are fairly reasonable, or to keep it cheap the take the JR Monorail and change to the Yamanote at Hamatsucho.
How is the access to trains and subway?
The hotel is less than 5 mins walk to Ebisu JR station, and a couple of minutes to the Tokyo metro Hibiya line, both handy connections. You can quickly get to Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Ginza.
What’s the surrounding neighbourhood like?
Ebisu has a mix of residents and workers during the day, and bustling night life. There’s a large number of eateries and bars, so it’s a great neighbourhood to come back in the evenings after a day of exploring the city. As it’s a fairly residential neighbourhood, you’ll find supermarkets and convenience stores a short walk away.
What points of interest are within walking distance of the hotel?
Should I order the breakfast?
The free breakfast set consists of a toasted “cabbage” sandwich and coffee (cold brew, blend or ¥160 extra for cafe latte) or tea. But there’s only a choice of ham or tuna, and nothing gluten free, if that’s not a problem the breakfast is a welcome freebie.
Who should stay here?
This hotel is for younger budget travellers and a great choice if Tokyo night life is high on your bucket list.