Tokyo, Japan’s capital, is the world’s most populated metropolitan. The city is known for its unlimited choice of shopping, entertainment and dining, with a mix of ancient and modern culture, An exciting destination for tourists, Tokyo is also known for high hotel prices! But luckily, with points you can stay in Tokyo for free. In this post I will show you the best hotels in Tokyo on points from four major hotel chains.
(SEE ALSO: Best routes and cheapest miles to Japan from mainland U.S. ]
Where to stay in Tokyo?
Tokyo is a big city divided into 23 special wards (think of them as districts or small cities that group into a big one). When picking a hotel in Tokyo, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- Taxi is expensive, but luckily train/subway is cheap and fast, most importantly, ALWAYS on time!
- Stay near the city center instead of outskirt (such as Disney area or Narita airport, it is too far).
- Pick a hotel near a subway station along the JR Yamanote Line (the Tokyo loop line) for easy reach to Tokyo tourist sites.
- Pick a hotel served by the airport limousine bus for easy access to both Haneda or Narita airport.
- For tourist, the best area to stay is probably Shinjuku and Ginza.
- Other area like Shibuya, Tokyo station, and Roppongi area nice but also pricier.
- Other decent places include Shinagawa and Shiodome.
- Asakusa area is cheaper as it is the old side of the city.
- Book early as award nights are popular especially during peak seasons.
Best hotels in Tokyo on points
The table below lists all hotels in Tokyo on points from all four major chains, excluding those in Disney area and near the Narita airport, as they are a bit far from the city center.
Which hotel is the best redemption? That really is a personal choice. If you have free nights for Ritz Carlton or Park Hyatt, by all means book a stay there and enjoy the ultra luxury these hotels offer. But if you plan to be out all day long and just need a place to sleep and shower, it would be wise to pick a hotel requiring fewer points so you can stay a few nights longer. The challenge for a family is finding a hotel room that fits four people, as many award redemptions are for twin rooms with two twin beds!
|Hotel Name||Hotel Program||5th night free||Points required per night|
|Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo||Starwood||Yes||10,000|
|The Prince Gallery Tokyo Kioicho||Starwood||Yes||20,000-25,000
(30,00-35,000 after 3/7/17)
|The Westin Tokyo||Starwood||Yes||20,000|
|Tokyo Marriott Hotel||Marriott||Yes||40,000|
|The Prince Sakura Tower Tokyo||Marriott||Yes||40,000|
|The Ritz-Carlton, Tokyo||Marriott||Yes||70,000|
|Hyatt Regency Tokyo||Hyatt||No||12,000|
|Grand Hyatt Tokyo||Hyatt||No||25,000|
|Andaz Tokyo Toranomon Hills||Hyatt||No||25,000|
|Park Hyatt Tokyo||Hyatt||No||30,000|
|Hilton Tokyo Odaiba||Hilton||Yes||50,000|
|Intercontinental ANA Tokyo||IHG||No||50,000|
|InterContinental - ANA: The Strings Tokyo||IHG||No||50,000|
|InterContinental Tokyo Bay||IHG||No||50,000|
There are many well-located 3.5-star independent hotels in Tokyo costing about $150 per night. You can book these hotels through online travel agencies (best with a discount code such as one for Orbitz). You redeem bank points such as Barclay Arrival points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points to cover the hotel cost.
Hyatt Regency in Shinjuku
Shinjuku is probably the best place to stay in Tokyo. It is one of Tokyo’s biggest transport hubs and located on the Tokyo loop. Here everything is at your finger tip: several huge department stores, huge electronics shops, literally thousands of restaurant, and plenty of sights nearby.
I visited Tokyo for the first time in April 2014. After much debate, I opted to stay at the Hyatt Regency instead of the Park Hyatt. Rooms are small yet modern, service is great, most importantly location is awesome! The hotel is connected to a subway station and only one stop from Shinjuku train station, or you can also walk to Shinjuku station in less than 10 minutes. The airport limousine bus from both Haneda and Narita airport drops off and picks up directly in front of the hotel. At 12,000 points per night, Hyatt Regency is simply a fantastic value for Tokyo! You can stretch your points even further using 6,000 points plus $75 a night.
A visit to Tokyo can be wallet friendly. Not only you can get there free using the cheapest miles, you can also stay free using hotel points. Have you stay at any hotels in Tokyo on points, especially one that fits a family of four in one room? If so, share your recommendation in the comment below.
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These hotels can also be redeemed with points
– Intercontinental Tokyo Bay
– Hilton Odaiba
Stayed at both, very spacious rooms, both offer harbourview of Rainbow bridge.
You may also want to add
– Courtyard Ginza
– Courtyard Tokyo Station
I left the first two out because I thought they were far, didn’t realize they were only 20 minutes from Shinjuku. I added these two in. I didn’t find any award availability when I look at the two courtyard hotels. I will look at it again. Thanks for the tip.
Good info, but lots of typos! I’m heading there in April. It looks like I might have to get the Chase Hyatt card.
Thank you for pointing out. Guess spell check didn’t catch it and I should have read it again in the morning after writing the post at night!
Yes people love that Park Hyatt, even if just for one night.
Tokyo is a sprawling city with an excellent subway system. Because of this, there more “good” locations to stay at than “bad”. As long as you’re close to a subway station, you can get anywhere you want pretty efficiently.
It’s also worth noting that Tokyo hotels, regardless of price, are generally clean with minimalist decor. If the location, cleanliness and decor are all the same, what is left to base your decision on*?
Most of us have a stash of points from a certain hotel-chain that we have more than we know what to do with (in my case, this was IHG); burn those points in Tokyo. Since I limited myself to IHG properties, I reviewed each of the Intercontinental properties and chose the one that best suited my tastes.
It’s worth noting that higher-priced hotels set themselves apart with larger rooms and additional high-tech amenities.
I stayed at the Sheraton Miyako. It’s a wonderful hotel, with a great staff, and a quick free shuttle ride to the Yamanote line station. It also has a great Sheraton club which was excellent for breakfast. It’s in a quiet residential neighborhood, but with nice, quaint restaurants nearby. It was really nice to walk around in the mornings and people-watch.
Very good post on stay @ Tokyo on points. Thank you
Thanks for the review and you are correct that Shinjuku is the perfect hub. I also like the HR Tokyo as there is a complimentary hotel bus to and from Shinjuku station if traveling with a lot of luggage from the JR Airport Express Train from NRT or the weather does not cooperate for an easy walk. I believe the bus pick up is station #35 and it goes every 15 minutes from the hotel and the bus stop at Okydu Department Store, yet you can email the Hyatt concierge for details. If you pre-purchase the JR Rail Pass, it is quite easy to use JR trains to Tokyo Station for Shinkansen day trips or overnight trips to Kyoto and elsewhere.
Great tip for JR users! Thank you.
Family Rooms? I’m finding that many Tokyo hotels don’t show results when I search for award nights for 2 adults 2 kids. Any reader recommendations on award stays with children?
Yes it is a real challenge finding a room in Japan that fits 2 adults 2 kids. Most award nights only allow you to book for 2 people. I would recommend email the hotel that you are interested and ask if they can upgrade your room to a bigger room to accommodate 4 people (or a rollaway). Often it requires cash payment. If you are willing to spend flexible points or pay cash, consider the Keio Plaza Hotel. They have rooms that fit up to 6 people! It is within steps of Shinjuku station, on the airport limousine route, and even has its own free shuttle to Disney Tokyo (if that is on your agenda).
@Josh Sheraton Grande Tokyo near Disney and Hilton Tokyo Bay. At that Sheraton, kids under 17 stay free. We had a room for 5. It was tight, but fine for sleeping and everyone had a bed. We’re going back and we’ll stay at the Hilton probably using cash. Don’t go with the kids if you won’t take them to Disney though. It will be too close for comfort. It’s at the end of the subway line. If you are a Disney fan, it’s AWESOME!
I was very happy with Hilton Shinjuku – right next to the Hyatt. Easy train access (though generally avoid Shinjuku station unless you need to – use the smaller stations nearby). Good upgrades for status (Jr. Suite or copay for full suite), and the executive lounge has almost the same view as the nearby metropolitan government buildings. + they give you free breakfast AND lounge access for diamond.
That was another hotel I considered. But it wasn’t available on points for my stay. Next trip! Thanks for the tip.
This is a great write up, but like another reader had mentioned… It would be nice to hear your advice re: being a niche ‘family travel blogger’ on which hotels are the best for rewards redemption allowing for a family of 4 to stay somewhere.
I hear you! For many Asian cities especially Japan, that is a real challenge! I promise that post will come, but probably not until I actually take my whole family to Tokyo. I encountered the same problem for my upcoming trip to Kyoto which I will write about soon. I also wrote a post about hotel redemptions for large families in the U.S.
I’ll definitely be following for the Kyoto post!