A couple of weeks ago, I had blogged about arriving in Japan for a vacation with my family. It was a wonderful 5 days (technically 7 but we really don’t count the days of the flights) in a wonderful country. There was a lot of realizations and plans in my life that appeared in the realms of my mind; but I’ll share that on another post. For now, let me try to share a few pictures, information and my take on the choice of lodging during our stay in Osaka, Japan.
As early as now in this post, I’m putting up a disclaimer that I am not paid to make this review nor am I declaring myself as an expert in hotel reviews…or in any types of reviews. This is a mere post intended to give additional information for those who, like me, rely on personal experiences when about to go to a place/buy an item/etc.
Okay. Hotel Hillarys.
How did we hear about it? Hotel Hillarys was recommended to my dad by my aunt, who lives in Osaka, Japan with my Japanese uncles. She’s heard that the hotel is a relatively cheap business hotel and offers around-the-clock free non-alcoholic drinks apart from the usual amenities.
Location and price, please? It takes around 1 hour (by car/bus/taxi) from Kansai International Airport to Hotel Hillarys. The hotel’s in Nipponbashi, more popularly known as Den-Den Town, where consumer electronics and anime shops can be seen at large. As for the price, my aunt booked 2 twin rooms, each costing 8,000¥ a night (includes buffet breakfast). Computing it per person and for 6 nights, 12,000PhP seems to be a good enough price for a nice hotel room in Japan. As for other room types, you can check the hotel’s charges here.
Konnichiwa! Reaching the hotel, we first didn’t notice the entrance because from the grounds outside, the first things you’ll see are the glowing signs of a 7-11 convenience store and a coffee shop. There’s just a tiny entrance where upon stepping in the auto-sliding doors, you are greeted by a couple of chairs on either side and an elevator in front of you. You’d have to get in the tiny elevator and push the button to the 2nd floor to get to the hotel lobby.
Checking in. When we arrived, there was one hotel staff employee who spoke and understood English quite well. But to make things faster and easier, my aunt was the one doing the talking. It was a breeze checking in when you’ve booked in advance: give your name, the number of nights you’ll stay, which room type you’ve booked and which complimentary drinks (mineral water, bottled vegetable juice, bottled green tea), the number of which corresponds to the number of nights you’ll be staying, you want to take with you to your room. Payment is done upon checking in then you get your key card.
First impressions and the amenities. While the adults (in this trip, I considered myself as a kid) were dealing with the hotel staff, my brother, Jr, and I did a quick round of the lobby. This didn’t take much time because it was verrry tiny. BUT it looked nice and comfy with the sofa-like chairs around. There was also an area for free use of the computer and internet and for making local and long-distance calls. There was also a line of bikes nearby the front desk which were for rent . Rent entails you 500¥ deposit that you can get back in full after you’ve used the bike! Too bad our schedule was packed that we didn’t get to try riding the bikes. Oh well, maybe next time. 😛
Going back…apart from the internet and the bikes, the hotel offers free drinks (24 hours) and bread (6-8am only)! Of course you’ll have to go down to the 2nd floor/lobby to avail of this and you can only use the hotel’s paper cups or mugs; but boy, did we chug down a lot of orange juice and hot chocolate! I never got to see if there was bread available because usually we’d have our breakfast at the hotel’s coffee shop outside by 730am and then leave for the day; but my mom told me she got a glimpse of the bread basket when she got down for a 630am coffee.
The room. Now, Hotel Hillarys is a business hotel.; so most of the rooms are singles. There is only 1 twin room per floor (a total of 7 – the hotel has only 7 floors, 8 if you count the tiny entrance area) and with that, my parents got the one on 7th floor while my brother & I got the one on the 8th. We entered room 815 and immediately were impressed with the pleasing vibe it gave. The room was tiny but looked really clean and bright.
So what was in the room? Let’s list them all down
- 2 twin beds: The mattress was just right, especially for someone like me who has a scolio. The 6 nights we were there, I didn’t wake up to an aching back. Actually, it was hard to get up from the comfy bed. The sheets & comforter were a little small for me (well, I love burying myself under the covers).
- Television: Uhm…we didn’t get to use it because the remote control, the instructions on how to use the tv and even the tv shows were all in Nihongo! It was a good thing I brought my office laptop so we could watch tv series episodes online when we’re resting in the room.
- Free internet: YAY for this one! Although it wasn’t WiFi, the hotel provides a LAN cable on the dresser where you can easily pull and attach to your laptop. Mind you, watching streaming videos were absolutely enjoyable as the connection’s really fast!
- Tiny refrigerator: There’s nothing inside the ref when we got in; but it was big enough to house the 6 complimentary drinks we were given upon check in.
- Hair dryer: I never got to use this one because I don’t know how. Hahaha! My bro got the most use out of it (yeah…he’s THAT vain)
- Electronic water heater: My mom used this to heat water for her instant cup noodles. This would be very useful for when you’re really on a tight budget and planning to bring packed instant food.
- Full-length mirror by the door: So that just before you go out, you can check how awesome you look. 😛
- Clothes rack: Okay, there were NO closets NOR drawers. Again, since it’s a business hotel, people who check in are usually on the go. The clothes rack, I assume, would be for hanging up suits or coats. My bro and I to make do with 2 hangers each and use our luggage as our closet.
- Bathroom: Tiny. VERY. One could barely get around in it but it was clean and hot water was available for shower. Plus, there were free shampoo, conditioner and body soap; along the toothbrush, toothpaste, body scrubs and towels. OH, OH…plus the toilet’s interesting! There were buttons for heating up the toilet seat, for using a bidet and such. I wish the toilets here in the Philippines could come close to that in Japan’s.
All in all, I give 3.5/5 rating to Hotel Hillarys . For a business hotel smacked right in the area where shops, malls and the like are plus offers free drinks, bread and internet, the price is cheap enough. Although they could add some closets or be more tourist friendly with their television and brochures in the room. Still, our stay was pleasant and relaxing. One very good experience for a first-timer in Japan.