Built in 2012, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by HULIC is a boutique-style accommodation situated in the atmospheric Asakusa district of Tokyo. In a city where value for money lodging is notoriously difficult to find, this hotel offers the rare combination of convenience, proximity to tourist sights as well as a value proposition that caters to the needs of health conscious individuals. I stayed here during my third visit to Tokyo, having before tried capsule hotels and chain hotels. This was my first stay in a stylish boutique property in Tokyo.
the sensoji temple – a short walk from the hotel
As previously mentioned, The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon is located in Asakusa, an area that is typically overshadowed by Shibuya, Shinjuku, Roppongi and Marunouchi where travelers’ location preferences are concerned. The nature of this preference escapes me, as one of Tokyo’s most popular tourist attractions, the Sensoji Temple is located here and the relatively new Tokyo Skytree is just a short ride away. The hotel itself is located just a short walk from Asakusa station which has direct connections to many important points in the city as well as to Narita airport.
A phenomenon I’ve noted in many hotels in Tokyo is that the lobby / reception area tends to be located in a high floor, sometimes even higher than the rooms themselves. Such is the case at this property where the lobby is situated on the topmost floor. This is not totally unwarranted however, as the view of the Tokyo Skytree and the Sensoji Temple makes for a worthy backdrop when checking in. My check-in process was a breeze. After obtaining my passport, the staff at reception carefully explained to me what my welcome pack consisted of – keycards, breakfast stubs for the duration of my stay as well as internet login details.
My room was at the 12th floor, just one floor below the lobby and the highest floor for hotel rooms. My room was a Classic Room which is listed as 24 sqm in size. For the price point, the size is markedly bigger than other hotels in Tokyo which typically go for under 20 sqm.
more views of the room
The interiors were sleek with a slight degree of minimalist design, as is typically the case for upscale hotels around Japan. Walls and furnishings were mostly in dark tones. There was an abstract artwork hanging on the wall while a large egg-shaped floor lamp sat beside the window with a view that overlooked the Tokyo Skytree. Pajama sets were conveniently placed on the bed.
As is often the case in modern boutique hotel design, the bathroom was separated into two with the toilet (with warm seats and bidet) and a small sink on one side and the washbasin, shower and bath area in another. Toiletries and various amenities were copiously provided. A nice touch was the inclusion of facial wash which typically only the very high end boutique hotels (think the W) offer.
I was surprised to find a bathtub in the bathroom. Elsewhere, smaller hotels typically forgo the bathtub but in Japan it’s common to have bathtubs even in the smallest of hotels.
Breakfast at The Gate Hotel Kaminarimon by Hulic
breakfast at the restaurant
I really loved the breakfast offering at this property. While it doesn’t boast of a very extensive buffet spread – and it doesn’t claim to – there is great emphasis placed on freshness and quality. The vegetables offered are organic and each day the selection changes depending on the fresh veggies the hotel’s able to source.
oranges are manually squeezed by staff members for the juice
There is just one type of juice offered – orange juice – but no complaints from me. The oranges are freshly squeezed out in the open for guests to see. It’s pure 100% orange juice with no additives, not even extra water or sugar!
my eggs benedict
Aside from the buffet spread, guests are able to choose one made-to-order dish from a selection of french toast, scrambled eggs and eggs benedict. I tried the eggs benedict on my first day and scrambled eggs the second. Of the two, I preferred the eggs benedict, which came immaculately prepared and topped with a special orange-y hollandaise sauce.
the view from the hotel’s roof deck
One of the best things about this hotel is the roof deck offering a dramatic view of the Tokyo Sky Tree. Entrance to the roof deck is free for guests and up there, a bar is also open at night offering a myriad of drinks. I loved going up there to soak in the views of the city. It’s particularly atmospheric at sunset as the famed neon lights of the city begin to light up.
The property is a fantastic midrange lodging option in Tokyo. It is convenient with Asakusa proving to be a worthy base with its charming traditional shops and restaurants. Transport options are also aplenty – with Asakusa station offering plenty of links throughout the city and even to Narita airport. What I really loved however about this hotel is its focus on providing healthy options for guests. That, along with the above average room size, is almost unheard of at this price point and are definite plus points. Overall, this relatively new property is well-suited to the tourism boom that Tokyo (and Japan in general) is currently experiencing. Those not used to the city’s stature as one of the world’s most expensive will be surprised by the relative value that this property offers without any compromise to service and room quality.
The Gate Hotel Asakusa Kaminarimon
2-16-11, Kaminarimon, Taito-ku
Tokyo, 111-0034, Japan
I was hosted by the property. However all opinions are my own.