A few weeks ago, I enjoyed a lovely trip with one of my best friends in scenic Japan. The hotels we stayed at were spectacular, and the flights to/from Japan were not bad either. You can read my trip reports here:
- Trip report: Japan Airlines B77W Business Class London to Tokyo
- Review: Amanemu
- Review: Aman Tokyo
- Review: Hyatt Regency Hakone
- Review: Park Hyatt Tokyo
- Review: St Regis Osaka (today)
- Review: Andaz Tokyo
- Review: The Ritz-Carlton Kyoto
- Trip report: British Airways B77W Business Class Tokyo to London
Today (August 24, 2016): Review of The St Regis Osaka (Japan).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: 3-6-12 Honmachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka, 541-0053, Japan
- Hotel website: St Regis Osaka
- Tip: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
The St. Regis Osaka is located along the famed street of Midosuji, also intimately known as the Champs Elysées of Osaka. An eloquent expression of comfort and refined Japanese aesthetics, Osaka’s finest hotel offers an abode of tranquillity and comfort, with its 160 rooms and suites elegantly appointed with refined furnishings and rich textures. Lavishly furnished with all the amenities one would expect from a contemporary residence, each room features opulent marble bathrooms with deep soaking tubs, walk in closets and picturesque city views.
The St Regis Osaka features in my top 10 list of the best luxury hotels in Japan.
In this review (more info below my Youtube clip & slideshow):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- Osaka is Japan’s third largest city (after Tokyo and Yokohama) and one of the country’s major economic hubs. Yet, the metropolis has long lacked luxury hotels, until the St Regis Osaka filled that gap when it opened in 2010. Currently, it’s still the most luxurious hotel in Osaka, although competition in the city’s luxury hotel industry remains weak.
- Located along Midosuji Avenue or Osaka’s Champs-Elysées, which is lined by a fabulous border of gingko trees that cast lovely shade in the summer, the St Regis property enjoys a very central setting in the heart of the city’s business district. The hotel is also very conveniently located for leisure travelers since it’s situated at the northern end of Shinsaibashi-suji, a covered shopping street featuring major stores and boutiques that runs all the way to Osaka’s main entertainment district.
- The hotel sits on top of the Hommachi Station of the subway’s Midojsuji Line, which brings you in ten minutes to either Shin-Osaka station (where the bullet trains stop) or Namba station (the region’s major train and subway hub), making the hotel an excellent base to explore Osaka as well as nearby cities. Nagoya, Kyoto, and Hiroshima can all be visited on day trips from the hotel by (bullet) train.
- Designed by famed Japanese architect firm Nikken Sekkei, The St Regis Osaka features a contemporary, modern decor. It stands 27 stories above the city in a modern skyscraper, affording impressive urban panorama’s from all rooms, including views of the Abenobashi Terminal Building, Japan’s tallest skyscraper (300 m or 984 ft).
- The hotel’s ground floor feature a small but elegant lobby, with a gorgeous crystal tree at its center, inspired by the beautiful palm trees that surround the city.
- From the moment guests enter the hotel, they are escorted by a doorman to the elevators that brings them to the high-ceilinged, main lobby on the hotel’s 12th floor. The latter features two reception desks (where check-in is done) and several lounge areas, and represents the hotel’s main social scene as the space is connected to the zen garden (with rooftop lounge), the St Regis bar, and the Italian restaurant (more on that below).
- Guest can bask in the tranquillity of the hotel’s outdoor rooftop zen garden, which is located adjacent to the main lobby area and is designed as a traditional Japanese rock garden. This miniature stylized landscape garden features carefully composed arrangements of rocks and pruned trees, seemingly floating over the gravel floor that is raked to represent ripples in water. There’s a terrace bar in one corner, which is an excellent spot for quiet respite, with comfortable seating coupled with light food and cocktails.
- Located at the far end of the main lobby, the distinguished St Regis bar is a sophisticated space, where guests can sink into one of the plush velvet armchairs and admire its artful ambience, while having afternoon tea or unwinding over handcrafted speciality cocktails, such as a Shogun Mary.
- An eloquent expression of comfort and refined Japanese aesthetics, the hotel’s 160 rooms and suites offer an abode of tranquillity and comfort. Accommodations come in six categories, and during my visit, I stayed in a so-called Grand Deluxe Premier Room, which was elegantly appointed with refined furnishings and rich textures. The room featured two plush queen-sized beds (that came with wonderful soft sheets), a separate walk in closet, a large writing desk with comfortable chair, and a cozy sitting area next to the large windows overlooking the city’s skyline. The lavish marble bathroom included a double vanity, a superb rainforest shower, and a separate tub with built-in LCD television.
- Similar to other St Regis properties, the hotel provides its guests exclusive Remède bath amenities, which are among my favorite toiletries in the luxury hotel industry.
- If you are hungry, you won’t need to venture outside since the St Regis Osaka boasts two exclusive restaurants. Rue D’or, a classically inspired and moderately priced bistro, is located on the ground floor and provides authentic French cuisine matched with the freshest Japanese produce. The hotel’s signature Northern Italian grill restaurant, La Veduta, is located next to the St Regis bar on the 12th floor and composes multi-course dining and lavish buffets that bring diners on a Tuscan epicurean sojourn with prices to match.
- The decently sized breakfast buffet is served in La Veduta restaurant and features a wide selection of both Western and Japanese food items. The buffet is complemented with a cook to order a la carte offering (e.g. eggs, steak, or pancakes).
- The hotel’s Iridium Spa is located on the 14th floor. Exclusive to the St. Regis brand, the Iridium Spa offers pampering treatments in an exquisite sanctuary for the body and soul. Adjacent to the spa, there’s a small but well-equipped fitness centre that provides hotel guests with a satisfying workout.
- While in residence, guests enjoy St Regis butler service, 24 hours a day. The St Regis Butler Service has been the signature of the St Regis experience for over one hundred years. From (un)packing your bag, ironing your clothes at no charge, freshening up the room, or running a bath, no request is too small or unattainable no matter the hour of the day.
- WiFi is complimentary, as long as you have made your reservation on the official hotel or Starwood website.
- Service is impeccable. The hotel’s excellent staff is extremely polite and speaks good enough English.
- The hotel is managed by the legendary St Regis Hotel Group (part of Starwood hotels), which is one of the world’s most exclusive hotel brands.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
The St. Regis Osaka does not disappoint as the city’s most prestigious address. The accommodations, contemporary decor, zen garden, wonderful bar, and butler service are what shines the most. However, while the hotel succeeds in most areas, it lacks in a few others:
- The St Regis Osaka does not have a swimming pool, which is somewhat disappointing given that the property was newly built only 5 years ago and since most other 5-star hotels in Japan come with impressive pools.
- The spa is extremely expensive (but that’s not different from most other luxury hotel spas in Japan) and there are no other facilities to enjoy other than treatment rooms (no sauna, steam room, or hot tub).
- The hotel charges different rates for single or double occupancy of the room. While I did not like that – this was the first St Regis hotel that I ever stayed at enforcing this kind of policy as well as the only hotel in Japan I visited during my holiday – solo travelers will applaud the lower rates.
- While the breakfast buffet is decently sized, it does not compare to the lavish breakfast buffets that is served at similar five-star properties across the country and at its sister St Regis hotels around the world. The buffet is displayed around the rather small open kitchen and consequently, the breakfast choices are rather limited (but the items on display are yummy).
- Location: 8/10
- Design: 8/10
- Pool: not applicable (no pool present within the hotel)
- Resort grounds: not applicable (city hotel)
- Rooms: 8/10
- Food: 8/10
- Spa: 8/10
- Service: 9/10
- Value for money: 8/10
- Overall experience: very good: 8,1/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like The St Regis Osaka (and/or receive many free perks).
- Save money: enjoy complimentary VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso (e.g. room upgrade, daily breakfast, early check-in, late check-out, and $100 USD food & beverage credit).
- Save money: book your room with an additional 20% off making use of a Best Rate Guarantee.
- Starwood Preferred Guests (SPG) with Gold or Platinum status are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – free high-speed WiFi, complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and free breakfast (SPG platinum). Click here to read our review of the SPG program (with pros & cons).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time. Passport and visa requirements differ from country to country. Please check with your local authority before booking.
- Book a room on the hotel website or the official SPG website to enjoy complimentary WiFi.
- Make sure you get a card in Japanese with the hotel address. Some cab drivers have no idea where this hotel is and showing them the hotel address in Japanese prevents that problem.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Japan enjoys all four seasons, with cherry blossoms usually at their best in late March and early April. The summer sees the largest amount of precipitation and humidity in Osaka, while autumn brings fresh, cool temperatures and light breezes. Winter is temperate, dry and often sunny.
HOW TO GET THERE
The trip from Kansai International Airport – the closest airport to the St Regis Osaka – takes approximately 50 minutes by car. The hotel is also accessible from the airport by city rail or train, or by an airport limousine with a city rail transfer. The hotel is a short walk from Exit 7 at Hommachi Station of the subway Midojsuji Line.