For the last night on my Winter 2023 trip to Japan and Thailand, I made a stop at the Aloft Tokyo Ginza.
After my previous two nights in the throes of luxury at the Shangri-La Tokyo, I knew that I had to taper my expectations coming into this stay.
I’d stayed at a handful of Aloft properties on my previous travels, and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. It turned out to be an entirely pleasant stay, which even came with a few surprises.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – Booking
I booked the Aloft Tokyo Ginza at an industry rate.
The main deciding factor for choosing this property was the location, as it’s a mere 20 minutes by train to Toyosu, where there was an exhibit I wanted to check out. Being short on time, it was a no-brainer for me to choose a hotel where I’d have quick and easy access to the final attraction on my trip, without breaking the bank.
When redeeming points, a night at the Aloft Tokyo Ginza will typically set you back 44,000–54,000 Marriott Bonvoy points, though it also goes for as low as 33,000 points on select dates.
Cash rates generally run in the range of ¥33,000–70,000 ($230–480 USD, $305–650 CAD).
Based on our valuation of Marriott Bonvoy points at 0.6 cents per point (USD) / 0.8 cents per point (CAD), you can get a decent return on your points if you plan to travel during peak periods when the cash rate is high.
Otherwise, consider booking with cash, or redeeming a Free Night Award. The Aloft Tokyo Ginza is a reasonable candidate for using a Free Night Award, since hotels in Tokyo can be otherwise quite expensive.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – Location
The Aloft Tokyo Ginza is ideally situated in the bustling centre of Ginza, one of the more desirable districts of Tokyo. It’s known as one of the city’s most upscale neighbourhoods, filled with luxury shopping and high-end restaurants.
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The hotel is in a prime location for exploring Ginza and its environs, and is mere blocks away from the MUJI and Uniqlo flagship stores. Both the Toyosu Fish Market and the Imperial Palace are also within walking distance.
Ginza Station, which connects to the extensive Tokyo subway network, is a leisurely five-minute stroll from the hotel. From there, you can transit to Tokyo Station in 10 minutes, or Shinagawa Station in 20 minutes.
Other popular neighbourhoods, including Shinjuku, Shibuya, and Harajuku, are each a straightforward half-hour subway ride away.
If you’re arriving at the Aloft Tokyo Ginza from Tokyo Haneda Airport, the Keikyū Airport Line will get you there in just under half an hour. To get back to the airport, the Asakusa Line takes about 35 minutes.
For those transiting to or from Tokyo Narita Airport, the journey will take an hour and a half by train or bus, or an hour by car.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – Check-in
I arrived at the Aloft Tokyo Ginza in the mid-afternoon, after first enjoying a nice walk to the area from the Shangri-La Tokyo. Since it was my first time visiting Ginza, I wanted to explore the district by foot, hoping to get my bearings for future stays in this part of the city.
The hotel is easy to spot from afar, with a large Aloft logo emblazoned high up at the top of the 16-storey building.
Upon entry, you’re greeted with a kaleidoscopic artpiece hanging from the ceiling, which gives the illusion of an endless walkway. This vibrant vision continues further into the lobby.
Colourful would be an understatement to describe the modern and quirky lobby lounge, which features an assortment of couches, cushions, and side tables in front of the check-in desks.
Check-in is located at the back of the lounge, and it was an entirely informal process. My Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite status was acknowledged, but no upgrade was offered.
After my feeble attempt at “suite-talking” failed, about which I wasn’t overly fussed, I made my way up to my room on the 12th floor.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – King Guest Room
As I found my way to my room, I noted that the hallways of this hotel were dimly lit and a tad narrow. The cramped feeling persists in the room itself, which didn’t offer much space to move around in.
The foyer features an open closet with an interesting bagged lunch design.
The bathroom is also open-concept; however, the toilet and shower are separated, as is typical for Japanese accommodations. In this case, it added to the impression of tight quarters.
Heading into the bedroom, the bed takes up most of the square footage, leaving not much room to lounge or walk around. The bed was comfortable, but not memorably so.
A corner bench and table is squeezed into the corner of the room, which is again decorated in the same colourful spirit as the rest of the hotel. This would probably be a nice spot to slurp some noodles.
In the other corner is a minibar with a kettle, complimentary bottles of water, and instant coffee and tea. Underneath the minibar area is a fridge.
The vanity on the other side of the bedroom is bright and clean, and comes appointed with the standard hotel amenities.
Overall, the room was more than adequate for a short stay. It’s a good choice if you aren’t planning on sticking around too long in the room itself, and want something more practical and economical than the luxury hotel options in Tokyo.
I spent most of my time outside the hotel, running errands and visiting the Toyosu exhibit, so it was a perfect fit for my purposes.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – Breakfast
Breakfast at the Aloft Tokyo Ginza is served in the hotel’s restaurant, The Warehouse, from 7–10:30am, with last call at 10am.
The restaurant is well-furnished and befitting of its name, with industrial touches throughout and minimalist furniture.
However, it still manages to maintain an inviting and cozy ambience through the use of warm-toned wood and accent pieces, such as the lantern-like light fixtures.
I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast by way of my Platinum Elite status.
The hot buffet station featured a mix of Western options, such as sausages, bacon, baby potatoes, as well as Japanese fare, such as mixed mushrooms, assorted greens, grilled fish, tamagoyaki, lotus root stir fry, and tofu.
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There was also plenty of freshly steamed rice, congee, and miso soup to be found.
Moving on to the cold buffet fridge, yogurt and oatmeal are available, but so were a number of Japanese breakfast dishes such as pickled vegetables, natto, and sweet potatoes. An array of cold drinks and juice can be found at the bottom of the fridge.
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A decent selection of fruit and a few salads were also present, along with a make-your-own-salad station.
Next to the coffee machine was a standard selection of bread and pastries.
The cereal station featured several different varieties as well as many different topping and mix-in options.
Since I wanted to save most of my appetite for my ANA First Class flight later that day, I kept it light on the ground.
The selection of items came as a pleasant surprise. There should be something for everyone at buffet stations, even if it’s not going to be the most memorable breakfast in Tokyo.
It’s another good example of how mid-range hotels in Asia punch above their weight regarding breakfast, and it reminded me of the strong showing at the Courtyard Osaka Honmachi earlier on in the trip.
Aloft Tokyo Ginza – Other Facilities
The hotel’s W XYZ Bar is located on the ground level, next to the lobby lounge.
There’s a more formal seating area with chairs, as well as smaller café-style tables suitable for one or two people, along with a pool table and a few sculptures.
The space is lit with blue lighting, which fits in well with the Aloft vibe. It looked pretty busy, and was filled with mostly young people who fit the Aloft archetype.
There’s also Roof Dogs, which is a rooftop bar that offers hot dogs and sparkling wine. I was out and about during its opening hours, and didn’t get a chance to pop in before I had to leave.
Re-Fuel, right beside the check-in desks, is a small market with a selection of overpriced goodies. Since there are plenty of convenience stores, including a Don Quixote, nearby, it’s probably advisable to frequent those places to satiate your late-night cravings instead.
Finally, there’s a 24/7 fitness centre, which is officially called Re:CHARGE. Regretfully, I didn’t pop by to check it out.
The fitness centre is equipped with treadmills, ellipticals, exercise bikes, free weights, and weight machines.
The Aloft Tokyo Ginza is ideally situated in the middle of one of Tokyo’s most desirable locales, and its central location makes it a great spot to base from.
While the rooms are small and somewhat cramped, the hotel’s modern style and surprisingly delightful breakfast buffet make it a great choice for a less expensive hotel in Tokyo.
For anyone who is more interested in exploring Tokyo rather than soaking up hotel amenities, the Aloft Tokyo Ginza is an affordable and practical choice.