We landed in Osaka, last-minute and with nowhere to stay I looked to the APA chain once again to take us in. We’d had a reasonable stay back at APA Tokyo Bay for a reasonable price, and being a Saturday night price was higher than usual in the Osaka region so I figured it would be a safe bet.
I booked the one nights stay on Hotels.com (they seem to be cheaper than most booking sites here in Japan) for £56.29 – and then a second night for a much better rate of £40.98.
After the trauma of travelling around last minute with zero points to spend in any Western hotel chains, I decided to book the accommodation and secure plans for our last week in Japan, hence the second-night booking.
We chose this particular APA Hotel due to it’s close proximity to Osaka station. Where we were at the time of booking the hotel.
Aside from the fact it’s within walking distance of one of the busiest stations in the whole of Osaka. The location of APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi-Ekimae has some other great benefits with a 7-11 just across the street, a Starbucks around the corner and Higobashi just outside the lobby entrance to the hotel.
Within walking distance of APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi-Ekimae, you’ve also got attractions including; Osaka Science Museum, Festival Hall and the Nakanoshima Kosetsu Museum of Art.
We arrived at the hotel around 8pm, having walked the half a mile or so from Osaka station. The lobby was empty and we managed to walk straight to the check-in desk. The format was much the same as our stay at APA Tokyo Bay with screens available in multiple languages to assist you with checking in, and a staff member to help and approve the process.
As we booked a second night during our first nights stay at the APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi-Ekimae we had to check-in again. Unfortunately, however, I had fallen ill. Probably due to staying up until some crazy hour trying to organise things for the rest of our trip to Japan.
Helen explained this to reception and they allowed us to remain in the same room without checking out and then back in again.
We came back down to the lobby around 3pm (the time in which standard check-in is available from) to go into town and grab a bite to eat. At this time we noticed a queue of around 30 people waiting to check-in.
This wasn’t the only time we experienced a large number of guests in a small space. The four lifts dedicated to the hotel created some chaos a number of times during our stay. With no stairs available (at least that we could find) and a hotel room on the 11th floor, we had no option but to queue and wait.
Access to stairs for those looking to travel between the lower floors or increasing the number of or capacity of the lifts needs to be a priority for a hotel of this size.
I accidentally booked a smoking room (the disadvantages of booking last minute) so looking past the smell of smoke embedded in the walls, what else can I tell you about our room at APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi-Ekimae.
Well, it’s significantly smaller than the APA Hotel we stayed in back in Tokyo Bay. At 14-square foot, I wondered as to whether that would even be possible. With a small double bed pushed against the wall and a small TV stand/desk against the other. With a 32 inch TV that once again seemed to dwarf the size of the room even further.
The room while clean was clearly very outdated and in dire need of refurbishment. The room came with two coat hangers, no wardrobe and very little space to put a suitcase if you’d brought one.
A small kettle, cups and a fridge were all available in the room. Ideal for cups of tea and coffee in the room, and of course, storing snacks!
Like the rest of the room, the bathroom was small and outdated. Although clean it showed it’s age. The shower was easy to use and very powerful and there was a great range of amenities including; shampoo, conditioner, face wash, cotton buds, shower sponge etc.
We were provided with fresh towels daily. Strangely, one of the towels was always white while the other was this off shade of coffee that only seemed to add to the ageing feel of this place.
WIFI at APA Hotel Osaka Higobashi-Ekimae is complimentary with the password to access it available from reception upon check-in. We experienced zero downtime during our two nights here, and the speeds were around 50mbps upload and download – pretty standard for Japan.
Public Baths / SPA
While we didn’t use the public baths within the hotel ourselves, we noticed their popularity with other guests. With many heading down in the robes provided to the second floor where the spa is located.
There are two restaurants located within the hotel. Both of which serve breakfast (Western and Japanese style) which is available at an additional cost (we chose against this and instead went to 7-11 for pastries)
During lunch/dinner you have a choice of the Vietnamese restaurant on the top floor or the La Veranda on the second floor. Alternatively, just outside there’s a small café / bar area serving snacks including pizzas and hotdogs.
Personally, I’d advise taking the short walk across the river to the Sonezakishinchi area which boasts a number of fantastic restaurants.
Small, old and outdated seem to be the themes of this hotel. I wouldn’t stay here again, Osaka has such a great range of budget / mid-range hotels where you’ll find your money better spent. Here are some suggestions;