INTRODUCTION

The Hilton Osaka is a five star property located next to JR Osaka station, as well as the Umeda and Higashi-Umeda subway stations.  It is directly on top of the underground shops and tunnels connecting these stations.  It is also connected to the shopping complex ‘Hilton Plaza’.

From Kansai International Airport, it takes a little over one hour to reach the hotel via the airport limousine bus, which costs around 15USD one way.  If arriving on Shinkansen in Osaka, one can take either the JR Tokaido-Sanyo line from JR Shin-Osaka station to JR Osaka station, or the Midosuji metro line from Shin-Osaka metro station to Umeda station.

While the hotel is located in a major transportation hub, it is not directly in the touristy town centre of the Namba area.  There is not much of note to do around the immediate area.


CHECK IN

The lobby of the hotel has a large seating area for guests waiting and lounging.  The check-in desk is located adjacent to this area.  There is also a cafe selling delicious based goods here.

I arrived on 26 March 2016 for a two night stay, just before peak cherry blossom season.  The hotel was extremely busy and almost fully booked.  I reserved one night using points, and the other with cash+points.

Check-in was efficient and professional.  The front desk agent also had a great command of English.  My request for a diamond suite upgrade was denied as the hotel was fully booked.  However, I was given the option to pay extra for a twin executive suite, which I rejected as I was staying with my partner so preferred a king-bedded room.  I was nevertheless upgraded to an executive room.

As an HHonors Diamond member, I was given the option of having breakfast complimentary either at their main ‘Checkers’ restaurant or their 35th floor ‘Windows on the World’ restaurant.  A breakfast stamp for each was provided on the room key holder.  I tried both, and you can see my impressions below.  I was also provided with information on executive benefits.


THE ROOM

I was assigned a room on the 33rd floor, which was quite small, but the available space was well utilised.  The room was modern with a Japanese twist, with great local décor twists such as the floral carpets, shoji screens and ‘shrine orange’ cabinet.

The bed is the usual Hilton one, which I would describe as being firm, but nonetheless very comfortable.

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There were practical light switches conveniently located next to the bed, but no available charging ports.

The wardrobe also housed a safe, ample hangers and also a wireless iron.  These irons are particularly common in Japanese hotels, which I really dislike, as it takes at least 30 minutes to charge before you can iron anything.  Admittedly though, they are quite cute and very compact, so I can understand the appeal.

The mini-bar was decently stocked with the usual soft drinks, wine and hard liquor.  I believe the key to a great mini-bar is something local and unique which would be hard to find elsewhere.  Drinks-wise, there was none of this, but the nuts and crackers available seemed to fit the bill.

There were also the usual teas and Nespresso capsules for the accompanying machine.

The round work desk was very small and would be difficult to do any work with and resembled a cafe table.  However, given the size of the room, it would have been difficult to fit a bigger one.  I’ve included a picture of the table with an A4 page on top to give a size indication.

Universal AC charger slots are provided which is very useful for overseas travellers, along with HDMI, LAN and telephone ports.


BATHROOM

The bathroom was quite compact and makes good use of space.  However, Westerners may find it a bit of a squeeze.  A new-ish model of the quintessentially Japanese Toto washlet is also included, which is always fun to play with.

The full range of bathroom amenities were included, including dental kits and a shaver, which was a big plus as I prefer not having to request them.

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There were separate shower and baths albeit in the same room.  The water pressure was on point and the finishings were of a high quality.  During the daytime, one can see slightly through to the main bedroom, but the reserve is not possible.

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The view from the room is unbeatable, with clear vision over the Osaka cityscape, while lounging on the side sofa.

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FACILITIES

The executive lounge is quite cosy but provides a small but high quality spread of canapés in the evenings.  Beer, wine and sparkling are self-service, but basic mixes are available on request.  Unfortunately I did not take photos, but it is comparable to what is available at the Conrad Tokyo.

There is also a fitness centre with a small gym, pool and massage/relaxation room.


BREAKFAST (CHECKERS)

Both HHonors Diamond and Gold members are able to have breakfast in the main ‘Checkers’ restaurant free of charge.  The restaurant can get quite full though.

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The spread is very comprehensive with a variety of Western and Japanese options.  The local favourite ‘Takoyaki’ or grilled octopus balls is also available.  I particularly liked the omelette station and there is even an ice cream machine!

And the selections go on… and on… and on…!  One thing is for sure, you won’t be leaving hungry.


BREAKFAST (WINDOWS ON THE WORLD)

As mentioned before, HHonors members are also given the choice of having breakfast in the ‘Windows on the World’ restaurant on the 35th floor free of charge.  This space offers amazing views of Osaka.

The food options available here the same as at the main restaurant ‘Checkers’, minus a few things here and there.  However, it is much more peaceful here and the views unbeatable.

Once again, the ice cream machine also makes an appearance!

Unfortunately, it is obvious that the breakfast here is on a makeshift basis, possibly to stem the large intake of diners at Checkers.  The food is displayed on temporary tables and seems to be an afterthought.

The food at Checkers still seemed to be of a higher quality, so I would dine there again in the future.  Nevertheless, it is a great gesture from the property to open up the 35th floor to diamond members.


OVERALL

The Hilton Osaka is a solid choice and a great member of the Hilton Worldwide chain.  The hard product is spot on, being modern but with Japanese accents to boot.  Service is also immaculate being the usual Japanese variety, but may feel a touch cold for Western preferences.

If one can secure a good rate at this hotel (up to 300 USD per night), I would highly recommend staying here.  I would definitely consider staying here again and greatly look forward to my next trip to Osaka!

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