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As part of my amazing €600 Business class “Sake Fare” trip to Japan on Qatar, we started our trip in Osaka. I wanted to explore Osaka, Kyoto and Hiroshima; and the Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka ticked all the boxes.
The Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka is located as the name suggests, next door to Shin-Osaka station. This is not a downtown location – Shin-Osaka Station (literally New Osaka Station) was built to accommodate the Shinkansen bullet trains and is across the river to the north of Umeda. If you want to reach the shopping in Umeda or entertainment in Namba, you will need to take a taxi or a train. Door-to-door, you’re looking at 12 minutes to Umeda or 18 minutes to Namba from the Courtyard.
If your main aim is exploration of the wider Kansai area though, this location is ideal. Direct from Shin-Osaka, you can be in Shin-Kobe in 16mins, Kyoto in 18mins and Hiroshima in 1hr 25mins.
In terms of food and basic necessities, Shin-Osaka has loads of shops, restaurants and takeaway food outlets which will meet most of your requirements.
Check in was in typical Japanese fashion – polite and efficient. We were surprised to hear that the hotel has an Executive Lounge on the top floor and as my partner is a Marriott Gold via his Business Amex Platinum. we were allowed access. We also received complimentary breakfast vouchers, despite neither of these being a guaranteed benefit at Courtyard branded hotels.
I was also told the hotel has a fitness centre – but if I don’t go to the gym at home, why would I on holiday! So I have no photos or opinion on it I’m afraid.
We were upgraded to a higher floor (16th) and, as mentioned above, granted Lounge access and complimentary breakfast. From what I can tell, the majority of the rooms at the hotel are very similar except for the suites. As we were on a very cheap advance purchase rate I didn’t expect a suite upgrade, plus the room was really just for sleeping in-between day trips.
Our room was a standard layout, so I’ll let the pictures do the talking. Hallway with wardrobe:
Bathroom to the left:
The shower had good pressure, and I really appreciated the toiletry dispensers, classier than a wall mount but more environmentally friendly than miniature bottles – WHY DON’T MORE HOTELS DO THIS!?!
Obviously it wouldn’t be Japan without an auto-deodorising, heated, self-cleaning, all spraying toilet would it?
Main bedroom with desk/table and TV:
The bed was large and comfy. Some of the beds we slept on in Japan were a bit hard, but this one was definitely more “Western” in terms of comfort.
We didn’t eat at the restaurants in the hotel except for breakfast.
There is a smart/casual restaurant on the ground floor, ‘Lavarock’, which serves food all day, and an upmarket Teppanyaki restaurant – Ikka Ichiyo Teppanyaki on the top floor (19th). There is also a bar on the 19th floor, called Bar 19 (however did they come up with that?!).
The breakfast in Lavarock was excellent. There was both Western and Asian options at the buffet stations, hot, cold and patisserie options.
They also offered two cook to order options, sweet and savoury. You take a little numbered stick from your table and hand it to the host by the counter who takes your order for the chef, and your order is then delivered to your table.
For the sweet options, either waffles or pancakes were available with different toppings which were tasty, but portion sizes were very Japanese:
For savoury, there were a number of different egg options, but the Eggs Benedict was the clear winner for us!
This was a nice surprise for a Courtyard, and an even nicer surprise that Gold elites were given access without booking an Executive level room. The lounge consisted of a fair size, nicely furnished room on the 19th floor with views across the city that seemed to have been left with the heating set to tropical. There was also a couple of laptops and a printer.
A continental breakfast was served here but with the quality down in the restaurant I don’t see why anyone would eat up there, unless you didn’t receive complementary restaurant breakfast.
There were snacks available throughout the day, and a “Cocktail Time” 6:30pm til 9:30pm with complimentary beer, wine and spirits. The Cocktail Time was very generous and I had no issues nipping in for a couple of cans of beer and a glass of wine to take back to my room rather than pay £6 a can and £10 a glass via room service!
The lounge was either empty or had just a couple of people in every time I visited, possibly due to the fact it was like a sauna!
There were a couple of laptops and a printer at the end of the room, however it wasn’t clear how to log on or get the printer working – which was a bit annoying when I needed to print a boarding pass off, and it was outside the attended hours. In the end I couldn’t be bothered to go all the way to reception, so I just checked in at the airport.
Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka Summary
I would definitely stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Shin-Osaka again. The hotel was in the perfect location for our plans, the rooms were modern and clean, breakfast was excellent and the lounge was a nice touch.
For my stay, I paid ~£137 a night, including tax, by booking in advance. This was really good value for the size of the room and location in Japan, which can be a very pricey market.
If you want to use points, this is a Category 6 property so is 30,000 Marriott points per night (or 10,000 SPG points, as remember you can transfer between your accounts since the merger). Remember, Marriott also gives you the fifth night free on 5+ night stays, so 5 nights would cost you 120,000 Marriott points.
For the price, it really would take some beating – but just be careful when it comes to points as cash might offer better value.