So, this is a simple list of hotels I suggest you try if you need a place to stay in one of these locations:

  • Japan: Tokyo, Fukuoka, Hiroshima, Kagoshima, Kyoto, Nagasaki, Oita, Osaka
  • Korea: Seoul, Busan
  • China: Shanghai, Hong Kong
  • Europe: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Longyearbyen and more

It's only a tiny, tiny fraction of the options you'll have but it should get you off to a decent start.

Introduction


All hotels are categorized into either Top, Mid or Basic according to this very non-scientific definition:

Top

Upscale hotel property providing a great experience through service, comfort and facilities. Park Hyatt Tokyo and Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong goes into this category.

Mid

Decent experience with service levels and facilities being significantly better than what the basic level properties offer. Typically in the four to five star range. ANA Crowne Plaza in Tokyo, Miramoon in Hong Kong and the W in London are good examples.

Basic

This mostly refer to the typical Japanese business hotel with really small, yet efficiently and smartly planned rooms in excellent condition. Depite not providing more than basic levels of service, these hotels are still a great option and usually gets you a ton of value. Most have self-service laundry facilities. Japanese brands include Unizo, APA, Dormy Inn and Daiwa Roynet.

Categorization

APA Hotel Akihabara Ekimae | Basic
Simple but very decent hotel, pretty much like all recently opened APA hotels. It's close to the Akihabara station and main street but then again, Akihabara itself is a bit off if you want to get to Shinjuku, Shibuya, Roppongi and the like. [last visited: 2014]

Akihabara


Ginza

Daiwa Roinet Hotel Ginza | Basic
The location is a tiny bit off, but still close to the northern part of the Ginza main street. Multiple subway stations are within short walking distance and Tokyo station is pretty close to, approx 10 minutes on foot. [last visited: 2016 ]

Unizo Ginza 7-Chome  | Basic
Right nearby the sotuthern part of the Ginza main street, really close to shopping, the Shiodome and Higashi-Ginza stations. Opened in late june 2016. [last visited: 2017]


Maronouchi

Mandarin Oriental | Top
Great service and a more small scale, intimate feel than what you might find at its larger upscale peers around Tokyo. The Tapas Molecular Bar restaurant is a fun and nice experience and you might end up getting stuck in the lobby floor restrooms – they do sport some truly amazing views. [last visited: 2012]

Hotel Ryumeikan Tokyo | Basic
A touch of high-level service despite being a basic level hotel. Nice tea facilities in the lobby, just a block from Tokyo Station. [last visited: 2014]


Apa Hotel Roppongi Ekimae  | Basic
Basic, but really good. Great location in Roppongi. Close to Roppongi Hills and Tokyo Midtown, and it's on a pretty calm back street despite being smack in the middle of Roppongi. [last visited: 2017]

Ritz-Carlton Tokyo | Top | Review
Great place. Stellar views from the rooms, especially at night. Good selection of restaurants, Hinokizaka is a great choice if you want a really decent kaiseki meal. Lovely and relaxing lobby and the club floor has great views towards Mt Fuji. The rooms recently got a nice and subtle interior update, too. Part of the Tokyo Midtown complex. [last visited: 2016]

Grand Hyatt Tokyo | Top/Mid
Nice and efficient, some really deecnt restaurants. Good service. Part of the Roppongi Hills complex. A favorite along with the Ritz-Carlton. [last visited: 2013]

Roppongi


Hotel Unizo Shibuya | Basic
Great location, close to Shibuya Crossing. Usually really good rates. Harajuku and Omotesando are an easy walk away. A personal favorite. [last visited: 2016]

Dormy Inn Premium Shibuya Jingumae | Basic
A tiny bit further away from public transport, it's still a good choice a block away from Cat Street, about halfway between Shibuya Crossing and Harajuku. And they have a small onsen, which is pretty uncommon in Tokyo. [last visited: 2017]

APA Hotel Shibuya-DogenzakaBasic
Slightly less good of a location compared to the Unizo, but still a good option. Use the shortcut through Shibuya Mark City to get to/from Shibuya Station faster. [last visited: 2014]

Shibuya Excel Hotel Tokyo | Mid
Right in the middle of Shibuya Crossing. Been around for a while but still does the job. Great views of the crossing while taking the glass elevator up to your room. [last visited: 2009]

SHIBUYA

 


Park Hyatt Tokyo | Top
Lovely top-tier hotel, though slightly off in terms of location. This is the »Lost in Translation« hotel and has been around since 1994. Great levels of service. [last visited: 2013]

Century Southern Tower Hotel | Mid
Great location across from Takashimaya Times Square, right next to Shinjuku Station. From time to time they have incredibly low rates. [last visited: 2013]

Prince Hotel | Basic
Good and simple option, right next to Shinjuku station. [last visited: 2011]

Shinjuku


Royal Park Hotel | Mid
Similar name, but not the same thing as the Park Hotel right next door. This is a favorite of mine, it's fairly cheap but still has really decent views and good service. Easy to get to from both the Shimbashi and Shiodome stations. I prefer this one over the Park Hotel. Try and get a room on one of the renovated floors. [last visited: 2016]

Park Hotel | Mid
Not to be confused with Park Hyatt, this is a pretty decent mid-tier hotel in the (typically calm) Shiodome area, close to Ginza, Shimbashi station and the Yurikamome train. I've had some problems with the AC not coping with unusually high summer temperatures, though. [last visited: 2014]

Villa Fontaine Shiodome | Basic
Right across the street from Park Hotel with more of a basic level service but larger rooms, Villa Fontaine often has really good rates. Pretty cool lobby. The Conrad is right next door. [last visited: 2012]

Shiodome


Andaz Toranomon Hills | Top
Awesome hotel in the Toranomon Hills tower. Upscale, great views and the gym/spa/pool area is absolutely stellar. Renting workout clothes and shoes is easy and if you get a spa treatment they'll make sure you get a custom hot chocolate before it all starts. [last visited: 2017]

Toranomon


Tokyo

all Tokyo hotels are on a separate page, found above or in the left-hand side menu

Fukuoka

Grand Hyatt Fukuoka | Mid
Part of the Canal City complex. Nice bar and lounge area, and a short walk from Hakata station. [last visited: 2015]

Crowne Plaza ANA | Mid
Good location a few blocks from Hakata station and JR Hakata City. Rooms are small but the level of service is quite a few notches above the basic level hotels. [last visited: 2013]

Hotel Forza Hakata | Basic
Right next to Hakata station, great when continuing with a train the next day. [last visited: 2016]

Dormy In Premium Hakata Canal City Mae | Basic
A (very slightly) more upscale version of the basic level Dormy Inn, this one has a really nice onsen area and rooms slightly larger than the average basic level hotel. Located right next to the new extension of Canal City. [last visited: 2012]

Dormy Inn Hakata Gion | Basic
Sort of in between Canal City and Hakata station, and slightly older than some of its local basic level peers. Still a good option and the onsen is quite decent. [last visited: 2013]

Hotel Active Hakata | Basic
Great location a few blocks from Hakata station, nice facilities and a small but nicely designed onsen area on the ground floor. One weird thing is that some (all?) rooms have frosted windows, preventing an accurate check of what the weather is actually like. [last visited: 2011]


Hiroshima

Crowne Plaza ANA | Mid
Close to the Peace Park and a within easy reach from downtown Hiroshima, ANA Crowne Plaza is a good bet. Rooms are small but nice. The ground floor restaurant runs a pretty nice, upscale lunch buffet. [last visited: 2011]


Kagoshima

Richmond Hotel Tenmonkan | Basic
Great location in the middle of the busy Tenmonkan area. Usually really decent rates, service is friendly and attentive too. A personal favorite of mine. [last visited: 2016]

Shiroyama Kanko Hotel | Top/Mid | Review (onsen)
Upscale hotel on top of a hill overlooking downtown Kagoshima. I haven't actually stayed there, but the onsen facilities are pretty awesome and the on-site restaurants I've tried are great. [last visited: 2016]


Kyoto

Hotel Monterey Kyoto | Mid
Great location, rates are often pretty good, and they have really nice onsen and relaxation facilities on the top floor. [last visited: 2012]

Nine Hours | Basic
Incredibly minimalistic tube hotel, designed to the very last detail. If you ever want to try sleeping in a tiny pod, this is the place to do it. Simply pay by the hour, hence the name. [last visited: --]


Nagasaki

Hotel Forza Nagasaki | Basic
Location is good, with most of downtown Nagasaski within easy reach. Including the ferry terminal with easy access to the pretty sweet onsen on Iojima. [last visited: 2016]


Oita

Daiwa Roynet Oita Basic
Nice, basic hotel pretty much in the middle of Oita. Within walking distance from Oita station. [last visited: 2012]


Osaka

Courtyard by Marriot Shin-Osaka Station | Mid
Close to the Shin-Osaka Station (that's where the Shinkansen gets you). Nice and slightly more upscale than a regular Japanese business hotel. [last visited: 2016]

Hotel Nikko Kansai Airport | Mid
Decent airport hotel connected to the Kansai International Airport (KIX).[last visited: 2017]

Swissotel Nankai Osaka | Mid
Pretty much right on top of Namba station and right next to Namba Parks, rooms have recently been renovated and are quite nice. Easy to get to from Shin-Osaka station using the subway. [last visited: 2013]

Apa Hotel Namba Shinsaibashi | Basic
A few blocks from Namba station and Namba parks. A great basic level pick. Close to major and upscale shopping. A bit of a trek from Shin-Osaka station though, but not too complex it you grab a cab to Namba station and catch the subway from there to Shin-Osaka. [last visited: 2013]

Busan

Park Hyatt Busan | Top | Review
The setup is similar to the Park Hyatt sibling in Seoul – a dedicated tower, a handful of rooms on each floor, and friendly, slightly informal service. Opened in 2013. The interior design is great, creating a warm, relaxed and fairly intimate ambiance. Love the wooden guest room floors, too. [last visited: 2014]


Seoul

Conrad Seoul | Top
Opened in late 2012 as part of the IFC complex. Service is a bit less consistent than what you'd get at the Park Hyatt Soul, and the attention to detail is subpar at times. But if you are entitled to use the Executive Lounge on the 37th floor, they'll do a great job of making sure you get a swift check-in and they keeping good track of your needs when you're in the lounge to relax or work. Rooms are nice, especially when overlooking the river, though a bit bland on the interior design front. Very decent spa and fitness center. A pretty good choice, especially if you want to be closer to the Hongdae area. [last visited: 2014]

Hyatt Regency Incheon | Mid
A classic airport Hyatt. The breakfast is really quite good and the facilities are decent. A shuttle takes you from and to the terminal and when it doesn't run late at night, it's semi-possible to walk from the Incheon station terminal to the hotel if you have to (I've done it a few times). [last visited: 2011]

Park Hyatt Seoul | Top
Love the service. Friendly, relaxed, feels like coming back to a family property of sorts. Once you become a regular guest the ground floor staff will whisk you right up to your floor with in-room check-in done in a split-second. Small and lovely relaxation area featuring an onsen-hot plunge pool. Located in Gangnam right next to Coex and the Samseong subway station. An absolute favorite of mine. [last visited: 2014]

Hong Kong

Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong Top
My favorite hotel alongside the Park Hyatt Seoul, located on floors 102 through 118 of the ICC tower. Views are stunning from all over the place, be it rooms, restaurants or the insane outdoor jacuzzi (my favorite pool on the planet, by the way). Feels a bit like touching the sky. Service is great but sometimes a bit rushed, as you might expect with Ritz-Carlton properties. [last visited: 2017]

Mira Moon | Mid | Review
Great hotel, my favorite not-really-luxury-but-still-fairly-upscale hotel in Hong Kong. [last visited: 2015]

Hyatt Regency Tsim Sha Tsui | Mid
Good location and the club level breakfast is really quite nice. Overall though, this Hyatt property provides a fairly detached experience, not bad at all but it's clearly a Regency level hotel. Suites facing the Hong Kong island are quite nice, though. [last visited: 2013]

Regal Airport Hotel | Basic
Pretty much your typical airport hotel. Conveniently attached to the main terminal building. It gets the job done, efficiently and with decent service. [last visited: 2017]


Shanghai

Park Hyatt Shanghai | Top
World's second highest hotel, occupying floors 79 through 93 of the SWFC tower. Insane views, good service, and the pool area is really quite something. Good burger in the lobby, too. [last visited: 2017]

Andaz Shanghai | Top
As always, the Andaz experience is quite a bit different from your average Hyatt property. Getting a chilled diet coke while they run the check-in is a nice touch and sodas are free to grab whenever you want. If you happen to find a few bathroom design similarities between this hotel and Park Hyatt Seoul, it's no coincidence, Super Potato did the interior design for both properties. Great place. [last visited: 2012]

Austria:
Vienna

Sofitel Stephansdom | Mid
Good location, rooms are all-grey or all-white with nice layouts, and breakfast is pretty awesome on the top floor overlooking downtown Vienna. I've tried the spa a few times and have been reasonably happy with the outcome. Service has been really good most of the times I've stayed there. It's an easy walk from the airport train (CAT) station, too. [last visited: 2011]


France:
Paris

Hyatt Paris Madeleine | Mid
Service levels are high, but the cramped room I had last time was not on par with expectations. Still, a good mid-level Hyatt property. The Park Hyatt Vendôme is fairly close by and I really recommend their »Le Pur'« restaurant. Great food, awesome service. [last visited: 2012]


Germany:
Frankfurt

Hilton Frankfurt Airport, Squaire | Mid
Being an airport hotel, this one is really quite good. New, fairly stylish and airy design. Takes a while to find sometimes, though. The Lufthansa First Class Terminal is within easy walking distance. [last visited: 2013]

Hamburg

Sofitel Alter-Wall | Top/Mid
Sofitel often runs with non-conservative designs of their rooms, and this is no exception. I really do quite like this property and the surf 'n' turf served at the restaurant was incredibly great last time I tried it. It's close to the downtown shopping areas and the Park Hyatt (went there to get a spa treatment once while staying at the Sofitel). [last visited: 2010]


THE Netherlands:
Amsterdam

Andaz Prinsengracht Top/Mid | Review
Lovely place, opened late 2012. Quirky and nice interior design, small boutique-sized property with informal, friendly and attentive service. Great location right next to the Leidseplein area. [last visited: 2013]

Sheraton Amsterdam Airport Hotel | Mid
Nice airport hotel. Easy to get in and out of Amsterdam using the commuter trains and it's equally easy to get to the RAI (Amsterdam's giant conference center). The club lounge is tiny but not bad. And I love strolling over to the airport terminal, watching the tarmac action form the Schiphol observation deck as the sun is about to set. Really nice way to unwind. [last visited: 2012]


Norway:
Svalbard

Radisson Blu Polar Hotel | Basic
Location, location, location. It's not a luxury place by any means, but that's not why you're there. Being in Longyearbyen is an amazing experience all by itself and this hotel serves its purpose well. Interestingly enough, if you happen to be Club Carlson Gold, they do get you a really decent in-room amenity, way better than the ones I've had at other Radisson properties in Norway. Also, be sure to book a table at »Huset«, a stunningly upscale restaurant in the middle of nowhere. And look out for polar bears. [last visited: 2013]


Switerzland:
Zurich

Radisson Blu, Zurich Airport (Mid)
Pretty decent airport hotel, accessible via a three minute stroll from the Zurich airport through underground walkways. Sporting a fancy wine cellar/glass tower. Bonus – If you get yourself a room facing the airport tarmac, you'll be able to take a shower while watching aircraft movements. [last visited: 2013]


UK:
London

Andaz Liverpool Street London | Mid
A nice East London property, mostly surrounded by office blocks but nice nonetheless. Easy to get to from the underground. Service is informal and friendly as with most Andaz hotels. [last visited: 2013]

The Grand At Trafalgar Square | Basic
If you're in town for business, this is a pretty good choice. No fuss, breakfast is sub-par, but the location is decent and everything is switft and easy. There's a nice mini-lounge area a few stairs up, perfect for quick meetings. [last visited: 2014]

Shangri-La At The Shard | Top
Views are great, especially from the corner bathrooms. Having a late night bath in the dark is really quite something. Service is a bit hit or miss as per late 2014, but it's still my favorite London hotel. [last visited: 2014]