Review: APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari

After a full-filled couple of days at Tokyo Disneyland, we wanted somewhere with a little bit of added luxury to spend a couple of nights working and recovering. After scouring booking websites for what felt like hours we ended up with two nights at the APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari.

Since it’s launch of the East Wing in October 2016, the APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari is the largest hotel in Japan with 2,001 rooms. Which of course, provided us with another excuse to stay here…

The retail cost of these two nights was £103 tax inclusive. However, I exchanged some Tesco Clubcard points to subsidise the cost bringing the total down to just £18.50 (you have to pay the taxes in cash when using Clubcard)

Location

APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari is located in Chibai. With Tokyo being around an hour away and Tokyo Disney around 45 minutes by public transport, the benefits of this location are limited to the Baseball Stadium and Tokyo Bay.

Check-In

We arrived at the hotel around 12-midday having walked from the nearby JR Kaihim-Makuhari. We didn’t know prior to checking in that the hotel actually offers a complimentary bus service between the station and the hotel (more details in services)

We arrived in the West Wing of the hotel and proceeded through the central tower into the East Wing for check-in. To an area which seemed to remind the both of us of Vegas… Unfortunately, the staff behind the reception explained that check-in was strictly restricted to 2pm. So we proceeded to work on the seats in the lobby and snack on goods bought from the Lawson shop inside the resort until that time.

Around 1.55pm, a queue began to form in the barrier area around reception. A staff member came over to inform us that check-in was now available, so I proceeded to queue up to access the electronic check-in booth.

Due to the size of the hotel, check-in booths are designed to assist with the number of people looking to check-in to the hotel at the set time. There were around 20 booths available, with one staff member assigned to roughly 4.

The machine was simple and easy to use, and after a quick manual check from the staff member, we were off to our room on the 4th floor back over in the West Wing of the resort.

Hotel Room

Like many hotel rooms in Tokyo, our basic run of the house twin room at the APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari was small. 14-square foot in total. However, the space had been maximised to allow it to feel cosy. The furnishings and finishing’s of the room were modern, and despite a couple of marks on the wall (where something such has luggage etc. had caught it), the room was clean.

The room featured a 40-inch modern TV that seemed to dwarf the size of the room even further, but we’re in Japan, after all, technology is king!

Our room had a large window, which unfortunately didn’t provide the partial sea-view we hoped. Personally, if I was to visit again I’d consider paying the 10% – 15% extra or so to stay in the main tower where the view either out onto the sea or the city would be worthwhile.

Our two half single beds were made complete with a luxury memory foam mattress topper that I thought was set to provide me with the best nights sleep in Tokyo so far. Unfortunately, the pillow which somewhat resembled a flip-flop seemed to ruin that thought pretty quickly.

The bathroom was made up of a toilet, with all the features you’ll find on a toilet in Japan. A small shower bath, with a powerful shower head and sink with a large mirror. While we had no problems using any of the bathroom facilities, I would note that they seem to keep the boiler / water-heater behind the mirror which can cause the mirror and the rest of the bathroom to become incredibly hot.

The room featured non-branded toiletries. Like the rest of Japan, this extended to items including razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste etc.

The room is cleaned daily, however, we only booked two nights here and wanted to maximise our work-time in the room. We therefore politely declined the staff who offered to clean our room after the first night. Details on what parts of the room are cleaned, and what items are replaced are available in an information brochure inside the room.

Services

Complimentary Shuttle To JR Kaihim-Makuhari Station

Something we only found out about during our stay at the hotel rather than prior to our visit was the complimentary shuttle to and from the nearest JR station.

We decided to ride this bus (10:40) after checking out as we were heading to the station and didn’t fancy walking there in the rain. The bus driver was friendly and informative and the bus left the hotel promptly. It’s a rather old bus, with no space for luggage which led many people to put the luggage on seats, by their feet or on top of their legs for the 10-minute journey.

None of which was ideal, however, we personally felt as though this was a fantastic bonus of a service that saved us money compared to a taxi or the misery of walking to the station in the rain. So, we can forgive the minor issues with the service.

Shuttle to Tokyo Airports

For a fee of around 1000¥, you can take a shuttle organised by the hotel from the hotel to either the Narita airport or Haneda airport. The service operates from 7.30am until 6pm and is bookable in advance at reception. The service is available at a reasonable cost and certainly takes the stress out of using public transport to get to either of the airports from the hotel.

WIFI

The WIFI at the hotel is, like the rest of Japan, fantastic! We did suffer from a couple of Internet outages, however after speaking to staff on reception and them resetting the router we had no further issues.

Swimming Pool

The swimming pool is accessible for JPY 4400 per person, per day – we didn’t bother visiting. An extra cost for access to swimming pools where available seems common in Japan.

On-Site Restaurants

There are a number of restaurants located within APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari. Having passed it a couple of times during our stay, we decided to visit the MoMo’s Café one evening for an Italian meal.

Two delightful personal pizzas and two drinks came to around 2,800¥. The food was fantastic and the pizza was cooked in a genuine pizza oven. I was only disappointed in the portion size, again this is something which is rather standard in Japan.

Lawson

As we planned to work during our stay at APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari we spent the majority of the time buying food, drinks and other snacks from the Lawson on the ground floor of the west wing within the resort. The staff were super friendly and helpful, and thankfully the prices weren’t inflated being inside the resort compared to the Lawson shops we’d visited so far during our visit to Japan.

Conclusion

At around £60 a night inclusive of taxes the APA Hotel and Resort Tokyo Bay, Makuhari is a bargain despite its limited location. We did look at extending our stay for a couple more nights. Unfortunately, prices both online and from the staff at reception were topping £200 a night, so we, therefore, decided to stay elsewhere.

  • 81%
    Location - 81%
  • 87%
    Room - 87%
  • 94%
    Facilities - 94%
  • 89%
    Value For Money - 89%
88%

Summary

Great resort hotel for the money, just a shame about the location – however, that’s why it’s so cheap. Great staff, a variety of food options on-site, small rooms – but that’s standard for Japan.

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