Hotel review: Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo
Booking hotels in a city that you are well acquainted with is always a challenge. It brings up so many questions that a first time visitor might not have, as you will always compare it to previous experiences- ie. Will I like the location more than X’s? Is this a fair price in comparison to X? If I love staying at X why am I considering somewhere else?
Although I do have an accommodation option in Tokyo that I consider ‘home’, as luck prevailed it was fully booked when I needed a few nights. Sigh!!! Then commenced the search for a hotel option that would cater for my needs as well, if not better than my favourite choice.
Shinjuku has been, and honestly will always be, the area I choose to stay in when I’m in Tokyo, simply for the ease of transport and the great food and entertainment options. I normally try to stay in the quieter neighbourhood areas of the suburb, but when this situation occurred I decided this was my chance to get amongst it in the busiest area- the Kabukicho!
The Best Western Shinjuku (which has since been bought and rebranded as the Citadines Central Shinjuku Tokyo) was the best choice for my price range and comfort level.
I decided to stay in their Standard Single, which although sounds small and unimpressive was roomy and provided plenty of space for a solo traveller.
The hotel is situated on the third level of a building on the main street of Tokyo’s Red Light District. Don’t let that description let you rule this place out. Tokyo’s Red Light district is timid by most standards, with it being well-lit and always busy with people. As a solo female traveller my safety is always my first priority and I did not at any stage feel unsafe in this location. It’s an incredibly convenient location with plenty of great eating, drinking and entertainment options in the surrounding areas, most of which are pumping all night long! Transport wise the main Shinjuku station is only a 5-minute walk away, making this hotel the perfect access point for exploring greater Tokyo. There is also a sake bar, a tempura restaurant and a Lawson’s convenience store located within the building complex. What more could you need?
The rooms at the Best Western/Citadines Central Shinjuku are notable for being clean and spacious. The rooms aren’t huge by western standards (Japanese rooms always tend to be on the small side) but there was enough space for a double bed, a couch, a desk and enough remaining room for me to spread out across!! The bed was very comfortable and I slept soundly, which was due to the quietness of the hotel. Surprising when you consider its location!!
The bathroom was utterly spotless and was appealing in its design. I liked that it has its own separate wet room with a shower and bath (Note: Japanese use the bath only for soaking, not cleaning! A surprisingly cultural difference).
The rooms here also provide the usual benefits of a hotel chain- free daily bottled water, free Wi-Fi, excellent aircon and a room safe that was big enough to easily fit my 18inch laptop! Win in my books! I also really loved the view of my window that looked out onto the backstreets of Shinjuku! I’d suggest the higher your room, the better the view! Luckily enough my window faced the area of the Golden Gai drinking district, which was fun to observe come nightfall.
One of the highlights for me was the breakfast buffet (surprise surprise!) I often find Japanese breakfast buffets to be light on the elements of breakfast that I enjoy, or they don’t provide enough options. At the Best western/ Citadines Central the range they served was excellent. I really appreciated and enjoyed watching the chefs prepare and replenish the buffet regularly so that you are guaranteed hot and very fresh meals! I was particularly impressed with the western elements of the breakfast, as there are only so many days you can eat curry for breakfast before you scream ‘” I want bacon!” I enjoyed their light fluffy omelettes, their range of fresh breads and selection of fruit. Fruit is generally an expensive item in Japan, and increasingly grown for its looks rather than taste. Finding a fruit selection after weeks without fresh fruit was heaven!) This was easily the best-cooked breakfast that I had in Japan!
The staff at the Best Western/Citadines Central Shinjuku were memorable for their friendliness and their helpfulness. Many of the staff speak English, or are happy to try! One the first day of my stay I realised that I was allergic to an ingredient in the shower amenities. The staff quickly provided alternate products to use with no fuss caused, which put me at ease!
When I travel I regularly choose to stay at properties belonging to the Ascott Limited Group (Citadines, Quest, Somerset, Ascott the Residence), in particular Citadines apartments. Hearing that the Best Western has been rebranded under this group gives me confidence that the standards and comforts of this hotel would be secured for future visitors.
Disclaimer- in the spirit of honest travel blogging there are some of the links on this page are affiliate links. If you do decide to make a booking using these links, I will receive a small commission – but that comes at NO extra cost to you. I only make recommendations that I have personally experienced and would suggest to my very closest friends!